But that brings up an important question: How do you maintain any privacy while at the same time sharing enough about yourself to get people interested in you and your book? It can take a bit of extra time and consideration when planning social media posts, but it is most definitely possible, especially if you follow these four tips!
- Use pen name for social media accounts. This is hopefully an obvious first step, but it's necessary in maintaining a separation between the real you and the author you. The only personal account I have is on Facebook because it's required to set up a business page. Every other social media account is strictly for business and is set up under Andi O'Connor. If you want to have a personal Twitter account, then set up two: one under your personal name and one under your pen name. Whatever personal accounts you choose to have, make sure to enable as many privacy settings as possible. That way, if people learn about your real name, they won't be able to see any posts on your personal accounts.
- Use nicknames. The main reason I do my best to maintain a strictly private personal life is to protect my family's privacy and safety. One of the most important steps in achieving this is to never post your family's real names on your author accounts. But, that leaves a problem when wanting to mention your spouse in a post! After all, the point of social media, especially for your author accounts, is to gain awareness for you and your book. For a creative way to mention your family without revealing their names, refer to them by nicknames. For example, my fans know my husband as 'Honeybee' and our son as 'P'. It allows my followers to feel connected and relate to the information I share, while giving me the opportunity to keep their real names private.
- Be selective with information. This goes along with the point about sharing names, but don't give ages, schools, places of work, etc. None of it is necessary to share. You can still talk about something your child is doing in school without giving the name. Doing so simply makes it easier for someone to find/identify him or her.
- Be careful with the pictures you post. This is the age where people post thousands of pictures of their kids on social media, but stay clear of this on your author pages. I know it may go against ever fiber of your being, but it can be done. I promise! As you grow in recognition as an author, your family grows in recognition too. But unlike the famous stars in Hollywood, most of our bank accounts don't allow us to pay for security and body guards. Here's the thing, you can still post pictures of your kids, but you need to be a bit more creative when taking the shot. For example, I like to do a lot of 'from behind' pics like the ones below. This allows me to share things which will reverberate with people's interests, such as pinball or ballet, without showing my son's face.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Food. Everybody loves food! Get something awesome at a restaurant? Take a pic and share it! My Honeybee loves to cook, so I share pics of his creations all of the time!
- Pets. People can't get enough of your pets. Dogs, cats, birds, gerbils, whatever you have! Share them doing something cute, and you'll gain some great followers.
- Hobbies. Do you run, play a video game or sport, dance, or paint? Share that passion with your followers! I've met some wonderful like-minded followers through my love of ballet and playing LOTRO!
- Entertainment. Talk about your favorite books, movies, musicals, and plays. That's a great way to reach new fans with similar interests as you.
- Travel. Did you go somewhere? Even if it's just a couple hours away, don't miss out on the opportunity to share your experience and reach some new people!
Is privacy important to you? Do you have any tips to share?