Spending lots of time on social media may not result in a huge amount of book marketing success. It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole. By this, I mean that you can spend a lot of time on social networks without reaping any results that are particularly worthwhile. To help turn this around, I'm going to share some of my favorite creative social media ideas, that will optimize your efforts.
You can work smarter and more effectively on social media by following strategies that almost guarantee engagement, which in turn will help you build both your brand and your network.
It’s simply good book promotion, and it’s the kind of advice you should expect from a good book marketing company.
With that in mind, here are my top social media ideas for successfully marketing your book that will help you engage smarter.
Run Social Media Ads
Although you probably know that social ad platforms change frequently, they are, overall, getting better and more user-friendly. This means it’s easier to reach your specific target audience, giving you a greater deal of control over how your money is spent.
Speaking of money, that’s another misconception.
You shouldn’t be spending a lot on ads. You can easily keep your social ad budget to $50 per month at most. When you use these ads correctly and target them the right way, it will offer a boost to your traffic.
There are some great blogs out there that will walk you through social media advertising. I particularly like Social Media Examiner. If you haven’t tried social media ads or threw your hands up several years ago, definitely give them a shot again.
Brand All of Your Images
Canva makes this super simple. Not only can you use their templates to inspire your creativity, but they also make sizing and formatting a breeze.
Your header photos should represent your brand. As a rule, you’ll want to consider sharing more images to increase engagement or promote a new release, giveaway, or discount price promotion.
Once you’ve designed some images in Canva, it’s easy to change up minor details to fit whatever you’re trying to promote.
Make Your Blog Posts Easily Sharable
First, you want to write content that inspires people to share it. But you also want to make it easy to share. And I can’t recommend enough using apps like AddThis or ShareThis that make your posts easily shareable. Plus, if you follow my blog, you’ll see that we use ClickToTweet to create clickable pre-made tweets right within our content.
If you write fiction, make sure you’re teasing upcoming releases and discussing topics and popular culture that interests your target reader.
If you write nonfiction, focus on nuggets of information that your readers can’t help but want to share with their own networks. Think of making things easy, revealing secrets, or smart takeaway advice people can use right away.
Run a Contest That Builds Engagement
Ask fans to share or retweet your posts for a chance to win bonus content, a signed copy of your book, or other fun prizes.
We tried this with my How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon release and it was a huge hit! I let everyone know the first 5 to share and retweet the link to my Amazon book page would receive a free copy, and I got great exposure out of it.
Your network is key to growing your exposure and your reach, don’t take their power for granted!
Get Your Fans Involved
When you market your book on social media, you want to be sure to create really fun opportunities for your fans!
Come up with a unique hashtag and ask fans to share book-related art on social using the hashtag.
If you have a series, you can sweeten the deal by selecting a winner or two to be featured in the back of your next book!
You can also run polls to let fans weigh in on naming characters or towns or helping you make other fun decisions for upcoming books. They will no doubt look forward to buying and reading it to see if their choice was picked!
Ask Good Questions & Encourage Participation
The more your friends and followers engage with you by liking and commenting the more exposure — because social media algorithms often put people’s activity in their friends’ newsfeeds.
In terms of time allotment, I recommend following the 80/20 rule. You should probably plan to spend 80% of your time creating connections and promoting engagement, and 20% of your time actually selling your book.
What this means, is stepping back from shoving your books down their throats. Instead, ask them questions, do polls, share attractive images and get creative when it comes to communicating with fans.
Pre-Schedule Your Social Media Content
Being “good” at social media book marketing doesn’t mean spending all day online.
Instead, you can use a scheduling app like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Later to create and plan your posts in advance, maybe once a week or even twice a month if you’re organized.
Then you just need to post timely content as the opportunity arises.
Pin Important Updates on Your Feed
Do you have a release, upcoming event, or another super important announcement?
Consider pinning it to the top of your Facebook or Twitter profile to ensure everyone sees it and it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of constant feed refreshes.
Host a Release Party on Facebook
Events on Facebook are getting easier and easier to create and execute, so consider one for your next release.
It’s the perfect time to post shamelessly about your book. Invite people by letting them know you’ll be doing giveaways for fun prizes.
Milk the event for all it’s worth. Share it a lot leading up to the big day.
Post Behind-the-Scenes Looks on Instagram
Be personal — you’ll build more loyalty with your fans if they feel more connected to you and your brand. The more human you can be, the stronger that connection.
Post images of your workspace or a page of your upcoming book. Maybe it’s your writing coach (aka cat or dog) and other fun, “get to know you” photos that take you from one of their top authors to someone they really want to know, support, and refer to friends.
Create Pinterest Boards to Inspire
If your audience is predominantly women, Pinterest is a strong option for you.
We’ve had authors start an account for the main character and use Pinterest as an extension of the character and the world they created. This is a fun, unique approach to using the site.
If you’re a visual person, and your topic, theme, or storyline lends itself to imagery, work it to find more potential readers on Pinterest.
Another Pinterest “bonus” is that content gets reshared and reshared over and over again. So unlike the other platforms, where content ages and gets lost quickly with feed refreshes, Pinterest circulates trending ideas for a long time.
Get Creative with Your Social Media Ideas
The takeaway here is that social media is a powerful and important strategy that you should definitely exploit for your book marketing. For optimum results, I encourage you to maximize your time by planning ahead and getting creative rather than only posting your Amazon book link.
Penny Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. (AME) and Adjunct Professor at NYU, is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. To learn more about Penny and AME, visit www.amarketingexpert.com.