How To Use Social Media To Market Your Book In 2020
If you think that by completing your book you have reached a finish line, you are in for a surprise. While content is gold, it is also important to realize that it needs to reach the right readers or consumers. According to the bestselling author Michael Hyatt, “Marketing is really just about sharing your passion.” Through the course of this blog, we will explore various steps and mediums that will help you share your passion with the world. If you are an author, there are predominantly two ways you can go about your marketing strategy. First, you can hire an agency that specializes in book marketing. The second one involves you taking the matter into your own hands. If you are planning to opt for the second option then the following tools will help you out.
We are living in the ‘age of information’ and social media is your holy grail. The technological status-quo is conducive for writers to promote and market their work to an audience. Social media, if navigated right, is all you will ever need to reach that success. Before we dive into different social media platforms and their optimum usage, there are certain steps that one should take to increase social media presence.
#1 Create a Website
Creating your own website is imperative to provide the reader with an insight into your work. There are many platforms that help users to create their own websites such as Wix.com, WordPress, or Squarespace. Here is what your favorite authors are doing to keep their website trending and relevant: Guy Kawasaki, Robert Herjavec, Roxane Gay, and Chimamanda Adichie.
#2 Author’s Bio
While working on your website or other social media pages it is paramount to create a compelling author’s bio. A reader needs to get acquainted with the writer before reading their work. This also helps in bringing in credibility. If you are a non-fiction writer, it is recommended to mention your field of study or accomplishments. A fiction writer too can and should mention their accomplishments alongside their passion. Ideally, an author bio should be what you would want your readers to know about you that would get them interested in your work.
#3 Content Is King
Your book could be the next bestseller material but if it does not reach the audience, all the effort becomes futile. There are different methods to create a buzz or interest amongst your potential readers. An important thing to note here is that you need to know your audience. Who did you write the book for? Where will you find these readers? Once you have a clear answer to these questions, you can narrow down on the platform where you target these readers. One method that works well across all platforms is “teasing your work.” If you are a non-fiction writer, it would be a great idea to put out a piece of specific information that only your book provides. This will increase inquisitiveness inside the person who consumes this information. For example, ‘The Rule Of 10,000 Hours’ is extremely known and comes from Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. If you are a fiction writer, making a book trailer could be of great advantage. A visual representation of your work would capture more interest. Check out these book trailers for inspiration: Wild by Cheryl Strayed, The ‘Scion Of Ikshvaku’ by Amish, Everless by Sara Holland, and Sita – Warrior Of Mithila by Amish.
#4 Promoting Your Book
There are primarily two routes one can take while promoting their book i.e. offline promotions and online promotions. Offline promotions will include book tours, meet and greets, or book readings. These are handled by professional agencies that can assist you with the process. In case you are interested in the online methods or now that we are in the middle of a pandemic, there are several social media strategies available. The following are a few:
Running social media campaigns
Social media strategies and campaigns essentially target getting maximum user visitations to your site or work. This step includes influencer marketing. Many social media influencers or pages are dedicated to book reviews and have a massive following. Getting in touch with such influencers would be beneficial in driving traffic towards your book. You always have YouTubers called BookTubers who review books on a weekly or monthly basis. Here’s a look at what’s been trending:- crimebythebook, amysbookshelf, Epic Reads, and Jen Campbell.
Virtual Book Clubs
You can engage more potential readers by hosting virtual book clubs over a Zoom meeting or Facebook. The idea is to bring in readers who have already read your book and discuss the major themes and elements. This may spark interest in the new readers to take up your book. There are also several Facebook Book Clubs where one can self-promote their books such as- Roxy’s Book Lovers and Authors. Also check out the following book clubs for inspiration- Lily Lit Club, onceuponabookclubbox, Hello Sunshine, and GatesNotes.
