It’s no secret that social media has affected the lives of many people from all around the globe. According to statistics, there will be an estimated number of 2.13 billion social media users by 2016. Among the numerous social media websites that exists today, Facebook remains at the top spot, with more than 1 billion active users per month.

With the existence of mobile applications for social media, it is expected that usage will continuously grow over the years. Because of this, social media is able to hold its networking power in place. It allows people to communicate, interact, and build connections whenever and wherever.

Despite the negative image that social media has gained for its tendency to get people hooked, it is considered to be an important element in many types of businesses. If you have one, now’s the time to get savvy. It will help you get your word out there. It will help your business grow in so many ways.

If you’re a self-published author who’s looking to market and promote your book online, you can always use social media to do so. By using social media, you can…

  • Create a fan page for your book on Facebook.
  • Keep your readers updated about your progress and your life through Twitter.
  • Post visuals of your book and other similar topics on Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Boost your author profile on LinkedIn.
  • Get to know readers and fellow authors on Goodreads.
  • Blog about your life, your book, and your interests on Tumblr.
  • Show your humorous side through SnapChat.

There are limitless possibilities and countless opportunities with social media. These are just some of the leading social media platforms that you can access anytime and anywhere since they are available on mobile too.

While you may be promoting your book to generate sales, you must not forget to include your audience in the picture during the process. After all, your book cannot be able to generate sales without them. You may have a few followers for now, but once user engagement increases, more and more people will be drawn to your social media pages. Forget about the bots; a huge number of computer-generated followers and likes won’t sell your book when your page is filled with nothing but cricket sounds. You need to create your own noise.

When promoting and marketing your book through social media, you must remember the following tips:

  • Shy away from shameless book promotion 24/7.
  • Value user engagement more than your follower count.
  • Keep your audience interested and engaged by posting topics that they would enjoy too.
  • Listen to your audience’s feedback.
  • Reply to comments and messages as timely as possible.
  • Always be friendly to your audience and answer their questions politely.

Think about your social media usage as building an empire. As the ‘leader’ of the empire, you would need people to follow you. You must not stop getting people to join you, even if you already have thousands of them. You must conquer people and places, although not necessarily by brute force, to continue growing your empire. However, to keep them in your empire, you must also cater to their needs. You must give them what they need and want, and you must make them feel that they matter to you.

You must make your social media audience feel that their opinions and interests are as valuable to you as it is to them. You will have a stronger connection with them when they feel that they are also being considered. This way, they are more likely to refer you and your works to other people since they already have confidence in you and in what you do.

Despite social media rankings shown in statistics, there is no particular platform that is guaranteed to work best for everyone. Some excel on Facebook while others are popular on Twitter. If you think about it, it’s not about the platform. It’s about what you do in your chosen platforms. It’s how you connect and use the power of social media that you will be able to achieve your goals as an author and as an individual.

Social media is a powerful force as it enables people to connect anytime they want and anywhere they are. It doesn’t only help maintain strong relationships among individuals, it also helps businesses strengthen their reputation and stronghold through creating a wide global network. It will help you, as an author, to gain loyal readers, to generate book sales, and to build a strong fan base.

The networking power of social media must not be underestimated. Even just a one-liner tweet or status update, a 10-second video, or a square-cropped image, can change your whole life forever. Many can attest to this. So, use the power of social media and start building connections whenever, wherever!

Jill Bennett a marketing specialist of LitFire Publishing, a company based in Atlanta, Georgia. For the past six years, she’s been working with several self-publishing authors in terms of book marketing, publicity and distribution.