Which Platform Works Best for You?

With all the social media platforms available, authors often ask which one is the best platform for them. My answer: it depends on where your audience is and which one you feel you'd be most comfortable spending time using. Here are four popular ones and my thoughts on each one. Then you decide which one is best for you. (I recommend you set up a profile at each one and then focus on one. More on that in a future post.)

Twitter is a Music Festival

It's easy to set up a Twitter account and start following people you hope will follow you back. The trap to avoid is following everyone. Follow people who are relevant in some way. Perhaps they've tweeted about your topic or have a hashtag in their bio that indicates interest in your topic. Create lists so you can categorize those you follow - other authors, book marketers, publicists, and others.

Because you can tweet often, you drive more traffic to your website from Twitter than other social media platforms. That means your tweets need to have valuable information with a link that readers want to click to learn more.

Yes, it's easy for your tweets to 'get lost' in the huge Twitterverse. However you can make good connections and start conversations that may result in taking the conversation into email. Over the years I've made really good connections with people in my industry in this manner, and have even gotten clients through Twitter.

Twitter is like a music festival with many different bands all playing at once on different stages of a huge venue. Thousands of people are attending. It will get noisy, even confusing at times. You might feel lost, that your message isn't being heard. But those who want to hear what you have to say will find you and listen, just like at a huge music festival. Maybe you went to listen to one or two bands. You'll seek them out and listen to them. Your audience will seek you out on Twitter and listen to you too - as long as you've set up your account and tweet in such a way that they can find you.

Facebook is a Tribe

On Facebook you want to be sure to set up an Author page. Read my previous post on 13 Ways to Utilize Your Facebook Author Page. Be sure to link to the page from your website and invite friends and readers to connect with you on this page. This is where your 'tribe' can come backstage with you. You won't have as many followers on Facebook as you have connections elsewhere. That's okay. This is where people who are already your readers will come to learn more about you and even connect with other readers.

Think of Facebook as a place where your tribe comes to hang out. They may have first connected with you on Twitter and now want more. Use Facebook to share more about who you are, what you write, links to other information your audience will find value. And of course have fun! Facebook followers tend to be people who like to have fun. :)

LinkedIn is a Professional Networking Connector

LinkedIn is a more professional setting, perfect for nonfiction authors. In addition to connecting with other professionals, you can join and participate in groups, and publish articles related to your topic. I use LinkedIn to deepen connections. I invite strategic connections to a free 15-minute phone call so we can learn more about each other.

Groups are a wonderful tool you can use to start or join in conversations and share your expertise. Writing articles also strengthens your position as an expert in your field.

Instagram is a Snapshot of Life

This social media platform is primarily about visuals - posting photos or images along with text and hashtags. You may want a separate business account for your book. Instagrammers want to know more about your life as an author. They want to see photos of your writing space, perhaps a book store you visited, your cat. Of course you can post about your book too. Just remember that the audience here is more interested in your life - not your book.

If you need some ideas for visuals to post on Instagram, check out this post.

So, which platform works best for you right now?

This may change at a later date so you want to revisit this annually.

  • Are you interested in a music festival and reaching a lot of people? Twitter's your thing.
  • Do you want your tribe to connect more personally with you and other readers? Use Facebook
  • Is your goal to connect with other professionals and deepen those relationships? LinkedIn is the place.
  • Would you like to connect with readers interested in a more personal look into your life as an author? Dive into Instagram

I'd love to connect with you on any of those social media platforms and hear your comments on this topic. Share a comment below and links to your platforms so I can follow you.

Create Visual Ideas for Book Marketing

Joel D Canfield booksReaders love visuals that capture their attention. Every social media platform uses images and some, like Instagram and Pinterest, revolve around the use of images. Facebook posts with images get two to three times the engagement that posts without visuals get. It's easy to create visuals. Just use your phone to take photos and then a free tool like Canva.com to create something that grabs your audience's attention. As an example, I created this Facebook post for my husband's fiction books with the aim of getting more newsletter subscribers.

Here are a few ideas for creating visuals for use in your social media book marketing.

  1. If you have written several books, line them up on a shelf or in a stack and take a photo of them to share. Even better, if you have some other marketing collateral, such as a bookmark or postcard, include that in the photo.
  2. Take a selfie with your book to share. If you're not comfortable with your own photo, just 'peek' from behind the book.
  3. Everyone loves animal photos. Get a photo of your cat or dog with your book nearby. Of if you don't own a pet, use a stuffed animal - teddy bears are always cute. :)
  4. Share quotes or tips from your book as a graphic.
  5. Take a photo of where you write with your book on the desk or a shelf.
  6. Ask readers to take photos of themselves with your book and then ask for their permission to share those photos on your platforms.

I'd love to hear from you other ways you've used visuals in book marketing. Please leave your comment below.

6 Ways to Get Your Book Noticed Using Social Media

There are of course many ways to market and get your book noticed on social media. Here are two specific ways for each of the following social media platforms. Some of these are less in-your-face book marketing and more about connecting with people so they want to learn more about you and your book.

