Findability ( … if that’s not a word, I’m making it one).
As an author, you’re an entrepreneur. That goes double (or triple, or exponential, even) if you’re a self-published author. The success or failure of your career is directly related to the effort you put in to make yourself visible to potential readers.
Never miss an opportunity for attribution
We all know that social media is one of the best ways to increase your visibility. But simply having a Twitter account, or a blog, or a Facebook page, or all three and more, is wasted effort if you are not making yourself findable. What do I mean by that? Well, for example …
Tweet: sqz.co/Ak48Syb Having a #SocialMedia account is about being findable. @VeronicaBale1 #Writing #WriteTip
I’m a big proponent of proper attribution. If I’m retweeting someone else’s tweet, I make sure that I acknowledge that person’s original tweet by adding “RT @JohnDoeAuthor.” Likewise, if @JohnDoeAuthor is tweeting someone else’s blog post, I take that additional step of determining the twitter handle of the post’s author, and including that in my retweet as well (this is called manually retweeting, and for more information on why it is helpful and how to do it easily, check out my previous post, Twitter for Writers: Retweet Manually to Build Your Following”).
But here is a problem I run into quite often. I’ve located the tweet I want to retweet, and I follow the link to the post, because I want to find the author’s twitter handle …
And it’s not there.
There are no social media buttons added at the bottom of the post for easy sharing, there is nothing on the author’s blog which shows me at a glance where that author exists outside of his or her blog. In other words, if I’m going to credit this author for his or her brilliant blog post, I have to do a heck of a lot of work.
Which, I’m sorry to say, I’m just not going to do.
What this poor author has missed out on by not making him or herself easily findable is the chance to be visible to my followers. The whole point of social media is to be visible and findable, to be tweeted about and shared, and to get people talking about you. This poor author has totally missed that opportunity.
Be findable. Be Shareable.
I know I’m not the only one who uses Twitter in this manner. Fellow author and social media guru Nat Russo talks about this also. In his post Are You Using Pinned Tweets (which is a different topic, but one that is equally worth a read, so I’d recommend you take a look when you get a minute), he talks about checking out his followers’ profiles to find tweet-worthy content. He says,
“I like to use my platform, in part, to support other up-and-coming writers … It costs me nothing to hit the “Retweet” button once, and the potential benefit to the person I’m re-tweeting (and myself at some future point in time) is quite large. I’m a firm believer in the saying “a rising tide lifts all boats.” But many of you are making it extremely difficult for me to help you.”
Findability has a profound impact on your author platform. If you’re findable, you will see a marked increase in the traffic to your page.
To illustrate what I’m talking about, here’s a personal example:
A few posts ago, I wrote a piece called 4 Things Publishers and Agents Want in a Writer. In it, I provided quotes from literary agents, and linked those quotes to their sources. One of those quotes came from Literary Agent Carly Watters, who actually saw my post. Know what she did?
She tweeted it to her followers.
And you know what her followers did? They retweeted her tweet, which had my Twitter handle in it.
What’s important to note here is that Ms. Watters probably wouldn’t have bothered to tweet my post if I hadn’t made it easy by setting up a “share this” button at the bottom. Because I made it easy for prospective readers to share my work, I made myself exponentially findable.
Make credit just one click away
When you’re setting up your blog posts, and your blog pages, you need to make it as easy as possible for people to credit you. Have your Twitter handle readily available. Add as many social media buttons as you can so that credit is just one click away.
Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
Good Findability makes Good Marketing and Good SENSE and includes everything covered by Veronica AND YOUR ONLINE GRAVATARS 😀
Reblogged this on Mel Cusick-Jones and commented:
Just came across this excellent post from Veronica Bale about Twitter, for writers or anyone who is looking to raise their profile using social media. From working on Aside from Writing and running events like the Indie Author Month, I can agree that some authors make it really difficult to link up with them on social media, through not providing their details, or having ‘sharing’ buttons on their posts. It’s like anything in life, the easier you make it for someone to do, the more likely they are to do it.
Are you making these mistakes and missing the opportunities to have people help you raise your profile? Possibly, so check out the post and make some changes to how you operate on social media. There are also links in the post to a couple of other excellent posts on effective tweeting and info sharing…
Thanks for this informative and useful post, I’ve just shared on my blog (with credit, of course 😊)
Thanks kindly, Mel. I’m glad you found it helpful!
Reblogged this on cicampbellblog and commented:
How sociable are you on social media?
Great advice. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks, Rachel. I’m glad you found it useful! Cheers, Veronica.
Thanks for a great post, Veronica! One thing that think could help with the getting known problem, apart from your good advice, is for authors — or anyone else, for that matter — to make sure that their name appears on their blog page. So many seem to have cute names for their blog sites and fail to include their pen name or real name on their pages at all. This makes it hard to even ‘push’ their posts for them because you may not know who actually wrote it and it also puts me off responding to their posts because I don’t have time often to do the research involved and I don’t like responding by writing something like “Hi, The Cute Kitties, I found your post so useful.” Am I the only person this bugs?
Great advice. Thanks! 🙂
Reblogged this on Thoughts by Mello-Elo and commented:
Can your readers find you?