You published your book, celebrated your launch, and sold books to most of your friends, family members and colleagues. And you’re blogging.
But you may be wondering, “What can I do to reach even more readers?”
Reaching out to the press, contacting book clubs, and reading at bookstores are great ways to promote your book offline. To reach potential readers across the U.S. and around the world, you need to use social media.
The thought of creating an online presence can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. All you need are 30 minutes a day and these tips.
7 Social Media Tips Every Author Needs to Know
1. Decide who your intended audience is and use the social media networks that your readers are most likely to use. For example, if you write young adult fiction, you’ll want to have a presence on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. If your readers are primarily women, create accounts on Facebook and Pinterest. Get the idea?
2. With more than 1.7 billion people using Facebook, it’s hard to ignore this social media behemoth. Creating a profile (profiles are for people and pages are for products, books, and authors,) on Facebook is your first step. Your second step is to create a Facebook page so that you can promote your book, blog posts, signings and workshops, and buy advertising.
3. Allocate 30 minutes a day to your social media marketing. In the late afternoon or evening, spend 15 minutes being social. Like your Facebook fans’ posts, add comments, and share information or images that your friends post. Follow the same protocol for whichever social media platforms you decide to use. In the mornings, spend 15 minutes curating information for your posts by scanning your friends and followers’ posts and using one or more of these websites.
This is the top online source for the hottest trending information on the entire blogosphere.
This search engine crawls the web in search of trending topics posted on social media networks.
Use this application on your Windows PC, iPhone, iPad, or Android to aggregate news on any topic you select. This website also claims it can recommend future articles for you by analyzing your previously saved items.
This application curates information for you by scrolling through the tweets in your news feed and ranking them.
4. Once you have the information you want to post, use a social media dashboard such as HootSuite or Buffer to space your posts throughout the day. (Note: I only recommend using an application to schedule your posts for Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. On Facebook pages, users can schedule their posts within the status update box and it's best, if you want your posts to catch your readers’ eyes, to post directly to Facebook.
5. Twitter is tremendous (and my favorite social media network). Use hashtags (such as #reader) to target your tweets so that users searching for a new book just like yours will find it. Genre hashtags are common – #chicklit, #romance, #memoir, #erotica, #YA – as well as the hashtag #readers. You can even create your own hashtag to track mentions of you and your book. Follow 20 new users daily, use an application such as Tweepi or JustUnfollow to drop users who don’t follow you back, and retweet from a broad section of your followers and experts you follow.
6. To make the most of your presence on LinkedIn, use keywords throughout your profile description and add skills that your connections can endorse. In addition, join two or three groups and become an active participant. The groups are the best part of LinkedIn because you can learn from other members, share your experience and expertise, and without directly marketing your book, find new readers.
7. Pinterest is a fun social media channel that excels at driving traffic to your website, blog, and wherever you sell your book online. Create a pinboard titled Favorite Books and add your book to the list. Start a pinboard with your blog’s name and pin the images you include in your posts. Add photos to a pinboard dedicated to the city where your novel takes place. The possibilities are endless.
Now it’s your turn to share your social media tips.
Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s written several social media books including The Author’s Guide to Goodreads and Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writer conferences. Learn more about Frances, and sign up for her free email course, at SocialMediaJustforWriters.com.