Some say getting your book published is only half the battle, and for a lot of writers, this is probably true. We writers tend to be introverted, and socializing and networking are really difficult for us. That’s one reason why self-promotion and marketing are so tough for many new authors—but my hope is to make it a little easier!
While working as a social media specialist for another online company (and while running my own successful personal blog), I’ve picked up on the best and most effective ways to utilize social media—so if you’re trying to sell a book or two (or a few thousand, for that matter), you’ve come to the right place.
Tip #1: Engage in meaningful conversation
Too many marketers—whether they’re marketing their business, their music, their books, or anything else—spend their time talking at their audience, instead of with them.
For example, pushing out 10 tweets every day that say, “My book is about XYZ and you’ve got to check it out [insert link here],” is practically useless. People will scroll right past these bland, standoffish messages. You’re not communicating with your audience or engaging them in meaningful conversation, so they have no interest in what you have to say.
Instead, new authors should try to meet a community of writers on all of their social media platforms. On Facebook, groups are great places to start networking. Plus, you can give and get advice!
On Twitter, join Twitter chats (like Story Social by Kristen at She’s Novel!) to meet people, and actually talk to them. “Like” and “retweet” their tweets, respond to them, and engage with them. When you engage with people, they’re a lot more interested in what you have to say, and fellow authors will be more likely to support you and read, buy, review, and/or promote your book if you do the same for them.
Tip #2: Stick to what you know
The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten as a marketer is to pick a social media platform that you’re most comfortable with (usually 1 or 2, but no more than 3), and devote all of your energy toward those.
If you really like Instagram, spend more time taking good photos, finding a community, and growing a following on there. Alternatively, if you spend hours each day on Pinterest, you should try marketing on Pinterest by creating graphics that link to your author website!
The platforms you actually like using will be your best bet, because you’re going to naturally know what your audience wants to see on there—especially since you’re a part of that target audience!
Tip #3: Be consistent
No, this doesn’t mean you need to post at the same time every day. But it does mean you should be active on social media on a regular basis.
If you go for a while without interacting with your followers and writing community, they’ll start to forget you! Stay fresh in their minds by constantly engaging with them.
And remember: don’t just post your own material. Share other writers’ books, and respond to what they have to say. There are apps like Crowdfire that can help connect you with the right people and posts to interact with, but it’s up to you to make sure it happens every day (or close to it).
More than anything, just be yourself and connect with people. Social media is about communication and collaboration, so don’t be one-sided. Make friends online and work together toward your common goal: selling books and sharing your stories with the world!