Authors, What’s Your Social Media Game Plan?

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Every book you write is an invitation to potential readers, clients, and influencers. It’s a chance for them to connect with your stories. That will only happen if you can get your book in their hands. How do you do that?

Create a social media game plan.

Social media should be a key part of your marketing strategy. Here are some important reasons why:

  1. It’s an inexpensive way to get your book in front of a large audience.
  2. It refers traffic to your website, blog, landing pages, and vendors so they can purchase your book.
  3. Social media is filled to the brim with avid readers looking for new content.
  4. It’s a great keystone to building enthusiastic fans and a strong community that supports your work.
  5. It’s a unique opportunity to connect with your readers.
  6. Where else can you see a fan from another part of the world share a picture of your book on their Kindle for all to see?
  7. It’s an effective marketing tool.
  8. It helps readers connect with you on an emotional level so that they’re more invested in buying your books.
  9. You can help people in real time.
  10. You can build up momentum and enthusiasm for an upcoming book, or relaunch an older title to introduce new readers to your content.

So how do you get started?

You begin with your end goal. What do you want to accomplish with social media?

  • Launch new products and services
  • Engage with readers
  • Build your author platform and become visible
  • Gain feedback and provide customer service
  • Sell more books
  • Build your mailing list
  • Reinvigorate your author career

There are a hundred other reasons, but they all start with visibility and building your author platform. You must have a consistent image across each social media network. Your name, description/about section, professional headshot (do NOT use a selfie), and website should be visible.

Now, you need to create a plan of action.

  1. Connect with your readers by asking them what they like, sharing things you enjoy, and responding to comments.
  2. Show the behind-the scenes effort of writing a book. You can create Instagram Stories of your author day. Take some pictures of your morning beverage next to your handwritten, and slightly blurred, notes to show that you’re ready to get started.
  3. Spotlight interesting facts that you found when researching your book.
  4. Encourage readers to post pictures of your book in their hands or on their mobile device. This serves as an extra helping of social proof that gets others interested in your book, as well.
  5. Host a live unboxing of your print books, author swag, or fan mail so that others can participate in your joy.
  6. Create ads that are compelling and connect with your ideal reader.
  7. Use images and video to capture the senses.
  8. Create unique content geared toward a specific platform. Hashtags are great on Twitter and Instagram, but are ignored on Facebook. The only exception to this would be keyword hashtags in groups to make things easier to find.
  9. Decide how you will respond to specific types of comments. This is called a response matrix, and it will save you a lot of time and creative energy if you have it set up ahead of time. If you have a reader who complains about download problems with a particular vendor, have contact information for that company ready to copy and paste. If you receive spoiler comments about your latest book, be prepared with a response. Do you ignore it? Do you delete it, and explain the situation? If you receive a critical review on your Facebook page, how will you handle it? Arguing won’t do you any favors. If you have a response ready to go, it can help separate your heart from the situation so that you don’t type anything you’ll regret. Fans and readers are watching how you handle potentially negative situations.
  10. Create quality content for your readers. If you’ve built a fictional town in East Texas, provide a town map for them to download. If you’ve created a compelling book on leadership, have a free printable that will coincide with your chapter affirmations.
  11. Ensure that your posts maintain the brand you want to portray. If you’re an author, the last thing you want is for your readers to be turned off by your spelling mistakes. Take your time.
  12. Schedule ahead of time. If you’ve got a launch, prepare your social media in advance and save yourself the misadventure of last minute panic. Create social media content for your most avid supporters and ask them to post on specific dates to support your book launch.

What social media strategies do you use?

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