How Authors Can Leverage Social Media

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Social media is a useful tool for promoting virtually any product. That’s why authors should embrace it. With social media, authors can build their author platform and generate hype for an upcoming book launch while also promoting titles that have already been published.

That said, simply creating a Facebook page for yourself and occasionally posting updates about future releases isn’t enough to reap the full benefits of this tool. Authors who want the best possible results should take the time to develop an effective social media strategy.

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If you’re a writer looking to leverage your social media presence to its full potential, keep the following tips in mind.

Understand & Choose Your Platforms

There isn’t just one social media platform an author can use. Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram can all be very powerful tools. That’s why it’s important to understand the unique kinds of marketing opportunities each one offers.

A recent Pew survey indicates that 79% of American adults using the internet have Facebook accounts. This makes it the most popular social media platform in general. Thus, it’s a smart idea for an author to maintain a visible Facebook presence.

This platform is also valuable because it allows users to create ads and target specific demographics. This helps writers to ensure that the audiences most likely to be interested in their books will see the ads.

However, Twitter should not be overlooked. There are many reasons why maintaining both an active Twitter account and Facebook page is smart. Being able to take advantage of hashtags is a major reason why Twitter can be such a valuable tool for writers.

Although hashtags are also used on Facebook, they’re a much more natural part of the Twitter experience. Authors can use popular hashtags like “#AmWriting” to connect with others in the industry. They can also research genre-specific hashtags to attract followers.

If you’re the type of author who frequently travels for their story, for example, Instagram can be a great way to connect with fans. Posting regular photos along the way allows followers to take the journey from one destination to the next with you. This helps you generate more awareness for your books while also connecting with your audience on a personal level.

Use Tools to Simplify Social Media

Professional authors know that their chosen occupation involves a lot of work. The writing itself is only part of the job. In self-publishing, coordinating all of the moving parts of the publication process, conducting research to enhance your publishing experience in terms of editing and design help, which publishing platform to use, etc. all take up a significant amount of time. To many authors, the idea of adding social media management to their list of responsibilities can be intimidating.

It doesn’t have to be. There are many social media management tools, such as HootSuite, TweetDeck, and Sprout Social, that authors can use to automate the process. These allow authors to schedule posts across platforms and track key metrics. This is especially important if you have a presence on multiple social media platforms. Trying to post regularly on each can be difficult without the help of a scheduling tool. Additionally, while platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow users with business accounts to track key metrics, using one tool to track metrics across your entire social media presence streamlines the process.

Remember to Be Social

Many social media users dislike being advertised to on social media platforms. Authors should understand that using these tools to blatantly promote their books (and nothing else) isn’t the most effective strategy.

Above all, social media should be social. That means your posts shouldn’t exclusively serve to market your books. Those are not the only types of posts followers want to see.

Instead, share content that would be interesting to your ideal customer. For example, you might write non-fiction relationship advice books. Sharing articles or videos that make points similar to those you outline in your books will help you appeal to followers more naturally.

You should also be sure to interact with your followers, as well as other authors in your genre or field. Commenting on or sharing others’ posts reminds your followers that there is a real human behind your social media account.

Track Your Performance

All of these tips will help you develop a stronger social media presence. That said, it’s always important to continuously track and monitor your success.

Pay attention to what types of posts get shared or “liked” most often. Post at different times of day to find out when content is most likely to reach your followers. Experiment with different schedules to find out how frequently you should share information on a given platform.

By applying these tips and monitoring your performance, you’ll build a loyal following that will help you attract more readers than ever before.

 

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Rae Steinbach

Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content as a freelance editor for companies such as Taktical Digital. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing (of course).