People often ask me, which social medium should I use for my promos?
While everyone suggests you use social media to promote your book, there are also some cons attached to their use. InSync Media, the awesome people I write for, recently published a post listing the pros and cons of using social media that compares the various media and explains how to best use each of them. And DreamGrow has a great comparison between the various social media.
However, my experience has been that there’s no definitive answer to that question. Rayne Hall uses Twitter almost exclusively while I prefer my blog and am rarely on Twitter nowadays. Facebook works for some but not others. It all depends on your genre, whether you write fiction or non-fiction, and your idiosyncrasy.
As I always say, find what works for you and stick with it!
The Cons of Using Social Platforms
The unavoidable truth is there are a lot of people, businesses, etc. on social media, so being seen (especially with algorithms changing all the time) can prove to be difficult. Platforms are built on “trends” and their job is to provide the most relevant information consistent with those trends. Staying on top of the game or even entering it has proven to be a full-time job!
The platforms you choose and the number of platforms you are on determines how much time you need in order to really make the accounts effective. If you’re only planning on posting when you have time, then 90% of the time, no posts will ever make it out onto your social page or pages.
Social media by its very name tells you what it is all about: being social. If you don’t know how to use social media on a business level, then maybe you need to hire someone full-time to manage your accounts or provide you with consulting on how to run your social media accounts.
How do you determine what Social Media Platforms you Should and Should not be on?
Every social media platform was built with a specific function in mind. Your ideal reader will be on each of these platforms for specific reasons, so if you don’t feel comfortable with the platform, you are unlikely to be successful with it.
Here are the most common options for most people:
Facebook provides in-depth personal information and is a great method for link sharing. Businesses that want to be educational online (maybe with blogs) may do well on Facebook because they can link out to their blogs and other websites in coordination with interesting imagery.
You can also use Facebook groups to promote your books.
Instagram is used best for businesses selling a product or lifestyle. It’s easy to display product images, create an attractive aesthetic, and talk about your book with Instagram.
It is an ideal platform for celebrities or people showcasing a talent. You can find out more about Instagram here.
Twitter is a news-based platform. Sports, news channels, politicians, and celebrities do best on this type of platform. It’s easy for users to share quick tidbits of information, whether it be fact or opinion.
It’s not the best for long-form content.
This platform relates to topic-specific interests. Inspirational ideas, how-to’s, and DIY’s are most common here. Pinterest can be an effective tool for selling certain types of products and educating an audience, but everything should stay creative.
The kinds of products best sold through Pinterest are design, fashion, food, or art-based, so it’s an ideal medium if you’re writing about this sort of thing.
If using YouTube for your business, you will be most successful if you post creative and attention-grabbing tutorials or entertaining and humorous content.
A little-thought-of-fact is that YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine, so it’s an important part of your SEO marketing as well.
Similar to Twitter, Snapchat is a platform best used for quick updates (especially since anything public only stays available for 24 hours). It’s a good way to promote an event or the release of a product because you can make several reminder posts every couple of days and it won’t overwhelm your audience.