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  • Cait Marie

Keeping Consumers Happy

Social media is an ever-evolving community. Platforms come and go, and the ones that last do so because they change with the trends and societal needs at the time.

One such platform that existed for a decade before fading away was Orkut, a social networking site from Google. This site worked similar to others, allowing users to connect worldwide. It operated as communities, with groups for everything from schools, to work, to interests, and had 30,000,000 users at one point. It even had a feature to rate friends, making it a fun, competitive platform.

Well, fun for some. If it was anything like Myspace’s “top 8,” I can imagine it also caused drama from time to time.

Despite Orkut’s massive success, it ultimately failed because it couldn’t keep up with the changing needs and interests of users. For example, there were issues uploading photos and videos, which we all know is a vital part of social media today. We like to visually share our lives with one another to give a more personal touch.

What does this have to do with writing, you ask?

I’ve talked about flexibility a lot when it comes to social media and how important it is for authors to be willing to keep up with changes as they come. However, it is also important to have a business mind, to remember that readers are in fact your consumers and you need to make them happy to continue said business.

Keeping in tune with readers, whether that’s by following them on social media, reading reviews, or keeping an eye on bestsellers lists, is vital. By knowing who your readers are and what they like, you’ll not only draw them in more but keep them around.

Watching trends is very helpful too. For example, in your genre, which tropes are popular right now? Which clichés are readers tired of? More than that, if you’re a self-publishing author, what kind of covers are popular? There are a lot of things to consider.

Now, last time, I discussed being a multi-genre author and having more than one audience under one name. I won’t lie; this can get tricky. It can be exhausting finding a balance to keep everyone happy, but it is not impossible.

I personally try to stay involved in reader communities as a book blogger, not just as an author. This allows me to see things from both sides. I also try to interact on a personal level across social media, getting to know my readers and followers.

So, if you take anything from this, it should be to keep an open mind and listen to what your consumer or audience wants. It will make a world of difference, and it will help prevent disappearing like sites such as Orkut.

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