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.
- Do Engage. Engagement equals conversation. Spend time getting to know your audience, what they are interested in, what they want and need. Then you can really talk to them, asking questions, sharing valuable information that they need. When you focus on individuals and their needs, you’ll find your audience becomes your fans and promoters.
- Do Customize. Each social media network has its own limitations as to how long a post can be, the correct image size for posts, and the type of people who frequent that particular site. So even if you want to share the same message on each network, I recommend you customize your message so it fits each network. Twitter messages can not be as long as Facebook posts, and the best image sizes are different also. Posts on Facebook can be a bit more fun and casual whereas posts on LinkedIn are usually more professional. Each post doesn’t have to be completely unique, but you do want to keep in mind the specific network you’re posting to and verify your message fits in length and the image shows up as you’d like it to.
- Do Update Your Profiles. At least annually, review each of your social networks and make sure your profile is up-to-date. If your photo is from the 90s, it’s time to upload a new headshot. Make sure your bios and descriptions are current. Have you published another book? Be sure it’s listed in your profile with a link to it on Amazon.
- Don’t Just Automate. It’s great to be able to automate your posts and schedule ahead so you know something is going out even if you’re not able to get to it that day. But if that’s all you do, it’s not enough. This is particularly true on Facebook now, with the changes they’ve made. If you want your Facebook page posts to be seen, you need to post personally periodically and really engage. If you see something relevant to your audience, go share it now.
- Don’t Be Stagnant. Don’t post and forget. If someone leaves a comment, asks a question, or has a suggestion, don’t ignore it. Be sure to respond to any comments or questions. Also, mix it up a bit. Don’t always post the same type of thing. Have some fun! Post interesting quotes or share something a colleague has done or another nonfiction author. Get creative.
- Don’t Just Sell. Of course, one of your goals in using social media for book marketing is to sell books. But if all you do online is try to sell your book, you’ll fail. People don’t buy books just because they are mentioned on social media. They do want to get to know you, what your message is, the value you offer. Then when they see a periodic “Buy my book” message, they’ll be more likely to click on the link to purchase it. However, when every single message is just about how to buy your book, you’ll soon find that people stop following you.
If you’d like to ensure your social media platforms are up-to-date, contact us now for our Peace of Mind Social Media Audit & Consultation.