Understanding the in’s and outs of social media isn’t as complicated as you may think. Especially when it comes to marketing a book. Marketing a book on social media is a 3 stage process that involves first understanding your book itself, understanding the dynamics of each platform, and constructing a social media strategy.
Think of social media as a performance at a theatre. In order for a show to be successful, you must have a great performance and you must advertise to sell tickets and fill the seats. When you understand this dynamic it’s easy to see why content AND connection is key to establishing a powerful social media strategy that attracts attention and creates raving fans.
Where its Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter, all of these platforms serve a different purpose but all have the same underlying theme which is based on engagement. First, we need to understand your book and building attention.
Your book is the tool to create connections but how you create this connection is based on how well you can share this story. Marketing a book should start the moment you start writing – not simply for a few weeks after the book is realised.
Because you have missed an opportunity for potential customers to follow your journey and this is what individuals crave on social media. To follow people they admire, look up to, or simply share common values with. Don’t worry though, even if you already have printed you can still create this engagement. This is achieved by sharing what your vision is for the book, what you stand for, or what you hoping to change or create awareness on. Whether it’s a self-help book, fiction, autobiography, or children’s book, what is your underlying reason why you wrote it? Keep this at the forefront at all times.
This leads me to my next point where especially if you are unknown.
It’s not just about you and getting your name out.
Think of the last business seminar you last attended, self-help webinar you took part or exercise class you just signed up for. Did you know much about the person? Perhaps, but were you more worried about the potential problem or issue they could help you solve? Once we feel a person has helped us we begin to know, like, and trust them. With your book be clear on what you are trying to help others understand or see a perspective on. Once they see this they will be more inclined to follow you and buy from you. Determine what you are offering your audience and how by following you, will help them in their life in some way physically emotionally and spiritually.
SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
A discussed all social media platforms serve a different purpose and content needs to be created accordingly.
Facebook is like your family. Being one of the first platforms used to digitally socialise on mass, we have normally created long term bonds here with family, friends, relatives, and strangers with business and community pages. This is a perfect platform to leverage connections and create communities. Facebook groups in particular can be a great way to connect with your target market whether creating one yourself or joining others. I call this targeting your target market. This is about collaborating with groups, in this example, who share your same target market but could be with a different type of product or service. Perhaps you are writing a children’s book and you are targeting stay at home mums. Targeting mums and bubs groups may be a good opportunity to connect with the admin and offer a free webinar on how you created a kid’s book or what problem you are trying to tackle with your kid’s book. The same could go for fiction fantasy-style group. You could offer a master class on developing characters in a fiction book or why you wrote the book in the first place. Just remember it’s not always about the hard sell straight away.
The bigger the group the slower the burn but you have to come in with value and highlight to the admin and group what you can offer that will benefit them and their members to get your foot in the door.
The same goes for any social media platform. Instagram is your ‘quick fix’ medium used for connecting with your audience often and is a great opportunity to show the daily life of an author and what it takes to bring your story to life. This is a very common platform for ‘influencers’ with large followings. Contacting these individuals directly and collaborating with them to tap into their followers can a very powerful and quick way to drives sales.
LinkedIn is like the business world and is a perfect way to collaborate with companies and their teams. Let’s say you are writing a business book and you wanted to connect with a large company to organise a seminar or keynote for them. Rather than going to their website and normally going through a bunch of red tape. If they are listed on LinkedIn they normally have their employees and is a direct line to contact the right person.
Finally, Twitter is a powerful medium for fiction based authors but can be used for all authors. The fiction reader community resides heavily here because Twitter chats are an effective way to engage with the writing community — they let you personally answer questions readers and authors ask in the chat. It is also an efficient way to keep track of the questions asked with the hashtag.
Now having an understanding of your book and what social media platforms can be best used for marketing your book on social media it’s now time to create a strategy for your content.
SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
I created a social media strategy a few years ago that is still tried, tested, and creates powerful engagement. I call this the 3 ‘E’s
Before posting anything to social media, ask yourself:
- Is it entertaining?
- Is it educational?
- Is it exciting?
Treat every post activity as though you are sitting in a room with your customers, and consider if it will be:
Entertaining enough to get a reaction—a like—and reason for them to share with their friends?
Educational enough to spark a conversation and see a different perspective on a topic?
Exciting enough to get a standing ovation?
Entertaining: Videos are preferred over images. Focus on stimulating content that can include giveaways, challenges, or freebies. Basically, everything that keeps your followers in the loop of your author journey. It’s about giving back to your loyal fans.
- Call to action
Exciting: This is exactly what it means. Whatever gets you excited in this industry will get your customers excited. Excitement and authenticity will always win.
Marketing a book on social media follows the same principle for most products and services. Share why you are writing this book, what you are trying to highlight in the book itself, and what you want for the book in the future. This book isn’t just about getting your name out there, its about creating a powerful enough story that people want to get behind and share with their communities.