Ronita Mohan recently wrote about some of the social media marketing trends for 2020. I kick off the new year posts with another take on the same subject: how to use social media to promote your books.
Being a successful writer means not only having the inspiration to create something that really resonates with people but also being able to present yourself and your work to the readers. The latter is especially important if you are an aspiring author who is just starting to get your feet wet at writing and your name can’t attract readers just yet. Even well-established writers have to do some sort of marketing so there is no shame in developing a marketing plan to put your work in front of your potential readers.
Some of the essential things, like developing a marketing email strategy, have been covered in my email marketing series of posts. So now let’s take a look at some other ways an author can stay in touch with their readers.
Ramp up your social media game
Marketing through social media is basically free exposure. Not using this opportunity is just plain shooting yourself in the foot. Social media marketing is essentially building a friendly relationship, a friendship if you will. Friendships require time and dedication but it pays off in the long run.
The most popular social media platforms at the moment are Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
It’s nice to be active on as many of these platforms as possible, but not essential. What’s important is to be yourself and engage with your followers in a meaningful, honest way.
Twitter is a great medium as many readers can easily reach out to you by tagging your name in a tweet. It’s very popular among young adult readers so if you’re writing in that niche – Twitter is a must for you.
If, however, you find yourself struggling on it, you may console yourself that you’re not the only one. As Stephen King famously said in his first Tweet, “On Twitter at last, and can’t think of a thing to say. Some writer I turned out to be.”
Instagram is all about visuals. Sure, writing has more to do with words but still. You can post photos of your working space, your favorite spot for reading sessions or just a glimpse at your everyday life. Instagram is also great for giveaways.
I recently posted on the best ways to use Instagram if you’re a writer. You may also wish to check out this Infographic with 30 case studies on how some businesses used Instagram with great success.
Facebook is still among the most suitable places to create a following. Just be sure you engage with your followers by answering their comments. You can even create a brand page and connect it to a messenger chatbot. This will allow you to stay within reach 24/7.
Web Push Notifications
For this one, you obviously need a website/blog. Many people consider it a contentious topic but to get your book in front of the readers you have to get them interested first. Web push notifications are super-effective when it comes to keeping your reader posted about all sorts of updates on your site be it the latest blog post, a chapter from your book, or a limited time offer on your books. These notifications have a high click-through rate and nicely fit your marketing campaign especially when combined with your marketing email newsletter. Play around with personalizing these messages and you might just see the results you expect.
Segmenting your contacts list is a good idea too as being relevant is what you are aiming at here. What you shouldn’t forget is that push notifications can be automated according to specific triggers (subscribers behavior). If a potential reader looks at the book on your web site and leaves, seconds later receives a push notification with a discount for the viewed item, you have a better chance of making a sale.
Having your own youtube channel is probably a lot more time-consuming than any other way to market your work because video editing will take a huge chunk of your time. You don’t have to go all the way in so to say. Making occasional favorite book reviews or Q&A streaming sessions is enough to cover the base. If you are a seasoned veteran in the writing sphere you can even make short videos giving tips on becoming a full-time author. You can also collaborate with fellow YouTubers in your niche and mingle with their audience.
Marketing yourself as a writer is no easy task and requires a lot of time and determination but so is any kind of relationship that’s important to you. To call yourself an author you have to have readers and that’s what marketing is here for. Choose yourself a channel and be out there where your readers are, stay connected.