Let me guess, you’ve arrived on this blog post because your confused, overwhelmed or frustrated with the state of social media these days. It’s getting harder and harder to keep up with all the changes they keep making to your favourite platforms, and you’re losing hope of ever creating a community of loving fans for your new book.
We’ve all been there, heck, I’m there almost every day!
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. To have effective book marketing on social media you only need to do one thing, and that’s to keep people on social media.
You’re probably thinking, ‘Well, Gina, that’s not very helpful at all – how exactly do I do that?’
Don’t worry, I’m going to expand and outline further. So stick with me, it’ll be worth it – promise.
N.B. This article focuses on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – platforms you should definitely be on if you’re an author.
Why you need to keep people on social media
This may seem like an annoying concept. After all, we don’t want to create a hoard of social media zombies. We do, however, want to create a community of loyal fans that hang on your every word.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram want their users to stay on their platforms for as long as possible. After all, this is how they make their money. They don’t want users finding a great post on your website through a social image and leaving – it doesn’t gain them anything.
This is why, as of writing (Jan 2018), Facebook and Instagram are pushing live video and stories – these features keep people on their website.
So, if Instagram and Facebook are pushing them – you should be using them.
How you can keep people on social media
I’ve mentioned it already, but anything your social media platforms are trying to get you to do – do it!
1. Facebook and Instagram Live
As an author, Instagram and Facebook live are fantastic resources. Treat them like an online book reading, book launch party, or Q&A for your readers. Simple to set up, just use your smartphone, or borrow one from a friend and get broadcasting to your fans.
Top tip: Make sure to build up some suspense around your ‘live time’. A few days in advance, do a post on each social media platform advertising when and where you will be going live – remember to post times in different time zones. You can even do a blog post about it on your website.
As a bonus, you can download your Facebook live video and stick it on your website as a bonus for any fans that missed it.
2. Instagram and Facebook Stories
If you’re not familiar with Instagram or Facebook stories then you definitely should be. I’m a fan, and here’s why:
- They alleviate the pressure of having to create curated images for your Instagram feed – just take a snap or video of you writing in a coffee shop and stick it in a story.
- They’re incredibly quick to make – just use the Facebook or Instagram app, all the editing you need is already in there.
- They’re fun – where else is it okay to show your fans what your face looks like underwater?
- You can promote away – take photographs and videos at your book launch, show quick details and snippets of the world you have created – whatever you want to post, it only stays there for 24 hours.
3. Get chatting
Twitter has one of the best tools for getting your book out there, and it’s community created – Twitter chats.
Twitter chats are conversations on Twitter that happen at a specific time, on a specific day. They are usually hosted by one-three people and everybody in the chat uses a hashtag to follow along. A great example of a Twitter chat is SciFiChat. You can find a chat group in almost every genre, just search #GENREHEREChat in Twitter and see what pops up.
Facebook is also fantastic for creating a community with Facebook Groups. Like Twitter, simply searching for a Facebook group in your genre will give you an endless list of communities to join. Follow the rules and join in as well as promote your work.
I’ve given you three worthwhile ways to market your book effectively on social media but I’m going to leave you with one piece of advice that’ll save you a little stress.
Acquiring a big audience of loyal fans won’t happen overnight, it may not even happen within the next year. One thing you can be certain of though, if you keep going, you’ll steadily and sustainably grow your audience over time. Stick with it, and you WILL get there!