Using Social Media to Promote Your Next In-Person Event

book-2160539_1280Finally! Your book is officially published. It’s been a long road to get where you are, but you’ve made it. Now comes the part many authors avoid: promoting it.

A common promotion tactic for authors is to host an in-person book launch event. These can be great for getting the word out about your work while connecting with people in person. This only works if you can actually get warm bodies in the room.

How do you get the word out about your event? You use social media! Here are 6 suggestions to motivate readers to come to your next book signing or other promotional events.

Build Your Online Presence

Before you write the first word of your next best-selling novel, get your social media accounts in order. Think of these profiles as your written 30-second elevator speech. Make them succinct and information-rich.

In the “about” section tell people what you are working on. Or if you already have books available, add links to where readers can buy them. This way the next time you host an event, people can easily look you up to find more information about you. Of course, you may already be behind the 8-ball on this one. Don’t worry – better late than never! Get those profiles built and start posting consistent content and teasers of your work.

Maximize Your Profiles

Once you determine which social media platforms are best for you, spend time making the social-network-76532_1280most of each site. Each social media option acts as its own search engine so make your descriptions robust. Include images and links to your other work. Leave no field empty and no stone unturned. If you know anything at all about keywords, insert them into your copy, but keep your tone and flow natural.

People can tell a lot about a person by just looking at them. Make your first impression a good one by using a high-quality photo of your face, and only your face. Your profile photo should tell people that you are a likable person and someone they can relate to.

But wait, it’s always fun to see pictures that include family members or pets. You can still show off those pictures by creating an Instagram account. Personal images will show who you are behind the scenes and enhance your brand online. Readers love to see what an author’s life is like.

Create Branded Material

Posting only all-word text updates will do more harm than good. Even though it is your job as a writer to write, your message will get lost in the (very large) sea of social media posts. Plus, some of the platforms penalize posts that are text-heavy or text only. To combat this, add a photo, image or video with each post. Links work well too! Adding media better catches the reader’s eye.

If you are creating your own content, brand it with your logo, name or website. That way – if it gets shared – the source is always visible to the audience. Word of caution: make sure you have permission to use the content as copyright infringement is a serious issue.

Not sure where to start to create your own branded graphics? Check out Canva.com, a free drag-and-drop design tool, perfect for creating quick images.

Learn Your Platforms

Often people will post the same thing to each of their social media accounts. Instead, use the different designs and options of these networks to your advantage. For example, the intention of Facebook is to reach out to people you know like friends and family. This is contrary to LinkedIn where here you promote your skill set to a group of strangers. The dimensions of an Instagram post will vary from a Facebook one.

Understand the audience on each site, your purpose for using that platform, and how to best utilize the site with your marketing. Format your message to each platform, which will, in turn, grab the attention of your key audience.

Engage!

Social media is…well, social. That’s the whole point! Use social media platforms to post about more than just your book or upcoming event. Ask your readers questions to get a discussion going, and don’t forget to respond to their comments. Even if the comment is a negative one, don’t take it personally. Your audience is watching so thinking carefully about how to respond – don’t avoid it.

Use social to network with bloggers and other authors. Share their posts with your audience and most of the time, they’ll do the same for you. Consider influencer marketing and give it a try. When done correctly it can be surprisingly effective for reach.

Reuse Your Content

instagram-2166645_1280You don’t need to think of something new to post every time you hop on your accounts.

The algorithms filter your content so your followers may not see your original message the first time around. Using the same posts more than once is okay if you do it appropriately.

Remember, your intention is to create buzz about your event, not to spam your followers. Brainstorm ways you can repurpose the same content. You can pull quotes from a blog, build an infographic on Canva, do a short video, or create a branded image – all using the same piece of content!

Now all you have to do is prepare to speak in front of a massive crowd waiting to know about your book!

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