It’s no secret that social media is an essential promotion tool for a newly published author. While there is still value in on-the ground promotion in your local community, social media can generate sales from around the country. Here are some tips to aid you in promoting your book on social media.
1. Establish professional profiles
If you do not have professional profiles on the major social media sites, now is the time to make them! Creating professional profiles can be intimidating, especially if you are newer to social media or you are used to the personal social media account you’ve had for years. In any event, establishing professional social media accounts as an author will help you better connect with your readers, community, and the broader world of books. This is especially true if you write under a pen name.
Create a page for yourself on Facebook that can be “liked” by anyone. Similarly, create a Twitter and Instagram account under your author name. Make sure the branding is consistent between the accounts. For example, use the same profile photo and bio across the different platforms. If you can, use the same username on Twitter and Instagram, and a similar page URL on Facebook.
Keep in mind that while these accounts are professional, they can still showcase your personality. You should highlight your passion for your book and speak in a way that is natural to you. Authenticity is a huge selling point in itself!
2. Facebook groups
In addition to having a professional page, joining Facebook groups will help you use the platform to its greatest potential. Becoming a member of Facebook groups is a great way to narrow down possible readers, instead of posting to the entire world and hoping for the best.
For example, if your book is a historical fiction novel, join a Facebook group for people who are passionate about the specific era of history your novel takes place in. If your book is a memoir about a family, join a Facebook group for genealogists – people who do research on family trees, family history, etc.
Once you become part of a community on Facebook, you can invite people in the group to like your professional author page. You can also invite them to attend any events you might have to promote your book. People are more likely to see these invitations and respond to them if you have previously made a connection and earned trust with the group.
3. Find your Twitter niche
Twitter is also a terrific way to find an audience for your book. Start by following accounts that are of interest to your book topic. From there, you will be recommended other users that you might find interesting. You can use the search bar to search for tweets containing words and hashtags related to your book topic.
Not only that, but you can use Twitter to build relationships with other writers and individuals in your specific community. What sets Twitter apart from other platforms is how interactive it is. Striking up conversations with other users is normal and integral to one’s presence there. By interacting with others in your community, you can build a following, earn trust, and ultimately increase your visibility on the platform.
Additionally, Twitter thrives off the news of the day, or real time information. While Facebook and Instagram postings can be more delayed, people on Twitter talk about what is happening in the moment across the world. This can be seen by observing the “Trending” tab. Take advantage of trends when appropriate for you and your book – if you can make a connection between a trending topic and your work, make it!
4. Use Instagram for visuals
While Twitter and Facebook are great for posts containing both text and images, Instagram is without a doubt the most visual app out of the big social media platforms. On your professional author Instagram account, you can post photo and video content that will attract people to your book. Post photos of your book, pictures that relate to your book’s setting if it is a novel, or interesting photos relating to your book’s topic. If your book is poetry, post short excerpts with accompanying graphics.
Like Twitter, on Instagram you should search for and follow accounts that relate to your book topic, or other authors and industry professionals. Search through hashtags to find content related to your book topic, and make sure to attach relevant hashtags to your posts.
Be sure to utilize the Instagram Stories, Reels, and Live features. Increasingly, these can get more engagement than a post on one’s main profile. Use Stories to post everyday updates – talk directly to your followers about your day, what you are up to in promoting your book, or what your life is like. Be open and authentic, but also be wary of oversharing.
Reels is used to post longer videos, such as a video of you unboxing copies of your book. Instagram Live allows you to interact with your audience in real time. Set a time and theme for an Instagram Live session and advertise it across your other social media channels. Events such as a Q&A session about yourself or your book are great for Instagram Live. Make sure to pay attention from comments from users while you are in the live session.
5. Get involved with Goodreads
Finally, Goodreads is the largest community for readers on the internet. Think of it as a social media site but for people who are very invested in reading, communicating with other readers, and having access to authors. As a published author, you can claim your author profile on Goodreads and use it to promote your book. Goodreads offers the unique opportunity for users to make longer posts than Twitter and Instagram. In turn, readers can leave honest reviews of your book. Goodreads is a great slower-paced addition to your social media promotion toolkit.