The centrality of social engagement on social media accounts. As an author, you have heard time and time again the importance of social media to your book’s success. It is indeed paramount in our current cultural context. Yet even so, merely having a social media presence for your book is only half of the battle. You also need to do it well. There are many strategies for social media out there, but there is one common factor: social engagement. It’s simple, but its implementation is profound. Social media is meant to be just that, social. All too often authors, as well as other professionals, use their accounts exclusively for brand advertising. The problem isn’t the advertising, but misappropriation of the media platform. Social media accounts aren’t television commercials, billboards, or magazine inserts; they are first and foremost platforms for social engagement. Using social media as a platform for social engagement 1. The 80/20 rule: People use social media to have social engagement, so that should be the primary tone of your social media account. This doesn’t mean you have to snap a picture of every meal you’ve eaten or put up a #blessed post every day. It does mean that approximately 80% of your content should focus on your industry and genre, featuring content about other authors and creators, or even featuring content created by others in your niche. The remaining 20% should center around you and your material. 2. Connect with Your Audience: Take the time to connect with your followers. Ask questions, respond to inquiries, and enter the dialogue on your posts. Having any form of established relational connection with the author (you) adds tremendous value to your book. 3. Connect with Other Authors: While it may sound counterproductive, championing other authors is effective toward building the presence of your own book. When authors establish connections and begin to feature each other, the potential reach of your audience grows dramatically. This becomes a mutually symbiotic relationship in which both authors benefit from an expansion of reach, and an endorsement of work by another author. Similarly, collaboration with other authors is effective, as then you develop relationships with other authors, and have more potential reach with joint efforts. 4. Be Yourself: It sounds stereotypical, but being yourself is key to successful social media campaigning. It’s easy to try to mimic an author you admire or a social media account you appreciate. It is indeed beneficial, and wise, to take inspiration from others you respect. Ultimately though, you are not them, and your book is not their book. SO MAKE IT YOUR OWN—your own taste, your own touch, your own voice. Have fun with making it your own!