Five Ways Social Media Can Help Self-Publishing Authors With Book Marketing

social media typing in laptop

With the exploding popularity of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest, it’s easier than ever to connect with people worldwide.

But if you’re unsure how to get started or how to make connections with your target audience, don’t worry! Here are five easy tips to help you!

1. Determine what your goals are.

  • Increase awareness? The average person spends nearly two hours on social media daily; therefore, social media is one of the best places to grab a reader’s attention.
  • Drive traffic to your book? Drive visitors to your author webpage or your listing on Amazon.
  • Generate new leads? These are people who have indicated an interest in your book in some way, shape, or form but haven’t yet purchased it.
  • Build your royalties? You can use social media to turn your audience into paying customers.

2. How often should you post?

  • Facebook—Two or three times per day
  • Instagram—Once or twice per day
  • Instagram Stories—Eight to 16 stories, twice per week
  • Twitter—Three to 10 times per day
  • LinkedIn—Once or twice per day
  • Pinterest—Five to 10 times per day

3. When should you post?

  • Twitter—1:00–3:00 p.m. weekdays
  • Facebook—1:00–4:00 p.m. weekdays
  • LinkedIn—7:00–8:30 a.m. and 5:00–6:00 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
  • Instagram—5:00–6:00 p.m. weekdays and 8:00 p.m. on Mondays
  • Pinterest—2:00–4:00 p.m. and 8:00–11:00 p.m. weekdays, with weekends being the best

4. What should you post?

  • Facebook—Post videos about your book, live videos of you talking about your book or at book events, photos of you and your book, blog posts, and curated content.
  • No matter what type of post you’re sharing on Facebook, the copy you add alongside your content can be critical in how it performs.
  • Instagram—Post hi-res photos (your cover, your author photo, any images or illustrations within your book), behind-the-scenes photos of your book events, quotes, and user-generated content (sharing other photos, such as attendees at a book signing), but give credit to the original creator (known as a re-post), and Instagram stories. Captions are limited to 2,200 characters, and after three lines of text, they become shortened with an ellipsis (those 3 dots you see on posts). Of course, you want to grab the readers’ attention with your opening line or two.
  • Twitter—Post news about your book, blog posts, photos of you and your book at events, curated content, and images. The type of copy in your tweets can drive huge improvements in your results.
  • Pinterest—Images are the best thing to post on Pinterest. Post hi-res photos of your book, the cover, book events, step-by-step photo guides, and infographics.
  • LinkedIn—Post professional information about your career as a writer. Since LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, the most suitable content will revolve around you as an author. Share news about your book and milestones on your LinkedIn page, particularly if the book involves career advice.

5. Automate, engage, and listen

  • Automate posting of your social media content. A tool like Buffer is great for automation. It allows you to create all the content you want to, all at once, and then place everything into a queue to be sent out according to whatever schedule you choose.
  • Social media requires engagement. When people talk to you, talk back. Set aside time during your day to follow up with conversations on social media. These are conversations with potential customers, references, friends, and colleagues.
  • Don’t forget that the ultimate purpose is to sell copies of your book. So always be polite, helpful, and generous. Book sales will follow.

For more information on marketing your book, log into your Publishing Center for a complete list of marketing options and to access the free Book Marketing Resource Center.

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