Why Authors Need to Get Social

Social Media Strategy 101 for Authors

You’ve finally done writing the book. Now, it’s time to market it to your readers.
So, what’s the plan?

Well, maybe you’ve heard a lot of authors who are active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and others have a large following on their social media channels. And the same too, with those newbie authors who are still trying to make a name. One can even say that social media is one of the key elements of the publishing success of your book.

If you think getting social in cyberspace only means promoting your book online, you’re far from what digital marketing is all about. In other words, you’re only at the tip of the iceberg. Marketing a book is a whole lot different story from writing a story. As an indie author, you have to become a marketer to get your books noticed and read by many. 

However, focusing on book sales right off the bat is the number one mistake authors commit. Never sell upfront immediately; readers would think you’re desperate to get sales. Although social media marketing can cost no fortune, you still have to spend a lot of time and effort. For newbie authors or even experienced ones, understanding the importance of social media can help leverage your book on the web via different social media channels. Here’s why authors need to master the art of social media marketing, and how you can take advantage of it.

Social media reaches and connects.

Just like with most businesses, you’re marketing a product or service on the web. And the only different thing is, your book is your product. Social network sites aren’t just for finding friends, sharing memes, or tagging photos, it’s also today’s perfect avenue for marketers like you. 

Thanks to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social channels for bookworms, you can easily meet your targeted readers online. It’s truly a treasure trove of potential buyers since book lovers love to browse online—always looking for a reading list. 

Moreover, you can also reach certain demographics by learning which social media channel is a good match for your book genre. Instagram, for instance, is for artsy young teens, and often a teenage audience. While LinkedIn houses most professional and business-minded people. Pick your poison and engage well with the audience.

Social media is cheap.

Building an empire of readers for your book can’t be done overnight. You have to pour a large amount of time and hard work to grow your fan-base. Creating social profiles on every channel can be a good idea to grow a viable presence. You can create short videos on YouTube for writing tips or pin writing quotes into boards on Pinterest. The possibilities are endless and it doesn’t even cost a dime. All you need is decent internet and a laptop or desktop computer. It’s a low-investment marketing technique that works well. And don’t fret, there are a plethora of online tools that are free and user-friendly.

To be noticed, you need to stand out among other competitors. To get the word out there, there are self-publishing services that offer maximum visibility for your book for a fair price. But if you know how to get creative, you can hook your readers in no time without spending too much.

Social media puts you on the map.

Readers need to know about your book—that is the gist of creating profiles. After choosing the right platform for your book, you can now build brand awareness. The brand is how unique your book is, or what makes it different from other books? Your brand should be interesting enough that readers won’t forget it.

Create an author website to draw your reader’s attention. And so they can have a place to check your book updates or any coming events you have. A website is like your personal store where you also make a connection with your readers. It’s an online portal to share a little of your writing life, your daily writing tips, and some relevant content

But more importantly, make a human connection. Reply with an emoji or give writing advice to an interested reader. People stay away from sites filled with bots or auto-response messages. Engage with your readers daily and you’ll make new friends—and that’s a bonus! 

Social media is your business partner.

The majority of social media channels today have special features to view insights. Facebook has audience insights (business-optimized features), Twitter has analytics, and Instagram offers business profile. You can set up your product such as ease and be listed on the online marketplace. Just learn the demographics, and build credibility as an author in a specific niche.

Build your brand around the platform and observe your ideal readers. Understand their interests, values, concerns, and challenges. In that way, you can know what your readers feel or how they behave.  Start small and evaluate how effective your marketing strategy will be.

Your potential readers are already on social media; make the best out of it. 

How to Make the Most Out of Your Social Media

Now that you know the power of social media for authors, let’s get to the next step on how to do it. Although there are several ways and techniques you can use, here are a few proven and tested tips you can follow:

  • You don’t have to create a social profile for every platform. Stick to what works for you and create social content that works for that specific channel. 
  • #Hashtag it!  Make use of them when they’re relevant to your followers. Also, think of a unique hashtag that builds your author brand. Or a personal hashtag for the book you’re working on
  • Master the art of social media post scheduling. There are different time zones that you have to be aware of. If you want to automate your social posting, you can use online platforms like HootSuite and TweetDeck extremely helpful.
  • Reach out and engage. What is social networking without interactions, right? Retweet, like, reply, repost, or send a message from time to time.
  • Get social. Engage and reach out. Social media is meant to be about socializing and interacting. Reply, repost, like, share, tag, retweet, or send a gif.

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