A four-minute read.
Finding a balance between your personal voice and marketing goals on social media is a lot easier than it appears. With the vast differences between the major platforms, it’s more about finding the one that suits your communication style. Most people have one, maybe two platforms they naturally excel at and generating quality content is more than enough of a task for the average author already, so the best thing to do is maximize your reach on the platform you most enjoy.
Once you have your direction narrowed down it’s ideal to review the ideal times to post and schedule your strongest posts around when users are more inclined to receive it. This also leaves the rest of your time open to post more freely, both about your thoughts and interests or little nuggets about your book that are subtler.
Do you feel like you excel at bold statements that inspire people to tell their friends? It sounds silly, but being a master at short, under 240 characters to be exact, quips is ideal for Twitter. To be fair, you need to be less than 240 characters if you plan to extend your reach with hashtags, and you really should. One of the appeals of Twitter is the ability to reach thousands of people you would never have gotten contact with a single trending post. An easy goal to gain new followers is to get your post retweeted, or shared, by someone with a large following, this mixed with a few strong hashtags can extend your reach quickly.
Twitter gives you a ticker of what is trending currently and mixing them with relevant hashtags to the content of your post will help you gain traction. Utilizing sites like Hashtagify.me to home in on the most popular tags for your content is extremely useful, especially since you should limit yourself to 2-5 tags to maximize visibility. You might also want to follow some trending hashtags yourself, so you can see what’s currently being talked about in the publishing world.
Another huge bonus to Twitter compared to other platforms is that it’s acceptable to repeat posts over the course of a single day. Once you have a few hundred followers you’ll notice how fast posts can get pushed through twitter’s feed and posting the same thing a few times a day will barely be noticed, which is excellent for product marketing. Just be aware you need to keep up with consumable content to keep your followers hooked, you’re a person, not an advertisement.
Facebook is the easiest of the platform to build relationships with real people across the world, which is rather fitting with their slogan “a place for friends”. This also makes Facebook the hardest for small businesses who heavily rely on customer loyalty. For targeted ads on Facebook, some marketers recommend spending upwards of $50 a day to grow your reach.
What Facebook is great for is finding people you know, people they know, and groups of people with a common interest. Who better to sell your graphic novel about the life of cats than to the Facebook group you’ve been posting pictures of Fluffy to? Facebook makes it the easiest to diversify your following and target market without spamming people who are not interested (we don’t want to be looked at like the “friend” you haven’t talked to in years that is trying to pitch some multilevel marketing product). A little mindfulness goes a long way.
A lot of authors I have talked to about their social media marketing plans endorse finding an active writer’s group on Facebook and becoming part of the community. Most groups are excited to share tips, proofread segments of your work, and give strong feedback during the writing process, and potentially purchase your book when it’s completed and published!
It’s all about pictures and imagery on Instagram, sharing everything from memes to photography it’s by far the most colorful social media platform. This does pose an interesting hurdle for an author: unless your book is full of pictures what can Instagram do for you, right? This is where it’s time to get creative. Post that picture of you typing at your desk, or the hand-written chapter outline you’re following! Is your dog being a good boy sitting with you by your desk? Or is your cat climbing all over you being a distraction? These are all easy ways to clap back to your book and keep people interested in your writing process.
Sharing memes and conceptual art that reference parts of your book are really fun ways of gaining attention to your book’s content, so share that cloudy London morning photo, just be sure to credit the original artist if you can. Hashtags are important on Instagram as well, but there are fewer restrictions on how many you can post to affect your reach. You can follow a hashtag you’re interested in on Instagram and it will show posts in your feed from people you’re not following. The major flaw with product marketing on Instagram is your image is not a hyperlink to your product and you must rely on people reading the text associated with your image or add the link to your bio.
You probably have a LinkedIn as your online resume, but have you thought about posting some of your writing on their feed? It is a more business-focused social media site with a more cut and dry approach, but this makes it easier for you to connect with authors with a more marketing-centric focus as well as other work-related connections you have made over the years. LinkedIn is great for finding new careers and is a tool for employers to scout new talent, so if you’re looking for a career in writing this is a must.
Hashtagging is just as important here as on the previous sites but having one strong hashtag will take you a lot farther on LinkedIn. You can again follow relevant hashtags to your interests and share other people’s content that is pertinent to you, keeping a strong professional tone to your feed will build your credibility and open doors the other sites can’t offer.
Once you have a platform, you’re comfortable with, it’s time to build a following. Most social media sites have a plethora of apps available to help you plan the right time to post and aid in following people with similar interests to you. Finding a free service to fit your needs is extremely easy, and most services have the option to upgrade to a paid service if you find it’s something your marketing plan needs.
One service I personally endorse is Crowdfire, it makes it easy to post to all social media platforms at one time and gives you the option to post at the best time for visibility. Crowdfire also curates articles based on your interests and allows for easy sharing on your page. This feature also sends people some of your posts to share on their feeds, as mentioned above this can be crucial for gaining new followers.
Find an app that takes some of the work out of marketing. There are many; I recommend finding one that is specific to your main social pages as well as something like Crowdfire. Apps that are site-specific usually offer a crowd control feature to help you follow and unfollow people easier, including stats on your strongest and weakest followers helping you choose who to interact with strategically.
Originally published on Anewpress.com, November 9, 2018