We are so very delighted to welcome Nora Page back to Chicks on the Case today. She is the author of the Bookmobile Mysteries–the third in the series, Read or Alive, is out this week!
What My Cats Are Teaching Me About Social Media
Hi, everyone. Thanks for inviting me, Chicks! I’m delighted to be here and have been thinking about topics.
Like how much I miss visiting my library, currently closed for safety. Who’s with me on this? Everyone, I assume? It’s thematic to my books too. My main character, Cleo, is a senior librarian and chief bookmobile captain at a charming small-town library.
In the first book, Better Off Read, a toppled tree and tricky mayor take Cleo’s library out of commission. Cleo is devastated and would be even more worried now. Not that I’d write Cleo into a pandemic, but I imagine she’d still manage bookmobile deliveries. I picture her speeding to patrons’ homes with sanitized books and toilet paper.
I also considered cozy mysteries and what a comfort they are, especially in difficult times. The pleasant settings, supportive friends, helpful pets, fun crafts, and tasty treats… I’d love to escape to cozy land right now! Well, minus any murders.
But then came kittens. Right before my state issued stay-at-home orders, my husband and I added two kittens to our previously single-cat household. Yes, it’s a major increase in paws, but in total furry mass we’re still less than, say, a basset hound.
They’re little bundles of joy. Even our senior cat adores them. In cuteness worthy of a cozy novel, our tabby guy follows them around and bathes them when they snuggle up with him. It’s adorable! I have so many photos!
Which brings me to the topic of this post.
To reiterate, I’m stuck at home with a cute pack of cats. I have vast numbers of photos. I’ve shared some (okay, more than some) on my social-media pages, but even I realized I could go too far. So, I did the only logical thing.
I made the kittens their own Instagram account: @ThePurrSisters!
It’s fun, distracting, and embarrassingly more successful than my author page at attracting followers. If you have bored math students at home, they could calculate how fast the kittens are outpacing me.
I’ve had my Instagram page, @NoraPageAuthor, since March 2018. Let’s round to two years. I’ve made 530 posts and have 340 wonderful, awesome followers. As I write this, the kittens have had their page, ThePurrSisters, for two weeks. They’ve made 23 posts and have 295 followers. That’s almost 300 in two weeks! They’re crushing me.
So, what can I and other authors glean from the kittens?
- Know your brand and stick to it. This is super-easy when you’re a kitten. You’re fluffy, cute, adorable even when terrorizing furniture. All you have to post is yourself. For authors? Trickier, I think. No one wants daily photos of me typing. I mostly share posts about books, cooking, gardening, and outdoor prettiness, but clearly this strategy isn’t as successful as 100% kitten.
- Post regularly. The kittens’ Instagram account follows other pet pages. They’re all adorable, but it’s impossible to remember every furry face unless they appear consistently. I vow to post more, especially on Facebook. (Sorry, kind Facebook followers! I’ll do better!)
- Be nice. This is obvious, but pet pages take cuddly to heart. They follow back. They leave supportive comments. They collaborate. I love to share other authors’ books! If anyone wants me (or the kittens) to share a book cover or announcement, please reach out.
- Let your followers know how much you appreciate them. I am so grateful! But sometimes I forget to say this. How silly that kittens had to remind a writer to put feelings into words.
- Add kittens? Mmm… Maybe the key is kittens. I should add kittens to all my posts!
Authors and readers, what you enjoy seeing on authors’ social media? Bits of daily life? Book updates? Pets? Does anyone else follow pet accounts? You can confess to me. Even before the kittens, I was devoted to an uplifting German hedgehog, several celebrity cats, snails in dioramas, and a fabulously pampered squirrel.
Nora Page enjoys rainy weather, the perfect biscuit, and quiet evenings in with her husband and cats. You can often find her in the company of books. Read or Alive is her third Bookmobile mystery.