Twitter

  1. Promote interesting quotes from your book. You probably have a ton of interesting tips or tidbits in your nonfiction book. Share those quotes in fun ways that engage your audience and encourages them to share with your audience. It’s fun to use a graphic-design tool such as Canva.com to do this. If you have images in your books, you can upload these to Canva, overlay your quote, and share these on Twitter. Images like that tend to get more likes and shares than plain text messages. You can do the same thing with book reviews. Take your 5-star book reviews from Amazon and post short excerpts of them in an image that you share. Here is a PDF I created with some sample images I created for my own nonfiction book.
  2. Tweet Your Milestones. Did you just send your manuscript off to the editor? Did your cover designer just give you the final cover design? Did you just sell 100 copies to a local school? Tweet about it. And you can make it fun for others to share by creating an image in Canva.com with the text being your milestone (Just sold 100 copies!)

Facebook

  1. Like other pages related to your topic. Do this as your own page. Here's how: go to a page you want to like and click on the box with the ellipses right under the main banner and to the right of the Like, Follow, Share boxes. A box pops up and one of the options is Like as your Page. That’s what you want to click. You may find that page reciprocates and likes your page as well. The big advantage here though is that now you can like and comment on their page as your own page – not just you as your personal profile. This is a great way to get more exposure for your own page. Your comments might be tips you can share from your own book. You don’t want to be too self-promotional when you do that. Just share the tip as your own page and say there’s more information found in Chapter 10, for example, of your book. Let people come ask you more about it. I also suggest sharing your Facebook page posts on your personal timeline with a comment.
  2. Invest in ads. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. In fact, you can spend as little as $1 per day. I suggest starting small and testing to see what works and what doesn’t and then later you can work with a larger budget if you want. Several of my clients have run a one-week ad for just $7 and found they get great results. They get more page likes, engagement, and their posts reach a much larger audience. I learned about this $1 per day idea from Dennis Yu of Blitz Metrics and highly recommend investing in his course. You can sign up for the course at blitzmetrics.com/fdd/. With the recent changes at Facebook, this is one way your page is more likely to be seen – particularly if you pay to boost posts that are already getting engagement – which means people are commenting on the post.

LinkedIn

  1. Publish articles on LinkedIn Pulse. Write articles related to your book topic and publish these on LinkedIn to showcase your expertise. It’s very easy. When you log in to LinkedIn one of your choices to post is to write an article. Include an image and a link at the end of your article to where they can learn more about you – your website or Amazon author page. These articles can be seen by people who aren’t even connected to you. Be sure to follow up and reply to any comments made on your articles. Remember to view the analytics for your articles to see how many people are viewing them, liking them, and sharing them.
  2. Utilize groups. If you haven’t yet joined any groups, do so. Find groups related to your book’s topic and join them. Then engage in conversations already there. As with any social network, enlighten and educate with your comments. Show your expertise so people will want to come view your profile, connect with you, and eventually learn about your book. You might even consider starting your own group.

If you like this post, you’ll want to check out our Be Social – Get Noticed monthly service packages.

6 Principles of Social Media

Many authors think first of traditional book marketing – reaching out to traditional media and publicity sources to get interviews, book signing events, advertising. Social media is another piece of the marketing puzzle not to be missed.

The important point to remember about using social media to market your book is that it’s just that – social. That means really engaging with your audience on each network. Social media can be a lot of fun. You can be creative.

Another important reason to use social media is that you can reach a larger audience interested in your book - if you do it right.

These simple tips are great for beginners and a good refresher for everyone.
… more … "6 Principles of Social Media"

Your Book Proposal and Book Marketing

Your Book Proposal and Book MarketingReady to send your book proposal to a publisher? They are more likely to take notice of your proposal if it includes a strong Book Marketing section. This section should be the biggest part of your proposal and detail your ongoing book marketing efforts. As an example of what to include in a book proposal, here's one author's book proposal contents.

Contents of a Book Proposal

  • Overview
  • About the Author
  • Target Market
  • Marketing and Book Promotion
  • Competitive and Complementary Books
  • Contents of the Book
  • Chapter Summaries
  • Sample Chapters

This author's Marketing and Book Promotion section is 10 pages long with several specific sections.

Marketing and Book Promotion

  • Introductory paragraph
  • Networking
  • Global Vision
  • Social Media
  • Public Relations
  • Outreach
  • Specialty Venues
  • Presentations

Social Media Section

The social media section of this nonfiction author's book proposal includes reference to his website and blog and the purpose of his website. He states, "It serves as a platform to support the author's brand. It is updated regularly to keep it fresh and interesting."

This section also includes a chart showing quarterly numbers for website page views, Twitter followers, Facebook Page fans, Facebook page reach, Facebook page engagement, Instagram followers, and LinkedIn Pulse followers. He provides percentages of increase for each social media platform for the past year. He also details the LinkedIn groups in which he is active.

A screenshot of the results of a Facebook promotion are included at the suggestion of a publicist. This particular promotion was done of a blog post that is a book excerpt to show a publisher that the book is already garnering interest.

Need help getting your social media platforms optimized so a publisher takes notice of your book proposal? Sign up for our Peace of Mind Social Media Audit & Consultation.