May 9, 2017

How to have more followers on social media

Social media works a little like making connections in real life. You approach someone in a friendly manner and strike up a conversation. If the person doesn’t seem interested in a subject, you find another to spark attention, but each time being attentive to the responses or lack thereof.

To engage with readers on social media, type a key subject into the search box found on most of their pages to see who has a similar interest. For me, for example, the words “Bible,” “Christian,” “poet,” “writer,” “publisher” helped me to find people who also want to discuss those topics. As I followed them, many followed me in return.

When new “friends” seemed especially interesting and in tune, I looked to see who their friends were. Then I followed them. I also followed publishers to keep up with what they’re publishing or might need. A few of those connections eventually gave me new writing projects!

Since I highly prize ecumenism and unity among Protestant, Catholics, Evangelical, Charismatic, Orthodox, and Liturgical Christians, I’ve also made a point of following people from all denominations. I want to know what other Christians they think and why, so, Lord willing, I can find ways for us to forgive, accept, and embrace one another, regardless of our differences.

As my connections increased, however, some people felt more like stalkers than followers, and others were so crude, obscene, or politically angry, I stopped following them. On a very few occasions, I’ve had to block people from following me - without blocking them from prayers.

Another word of caution: Social Media sites may frown on your following hundreds of people when, say, only a dozen follow you. So give people time to catch up. Some only come online every few days or so, while others stay active and respond right away if they’re interested in what your profile shows.

What does it show? Well, that depends on what you want other people to know about you. Since I want to discuss #faith, #writing, #Bible topics, etc., my profile shows that with hashtags # to emphasize my favorite subjects. Then, as other people search for those same subjects on Twitter or Facebook, my media page should come up.

This process of seeking and finding new “friends” on the Internet continues as long as we want to stay active on the social sites. And, why would we? Each site offers opportunities to make connections with peers with whom we identify and learn, potential publishers who might want the type of writing we do, and readers who might be interested in our books or blogs.

However, each occasion for marketing our work will be better received when interspersed with an uplifting Bible verse, a lively quote, a writing tip, a cool fact, or a retweet (RT) of someone else’s post. The more you offer interesting content to your Internet connections, the more apt they’ll be to RT your tweets or share your posts too, and the next thing you know, you might have more followers than your town has residents!

© 2017, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved


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