Social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are some of the most powerful and persuasive tools entrepreneurs can use in their marketing efforts. However many authors are unsure how to put this modern medium to best use.
First and foremost, get started – but start smart. Establish personal and/or author accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, WordPress, Pinterest – any platform that has a large audience of people who connect and share with each other. You’ll need to set up social media profiles on each platform, which focus on you, your book, your interests or the literary genre you’re promoting.
You may wish to focus on different aspects of your personal and professional life with each platform, depending on what each has to offer. For example, you might use the visual nature of Pinterest to share behind-the-scenes candid shots of your writing process and inspirations, and reserve Twitter for instant publishing and sales updates, article sharing and news. You may wish to blog only on WordPress and link these blog posts with your Twitter and Facebook accounts. The important thing is to make the best use of each platform’s strengths. If you’re inexperienced with social media, this could take some experimentation to get fully up and running.
It’s important to identify and establish relevant connections with users on each social media platform that could further your book selling efforts. This can be the most time-consuming and labor-intensive part of the process for a beginner. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are many, many individuals in the publishing world with a great deal of experience using social media as a marketing tool who can advise you as you take your first tentative steps in this new world.
To get started, you may wish to think of 10 or 12 people on each social media platform that you feel would enjoy your book or could benefit from it in some way, and reach out to them via social media. Often a simple search will take you right to the individuals with whom you want to connect. Talk with these people about chatting openly on their forums about your book and their literary interests.
Throughout your social media experience, repeat this mantra: “It’s not all about me.” Social media functions best when you think not about what you can get from it, but what you can give to the audience with whom you network. This is a difficult concept for many first-time users to grasp, since the end game may be to achieve greater visibility.
However, by giving freely to your followers and virtual friends – whether it’s information, discounts, blogs and vlogs, advice, industry insight, time or some other content – you begin to build credibility as a resource, and an online presence that’s uniquely you. When social media is “done right,” your readers will feel enriched and you’ll gain insight and visibility.
That’s reason enough to reach out. Ideally, those folks you touch will in turn reach for your book!