It’s now a different world for writers. This is thanks to the combination of self-publishing, and the emergence of a variety of platforms for writers to share their work. Social media is now the platform of choice for writers to connect with their fans and promote their latest work.
In a way, this evens the playing field a bit. The same social media platforms that are available to world-famous authors are also available to writers who work on a smaller scale. So are many of the tools associated with promoting on social media.
Still, there’s no guarantee of success. To successfully use social media for book promotion, you have to create and execute a strategy that works for you. To get started, consider these ten tips on how to promote a book on social media.
Write Killer Headlines
How do you entice people to read your blog posts and other social content? You lead off with a great headline. Remember that this is the first thing people will see, and it will determine whether or not they read further. A compelling headline or title can make someone stop scrolling and read. It can entice people to click on your links in search engine results, and choose your videos to watch.
To write a great headline, keep it short. Seven words are generally the max. Use powerful words that trigger emotions. Finally, use a tool like the Coschedule Headline Analyzer tool to see if your headlines pass the test.
Learn to Time Your Posts
The best time to post on social media is when the majority of your audience is active. When this is, depends on two factors. First, you have to consider the social media platforms where you’re active. Each has certain periods of time when they’re more active. For example, Twitter is more active right after lunch.
Of course, your own audience may vary. The best way to determine when to post is to use social media analytics to measure traffic and engagement. Learn when your content gets the most traffic, and time your posts accordingly.
Finally, time zones matter. If you’ve noticed that you’re gaining an audience for your book in another country, you might consider scheduling some posts that coincide with those time zones.
Promote, But Not Too Much
Yes, this is all about promoting your book on social media, but the best way to do that is by building relationships, letting your audience get to know you, and creating interest in your work organically. As far as direct promotional efforts go, that should only take up about 20% of your social media efforts.
Think of it this way, how many times have you just scrolled past branded content, or unfollowed a company because you felt pestered to buy their products? Oversell on social media, and you’ll get the same response.
Instead, focus on creating and curating great content that makes an impact on your audience. Then, when you do promote your book directly, your audience will be much more responsive.
Create a Social Media Event to Boost Engagement
If you’ve got a milestone coming up, celebrate it with your followers by creating and promoting an event on social media. You can invite readers to a special event commemorating the launch of your latest book, schedule a live video, even bring folks along to an event like a book signing or meet and greet.
To make your event a success, promote it heavily, and invite friends and family members. Crowds tend to attract crowds on social media. You can also attract attendees by holding a giveaway or contest to complement your event.
Think Goals and Campaigns
Promoting your book on social isn’t about creating a series of unrelated social media updates and blog posts. Instead, it should be a coordinated, cohesive effort where every action has a specific goal in mind. This could be to drive traffic to your book’s landing pages, to get people to subscribe to your email newsletter, or to attract followers who will eventually become your brand ambassadors.
Use Plenty of Visuals
Videos and other visual content get significantly more engagement than other content. This is true whether you promote a book on Facebook or any other platform. The more images you can incorporate into your posts the better. Share pictures of yourself at events like book signings. If you promote your book, share illustrations from the book. Preview your cover art as gated content for your followers. Post video of yourself reading excerpts from your book or being interviewed by one of your fans.
Create and Use Some Relevant Hashtags
Marie Fincher, an editor and content manager at Trust my Paper says, “Get creative and make up a hashtag for your book. You can even create more than one, for example, create one to highlight the title of your book, and another for the primary character. A good hashtag can make content related to your book easier to find on social media.” You can also encourage your followers to use the hashtags you create when posting about your book.
Keep Chipping Away
Your posts may not generate hundreds of shares each. You may not get hundreds of followers either. That’s fine. The engagement you get may be more valuable than you realize. Just take a look at Bella Forrest’s social media numbers. Despite being one of the bestselling independent YA authors in the world, she has relatively few followers and her posts get much less engagement than many authors who are signed to major publishing houses. However, she remains active on social media because she presumably knows the power of a small, yet loyal following.
Do Something Unique
Use your creativity to create a unique social media presence. Write bonus chapters of your book, and release them only to your social media followers. Adopt a unique author’s voice and presence, then maintain that in your social media postings. Encourage your followers to submit their own stories and poems that are related to your book. This kind of user-generated content can generate a lot of buzz, and engagement. Let your readers in on your writing process.
Remember That Social Media is All About Conversations
Remember to pass the microphone to your followers. The entire purpose of being on social media is to develop relationships with your readers, other authors, and influencers. Ask questions. Respond to comments. Share things that will start conversations.
Your readers want to connect with you on social media. Seize that opportunity to build relationships, influence your audience, and promote book sales. It’s your best tool for creating an online presence and reaching as many readers as possible.
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