Strong Hashtag Game and Giveaways
If your hashtag game is strong, you can never go wrong! It is beneficial to check out trending hashtags on Twitter or Instagram. See if your work and what is trending has any similarities or relevance. Create a hashtag or a tagline accordingly. Even if your book does not coincide with trendy topics, you can always make your hashtag quirky and trending. There are sites such as best-hashtags that will help you with relevant tags to increase social media visibility. Another way to gain more readers is by doing Giveaways. Everybody loves free stuff! Asking your readers to promote your social media post in the form of a contest with a prize will increase user engagement.
Checking Out Competition
This rule is not just specific to promotion but to your entire marketing process. It is important to do your research in terms of your audience and your competitors. This will give you an understanding of what is working and what is not. The aim of your research should be to come up with unique ideas to distinguish your work from the rest of the clutter. You can ensure this by having your own unique hashtag or creating social media events specific to the theme of your book. It is also advisable to check out your contemporaries and parallel mediums of advertising. Observe social media strategies & campaigns that were conducted for books in your genre. Take note of what worked and what did not to ensure success.
Now that we have covered bases on the initial steps we will look into some of the social media platforms. We will also explore how to use these platforms to their optimum advantage.
At this point, we all know that Facebook is one of the biggest social media platform out there with over a billion users. To effectively market or promote your book on this platform it is advisable to create your own public page instead of a private profile. Making a public page gives other users the option to “like” your page and provides analytics. It also makes it easier for people to search for you. A big aspect of this platform deals with Facebook ads which are highly recommended. One can explore this option by logging into Facebook Ad Manager or check out Facebook for Business. Doing Facebook lives for the launch of your book is another great step to engage and increase your online community.
Instagram is a highly visual medium. It runs predominantly on concise and precise content. While on Instagram, it is imperative to focus on your posts and hashtags. As mentioned before, using the right hashtags will help you with algorithms and make you more visible. Instagram also contains a very strong influencer market. Target the right influencers to promote your work. One can also advertise on Instagram depending on their budget. Check out Instagram Business for some valuable insight on the same.
Goodreads is a social media platform with over 30 million members specifically for readers. It was launched in 2007 and is currently owned by Amazon. Millions of readers from around the world post book reviews and rate books on the site. It is a great platform for your book reviewers to drop their reviews ensuring exposure for your work. Once you have created your profile on Goodreads you can search their database for your book. In case they have not updated it, you can manually add your book by going here. After this process, you will have the option to send a request to join the Author Program. To find out more visit the Goodreads Author Program.
If “less is more” is your mantra, then Twitter is the perfect platform for you. Twitter is a very strong social media platform that works on a character limit of 280 characters per tweet. This does not include attachments such as GIFs or videos. Twitter has over 326 million average monthly users. Along with working as a social networking site, it also gives a user the search option. Twitter is a great medium to communicate with your followers and keep them up to date with your work. There are various social media strategies to market your book on Twitter such as hosting Twitter chats, promoting tweets, or using Twitter Ads Manager.
If you are a non-fiction writer, platforms such as Quora will act as a great boon. Quora functions on users posting questions and answers. The answers are either factual or are opinions. It is one of the most highly-rated question and answers community in the world. Quora will facilitate your research process. One can find organic answers to their questions from users around the world. Quora is also a great platform to start a buzz around your book with the right kind of engagement on the questions posted.
The above mentioned are some of the main platforms out there. You can also check out Reddit, YouTube, Pinterest, or Tumblr. If you are writing non-fiction, platforms like Reddit are highly recommended. These mediums allow you to do an informal market check or survey by asking specific questions to other users. You can gauge interest in your topic by analyzing engagement. Similarly, if you are a fiction writer YouTube, Pinterest and Tumblr are viable platforms. As mentioned before YouTube book video trailers and reviews have been proved highly effective for marketing. However, study your audience and then pick the platform accordingly.
It is a misconception that you need to have massive funds in order to run successful social media strategies & campaigns. You can do the same with a small budget or no budget at all! The important thing is to be smart about it. The major idea behind every post should be to communicate better with your readers. Like everything else in life, social media too is all about finding the right fit. As a writer, you will always have an avenue to promote and market your book with the existence of social media. Now, it is time to get online and get your book out for the world to read. Happy scrolling!