Wow! You Must Really “Like” Me

As authors and bloggers, we hear that we need to grow a following, or an author platform, and this is the digital measure of success. So, we write blog posts and posts promos in the hopes that readers will be drawn to our blogs and fall in love with them, and subscribe to them. Then we start counting “like” or other reactions on all of our social media sites, and when they start accruing, we tell ourselves, “Look! It’s working! Lots of people “like” my promos. My following is growing!”

But, I would argue that the number of “likes” we get on social is not a true and accurate measure of success, or even popularity, and it certainly isn’t any indication that we are moving any closer to increasing book sales, or blog visits. Think about it. Just because several people “liked” a promo on social media, doesn’t mean that any of those people clicked through to actually read the blog post or buy the book. In fact, I’d venture that the majority of “likes” on social media do not click through. They may be “liking” the promo, but they aren’t reading your work. They are probably a more accurate measure of promotional success, than they are the size of the reader following.

Of course, this isn’t the case with “likes” that appear on the blog site itself. Watching those numbers increase is a big deal, because they are an indication that people are reading your work. When the number of subscribers increase, that’s when you know that those folks who “liked” your posts, are truly finding your content of interest enough to come back and visit again. This is what bloggers strive for when trying to grow a following. (But alas, many of those followers may have subscribed may become inactive over time, letting email notifications go unopened.) Even with a large following, we are still challenged to keep readers engaged and entertained or informed. Growing a reader following is an unending process and you have to keep at it over time with quality content to maintain it.

So, why do we even bother with “likes” on social media? They may make us feel good, but do they have some other value? Are we all just striving to go viral because that’s the current measure of success on social media? The answer is that they do, indeed, have value, because they are a form of engagement with existing and potential readers. And engagement is the key to growing a solid following, with members who enjoy reading your writing and want to hear what you have to say, or the story that you have to tell.

Engagement is one of the major objectives that social media marketing is aimed at. Readers whom you engage with in some manner are more likely to subscribe to your blog or buy a book. Readers who do have engagement of some sort with a book’s author are also more likely to leave a review for that book. Favorable reviews increase the chances that someone else, previously unfamiliar with you or your work, will also buy your book.

So, as an author, don’t totally dismiss all those “likes” as unimportant, thinking that they don’t mean the ‘liker’ really likes you or your work, but instead make use of them as a chance to engage with the ‘liker’, even it is just to say thanks for “liking” my promo post. Encourage readers to click through and actually read the blog post, or buy the book in the promos, and be thankful for any engagement received.

And for heaven’s sake, be sure to reply back. Even giving a quick emoji is a form of response, and considered engagement, so take the time to reply or reach out to those people who “like” promos, engage with them, even if it’s obvious they haven’t clicked through. They will remember the next time they see one of your promos, so you’ve increased recognition and awareness, and maybe, just maybe they’ll subscribe to your blog or even buy a book.

And as readers and social media hounds, please click through and read the actual blog posts and leave a comment to clue the author in to the fact that you did. If you do buy a book, please take the time to leave a brief review to show support for the author. Being an author and getting our work out there is not easy, especially in the trying times we live in, so let’s lift each other up and support one another. Every author can’t be your favorite, but engagement and reviews are easy ways to support the ones who are.

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12 Comments on “Wow! You Must Really “Like” Me”

  1. Tom says:

    A good post, Kaye, and one that, no doubt, too few will read. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Antoinette Truglio Martin says:

    Great advice. Thanks a bunch.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I did actually read it. I often don’t go to a blog until I have read part of the article… because I’m following, or it’s been reblogged to one I do follow. I often don’t make a comment. I can’t remember ever buying a book, but my author interviews seem to sell a few at least for my guests. Perhaps because they’re strangers with books new to my followers?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That may be a possibility Sarah. That is the idea behind book blog tours and social media book events, as well – exposure to new authors whom we are unfamiliar with. They don’t always sell a lot of books, but they do offer exposure for authors and their books, and they lead to contacts with an audience we might not normally engage with, which can lead to new followers, who may also buy books down the road. These events and activities are valuable over the long run in building recognition and awareness.

      I’m also guilty of not commenting, especially when I’m short on time, (which happens a lot), but I always “like” or or otherwise indicate that I’ve visited. If it’s something I think my own readers may find of interest, I may reblog or share. Sometimes, I come back later and comment if a post has been on my mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m arranging a blog tour for my next book release for exactly that reason,,, exposure to new groups. I’ve never tried it before, but people are doing more and more online right now,

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree that a lot of people like posts, especially on Twitter and FB, without following the link. They even share the posts. Personally, I never share something I haven’t read. I need to know I endorse the content. I generally comment on every post I read as I enjoy engaging with bloggers. I never just like blog posts. That being said, sharing promos, even if people don’t follow the link, does help get your name out there and known so it does have its place in this strange social media marketing game we play.

    Liked by 1 person


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