Social media is about relationships, and relationships are about communication. When using social media platforms to market your book, the idea is to build the kind of lasting connection with your fans and readers that will naturally lead to them telling others about you and your book. Be the person they want to hear from – not that guy who drones on endlessly about how his amazing book will change their life forever. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Know Your Audience. The first rule of thumb in developing a social media marketing plan is identifying your target reader and where their social media hangouts are. Are they fast-paced movers and shakers, on-the-go types who are likely to prefer the short and sweet world of Twitter? Are they relational types who can be found night and day on Facebook? Are they more serious business types who frequent the water cooler at LinkedIn? Once you know who your target audience is and where they hang out, you can focus more of your time and attention in that arena.
2. Encourage Interaction. Engage your online friends and fans with relevant content that invites and encourages conversation – ask questions, seek their opinion about something or take a poll.
3. Quality Trumps Quantity. A current television commercial opens with a man sitting with a group of young children asking them the question, “Who thinks that more is better than less?” The assumption, of course, is that more is always better than less – any kid knows that. But when it comes to promoting your book on social media, more is not always better; sometimes more is just more. According to a recent study by ExactTarget and CoTweet, more than four in five consumers have ended relationships with brands on Facebook, Twitter or e-mail, “because of irrelevant, too frequent or boring messages.” Don’t be that guy. Posting great content less frequently gives your readers something to look forward to.
4. Embrace the Group Dynamic. In addition to posting on your own social media profiles and pages, join Facebook and LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your topic or are welcoming of authors. Engage in existing group discussions or start your own. Post interesting content on the group pages, including the occasional link or reference to your book, website or blog. No high pressure sales here – just establish yourself as the go-to guy or gal in the area related to your book. Again, this is about building relationships.
5. Include Media. Sprinkle in occasional photos, videos and graphics to capture the attention of your friends and fans. If you create original graphics, be sure to include your website somewhere on the image itself so that if it is shared, people will know where it originated from – and perhaps visit your website to learn more about you and your book.
6. Keep it Brief. Post for the short attention span that most of us have.
7. Be Relevant. Your posts should be relevant to your readers. They don’t want to be hit every day with the social media equivalent of an infomercial pressuring them to buy your book. What they do want is interaction with someone who knows what they are talking about. Whatever your book topic is, establish yourself as an expert in that area with clear and concise content that engages your reader and they will want to hear more of what you have to say (which translates into them buying your book).
Remember – they call it social media for a reason. Relationship is the name of the game. Play to win.