How many times have we heard the phrase – ‘do I need social media to sell my book’?
Most definitely! It’s been proven time and time again by author after author. In fact, not utilizing social media can actually harm your opportunities to promote and sell, considering that having an online presence on social media is simply expected of any reputable author or creative these days. However so often authors encounter social media with next to no knowledge and some basic operational tips are missed. Here are three simple solutions to social media usage that can help you build your awareness.
SHARE YOUR SUCCESS
Every day we see posts on social media selling something. When it comes to book promotion or any other creative expressions, posts like BUY NOW, BUY MY BOOK, ON SALE NOW, just turn me off. It is just another example of cold call selling that we have been swamped with since online marketing was introduced. When authors do this they find that little is gained, no real traction is generated, and it’s simply a case of not really knowing how to navigate through the social media swamp.
I believe the key to social media engagement is to share the success and inform your audience in how you did it. For example, I sold ten books this week and this is how. If I saw a post like this that had a link through to a blog post on the authors website, I would most certainly be clicking on it. Not only has the post on social media collected a ‘like’ and/or comment, but the author has also taken me through to their website – additional traffic and if I really like what they have written, I might just ‘share’.
Book Marketing is so important but you can’t come across as an ego-driven chest beater. You need to share your excitement and success in an authentic fashion. Many of the people who will likely read your posts are likely to be fellow creatives, fellow authors so bu ensuring your authentic you will build respect. By sharing content and successes rather than cold call selling, you are more likely to gain positive responses.
SHOOT OUT THE #HASHTAG
They had a run of popularity and then slowly they drop away from posts and comments online. Many may say they’re annoying, and when there are 20+ hashtags connected to your post, well, they are annoying. My advice here is simple – use hashtags. It makes your content more searchable on the social networks. Because these can be carried across social media platforms, such as from Instagram to Facebook and Twitter, they have the potential to reach a much wider audience. But please don’t write hundreds, up to three is fine per post and try and be consistent utilizing a hashtag that is likely to be a searchable phrase. I use #becreative #beinspired #bepublished as it covers three vital parts of my DNA – inspirational living, creative expression and book publishing.
Also look into what is currently trending on Twitter and Facebook. Note the hashtags that are being swamped at the time and try and post content that connects with that hashtag so you can use it in your post. For example, if David Beckham is tweeting about his favourite restaurant and you have a recipe in your new cookbook that relates to that, then jump on that trending tweet and post with the same hashtag.
Don’t give up too quickly. One share, tweet or post isn’t enough to get your content promoted and generate engagement. It could take months before your social media following is at a high level and actually producing results. It took me over three years before I started to get tangible results. Just because an article didn’t get engagement, that’s not a reason to never share it again.Guy Kawasaki recommends repeating frequently on fast-moving social media like Twitter. Twitter can handle tweets that repeat several times a day. Popular posts on Facebook can be repeated monthly. Fans that saw it and appreciated it, may share, and new fans who have yet to see it will now be aware.
You could also switch it up a bit and use different images or taglines to create a different message, and link back to the same blog content. Just don’t go overboard and repeat indefinitely. Some content has a lifespan and remember that social media automatically re-uses content anyway. Recently a video was shared of a newsreader reporting from his home office and then had his two toddlers enter and interrupt the live broadcast. Naturally the video went viral but what I found was at least 30 of my friends online shared the video. Within an hour I was sick of it and I stayed off social media for a few hours so the novelty would pass. If you overuse content, it is likely to be something your followers can spot, and are likely to tire of.
Be mindful, be authentic, be real and you will be ok.
Ocean is Australasia's #1 Author Success Coach who has assisted in the creative expression for over 3800 authors. He speaks regularly on the topics of Creative Leadership, Creating A Book For Your Business, Creative Inspiration and Book Marketing. To read more go to www.oceanreeve.com