With so many social media platforms to choose from, it’s hard to decide where to put our energy these days. If we were to create an online presence on each platform, we’d surely spread ourselves too thin and there wouldn’t be enough time for writing. So how then do we decide where to put our efforts when it comes to social media marketing?
I’ve always told my clients and students, put your energy where it’s best served. Find two or three platforms that work for you and focus your time and energy there … in limited doses, of course! If we’re not careful, social media can become time consuming. While gaining a presence online can be beneficial to building our platform, it should be scheduled into our day, just like our writing time, and not something that consumes our entire day, as it does for so many. Remember, the goal here is to enhance productivity so we have more time for what we do best … writing!
Here are three social media platforms I recommend for authors:
1. GoRead: If you haven’t heard about GoRead yet, then listen up, because this is the fastest growing social media platform for readers and authors. Joining this platform is an incredible opportunity for authors to not only gain readership and increase book sales, but to also make money from the platform while growing your social media following. While you can create a free social media profile on GoRead, you may consider joining the GoRead Buzz program if you’re an author. There is a small monthly fee for GoRead Buzz, but with your monthly membership you get an author profile that doubles as a website designed for social media marketing and a store where you can sell your books and other products as well. I even sell my digital online courses there!
With GoRead Buzz, you can create a new revenue stream by writing short form articles, all while learning how to market yourself and gaining more followers on social media. They actually pay you for contributing articles on their platform, and you can submit a new article every seven days. Monthly membership fees go into a global fund, and you earn shares of the revenue for writing articles, sharing content and posting on their platform. Your monthly membership comes back to you multiplied so it’s well worth the investment, not to mention the boost in book sales authors typically receive once they become active on the platform.
2. Facebook: Chances are you’re already on Facebook, but do you know how to make it work in your favor as an author? First, you’ll want to create an author page if you are published or if you’re writing a book so you’ll have an engaged audience to which you can market your book upon publication. This is separate from your personal page, but you’ll need a personal page before you can create a business/author page on Facebook. Once you do, post relevant information to your area of expertise that your target audience will find beneficial. With Facebook’s algorithms, it’s not as easy as it once was to grow our business pages without paid advertising, but it’s still a good idea to regularly add content to your author page so you show valuable content when your future readers seek you out.
Next, find groups to join where your target reader/audience might be hanging out. For example, romance writers can find several groups where romance readers congregate, and what better place to meet new fans than in groups who are dedicated to your genre? Perhaps you’re a non-fiction writer in the yoga niche; there are hundreds of yoga groups to choose from. Search your keywords under the “groups” tab to find groups relevant to your niche.
Remember, the goal while posting in groups is not to market yourself or your books, and often self-promotion is forbidden by the admins, so be sure to read and adhere to the guidelines of each group you join. You are there to build relationships and add value to the conversation. If you do so in a non-spammy way, your following will begin to grow. As with anything, this takes time, so get started sooner rather than later. Find a few Facebook groups you can join today and set aside time each day to get active there. Focus on contributing quality and interact with the other members with the goal of adding value to the conversation and you may be find you’re pleasantly surprised by the connections you make!
You may even consider taking this one step further by starting your own Facebook group (check out my new group here), but if you decide to go this route be sure you’re ready for the commitment. Growing and nurturing a Facebook group takes time, and you shouldn’t commit unless you are in it for the long haul.
3. Goodreads: This is another popular social media platform for readers and authors to connect. You can create a free profile as a reader, and once your book is published you simply claim your title as the author and upgrade your profile to an author profile. Readers can review your books and leave you a star rating. Like Facebook, search and join groups where you can add value and connect with your target audience. Again, focus on being a helpful contributor, not on promotion of yourself or your book.
One key way authors can use Goodreads to their benefit is by hosting a Goodreads giveaway. Books are listed for giveaway by publishers and authors, and readers enter to win a copy. Winners are picked randomly at the end of the giveaway by Goodreads and the contact info is then forwarded to the author to send the books to the winners, so after you set up the giveaway Goodreads does most of the work for you outside of shipping the books to the winners. You get to decide how many copies you will give away during your promotion, and often this results in massive exposure for your book since Goodreads is promoting the giveaway along with you. If you’re an author, I highly recommend trying a Goodreads giveaway to see if it’s right for you.
The thing to remember about social media is that it’s not a place for hard sales, but rather to build relationships. Yes, when you release a new book you will want to announce it on social media, but you want to keep the 80/20 rule in play here. If you offer 80% value while sharing on social media, then your fans won’t mind if 20% of your posts are about your new or upcoming book or product. Aim to add value and build relationships and you’ll find that your following grows organically, which will ultimately lead to more book sales.