But you may be wondering, “What can I do to reach even more readers?”
Reaching out to the press, contacting book clubs, and reading at bookstores are great ways to promote your book offline. To reach potential readers across the U.S. and around the world, you need to use social media.
The thought of creating an online presence can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. All you need are 30 minutes a day and these 8 tips.
8 Social Media Tips Every Author Needs to Know
- Decide who your intended audience is and use the social media networks that your readers are most likely to use. For example, if you write young adult fiction, you’ll want to have a presence on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. If your readers are primarily women, create accounts on Facebook and Pinterest. I’m not suggesting that you limit your online presence to those websites; I’m recommending that you include these networks and focus some of your energies on them.
- With more than 1 billion people now using Facebook, it’s hard to ignore this social media behemoth. Creating a profile (profiles are for people and pages are for products, books, authors, businesses, and services) on Facebook is your first step. Your second step is to create a Facebook page so that you can promote your book, blog posts, signings and workshops.
- Allocate 30 minutes a day to your social media marketing. In the late afternoon or evening, spend 15 minutes being social. Like your Facebook fans’ posts, add comments, and share information or images that your friends post.
In the mornings, spend 15 minutes curating information for your posts by scanning your friends and followers’ posts and using one or more of these websites.
- AllTop This is the top online source for the hottest trending information on the entire blogosphere.
- BoardReader This search engine crawls the web in search of trending topics posted on social media networks.
- Technorati This website lists and categorizes the day’s top blogs.
- TweetMeme Use this website to uncover the day’s hottest messages on Twitter.
Alternatively, you can use one of these applications to find the most relevant news in your niche.
- News360 Use this application on your Windows PC, iPhone, iPad, or Android to aggregate news on any topic you select. This website also claims it can recommend future articles for you by analyzing your previously saved items.
- TweetedTimes This application curates information for you by scrolling through the tweets in your news feed and ranking them.
- Once you have the information you want to post, use a social media dashboard such as HootSuite or Buffer to space your posts throughout the day. (Note: I only recommend use an application to schedule your posts for Twitter and LinkedIn. On Facebook pages, users can schedule their posts within the status update box.)
- Twitter is tremendous (and my favorite social media network). Use hashtags (#) to target your tweets so that users searching for a new book just like yours will find it. Genre hashtags are common – #chicklit, #romance, #memoir, #erotica, #YA – as well as the hashtag #readers. You can even create your own hashtag to track mentions of you and your book. Follow 20 new users daily, use an application such as Tweepi or JustUnfollow to drop users who don’t follow you back, and retweet different users each day.
- To make the most of your presence on LinkedIn, use keywords throughout your profile description and add skills that your connections can endorse. In addition, join two or three groups and become an active participant. The groups are the best part of LinkedIn because you can learn from other members, share your experience and expertise, and without directly marketing your book, find new readers.
- Pinterest is a fun social media channel that excels at driving traffic to your website, blog, and wherever you sell your book online. Create a pinboard titled Favorite Books and add your book to the list. Start a pinboard with your blog’s name and pin the images you include in your posts. Add photos to a pinboard dedicated to the city where your novel takes place. The possibilities are endless.
- If you’re not yet on Google+, consider joining. Google is the most trafficked website in the world and it’s only natural that Google would give preference to its own products. When you complete your profile, be sure to provide links to your website, blog and social media venues where you are the author of the content. Adding these links will improve your search engine optimization.
Now it’s your turn to share your own social media tips.
About the Author
Frances Caballo is a social media trainer, strategist and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books. She helps writers attain their social media marketing goals. Presently, she is the Social Media Editor for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, Redwood Writers (the largest chapter of the California Writers Club), and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.
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