You can’t open a business without a website and corresponding social media pages. Whether you choose Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter (the Big 3) you need to have a way to reach your customers. As an author seeking publication, you know that you are starting a business. You know that in addition to a website you are going to need, and should currently have, at least one active social media platform.
Of course, you know your friends and family are on your social media. In fact, you might feel they are the only people paying attention. However, if you are querying and an agent is interested in your work you can bet the first thing she does is check your social media (and not having it is sometimes a red flag). If your agent is pitching your book you can bet editors are checking out your social media before pitching the book to the rest of the team. And you can bet the rest of the team (marketing, sales, and publicity) are reviewing your social media or at least asking about it.
However, it doesn’t end there. Booksellers looking to place orders look at your social media to see your reach, especially if a publisher is pushing for big numbers. Reviewers want to see that you’re retweeting and reposting reviews. They want to see their business grow too. Bookstores also love seeing their store tagged in Instagram photos. Even fans adore it when their photos or tweets are shared by an author.
Social media has become an integral part of running a business and as an author seeking a career in publishing, you are a business owner. You are building a brand. A social media platform isn’t just a requirement of publishers. It is a requirement of all business owners. The sooner you start building your social media, or at least becoming comfortable with it, the easier it will be to grow your business