Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…
There’s a social media/networking site for just about everyone. While most people use them to keep up with friends and track down old contacts, businesses and individuals with goods and services to sell are hopping on the bandwagon to round up more traffic and more sales.
Not everyone’s riding that wagon in the right direction. At least, not the right direction for their destination. Social media can be a terrific tool for authors looking to pitch their latest books, but it requires a plan and the right frame of mind. With Social Media Day right around the corner (tomorrow), what better time to get involved in the digital wave of the century?
As you embark on your social media journey, here are some tips to help you along the way:
- Content still is king. Use social media to create high-quality content – NOT marketing copy! Think of your blog as one big corporate white paper or newsletter that you post one piece at a time. These types of communications are, first and foremost, informational. People should turn to your blog, tweets and Facebook posts because they find them useful or enjoyable. A potential reader is not likely to “follow” or “like” your status because they just love reading marketing copy, and they usually don’t “digg” a sales pitch.
- Remember it’s not all about you. Individuals tend to use social media to focus on themselves, usually to fulfill some need of their own. However, when you’re using social media for business purposes, the format works better when you focus on what you can do for those who read your updates. You’ve got to give to get. Write blogs and post updates with the mindset that you’re providing information to your contacts that will enrich them, not you. As hard a concept as that can be to master, always think about what you can give to your readers – not what your posts can get you – and the loyalty you build will be worth the effort.
- Enjoy a lengthy engagement. Get your name and your book title out there every chance you get by engaging with others on social media. Comment on blogs and leave links to your homepage when it’s appropriate. Now, note the emphasis on “when it’s appropriate.” As already mentioned, your interactions should be selfless, not an excuse to market or plug your wares when it’s unrelated to the topic at hand. Posting a link to a romance novel on a political blog is not appropriate. Multiple posting your book title to bump it to the top of the comments is not appropriate. Spamming is never, ever appropriate.
- Build links, build bonds. Linking is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your site and also help search engines find you more quickly and rank you higher. But be smart about your links. Network with other authors and swap links, even ones writing on the same topic. Your visitors may find them, but they’re visitors may also find you. Your goal is not to get as many visitors as possible, but to get the most appropriate visitors possible. A hundred site visitors who are a great fit for what you have to offer are better than a thousand who aren’t likely to connect with your message.
Be smart and be generous, but above all, enjoy the ride. This is the key to using social media to promote your book.
|ABOUT ELISE L. CONNORS:
Elise works as the Manager of Author Support of Outskirts Press. She also contributes to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com. Elise and a group of talented book marketing experts assist self-publishing authors and professionals who are interested in getting the best possible exposure for their book.