Paulo Coelho is one of the most successful fiction writers today and he actively uses social media to engage with his readers. For the past 25 years the Brazilian author has written many inspirational books, which have garnered him a huge fan base all around the world.
I recently discovered Coelho's writing and have been busy devouring his books ever since. I've also been checking out his online presence, which is based around 3 main platforms: blogging, Facebook and Twitter. Writers and publishers can learn a few tricks from how Paulo Coelho uses social media.
Sure, the success of Coelho offline made it comparatively easy for him to translate that to online success. But he also engages with his online communities and posts fresh content daily. A good portion of Coelho's social media output comes directly from the man himself, although some of it is clearly curated by his staff.
UPDATE: Paulo Coelho left a comment on this post, stating: "I have a very efficient staff for everything else, but NOT for my presence online. Otherwise, where would be the fun?"
Coelho has been blogging for over 5 years, since April 2006. He uses Wordpress and averages about 50 short posts per month. The posts are a mix of self-promotion and self-help learnings. For the most part, Coelho doesn't use his blog as an outlet for new creative writing. Rather, the object is to engage with his readers - which he does effectively, judging by the amount of comments and social media sharing.
The two most recent posts at time of writing are illustrative of how Coelho uses blogging. Today's post promotes a video contest for his latest novel, ALEPH. Yesterday's post is entitled '10 SEC READING: Chocolate' and is an inspirational fable sent in by a reader.
As you'd expect, Paulo Coelho is enormously popular on Facebook. His Facebook Page has 5.5 million fans. The content is made up of syndicated blog posts, along with short philosophical quotations.
Unlike with the blog, Coelho doesn't appear to create original content for the Facebook Page. Most of the content is either automated (via his blog feed) or is generic enough that it's probably input by assistants [update: the author denies this is the case]. There are a lot of self-help quotes like the following: "If you must say yes, say it with an open heart. If you must say no, say it without fear." That particular quote has 28,265 'likes' and over 1,000 comments at time of writing, so obviously this 'fill in the blanks' type content on Facebook is satisfying to Coelho's fans.
Twitter is the third main spoke in Paulo Coelho's social media strategy and he has 1.6 million followers on this platform. Coelho's tweets are a mix of English and Portuguese, the native language of his home country Brazil. He's a pretty regular tweeter, averaging 12-15 a day.
A lot of the tweets appear to be from Coelho's own hand, although - as with his Facebook Page - there are a lot of self-help quotes that any of Coelho's staff could've published on his behalf. For example: "Follow the signs along the path with trust and without doubts".
Regardless, there is enough interaction to show that Coelho genuinely wants to engage with his readers on Twitter. For example, Twitter user @YasserHareb asked Coelho how he finds the time to write. "Time is easy. Subjects are difficult. How do you find time to not writing?" replied the author.
ConclusionYouTube channel and is well known for pirating his own books.
Given how busy and in demand Paulo Coelho must be, the social media strategy he follows is time-efficient and complements his book writing activities well. There is enough of the personal touch on both his blog and Twitter to satisfy his many millions of fans.
What do you think of Paulo Coelho's social media strategy and do you think other authors and publishers would do well to emulate it?