You've published your book, offered it for presale, celebrated your launch with champagne, and sold copies to almost everyone you know.
You’re even blogging regularly.
It’s about this time when many new authors begin to wonder, “What can I do next to reach even more readers?”
Pitching the media, contacting book clubs, and reading at bookstores are great ways to promote your book offline. But to reach potential readers across the U.S. and around the world, you need to use social media.
Are you silently screaming, “Argh! No, not that. I want to write another book but how will I have time to write if I have to do more marketing?”
The thought of creating an online presence can seem overwhelming to indie authors, but it doesn’t have to be. All you need are 30 minutes a day and these tips.
8 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 (YA) fiction, you’ll want to have a presence on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. If your readers are primarily women, create accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Knowing where your audience likes to hang out online will save you oodles of time. Long gone are the days when social media experts touted the wisdom of being everywhere. It’s impossible to be on every social media network. It's too time-consuming, and quite frankly, a waste of your precious time. For more information on where to find your reader demographics online, turn to Pew Research Center.
2 - With more than 2 billion people now using Facebook, it’s hard to ignore this social media behemoth. Creating a profile (profiles are for people, and pages are for products, books, authors, businesses, and services) on Facebook is your first step. Your second step is to create a Facebook page so that you can promote your book, blog posts, events and workshops. Without a doubt, you need to build a presence on Facebook.
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. Thank people for retweeting you, answer questions posted on social media for you, and "Like" some of your colleagues’ images on Pinterest.
4 - In the mornings, spend 15 minutes curating information for your social media posts by scanning your friends and followers’ posts and using one or more of these websites and resources:
This is the top online source for the hottest trending information on the entire blogosphere. Every worthy blog in its industry is here, and you’ll find posts from thought leaders in your field.
Note: AllTop is great, but Reddit is a website to stay away from. Although touted as the “front page of the internet” it isn’t a website you’ll want to waste time on.
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.
Be sure to create some Twitter lists of esteemed colleagues and thought leaders in your industry, niche, or genre. For example, I have curated a list of experts in writing and publishing. I use this list to curate information to tweet on Twitter and sometimes post on Facebook.
Twitter lists are easy to set up. Just log into your Twitter account, click your avatar in the upper taskbar, and then click on Lists.
In the left column, you’ll find a box that says Create a list. Click on Create new list.
Next, name your list, describe it, and decide whether you want your list to be public or private.
Now, whenever you find someone you want to add to your list, go to his or her profile, click the three circles, and click on Add to List.
Subscribe to blogs from experts you respect and consider whether some of their posts would be worth tweeting or posting on LinkedIn or other social media platforms.
Quick Guide to Using the Top Platforms
5 - Once you have the information you want to post, use a social media dashboard—also called a scheduling application, such as HootSuite or Buffer to space your posts throughout the day. Note: On Facebook pages, users can schedule their posts within the status update box. Facebook will downgrade posts that are scheduled using a scheduling application.
6 - Twitter is tremendous (and my favorite social media network). Use hashtags (#) to target your tweets so that users searching for a new book just like yours will find it. Genre hashtags are common—#romance, #memoir, #erotica, #YA, #FamilySaga, #SciFi, #HistoricalFiction—as well as the hashtag #readers. You can even create a unique hashtag to track mentions of you and your books. Follow 50 new users daily, use an application such as Tweepi or ManageFlitter to drop users who don’t follow you back, and retweet different users each day. Note: You can also use hashtags on Google+, Instagram, and Facebook. (For more on hashtags see my earlier post, Twitter 101 for Authors.)
7 - To make the most of your presence on LinkedIn, use keywords throughout your profile description and add skills that your connections can endorse. Also, 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 books, find new readers.
8 - Pinterest is a fun social media channel that excels at driving traffic to your website, blog, and wherever you sell your books 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 with me.
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