We all know that self-promotion of your new book through social media is important, and I’m sure you’ve read how some authors have used this to great success, selling thousands of additional books and becoming ‘influencers’ in the process.
So, you open accounts in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on, post an image of your book with a link and wait…..
….And wait…………….and wonder why you have zero interactions, no one is following you and no one is following those links to your book either. Surely it should be easier than this, right?
Okay, maybe you haven’t expected results that quickly, but you get the point, social media only works if you work on it too. But for the new author embracing this great form of interaction (and promotion), what should you be focused on to make it more successful for you?
Here are some great ideas that you should be considering with your social media.
ONE – Post great RELEVANT and engaging content
The temptation is to make your social media accounts about one thing, your book or the product your selling, but just ask yourself one question, would you follow a channel which is purely adverts and very little else? No, of course you wouldn’t, we appreciate that ads are the things that keep these channels free to use, in many cases the ads are relevant, and we do engage, but we don’t follow a channel purely for advertising content alone.
So, the primary goal is to post content which engages, stimulates, entertains and/or educates (not too much to ask!).
Creating great content should be the number one focus for your channels, post about subjects and topics that you love, things that you are passionate about and would enjoy reading yourself, ask questions of your followers and respond when you get answers.
The number one rule is to always post great content that will engage your followers.
TWO – Engage with others
When you first start your channels you’ll more than likely start asking everyone you know to like, follow and share your profile, this is a great way to get you up and running but it still won’t amount to as many followers as you’d like.
The next thing you’ll do is look at how to get more followers, but how do you do this? Well you might be tempted by using a third-party service to generate bot followers, all of a sudden your numbers look amazing and you begin to think that you’re playing with the big leagues.
However tempting this is, don’t do it, these followers are completely pointless and most users can see straight away that your channels are not legitimate (a new account of someone who’s not famous/big name author, who’s only following 100 people but has 10K followers). Plus (and more importantly), none of these followers will buy anything you ever promote.
In order to grow your followers you have to engage with people, search out relevant topics and contribute to the conversation, follow people who interest you and some will follow you back. Growing your numbers is a long-term game, it’s something that will only happen when you get involved within the social media community and engage with it.
THREE – Use Visuals
Think of how most people view social media, it tends to be through their cell phones/mobile devices, a small screen which they swipe upwards when scrolling through their page. Also consider how much is posted within someone’s feed, keep in mind that the more people you follow the quicker the feed changes.
So, posting a short passage of text can sometimes get lost within the mass of quickly changing messages, when you use an image/GIF/video your chances of engagement skyrocket, make your posts bright, colorful, eye-catching and appealing.
You have a split second to get someone’s attention, use it wisely.
FOUR – Use a # Hashtag
If you’re not sure what a hashtag is or why you would ever need one, just look up any subject on Twitter or Instagram, in the top posts you will normally see a bunch of hashtags at the bottom of the post, things like #writerslife #writing #selfpublishing etc.
These are how users will find your post, in fairness, adding countless hashtags to the bottom of a post doesn’t look great, so be selective in the ones you do use.
FIVE – Create a promotion
People love free stuff!! Create a competition to win a copy of your book, it could simply be to share your post etc. You can also give away a free chapter of your new book to those who engage with your social media pages.
SIX – Use a headline for your post (if linking to another page)
Create a great headline that captures the imagination of your reader, this should be something which doesn’t sound like an advert but makes them want to read more.
Make the headline a question and/or use exclamation points if possible.
SEVEN – Timing
There is no point in creating great content if it will be seen by no one, the time of day that you make your posts is just as relevant as what you post about.
Usage tends to increase around lunch time and then again in the evening (Mon – Fri), at the weekend you normally see higher use throughout the day, normally from late morning (10am) onward.
You should also consider where your followers are, if posting in the US, then you should take into consideration the different time zones, if it’s 12pm in Florida it will be 9am in California. Also, if you have followers in the UK, keep in mind that they’re going to be 5-8 hrs ahead of the US.
EIGHT – Keep going
Persistence is key when using social media, not all of your posts will work (especially when you begin), but many will engage and over time your success with this media will improve, it’s important to remember this and just keep going.
Have fun with it and enjoy engaging with others, if you treat it purely as a chore which needs to be done then that’s what it will become. Social media is a great way to promote, connect, learn and have fun, but keep it positive, there is negativity within all social media, our advice is not to engage with it, keep your posts positive and follow/interact with those who keep it positive too.
Book cover designers.