The Right Social Media Strategy for Authors
As more authors scramble to market themselves and sell their books, knowing that book signings, library appearances, and public events are non-existent or will be limited, they are turning to the digital landscape with urgency and a willingness to explore. So what kind of social media strategy is right for you?
1. Choose Your Platforms Wisely
Determine how many platforms you want to be active on -- and identify specific ones that you plan to dedicate your time, energy, and mindshare to. Will you choose from big ones, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest & Instagram – or smaller, but targeted ones?
2. Be Realistic About Your Time
Think about – realistically – how much time you can devote to each platform. Are you ready to post, connect, and engage on a daily basis?
3. Stick to a Schedule
Stick to a plan and a schedule for your posting. Will you post once, three times, five times or more per day?
4. Create and Curate Your Content
What type of content do you plan to share or create? Can you come up with an editorial calendar for scheduling posts and knowing ahead of time what they will consist of?
5. Diversify Your Content
Can you diversify your portfolio of content, so that it’s balanced between words, visuals, and sound? Mix it up, with photos, charts, illustrations, text, video, and audio
6. Tap Into Your Network
The quickest way to grow your connections is to tap into the connections of others. Email your list of family, friends, relatives, colleagues, church members, old school chums, etc. and ask them to connect with you on a specific platform. Give them your handle for that site. Agree to follow/connect with them as well. Then ask them to share a piece of content from you on their social media platforms.
7. Do Your Research
Experiment and learn as much as you can about the platform you post on. See what models or best practices exist. Observe and watch what others do to get attention. You can do what they do.
8. Build Authentic Relationships
You could use ads to boost your clicks and connections, but if you want long-lasting connections, it is best to grow them organically.
9. Find Your Identity
Think about the persona or voice that you want to carry in your social media. Are you the intellect, comic, or angry guy? Are you the caring mom, sexy girl next door, or the supportive friend? Will you rant or rave? Will you be known for raising questions, challenging norms, or being different? Will you be a cheerleader, a yes=person, or someone else? Who will you be online? Decide – and remain in that character. Consistency is key.
10. Define Your Metrics for Success
Try to avoid confusing getting clicks with being successful. We get addicted to the discussions online and the reward of seeing our number of followers or impressions rise, but more important than that is your conversion rate. How much of your digital activity raises your brand profile, sells books, or allows you to commoditize or capitalize on your fame? Pay attention to the bottom line.
The right social media strategy will balance your time with a pay-off and it will be one that leads towards achieving bigger goals. It is a piece of the book marketing puzzle. It is needed, but there is no reason for it to dominate all that you do. Keep it in perspective and you might just find the right measure of activity and reward.
Brian Feinblum is the creator and author of BookMarketingBuzzBlog (where this post originally appeared) and is the chief marketing officer for the nation's largest book promotions firm, Media Connect, formerly Planned Television Arts. He has been involved in book publicity and marketing since 1989 and has served several book publishing companies as a publicist, book editor, and acquisitions editor.