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How to Connect and Engage with Readers 

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Nowadays it is crucial for writers to have a social media presence. It is one of the best and easiest ways to connect with your readers and promote your work.

This week on the Mash Blog we are talking to Mack Collier, a social media strategist, trainer and speaker who specializes in helping companies connect better with their customers via social media. Mack is the founder of #Blogchat, the largest twitter chat on the internet, and the author of an Amazon Best Seller Think Like A Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans.

mack-collier

Mack Collier
Social media strategist & Trainer

Mack joined us to discuss what the “rock star” approach is all about.

Edita Vitkute: Can you tell us a little bit about your background? When and how did you get involved in social media?

Mack Collier: I started paying attention to social media in 2005, and started blogging later that year for another company. In 2006 I launched my first blog, The Viral Garden, and then in 2009 I launched MackCollier.com which has been my blog and business site ever since.

Edita: How can writers (or artists in general) apply the “rock star” approach to marketing themselves?

Mack: You might only have 2-3 fans when you start out, but you need to embrace and love those fans. These fans will tell others about you. They love and understand you, so they will explain to others why your work is so amazing, what type of symbolism is captured in a particular painting and why it’s more beautiful than others. If you do this, then over time those 2-3 fans will become 20-30, then 200-300, then 2,000-3,000.

Edita: What are the best ways for new writers to stand out from the crowd on social media platforms? What tips can you give them for finding and connecting with new audiences online?

Mack: Tell stories. For artists, tell me what inspired you to create a certain work. Pull back the curtain (or give me a Backstage Pass) and let me know what you were thinking when you sketched this drawing or wrote that poem. What message were you trying to convey? Telling me a story helps involve me in your creation process. It also helps me understand who you are as an artist, and that makes it easier for me to trust you and advocate on your behalf to others.

Edita: What are the secrets to truly captivating social media posts?

Mack: Putting yourself in the shoes of your audience. Figure out who you want to connect with, then honestly think about what type of content they would be interested in. Like I mentioned above, artists should tell stories. For example, if I see a painting of a field, I might not really care because…it’s just a painting of a field. But if the artist writes a post about the painting, explaining “Last summer I was driving through Baldwin County in South Alabama, when I noticed this beautiful wheat field and I had to stop and photograph it so I could later paint it,” that explanation would grab my attention because it was painted in my home state. But without the artist sharing the story of how it came to be, it’s just another painting of a field to me.

Edita: What is the best way for writers and artists to identify who their existing fans are? And how can they keep in touch with them effectively?

Mack: Your fans will usually find you. Fans are very different from customers in that fans WANT to connect with you. They actively seek out ways to let you know that they love your work or brand or products. All you need to do is engage with them when they do connect with you.

Edita: You started blogging in 2005 and that influenced your career a lot. What are your suggestions to run a successful blog?

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Mack: Once you start, don’t stop :). Seriously, most of the best blogs have been around for a decade or more. It’s because as those bloggers kept at it, they slowly got better at blogging through pure trial and error. I am constantly getting better at my blogging because I am constantly trying new techniques and ideas and learning from them. The reason why most blogs aren’t successful is because most bloggers stop blogging right when the blog is ready to take off.

Edita: Many thanks to Mack Collier for taking the time to talk to us at Mash Stories and share his social media tips with writers and artists.

What do you think of the “rock star” approach to social media? Is it something you as a writer are going to try? Let us know, we would love to hear from you. And don’t forget to check out Mack’s book!

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Edita is the Director of Social Media at Mash Stories. She is a trained linguist and an English teacher with a BA in English Philology.

She’s passionate about building a loving community and introducing new people to the world of Mash Stories.

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