It’s your big moment: The audience eagerly awaits your next word. But your palms are sweaty and you’re much too nervous…to press that button and post on social media. You’re one of the many writers who suffer from social media stage fright.
Having an active Internet presence is the most effective way to develop an author brand and build your audience. However, a bad case of social media stage fright can make it harder for you to interact with your followers and build relationships with your readers.
Don’t panic! Take some deep breaths into a paper bag and read on, because we’ve got easy tips to help you shine in the social media spotlight:
How To Overcome Social Media Stage Fright
Don’t Overthink Your Posts. The more you overthink what you want to post on social media, the more you’ll get hung up on the details that your followers aren’t likely to care about: Does this post say too much? Too little? Is it too serious? Too silly? If the post resonates with you in some way, it will most likely resonate with your followers. And if it doesn’t—they’ll probably be fine with that too. If you do post something you wish you could take back, simply delete it.
Know Your Target Audience. Your author brand has a specific audience with specific interests, so use those parameters as a guide. For example, if your writing revolves around LGBT themes, you could post about issues that are relevant to the LGBT community. If you write in the horror genre, Halloween is your fans’ favorite holiday, so be sure to fill your social media with bloodcurdling, scary treats! Knowing your audience will help you identify the content that is relevant and most likely to build your fan base.
Value Quality Over Quantity. If the thought of speaking to a large crowd makes you cringe, don’t worry—on social media, you really don’t need mobs of screaming fans. While having lots of followers might make you feel like a success, it’s much more important to develop a strong relationship with your real fans and followers. You might be tempted to pay a company that guarantees you fans, but be warned: The fans they provide will most likely not be interested in you or your writing, so they’ll never interact with you. New visitors to your social media— especially literary agents and editors—would rather see that you have a strong rapport with your fan base.
Agree To Disagree. Disagreements will happen online, just as they do in real life. Generally, it’s best to not take disagreements personally. If you’re lucky, you will have a diverse group of fans who come from different backgrounds with multiple perspectives on different subjects. Focus on handling any disagreements or negative comments calmly, and you’ll be able to widen the conversation—or simply move on to another topic. Here are some tips for effectively dealing with online trolls.
Remember: You’re The Reason They’re Here. Your readers and fans are following your social media for one simple reason—they already like you! They WANT to know more about you, your thoughts, and your writing, and they’re eager to interact with you online. Make it easy for followers to connect with you by maintaining a consistent social media persona, and make a point of posting consistently.
Here’s a tip from veterans of stage performances: Don’t be your own worst heckler! Instead of focusing on yourself and how nervous you feel—focus on the audience and how much they like you and want to support your efforts. The more you practice and post on social media, the more at ease you’ll become interacting with your fans.
Question: What aspect of posting on social media makes you most nervous?