Let’s face it: Social media is a nonstop churn of content. New users are joining by the second, and most of them are spouting out posts multiple times a day. How’s anyone supposed to keep up? Let alone an author, who is already juggling writing, a job, parenting, and/or a hodgepodge of other obligations on top of online platforming?
While at a conference recently, I chatted with an author who had given up on social media. Why? He said he could hardly create one original, witty, worthwhile idea every day to post, let alone several. I quickly told him something that I hope set him free and gave him a new lease on social media platforming:
You don’t have to have an original masterpiece of mind-blowing insight every time you post on social media.
In fact, browse through the post history of any author you love and you’re bound to see that a strong social media presence is made of many different kinds of activity.
The truth is, there are other ways to post that take the pressure off—and even sometimes add more value for both you and your followers—than just blasting out your own thoughts.
Here are Four Great Ways to Post When You’ve got Nothing to Say:
1) Share other people’s great content
As a science fiction and fantasy author, I have a penchant for anything related to monsters (and a lot of other geek culture topics). Guess what? My target audience of readers tend to love this stuff, too.
Find these areas where your passions overlap with those of your audience, and keep an eye on a few trusty sources for the latest content on those topics.
The next time you find an article you love on one of those sites, share it! In today’s climate of content overwhelm, serving as a curator of what you consider to be the best content on the internet is a service you can offer your readers.
2) Inspire with quotes
From #MotivationMonday to #QOTD, the internet loves a great quote. Creating visually striking graphics for quotes you love, or even reposting quotes you find from others that inspire you, can be another great way to connect with your audience.
Just be sure to cite your sources, both for the quote and any re-posts. To get even more from your quote posts, experiment with the most relevant hashtags.
When browsing your feed, look out for posts that are especially helpful, get you thinking, or make you think heck yes. Great content alert! Why not pass it forward with a repost?
This can accomplish two great things at once.
First, it lends support to a connection who shared something you found meaningful. This can be a wonderful way to get noticed and build stronger connections within your network. Second, it shares more great content with your followers, which you’ll be associated with now.
For bonus points, you can add your own comment with the repost if you have something to add or call out…but it’s not required.
I think sometimes we get so caught up in putting content out in posts, we forget about reading each others’ posts. But replying to someone else on social media can be some of the most meaningful platforming activities you do.
Social media may separate us by our screens, but it’s still about building social connections with other people. When we reply to someone else, we step out from behind those screens and contribute to a conversation.
This is a great way to build real connections through the internet, which is no easy feat.
A Better Way to Build Platform
I hope this has taken some pressure off of you about what it takes to build a social media presence for your author platform. I hate to see authors who feel so overwhelmed by the pressure to produce post after post, that they give up.
Hang in there! And cut yourself a break by using these methods to keep up with your social media even when you have nothing new to say. You may find that it creates space for you to discover new resources, get inspired, and build better connections with others.
By day, Emily Wenstrom is an author social media coach and content marketing specialist. By early-early morning, she is E. J. Wenstrom, an award-winning sci-fi and fantasy author whose debut novel Mud was named 2016 Book of the Year by the Florida Writers Association.