Social media is a great place to market your book!
With over 1.2 billion active social media users across the globe, it is a no-brainer that it is a great way to market a book. But you have to know how to do this correctly. Going on Facebook and saying, “Buy my book!” will not exactly heed a group of followers; you need to be discreet about it.
Start With A Page
What social media platform is the best for engaging potential readers? No one can tell. I have been fond of Facebook’s “Fan Page” feature, where you create a Page that others can Like and engage on. But that is simply because I have not tried many other forms of social media. There are tons of places out there to get promotion going. I urge you to start with a Facebook Page, and set an ad for it for $35 a week, for 1 week. You’ll see 1,000 new Likes and followers. That is almost guaranteed as I have tried that with all of my Pages and it always seems to balance out to 1,000 or so new Likes. If not, try another $35, and keep going.
Be Sure To Set It Up!
Be sure to set the Page up first. This is going to be even if you leverage other social media services, as if you can get all of the information you need to on the Facebook Page, you can use that information to build upon other social media platforms such as Twitter, Pintrest, and Reddit. I have put together a list of platforms with a score for each. See the below:
High pragmatism, easy to network on,
great for selling products and services online
Medium pragmatism, remains very popular,
easy interface with potential for marketing
Low pragmatism, allows photos and short
videos but this is inconvenient promotion-wise
High pragmatism, allows users to post in a
community-like forum, can be used to promote
High pragmatism, acts as a blogging platform,
large community, younger demographic
Low pragmatism, does not allow a
marketing-friendly interface, but can still be used
There is, of course, YouTube and LinkedIn, but those are for specific scenarios, as well as Instagram. For now, focus on the above. I rated them from 1-10 based on their viability to promote books. This was done for a project I have coming up, which you can read more about here:
Stick To 2-3 Platforms
Otherwise, you let yourself fall short. If you try to cater to every platform, you are destined to fail. Why? Because you need to stick to just 2 or 3 to get started with. That is why I stick solely with Facebook, Twitter, and sometimes LinkedIn. This allows me to focus on promoting on those specific platforms, rather than scuffling around from website to website trying to engage audiences. This causes waste, or too much time spent on things that won’t work!
Choose your platforms based on your demographic. Facebook and Twitter are for large demos; the rest are stated above and indicate what they are best for. As an author, Facebook and Twitter seem the best choices, with Reddit acting as another. However, bear in mind the ranking of each of these platforms as far as number of users. See the statistics on number of users here. As you can see, Reddit and Pintrest are not even listed!
I personally recommend setting up a Facebook page and a Twitter account.
From there, go ahead and join a website called HootSuite (which allows you to schedule posts by date and time) and start scheduling posts! Of course, do your best to use paid promotion. Unfortunately, paid promotion is what brings in the most Likes, and once you pass 1,000 Facebook Likes on an official page, new Likes and views will come pouring in (even after the ad ends). This is coined by me as “rebound retention”, or when you get 1,000 or more Likes, Facebook automatically jumps your page up on the list of those with the highest activity, giving you a chance to get more Likes without having to do anything except stay active.
Scheduling Proper Content
I would say check out our pages to determine valued content. Remember that photos rank as the second most viewed item (next to videos), with plain text coming as next. In other words, try to always schedule your posts with a photo or a link (third on the pyramid), or a quote (fourth on the pyramid) rather than plain text (fifth on the pyramid). Get on HootSuite, and start scheduling the right content depending on your requirements. Do not try to sell your book (or anything else, for that matter) off the git-go; this will only get you a bunch of people leaving your social media web!
You need to post viral content. Example: for my page for New Breed Games, I post reviews for newly-released video games, photos with quotes, and every now and then I slip in some info on what we are working on. The same goes for a book page. You do not want to bombard the user with a sales pitch. Use smarter means to advertise. I suggest you keep boosting posts of value, and seeing what your retention rates are. If something is working, continue to do it. If something is not working, pivot and try something new. This can be done using your Fan Page analytics or “insights.”
Work Hard At It!
Social media marketing is not easy. In fact, it is downright hard! But if you work hard enough at it, you will succeed at your endeavors. Promote with viral content, focus on just a few social media outlets, and you should be good to go.
Remember that it is not a matter of what content to promote with; it is the impact you want your potential readers to feel when they see your posts. If you can do that, you’re halfway there!