While there are volumes of information on social media marketing and specific advice for authors. Here are the top five pieces of advice for authors on social media:
- Starting Up: start small, get on one or two platforms and build from there. It’s best to have a solid presence on one or two before building up to more. Ones to consider starting with are Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.
- Don’t “sell” your book often. There is a fine line in sharing information about your book and flat out promoting it. It’s great to let people know your book exists and share relevant news (announcing the publication date, or links to a television interview or a great review, especially when you are thanking the media outlet) but the majority your posts, tweets, etc. should be content driven (on the topic, expertise, related items, etc.) not simply self serving book sales information.
- How to get people to respond? Ask thoughtful and fun questions. Also, instead of waiting for someone to answer a tweet, ask influential people—using their handle in your tweet—you want to hear from directly what they think. For example, @bookreviewer @favoriteauthor @favoriteblogger what book award list do you most anticipate and why? Or where do get your book recommendations? You may be surprised with a great answer!
- Create an editorial calendar. Whether for a blog or social media platform, planning out content in advance—based on seasonal topics, your own news/events, the flow of your book chapters or themes—can help you plan your time and write in advance when you have chunks of time. Always leave room to tie-in current news events.
- Use analytics to track and plan effective strategies. According to experts, Thursdays and Fridays appear to be the best time for engagement on Facebook while 5PM is the best time of the day for Twitter retweets. Here is an infographic of best times to post on social media: thttp://www.quicksprout.com/2015/01/02/what-are-the-best-times-to-post-on-social-media/ In conjunction with knowing the best times for your target audience, there are tools to help you analyze the impact of most of your social media activities: http://venturebeat.com/2013/12/20/top-10-social-media-analytics-tools-the-venturebeat-index/
Start small. Be consistent. Engage the community and show your personality! Don’t be pushy selling your book, rather focus on sharing content. Plan your topics and time, and learn what strategies work best for your target audience. Smith Publicity offers an author social media launch plan to help authors get started. Contact info@SmithPublicity.com for more information.