Writing and publishing a book, be it through independent or mainstream means, is no small creative feat! The sense of accomplishment is well-deserved, yet there’s still work to be done. Promotion has always been a significant key to author success, no matter the century.
Social media is, of course, now the main way to quickly disperse information among both general and more specialized audiences. If you’re an author who’s stymied as to where to being with your book’s social media promotion, consider the following advice…
Paying the Professionals
First thing’s first: in the interest of maximizing your potential audience reach, you’re going to need to at least have an introductory understanding of the atmosphere that surrounds what might be termed the “perfect” social media post. There are certain times and hashtags…it can all get very overwhelming to sort through.
Perhaps you’ve already noticed the too-many-to-count “professionals” out there who promise to teach you their secrets for a lifetime subscription fee! After all, they earned thousands incorporating the very same tactics. Great for them, if that’s true – gives us all something to aspire to! Except, I would caution against that route because all niches are not created equally; the same goes for book genres.
Plus, social media developers and search engines like to mix things up in ways that “professionals” cannot fathom. What worked quite well one day, all of a sudden stopped being even minutely relevant the next.
When is it correct to pay professionals for social media marketing? When you’ve gone the mainstream route and have a publicist. That can take quite a bit of money. Sure, there are people who advertise as virtual assistants for very reasonable sums of money – would you trust them with your account passwords, though?
Simplifying Social Media Standards
So, let’s assume that you’re doing this completely on your own and that your book is self-published. Here are some basic ways to get the social media book promotion process off to a promising start:
- People tend to be most active on social media in the late afternoon/evening, so that might be the best time to post.
- Don’t post on any one platform more than a couple of times per day; the overwhelmed follower doesn’t convert to a happy reader.
- Make each post original – repetitiveness only leads to annoyed (un)followers.
- Sometimes, a thoughtful post about something relevant to your book’s genre (with a link to your book’s official Amazon page or what-have-you) makes more of an impact than a “but this now!” sort of approach.
- The more relatable you are, the better. Just make sure you keep your personal and professional social media accounts entirely separate.
- When someone meaningfully comments on one of your posts, make sure you answer them with equal sincerity.
- Social media is about being, well, social. Ask questions of your audience, invite them into a conversation about your work.
- Autoposting certainly does make things easier on your own schedule, but keep things fresh by manually posting from time to time too.
- Devise contests in which those who share your content the most get a prize. You could also have a reviewing contest in which all those who review your book on, say, Amazon would be entered into a drawing. Yes, a signed copy of your book would make the most sense, but consider other sorts of swag that might directly correspond to your book’s theme.
- As of this writing, Twitter and Instagram seem to work the best for social media book promotion, with Pinterest being a close third. Facebook still has its merits (like livestreaming), but when it comes to promoting within social media groups, LinkedIn’s author/literature groups are a tad better.
And, there you have it! Think of social media promotion as a game of sorts, and that’ll help keep you motivated to reach, and even go beyond, your readership goals. With patience, you can cultivate a dedicated audience that’ll be there for your next book and beyond!
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