Inflating Your Platform

How do you earn the attention of your followers?IMG_8031 adj

by Andy Scheer

Last week on Facebook, one of the hundreds of friends I’ve never met posted this:

I have a publisher’s meeting in July. I need to build my platform on my Facebook page, [Impressive-Sounding Name.] I have invited my friends to like my page today to gain numbers, if you have a moment it would help me out to have a personal like. Thanks for the support.

Doubtless you’ve seen many such requests, maybe even sent them.

Perhaps they increase an author’s number of likes. But I doubt they fool publishers into thinking these authors really have a large following. More likely, they’ve calculated the average percentage of “ask-a-like” numbers—and accordingly re-figured the size of most authors’ real social media platform.

As for me, I seldom respond to requests to like a page. Why? Most times I don’t know the person. So I’ve never seen a reason to visit their page, let alone like it.

I don’t consider a sales pitch for a book to be content of value.

I restrict my likes to people I know—through working with them, meeting them at an event, or regularly seeing their posts that actually contain content of value. (I don’t consider a pitch to buy their book to be content of value.)

Still, a handful of writers have actually earned my likes. Some I’ve known for years. Others have earned my attention because they post regularly and memorably, with content that fits their brand and reinforces interest in their work.

And that work includes well-planned communication on social media—not just begging for empty likes.

I’m sure publishers notice that, too.

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About Andy Scheer

With more than 30 years in publishing, Andy Scheer has provided freelance editorial services since 2010. He has edited fiction and nonfiction for publishers including Moody, WinePress, and BelieversPress, as well as for clients including Dirk Cussler, McNair Wilson, DiAnn Mills, Heather Day Gilbert, and Sammy Tippit.

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