Social Media

Each Social Media platform is different. You have to choose the ones that you are most comfortable with and, most importantly, where your ideal readers are hanging out.

Start with one or two and add on, as you adjust to the amount of time needed to create and schedule posts. In the beginning, it might take longer than you think, but as you get rolling, you won’t find it so daunting.

Social Media is not where you sell your books. It is where you make connections. On Social Media you post information about your blogs, content in your books, and tidbits that your ideal readers will find interesting. Spend time on each platform getting to know what users expect and like. Then plan out your strategy. But don’t try to sell. Create relationships, let the audience, followers, fans, etc. get to know you and your work. Send them to your website and your newsletter signup to learn more. You don’t actually send your resume out to get a job, you send it to get an interview. At the interview, you sell yourself for the job. Social Media is much the same way. You have to find out if you’re the right match first.

Here is a brief overview of each:

Facebook

  • Largest Social Media platform with an older demographic.
  • It’s always changing and getting on other’s newsfeeds is almost impossible unless you know them already.
  • Ads can be effective, but you need a strategy and there is a good bit of trial and error to find what works.
  • To get started, set up a professional page for promoting your book(s). You can also setup a personal page as an author.
  • Ideas: contests and giveaways, live Q&As with an interviewer. Like/follow other pages like yours. Use video and animation to get attention.

Instagram

  • Has a younger demographic and is more graphic intensive.
  • You can’t link in your posts, so you have to use hashtags (#). You can put your website link in your bio.
  • If you are into graphics and understand hashtags, Instagram might work well, especially if your book’s ideal reader is younger.
  • Ideas: Plan a series of images ahead of time and schedule to post them over time. Include world settings, people, places, and any topical info from your book. Use words in memes. Research hashtags.

Twitter

  • Hugely popular.
  • The more people you follow, the faster the newsfeed rolls, so if you don’t post often, chances are, people will miss your tweet.
  • Posts are limited to 280 characters
  • Plan on short and frequent posts.
  • Ideas: Share blurb about and from in your book. Create your own hashtags. Stay relevant with your audience.

Pinterest

Pinterest is another graphic intensive social platform that is primarily female. Pinterest is about lifestyle, so think book genres and worlds for fiction or how-to for nonfiction. You can create boards and pin relevant content about your books. You should also post your cover and link to your website. Be sure to remember keywords in your posts so Pinterest can match up your pins with others like it. Create a graphic and Pin all your blogs. Pinterest also has advertising opportunities that are worth checking into.

YouTube

YouTube may soon pass all other social media with an estimated 2 billion users a day. This is where you post interviews, your book trailers, and any other fun or informative videos. You can also post audio files here with a cool graphic. Create your own channel and post videos of others’ work, industry information or anything that your ideal audience will find engaging. Be sure to use the tags and keywords and embed those videos into your website or at least link to them. Vimeo is another option but isn’t as large as YouTube.

Goodreads and Amazon

Both of these platforms have social opportunities. Post on them often, your readers are here, be sure to invite them to visit your website and get to know you better.

LinkedIn

For professionals and B2B (business to business). LinkedIn benefits are limited for authors, but you should have “Author” and your books listed in your bio.

Summary

This is a brief overview and each platform can require research and patience. Once you decide on the platforms you intend to use, search online for strategies and tips for authors. You’ll find plenty more insights and suggestions. Watch the Sunbury Press blog for more information coming soon.

The keys to Social Media are to consider your ideal reader and where they are, start small, create a plan, post often and refrain from selling. Also, be sure to link back to your website and newsletter signup.

Here is a great place to find out which demographics are hanging out on which social media sites: https://khoros.com/resources/social-media-demographics-guide

Remember to keep at it. Relationships take time.