Let Your Characters Market for You in Social Media

social-mediaDoes your heroine have a Twitter account? Why not? Posting to social media sites in the voice of your characters gives you another way to interact with readers and get them involved in your story. This works especially well for series characters, where the character’s relationship with the audience builds with each book. Social media can speed the process along.

Here are some tips for making the most of your character’s presence in social media:

Use a drawing or photo of the character as an avatar if you can. Otherwise, use the book cover or other image to represent them. (Note: Be careful if using a photo of a real person as your character. Make sure you have permission. Take a photo of a friend or model, and get a signed release.)

Make it clear that the account belongs to a fictional character. The purpose is not to deceive anyone, but just to do something interesting to readers and have fun with the characters.

Here are a few places to put your characters:

Although fictional characters can not have Facebook profiles, they can have fan pages. Set up a fan page for your character and let your followers know about it. Use the fan page to keep readers up to date on new books, events, etc., and also about what is happening in the life of your character between books (or after the book in which they appeared ended).

Anyone can have a Twitter account, even if they only exist in your imagination. Drop clues about the latest case your amateur sleuth is involved in, or tweet about the romantic evening your romance heroine enjoyed. Of course, your characters can also mention your upcoming book signings and other events.

Set up a Ning.com network around your books, where your characters can interact with readers.

If you really want to go all out, set up a blog for the character. Or create a blog for all of the characters in your latest book and let them take turns posting. You may find that too much to maintain (along with your own blog, oh, and writing books!) so instead just have a character do an occasional guest post on your blog. Be sure to announce the post via Twitter, Facebook and other social media.

Have your characters guest post on other people’s blogs. This could be part of a blog tour, where your character appears instead of you, or be done on its own. To find blogs where you and your characters can guest post, join http://BloggerLinkUp.com/ (free) and submit your offer of guest posts.

Don’t go overboard with this. You probably do not want to do all of these things. Choose one or two and have fun with them. This can be a new way to engage your current readers and attract new fans.

Cathy Stucker writes about marketing, blogging, publishing and more at IdeaLady.com and CathyStucker.com. Sign up for her free IdeaLady Insider newsletter at http://IdeaLady.com/article/newsletter.