You knew in advance or you quickly found out if you were not online, your chances of book buyers would be small. What goes into a successful web presence?
Power is a difficult word to quantify. Like pornography, you know it when you see it. Some indicators of a healthy web presence are:
None of the elements exist singly. Each one stimulates the others. Without careful cultivation, your web presence can grow lopsided.
Whether your content is a trailer, a blog post or a social media post, your number one goal is for your followers to engage your content. Is it a link you want them to click? Did you ask them a question, and they are talking back? Are they sharing? Do you know?
Measuring engagement is a must to determine what content is successful (worth the effort). If no one ever shares the pictures of your ant farm, stop posting them. You are not providing your following with what they came to see.
Your breakfast choice got no comments? Good. Post a passage from your book instead. Ask your readers what they think. Then, engage them by joining the conversation.
Visible engagement of your content will encourage more engagement and more following. You need both public and private meters. A like (LOVE!) button, thumbs, stars… give your readers and visitors a way of knowing others have enjoyed your content.
We have already talked about cultivating who you follow without really covering where to find followers. Two words:
Yes, you have permission to be a troll. Go to your active followers pages and see who you see. Is someone posting content to your friend’s page? (Think to self: Someone who can make my page more active and diverse.)
Is your friend’s stream infused with retweets? (Think to self: This person says things I like/are good for my marketing effort.)
Has your friend been tagged in posts? (Think to self: Someone posting content relevant to conversation when I am offline.)
Follow. Send a friend request. Circle them. You are already an active member of the platform, and you do not come as a spammer cold call because you have people in common. When they check out your profile, they will see you have things in common.
Wait, they are not going to come to your page and see two hours where you posted 31 times and nothing for the three days prior to it… are they? You really do need to feed the bears.
Everyone who has ever had a pet (or child) knows if you do not feed them, they wander off or do things you really do not like. If you are not consistently bringing a good spectrum of information, links and personable content, your followers are going to follow someone who does.
Do not think it is healthy to feed them on a constant diet of wallet fat (Buy my book!). All species need a balanced diet. Shake things up between shares (links to relevant, organic content from “not you”), memes (Yes, humor/art-sugar is necessary.), videos and your homegrown content.
With myriad sources for how to brand yourself (It is so much more than a logo- having one is a good idea.), let’s look at support. You are consistently posting and sharing relevant content, but are you supporting your brand? Are you a tennis guru? Your links and videos will point to fun or exciting video, news items and your book on the perfect doubles serve.
Do you write historical romance? Your posts will point to relevant issues of the era, dating rituals and hobbies before the advent of the smart phone.
Ideally, your book should be the linchpin. It should tie together the random bits you pluck from the stream into a seashell collection worthy of a shelf with your name on it.
This well-oiled machine will not continue to function unless you are steadily supplying content. This does not mean you have to stay online 24/7. It does mean you cannot be absent for weeks at a time and expect to retain your quality audience. Yes, your groupies will still be waiting for you. The rest of your following will see your return to the stream and wonder who you are.
If you are taking some time off, schedule a light dusting of content to simulate leaving the light on whilst on vacation. This will keep the more radical cleaners from unfollowing you for lack of action. Many unfollowing sites and apps show users how long it has been since someone engaged the platform. Just like you chose not to follow the egg, why should someone keep you if they never hear from you? (See consistency.)
Wrap it up!
- Consistently provide followers with content supporting your brand.
- Cultivate new followers based on content you collect for your brand.
- Give followers the ability to engage your content to build your brand.
- Use your brand to attract new followers to engage your content.
- Be present to post and engage with content and your following.
Does your social media strategy cover increasing the strength of your web presence? Did you realize how much of this list you were already doing?
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