It’s time for a serious discussion about online presence. What’s the best social media to get the word out about your books? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Ning, Google Plus+… Come on, don’t be shy. Which do you choose and why?
The best social media for your titles is any one you use to its fullest. So when you hear you must have a Facebook and/or Twitter account, nope, that’s not so. Now let’s get to building that strong online presence.
- Conduct a Google search on “Top Social Networking Sites” and you’ll receive a nice list of sites you can explore. Review several sites, then select the site(s) that you are most comfortable with and make your presence there. No matter which you choose, you’ll need to nurture your account to build a strong online presence. The time and commitment needed to nurture your account will help you determine how many different types of social media you will venture into.
- Everything you do for your book, think return on investment. Your time is money. It is better to invest quality time in one location that you can nurture your relationship with your target audience than spread yourself over several networks and not make a true connection with your target audience.
- Find your target audience, get to know them and hopefully they will join your network. I know many of you are saying that is a given, but you’d be shocked how many authors waste time trying to add everyone to their networks without rhyme or reason. In the end, they may have 1000’s of members in their network(s), but not many of those 1000s are in their target audience and/or few will purchase the author’s books.
- Most social media sites have groups of some sort. Join and participate in groups that contain your target audience. When you attend signings, conferences, do guest posts… be sure to include links to your information. Make it easy for your target audience to join your network.
- After you’ve joined groups and have participated, gotten the feel of the group, allowed people to get to know you, you will need to let others know you have what they want—A downright excellent book they won’t want to put down. Promotion is a good thing, but don’t become an infomercial. Readers like to feel as if they know you. Continue engaging the group about your book and other topics, increasing their interest in you and not just your book. Don’t forget to promote your opt-in mailing list. Your opt-in mailing list is an excellent way to market directly to your target audience. Here’s an article on the importance of opt-in mailing lists: Everybody Loves Me.
- Okay, you’ve found your target audience and are engaging them in the social media of your choice, and they are joining your network and mailing list. GREAT! Keep up the great work. If you have several accounts, you may find it difficult to keep up with them. So for your promotion posts, you may want to try a tool such as Hootsuite. This tool allows you to schedule posts. So you could write a message about your latest title and schedule it to post on several of your sites at once. This tool also has great tracking functionality.
- Tracking is very important. You want to know if your social media campaigns have increased your sales, mailing list, loyal base. Let’s say you’ve been mingling with a particular group, then announce in the group that your new book is available on Amazon and you give links to Amazon and your website. Did your sales increase? Look at your website’s statistics (Google Analytics works for most platforms if yours doesn’t have stats). Are readers visiting your website? Are they clicking the purchase links? Are they joining your mailing list? If not, why? Change your strategy until you receive the desired results.
I don’t want to put you on information overload, so next month I’ll go more into tracking your statistics and your website.
One last thing. Here’s a neat little Social Media Comparison Chart you may find handy.
Now go out there and build a strong web presence.
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