Leveraging Social Media to Promote Your Book Goes Back to Business Basics
I know, you’re rolling your eyes and thinking, sure it is. What does promoting my book have to do with leveraging social media and how does it relate to the basics of growing a business? If you think back, I’m sure you can remember the foundations of building your business (and your book is a business!). Right now I’m talking about your audience. It’s imperative to know your audience, build your audience, understand “what’s in it for them,” be consistent in what you’re doing, be active, and remember – it’s not just about selling. Developing relationships with your fans/followers is the important factor when marketing today so how do you do it while being your authentic self? Follow this link and read a Q&A blog by book promotion consultant, Sandra Beckwith, as she answers several questions about promoting books!
Build your audience
By now, if you don’t know who your audience is, who did you write your book for? Ideally, building your audience begins before you write the first word of your manuscript. If you don’t have an audience, how do you know what to write, who to write to, and what problems are you going to solve for your audience. More importantly, who is going to purchase your book besides friends and family? So how do you build your audience?
- Talk with a new person on social media every day. Introduce yourself, start a conversation. Reach out to someone in your group or another group and see what happens.
- Share, share, share. Your followers are looking for valuable information. There’s so much “posted” out on the internet every day stand out and be different. For example, your audience enjoys learning new ways to think about how to improve their lives or an easier way to do a task. Also, if you aren’t sure what they’re looking for – ask! If I’ve learned one thing in business, you never know unless you ask.
- Interview experts in your industry. Build a rapport with them first but once you’re comfortable do the ask and most of the time they’ll be happy to help and what better way to develop relationships. But more important, after the interview, take the time to thank the person with a written note. They’ve taken their time and that’s huge. Ask how you can help them. Your audience will also thank you.
- Start doing Facebook Lives. I’ll dig into Facebook Lives in my blog next week, but it’s a great way to build your audience and develop more of the know, like, and trust factor.
Let’s face it, it’s important to actively engage on social media, share, and provide beneficial information to your audience but for most of us, if we let it, the time spent on social media could become detrimental to our daily writing or completing revenue-generating tasks. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your time on social media in three separate 10- or 15-minute increments a day. You decide and hold yourself accountable to your timeline:
- Make a plan and stick to it. Have a monthly or weekly topic and stand out from the crowd. What are your fans’ pain points? Stick to one topic a week and delve into it. Provide valuable information to your people so they’ll keep coming back for more. If you have a plan then you aren’t all over the place.
- Have a schedule of when you post and check social media each day. For example, put on your calendar what times you’ll check, i.e., 9:00 a.m., 12:00 and 5:00 p.m. and no cheating. Hold yourself accountable. Hint: If you need an accountability partner, find one! It really works! Quality of time beats quantity of time.
- Schedule your posts. There are different software programs where you can schedule your posts, i.e., Hootsuite or Buffer, and in the last couple of years Facebook allows you to schedule future posts so you don’t always have to post “live.” However, I think sometimes it is nice to see a live post, but scheduling beats nothing if that’s all your schedule allows.
You can build your audience and be consistent posting or checking who liked a post or commented, but if you aren’t engaged with people who follow you, why are you on social media in the first place? Being engaged with your followers develops the know, like, and trust factor which ultimately nourishes the relationship with your followers. Here are some ways you can be active and you’re probably thinking why is she telling me this, but sometimes we overlook the obvious:
- If you post something and someone likes it, say, “thank you.”
- If someone comments on a post, comment back and the conversation will probably continue.
- Ask open-ended questions about what the person does. Tell them what you do. Keep the conversation going. Learn about each other.
- Find other forums to join and don’t just “lurk” but participate.
Remember, promoting your book through social media is possible and it takes some work, but if you build your audience, you’re consistent, and you engage with your fans/followers, you’re moving in the right direction. One of the best things too – you don’t have to do it by yourself. As an author, you want to spend your time writing; find a social media expert who can do the work for you or consult with you on a long-term social media marketing plan.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Peter or me, or we invite you to schedule a complimentary strategy session to discuss how a social media plan can work for you to promote your books!
Until next time,