We are familiar with how important social media has become in light of the recent pandemic. With the re-opening of businesses, people are more able to go back to interacting with one another more than they have in the past few months. However, social media is still one of the most widely used way people interact with others on an international level.
It has become critical for businesses to have ways their customers can stay connected with what they plan to offer including sale dates and discount opportunities.
If you need a clearer view into just how powerful social media is, check out this article: 10 Social Media Statistics You Need to Know in 2020 by Oberlo.com.
Now, as brands (including you, authors) and businesses, we realize these facts cannot be ignored. This being the case, so many resort to being overly “salesy,” constantly posting about how their followers “need to buy this” or “need to have that.” It’s really bad when it comes to the writing community.
Hard truth: Nothing sends your followers to hit un-follow faster than “buy my book,” “buy my book,” “buy my book.”
Another hard fact is: rarely does social media result in conversion and that is what you, as a brand, want. Conversion.
The question then becomes, are you utilizing the true power of social media?
People buy from brands they trust and know will guarantee them a good experience and quality product. One power of social media is it allows you to build that trust by utilizing what is known as the 80/20 rule.
So what is it?
Simply put, it says put your ego aside and focus on the people who give their time to look at your content on a regular to semi-regular basis. 80% of you energy needs to GIVE BACK to your readers while 20% can be promotion.
Badredheadmedia has an ingenious book called the 30 Day Book Marketing Challenge. In it, Rachel teaches you how to go about capitalizing on your social media without sounding salesy. We recommend her blog to anyone who is looking to understand the rule of 80/20.
This is what makes blogging such a powerful platform for authors. Evergreen content and what a good colleague and mentor of mine refers to as “digital breadcrumbs” offers more than paying 40$ a year to Twitter accounts who promise to “tweet” your book on a daily basis.
How you might ask?
When people go to Google you and your book, the more you’ve become involved, the more your name will populate! The more you populate the search, the more people are guided to your content and your book.
See how this works? You gave to them, they found you. Tada!
Create Engaging Posts
“Buy my book” posts are rarely engaging.
Instead of murdering a tweet with a life of .02 seconds with “buy my book, buy my book,” use those short seconds to offer an inspiration, ask a question, get engage.
That’s what social media is. It’s not a conversion tool, but a tool to build a network (hence the word “social”). Conversion is low for buying anything on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
FyreSyde Publishing personally experimented with each of these platforms and learned quickly:
We spent more money running ads than actually converting.
Two years have been put into building the functional network we have now and we’re still building it.
The point is: Focus less on selling your beloved book baby and focus on building a network of loyal people who know you. These people often will support you simply because they know you — NOT your book.
Titles come and go but the author remains the same.
Don’t Know What to Post?
We hear this all the time. And truthfully, we still have problems with it too. While we try to blog weekly, sometimes we just aren’t able to and that can be hindering because it breaks our readers’ confidence.
But! This is not the end.
CoSchedule has an amazing resource titled “52 Effective Social Media Post Ideas and Examples to Fill Your Calendar.” Their blog is one we go to often and another resource we recommend if you’re struggling with marketing.
The key here is engagement. Paint yourself as a human being and you will build trust. Build trust and you already have a vast word of mouth resource at your hands.
Use Hashtags Properly
The key to using social media to its full potential is tapping into the power of hashtags.
How we usually do it for Twitter and Facebook is we pick a trending hashtag, one relevant to our audience and a branding hashtag.
For Instagram, we use anywhere from 9 – 15, once again keeping in mind the audience we want to reach.
There are many you can choose from but we will include a few of our favorites here.
- #MondayBlogs – Monday only; no self-promo. Great for bloggers to share resources that have helped them.
- #BookMarketingChat – Wednesdays at 8pm CST. Run by Rachel Thompson, featuring names who know how to market. Great to build engagement and ask questions.
- #Chance2Connect – 3rd Tuesday every month. Run by author Kim Chance. A wonderful way to meet other authors and build a network.
- #PitDark – This one is held twice a year and is exclusively for authors in the “darker” genres who are looking for publishers and agents. DO NOT FAVE IF YOU ARE NOT ANY OF THE ABOVE.
- #PitMad – Similar to #PitDark
- #TeaserTuesday – A great way to help boost awareness of a new release. We use this to share teaser photos and moodboards for our author’s newest releases.
- There are daily trending tags you can use as long as it is used properly
- And more
- Facebook: Hashtags for Facebook are similar to the above.
Another helpful resource for finding hashtags:
- Hashtags for Authors
- Marketing Resources (there are many out there, but we wanted to share a few to get you started):
- Start Marketing Your Book Early
- How to build your social media marketing strategy for 2020
- How to Create a Social Media Strategy in 8 Easy Steps (Free Template) (*highly recommended)
- How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy for 2019 and Beyond (*highly recommended blog)
- CoSchedule Blog (*highly recommended blog)
- Oberlo Blog