Snapchat, Clubhouse, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram – social media channels abound today more than ever before. As an author trying to get noticed, just the thought of juggling all these platforms can be enough to make your head spin. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for some social media tips for authors on scoring success, then this article is absolutely for you.
Hey there, I’m Julie “The Book” Broad of Book Launchers, your professional self-publishing services team.
When done right, social media can do many incredible things for an author’s career, like strengthening their book sales!
Social media is powerful. But, finding success on social media takes more than just picking a profile picture, writing a bio, and posting some pictures of your cat next to your book.
There’s a lot more to social media than that.
To make the most out of your social media marketing for your book, here are some bite-sized social media tips on how you can grow your social media as an author, giving your book sales the boost it needs.
There’s No Need To Be on EVERY Platform
You’ve heard that right; you don’t need to be on every social media platform. If you are, you’re probably stretching yourself, not to mention your content, way too thin.
Actually, yes, you can be on every social media platform, but that doesn’t mean you should. Not everyone is your target audience. Just like your book, if you try to make everyone your audience, you’ll probably end up with no audience at all.
The trick is to go where your audience goes.
Just think about your own social media habits.
Is there an app you click on more than the rest? Do you enjoy scrolling through your Instagram feed of photos rather than your Twitter feed of text? Do you find more like-minded people on LinkedIn rather than on Facebook?
Chances are, your target audience probably has similar social media habits as you.
You’ll find different kinds of users on TikTok than you would on Clubhouse. Those browsing Pinterest have different goals than those on LinkedIn.
Each platform has its unique features and brings its own unique users. And, wasting time on them all isn’t going to sell a ton of books.
Get to know which platform your audience spends their time on. Who knows, maybe it’s already something you’re fond of using. Make sure to create fantastic content on that platform, something that your audience will love.
Find Which Social Media Platforms Work For You
Let’s get this right off the bat; you’re not going to have fun on social media as an author if you stick to platforms that just don’t play to your strengths.
If you don’t enjoy podcasts or public speaking, Clubhouse won’t be your app of choice since it’s voice-based and often live. On the flip side, if you love playing up your creative spark with photography, you’ll probably have a blast on Instagram.
If you’re not enjoying a particular channel, it’s going to feel more of a burden than an opportunity, and it will show. Your lack of enthusiasm will bleed over to your followers, and it’s going to be a matter of time before they’ll know you aren’t enjoying yourself.
Experiment and play around with different platforms until you find things that you enjoy.
Add Attention-Grabbing Hooks To Your Social Media Pages
Now that you’ve found your audience in your preferred platform, it’s time to develop your presence into something unique and valuable. Your social media needs a hook – similar to the way your book does.
What are you offering your audience? There are millions — so many millions of social media account out there in the book and author community.
Standing out among the rest and offering genuine value to your followers is an excellent way to build an organic following of supporters.
Don’t simply just try to sell your book. Create great content that provides benefits to your followers.
Follow the 80/20 rule, where 80% of your content would be audience-centric, and 20% might be brand-centric.
Audience-centric content gives value in the form of content that educates, amuses, or shows appreciation. That means tips, quotes, steps, excerpts from your book, or any high-value content.
On the other hand, brand-centric content asks for a sale, a subscription, a donation, a review, or anything focused on your brand.
When you’ve provided content that’s valuable to your audience, they’re more receptive to a request like “Buy my book,” “Schedule a consultation,” or “Write a review.”
If you’re still trying to figure out your hook for social media, then maybe this video here on defining your author brand is the way to go.
If you’ve been on the internet, you probably know what a hashtag is, but just in case, hashtags are words or phrases set off with a number sign that is used to link a message with a particular topic, like #noboringbooks.
But hashtags are helpful on Twitter and Instagram because of the author and book communities that have developed them.
Using a hashtag is going to make your post more searchable.
Have you ever heard of #bookstogram? It’s got over 63.2 million posts on Instagram. It sounds like the key to success, right? Upload a picture, tag an ever so popular hashtag, and boom, you’ll be bringing in followers left and right, and exploding your profile.
Well, that’s not quite how it works. There’s a tricky little science to using hashtags to connect with other users and reach new potential ones interested in your content.
You want to give users the opportunity and ability to find your profile. But, including too many hashtags or ones too general or too obscure won’t accomplish much of anything.
A report from Sprout Social found that engagement drops when more than one hashtag is used on Twitter and Facebook.
For Instagram, stick to 10 to 15 hashtags and combine hashtags of varying visibility levels up to your engagement potential.
For example, here’s a mix that we often use on Book Launchers’ Instagram. We use five trendy hashtags with about half a million to a million posts, five moderately popular hashtags with about a hundred thousand to a couple hundred thousand posts. And then, we have three niche-specific hashtags with a couple of thousand or tens of thousand tags. Finally, we’ll have one or two brand-specific hashtags, like, you guessed it, #noboringbooks.
Social Media Schedulers are Your Friend
Developing your social media channels – making content, posting it, responding to messages, retweets, comments, all can take a lot of time.
Chances are, you’re already stretched for time as it is – I know.
If you spend your whole day doing all of those on your social media channels, well, you’ll never have the time to market or even write your book.
Luckily, there’s plenty of tools and schedulers out there to simplify a lot of the process.
You can create a whole bunch of content in a batch, plug it into a program like Hootsuite or Agorapulse, which aggregates to all your chosen social media channels.
You can then schedule those posts for the days you’d like them to appear in your followers’ feeds. After that, all you have to do is check back and reply to the engagements. You can do that right there in the program instead of having to check each of your channels.
Be In It For The Long Haul
One thing that will be tough to swallow as an author looking for social media marketing tips is that building up a following takes time and consistency.
Sure, you can try to create content that blows up, goes viral, and catapults your social media channel to a million followers overnight. But that’s not that realistic. Chances are, you’ll end up with a lot of followers that aren’t there for you and your content.
Just be patient. Success on social media takes a long time. And if you try to rush it, your efforts run the risk of backfiring.
For now, focus on creating a strong, engaged community with consistent, valuable content that genuinely cares about the people you’re connecting with.
By the way, if you want people to comment on your posts, I recommend heading over to their pages first and commenting on theirs. Not just retweets, but actual comments because everyone likes to have a friend that comments on their posts.
Community and Connection, Not Promotion, Lies At The Heart of Social Media
Remember what lies at the heart of all social media, no matter the platform. And no, it’s not promotion and sales; it’s community and connection.
If the only reason you’re on social media is to promote your book, you’re better off not on social media.
The unique part of social media is the opportunity for a community to gain genuine connections. I mean, you can have a look at this little YouTube channel of ours. We get together for live streams. Every two weeks, we share strategies in the comment section and answer each other’s questions.
Whenever you watch a video, you’ll see it isn’t just me blabbering into the camera to all of the viewers. We’ve built a place for authors to come together and succeed together.
Create connections and community, and you’ll enjoy it so much more. YouTube is fun for me because of my besties.
Consistently share with your followers and get excited when they share with you. When you focus on connection rather than follower count, magical things can happen.
Now, the magic — The magic doesn’t have to end right here. Like I’ve said, everyone is their own, and if LinkedIn is your platform of choice, don’t miss out on this video.
Want more tips on successfully marketing as an author? Check out our ultimate guide on developing a winning book launch marketing plan to get proper know-how on creating a buzz – even before your book makes it to your readers’ hands.
If you always wanted to write a book but never knew where to start, we’ll help you out. You can download our free 7-step guide here on planning and writing your fantastic book!