I was online chatting with another author the other day, and we were discussing what types of marketing we do. I started going into what I do for marketing and realized my approach to social media needed something.
So where did I go for more information on how to market on social media? I went online to social media to see what works for other writers. I was able to download a ton of infographics on Pinterest about Social Media Marketing tools, and I read at least a dozen articles on it.
I gleaned some essential points from my research:
- Social media marketing is not about your books as much as it is about you as an author.
- Various types of social media have specific guidelines which help you get your brand out to potential readers effectively.
- There’s a right way and a wrong way to use hashtags depending on the social media platform you are using.
You will turn off potential readers if they are continually seeing your post “Buy my Book!” A good rule of thumb is to make sure that 80% of your posts are social and 20% are direct marketing of your writing. Give your new friends/followers a glimpse into who you are as a writer. What are you reading? What insights do you have into writing? What do you want to know about your readers? Ask them, and you will be engaging your potential audience and not causing them to click on the “Unfollow” button. When you do put your book marketing post out there, make sure you post no more than 1-4 times per week and only 1-2 times per day.
The most common reason social media users “unliked” a page was because the brand posted too often and cluttered up their newsfeed. You don’t want them to hide your posts! That’s like flipping the channel because you don’t want to see the commercials. To make your posts most effective make sure that the image or brand you wish to convey is sending a consistent message across all of your platforms. Your attention to your messaging will ensure that your posts will have more impact without being overbearing with too much frequency
Too lengthy a post can also decrease the number of engagements you will receive. A photo, short video, GIF or meme with a link to more content will capture the attention of your follower, but a novella-length post will have their eyes glazing over.
Sooo, what do I post?
Let your reader know who you are. I don’t mean telling them about your recent surgery or your divorce. Keep your private life private, but tell them funny snippets about your life. Do you like to bake? Put a photo of your latest culinary masterpiece along with sharing your special recipe. Behind-the-scenes pictures at your book signing, your favorite place to write, or a special spot where you like to read. Add favorite quotes, your favorite books, links to your blog posts, a good book written by another author, event information, writing tips, etc.
Interact with your followers by responding to their comments. Thank them for their Retweets and when they befriend you, respond promptly. That means today, not next week. If there is a delay, apologize sincerely, but you don’t have to give details about why you weren’t more prompt. Remember, Social media is all about getting to know people. If they feel a personal connection to you, they may invest their money and time in your book.
Each form of social media has its guidelines. Pinterest and Instagram are visual media platforms. Your pin/post needs to be eye-catching. It needs to be something special enough to warrant having someone save it to one of their Pinterest boards or to like it on Instagram. Each one has guidelines as to what size images work best on their site. An application like Canva contains easy to use templates for various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, making it easy to have a post which captures attention.
Too many hashtags can be distracting. More than two and you lose engagement. Check out articles about the different hashtags writers can use to promote their work. Got a book on sale for 99 cents? Try #99c or #99cents at the end of your post. Free ebook? #FREEbook or #BookGiveaway. Consider using #IndieThursday, #WriterWednesday, #MustRead or #FridayReads.
Keep hashtags to a minimum, group them at the end of your posts, don’t hashtag every word, or #makeyourhashtagssolong no one can or will read them. Use hashtags that are trending, but make sure they work with the message you are trying to send.
Take the time to do the research and find those social media platforms which will work with your schedule and your life. Social media can be overwhelming, and you don’t want to spend so much time online you don’t have time to do what you love to do — write!
And with that, I #amwriting.
OMP Admin Note: Kate McGinn is a writer and OMP Network member – one of a group of networkers who will be blogging on a regular basis on various causes and issues. Kate hopes to spread awareness of the issue of American Veterans returning home to less help than they deserve. EMMAUS is one of the two main charities we are supporting.
Kate McGinn’s fiction can be found on Amazon in the flash fiction series BITE SIZE STORIES (Volume Two) along with five other guest writers. The first two books in her Clare Thibodeaux Series–EXODUS and WINTER’S ICY CARESS are available on Amazon.