From Ingram Spark:
Social media writer’s block. It’s a thing! You have no problem hammering away at an 80,000-word novel, but when it comes to a 280 character tweet? Forget about it! You end up posting about what you had for dinner or what you did during the day, and nobody seems to be listening… or following. If that sounds like you, then these 13 social media marketing tips are just what you need.
Before digging in, let’s answer the elephant in the room:
Why do authors need to be on social media?
Think about it like this: You have this great idea for a new surfboard company; you’ve taken out a loan, and you pour your heart and soul into this company. And then you open your store… in Kansas City. Unless you’re a mail-order business, you probably aren’t going to sell a lot of surfboards. It’s not that your surfboards are bad. The more realistic reason you aren’t selling any is that you have your audience all wrong. Social media helps you target and find your audience.
If social media content doesn’t come naturally to you, you aren’t alone. As a writer, you spend the majority of your working time away from other people. When you finish your book, it can be difficult to switch into social mode.
The first thing you should think about is this: you probably didn’t just finish your book without setting author goals. You should apply this principle of having goals for your social media marketing as well.
You wrote a great book! Now use the 13 tips below in your social media marketing strategy to start finding readers for it! Don’t let the number scare you—these are quick goals and require a daily time investment of no more than 10 to 20 minutes.
Let’s get started!
1. Ask Yourself: Who Are You Writing For?
Is your goal as a writer to sell 1,000,000 copies?
Great! Lots of writers have done that. But no writer who has sold 1,000,000 copies just steps out the door and says, “my audience is everyone.” They know who their book was written for, and they go after those people in their book marketing.
Before you think too hard about what you’ll say, consider who you’ll say it to. You don’t start any social network with followers, after all. So, where do you find your target audience?
Start by following people you actually want to follow. Don’t follow 5,000 people just so they’ll maybe follow you back.
Follow people you genuinely want to interact with—and people who would actually interact with you.
Once you’re following them, show you have an interest in what they’re saying by responding to their tweets and engaging in conversations. Never forget, social media marketing is a two-way street. When you understand who you’re writing for, your social media presence will start to grow organically.
There are several free and paid tools to help you. The most obvious places to start are social networks—namely Facebook and Twitter.
2. Find a Consistent Voice
You’re a writer, so you probably know all about your writing voice. That voice should carry over to social media as well. Don’t post uninspired tweets—show that you really enjoy doing this, and you aren’t doing it because someone is twisting your arm.
Knowing who your audience is and what they’re saying about you does another important thing for your book marketing: it helps you find the right message to communicate.
Maybe you’ve sold a few hundred books already, but you have zero interaction when it comes to your social accounts. You speak to your readers, but no one seems to care. When you know who your audience is, you can begin making a message that’s directed to them, and that they actually respond to. You should always be yourself—but be yourself in a way your readers can connect to.
If you notice that all your readers who follow you are 20-somethings, then maybe it’s time to stop live-tweeting every time Murder She Wrote comes on TV; if they’re mostly on the East Coast, then they probably won’t understand all of your In-N-Out Burger references; if you get negative sentiments from a tweet you posted about not wanting to have a baby, then you can probably assume that many of your readers are parents and you should lay off the topic.
3. Create a Social Calendar
Your social media shouldn’t be random—”I’ll post when I feel like it or when something pops in my head.” It should be strategic. There will be times where you’ll add something in the moment, and there’s nothing wrong with that. At the very least, you should be scheduling one social media post a day on Twitter, and two posts a week on Instagram and Facebook.
When you’re creating a schedule, it helps to be thematic. Mondays are for tweeting quotes, Tuesdays are for posting reviews, etc. Knowing the type of post you will publish on any given day will help you avoid having social media writer’s block.
Link to the rest at Ingram Spark