No one could have predicted twenty years ago how important social media would become. But it certainly has become important with over 2 billion people using Facebook every month and the platform achieving advertising revenue of over £2 billion per month.
Social media is effectively a place for conversations and sharing. While one of the major uses of social media is keeping in touch with friends and family around the world, it is also a platform for people of similar interests to communicate with one another. On it you will find authors, readers, editors, journalists, bloggers, reviewers and many potential customers.
Why be on social?
• Reach a huge number of people for free! It’s that simple.
• Tell the world about your book.
• Update and inform your fans on news, changes, events and promotions.
• Engage with your readers in a way no other marketing allows.
• Have a public presence which is easily accessible and reached in a number of different ways.
• Send people to your website/shop.
• Build a reputation as a trusted source.
• Lead trends, show authority and knowledge in your field and endorse your book.
• Monitor and control public opinion: you can manage your online presence and your reputation.
• Become part of a social media community: support and be supported by other authors.
• Target users with relevant interests.
• Show up more in search engine results – not only for your book but for targeted searches.
• Learn from your readers, see what works, and what information is of most interest.
• Listen to what people are saying about your book, about you, about the genre, and about other books in your genre.
There are many social media platforms out there, each with their own special customer base and reach, so it is essential that you focus your efforts in the right place. The biggest social media platforms are currently Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn and Google Plus. Facebook and Twitter are great for networking, conversations and promotion of all kinds. Facebook advertising can also be hugely effective. Image sharing sites such as Instagram and Pinterest are especially useful for image-heavy books or where the subject of the book is image-related. They are also useful for sharing quotes, giving snippets from the book, and all manner of promotion. You could also create a book trailer, instructional video or slideshow and publish it on YouTube. 5 billion videos are watched on Youtube every single day. Yours could be one of them!
Important points to remember at all times:
• Get your strategy planned before you even set up an account.
• Social media is social. Don’t just post. Listen and learn how to engage.
• Be polite, accurate, professional, consistent and authentic.
• Build relationships, just as you would through traditional networking.
• You don’t have to be on every platform. Quality is more important than quantity!
Social media is invaluable for spreading the word about you and your book. It is a great way to connect with people, target particular audiences and reach a huge number of people. Social media is one of the most effective tools for book and author promotion. The options really are endless!