It’s undeniable that social media has become a cost friendly and effective way to promote virtually anything. Most authors don’t have a very large marketing budget (if any at all) making social the perfect channel to build an audience for a title. Check out these 7 best practices for promoting your title using social media.
Listen For Your Audience
Before you even start dreaming of content to post, you have to set up a presence on a network. Avoid following the crowd. Don’t just start participating on a network because it’s the most popular or because someone told you it was the best course of action.
Find out for yourself which network is good for promoting your title by listening. Search networks for keywords or posts that are relevant to what you are promoting. You might find that a really popular network is not the best place for you to be. For example a publisher promoting a cookbook may find that Pinterest gets the most engagement for their content rather than Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
Posting on a consistent basis is important but you should also focus on growing your following. This probably isn’t something most people focus on when using social media for personal reasons. When it comes to marketing a larger audience is better.
Find creative ways to get people to follow you. On Facebook, you might try using a fan-gated application and offer free chapters of your book as content that gets unlocked by liking your author page. A good practice on Twitter is to follow other people and/or companies as well as retweeting their content. Placing links to your social media accounts anywhere you can is also a good idea. For instance you can put URLs to social accounts on your website, on business cards, in email signatures, on third party business listings, stationary, or promotional items.
Follow the 80/20 Rule
Once you have a following, it’s important not to alienate them. The 80/20 rule is a good one to follow at least until you get a feel for how your audience reacts to your content. That is, 80% of the content you post should be non-promotional. The other 20% can be.
Use your social accounts primarily as you would if you weren’t using them to promote a title at all. Clever marketers find ways to post content that is related to their brand but not directly promoting products or services. There isn’t really a set formula here. Find a groove that works for you and stick with it.
Keep Track of Engagement
Use analytics to your advantage on your social accounts. Look at the data each time you post something and learn about how your audience is reacting to it. Do they share or don’t they? Do they interact with your content or do they ignore it? Which types of content do they respond well to?
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have their own analytics platforms. They show you data on which posts performed well and which ones didn’t. Use data like this as a guide to tailor your content for posting. You can use sites like Bitly to make trackable links and if you are tracking traffic back to your site, Google Analytics is a great free resource.
A great way to get more followers, promote engagement and increase the chances that someone will promote you is to use mention and tagging features. For instance you can mention others by user name on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. When you do this, the other person or company is notified.
Everyone likes to be recognized or mentioned in some way because it gets them more exposure. Then they are more likely to do the same for you when the time comes.
It’s important to remain active on a regular basis with your social accounts. You don’t have to be posting several times a day but whatever schedule you set, stick to it. To stay fresh for your audience and keep them engaging with your content, they need to see you on a regular basis.
Build a Community
Strive to build a community with your social networks. The goal is to sell books but you can’t do that without an exchange. Get people to engage and make it a two-way conversation. Encourage your followers to participate and share their own experiences as they relate to your titles or the genres of your book(s).
How do you use social to promote your titles? Do you have any ideas for our readers? Join in the conversation by commenting below.