Want to attract readers? Create social media content that resonates

Do you want to attract readers for your books?

I had that idea in mind when I read an article on Adweek‘s site last week — “3 tips for creating original social content your audience loves.”

Be sure to click through and read it — it will help. Simply substitute “book” for “company” or “brand” and you’ll have no trouble seeing how it can help you promote your book.

One of the three tips hit home with me because I experienced how that works just a few weeks ago on the Build Book Buzz Facebook page. It’s the third tip from Larry Alton, to “continuously gather ideas.”

A small success story

Simply by always being on the lookout for what I can share that will be interesting to authors, I created a Facebook Page post that has generated more comments than anything I have ever posted on my business Page.

Here’s the story behind my success with this simple concept.

A couple of sunny Saturdays ago, I visited my friends at their cottage on Keuka Lake in New York’s beautiful Finger Lakes region. We decided to start the afternoon with a drive south along the lake shore to a cute little town called Hammondsport, where we wandered in and out of the town’s shops to see what was new and fun.

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Keuka Lake as seen from Hammondsport

In one particularly spacious antique store, I spotted a bookcase in the back with an impressive collection of Nancy Drew books for sale. Any of you who grew up on Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books will appreciate my delight!

I captured the moment with this photo below.

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A few days later, almost on a whim, I posted the picture on my Facebook Page with a short caption: “Does this bring back memories for you, too?”

Boy, did it!

In addition to generating an unusual number of comments, that single random image also shot up to second place in terms of post “reach.”

Continuously gather ideas

And it happened because I’m continuously gathering ideas.

What surprised me as much as the “likes” and number of comments was who commented — some of them are people who haven’t even “liked” the Page. There’s no question that Nancy Drew speaks to many others in the same way she spoke to me that sunny Saturday.

The comments were fun to read — who doesn’t like being reminded of the Cherry Ames and Vicki Barr series? And let’s not forget the Hardy Boys — the antique store had a shelf of those books, too.

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It was an important reminder to me to always be looking — and to share what I find, too.

Attract readers with your content’s originality

Are you always looking for ideas? Think about about how you can attract readers with your content. When you have your readers in mind, it will be easier to identify what might be interesting.

Originality definitely helps. Nobody sees things through the same lens as you. Your unique view matters.

Whether it’s a photo of your work space, a tweet about something you overheard in a coffee shop, or a blog post about how you overcame an obstacle, share something that’s uniquely you.

If all you have time for is sharing content that others post, be certain to add your own spin to it with a comment. To paraphrase the “American Idol” judges, that will make it your own.

This adds value to your readers while it gives them insights into who you are — and people like to know that. It’s how you attract readers and make the connections that turn followers into fans.

How do you use content to attract readers? Tell us in a comment! 

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  1. Sandy,

    I love to gather ideas wherever I go, and whatever I’m doing. Thanks to smartphones, it’s a snap (pun intended) to gather photos that capture messages, stimulate thoughts, and trigger memories that delight and inspire us.

    When I’m attending author events, for example, I’m fond of helping shine the spotlight on the other authors who often don’t think of using this event to market/promote themselves for the future. At one author fair this year I had someone take a photo of me with each author at their tables, and used them to create an Instagram post. I sent each author a link to each author which I hope they used in their marketing and such.

    Since I began offering life story workshops, I see images everywhere that illustrate the power of memories to highlight significant events and turning points in our lives. I’ve created short videos with some of these for my website and posts for my social media accounts, of course.

    And yes, snatches of conversation or a phrase in an article get stuck in my head until I turn them into copy, a motivational quote for a coloring page, or sometimes even a product idea.

    Thanks again for a great post reminding us of the potential of a simple concept.

    1. Flora, I’ve seen some of your posts from those author events, knew what you were doing, and smiled because it’s SO you — generous, thoughtful, and smart. Don’t you just love being able to use your phone to capture all of the moments you encounter?

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m hoping we can meet in person one of these days!


  2. Great story! I can see why that post generated so much attention. It’s a fantastic shot that resonates, whether one is of that generation or not. Old books like that are so beautiful I think.

    1. They are beautiful, Karen! And if it’s a book I’ve read, I’m immediately transported back in time — it’s like hearing a favorite song from my “youth,” you know?


  3. I love to Photoshop images, so the advice about visuals resonated for me. I haven’t told anyone,until now, that I keep a file called Useless Posters. I had an idea to use some of these images as backgrounds for quotes from my writer’s journal, like little posterettes. The first attempt a week or so ago was quite a spectacular flop. Only two people commented. But I’ve pushed many an elephant up many a hill — hey, wouldn’t that make a great poster? Thanks as always, Sandra!

  4. Sandy, those three tips was like bases loaded. You got up and…wham, hit a home run. We writers are playing on a field of creativity. My favorite line was, “Originality definitely helps. Nobody sees things through the same lens as you. Your unique view matters.” In other words, we all swing different based on our DNA. Damn, I love playing this game. I get the feeling the same is true for you, Thanks for my Wednesday gift.

    1. I DO love it, Jim. I’m glad you do, too! Thanks for noticing and for your enthusiastic comment. I love knowing you found this useful!

      You are my new BFF.


  5. Great story as usual Sandy! It is always a pleasure to share your FB posts with my friends as well. Thank you for all you do to help authors learn the secrets of marketing their books. Old books bring back wonderful memories for many. Keep up your great work..

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