By: Caroline @Culture Coverage
For self-published authors and writers of any kind, social media holds the key to free online marketing and a worldwide audience with their ebook. As those publishing their own work likely don’t have the budget from a comprehensive promotional team, these easy and free-to-use platforms offer the perfect alternative, so long as you can properly harness their power. In this article you will see the basics how to promote your ebook on social media.
It’s not enough to post a link to your book’s Amazon page on the day of its release; finding success on social media is a carefully crafted and well-thought-out pursuit. This guide provides the basics to start building a far-reaching and efficient social media marketing campaign.
Establishing a Presence
With success on these types of sites based largely on number of followers, likes and shares, it can take a while build up your accounts in order to have the greatest promotional success. Forward planning is essential.
It’s no use setting up your first Facebook or Twitter account a week before your book is about to go out to the publisher. Instead, give yourself as much time as possible and work on building up your followers and making your presence known to them.
Once you’ve attracted a large enough following, your social media accounts basically act like a giant mailing list where you can focus the information about your books and how to buy them.
Post Frequently but Not Excessively
Establishing a presence means staying active, and this is one of the biggest problems a marketing campaign of this nature poses. Fans need a constant stream of good quality, relevant content in order to keep their attention on your pages. The more often you post, the more chance there is that potential new readers will stumble across your accounts and invest in your product.
However, there is a flip side to this. Excessive posting can easily be seen as spam and will turn away just as many readers as it attracts. While on platforms like Twitter there’s no harm in reposting a tweet a few times a day, constant repetition or posts will begin to grate on your followers.
Similarly, superfluous statuses about what you had for breakfast or the fact you’re going shopping is not likely to drum up support. Keep it thematic and relevant to your work.
Interactivity Is the Key to Success
Content is just as important as frequency when posting on social media. As previously mentioned, one essential factor is keeping it significant, but another key strategy is to create interactivity. Not only do fans love the opportunity to talk to their new favorite author, this sort of activity also increases your visibility on the platforms because of the algorithms used to work out what is visible in the news feeds of users.
Invite discussions by asking followers questions surrounding the themes in your work, or create polls for idea feedback. It’s also important to remember that visuals are more impacting than text, so add as many pictures to the mix as possible.
Ebook Releases on Social Media
Once you’ve created an active, interactive and comprehensive social media presence, you’re ready to prepare for your actual product release. Once you’ve set a date, you should plan your marketing campaign to take place in the run-up. Many people believe they don’t need to start sharing and posting until the book is out for sale, but they’re losing valuable time by waiting.
Update your followers on all the key events, such as finished drafts, returned products from your beta reader, finalized cover design, etc. As soon as you have a date, set up an event and invite people. If you market right, this event will grow and grow, and your first-day sales will significantly benefit.
Another great tactic is to set up a competition: in exchange for likes, shares or retweets, offer users a place in a prize drawing that will give one winner an exclusive copy of your book. However, it’s important you stay within the term and conditions of any specific platform.
On the day of the release, the spam rules go out the window: post as much as you can—everything from pictures, reviews, snippets, quotes, opinions, and sale statistics. Flooding the pages of your followers, only when necessary, means they know when it’s time to pay attention.
Protecting Your Investment
Finally, but perhaps most often overlooked, there’s no use creating a comprehensive marketing campaign only to have it brought down by harmless malware and frustrating hacks. Malvertising is an increasingly common type of security breach in which suspicious links are sent from an account to all of your followers. While they provide no substantial risk, users are so weary of the problem that they’ll be quick to disconnect from your accounts for their own safety.
The most common cause of this is password infiltration, which can happen for a number of reasons. To minimize your risk, be sure to keep your passwords complex and unique, and change them every few months. Similarly, you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) in order to stop your details being intercepted while on unsecure public WiFi networks. VPN review site Secure Thoughts provides a more comprehensive explanation of this if you want more information.
Social media is far too useful a tool for any ebook author to overlook. In terms of reach, cost and ease, it’s by far the leading promotional option for self-publishers. So what are you waiting for? If you haven’t already set up your accounts, then head over and do it now!
About the Author: Caroline is a blogger and long-time marketing expert. She has long harnessed the power of social media for her own projects and is always happy to share what she’s learned with others. You can find Caroline on Twitter at: @CultureCovC