Social media is by far the most commonly used tool for book promotion. But are you using it in the right way as an author? When used in the right way, social media is an incredibly powerful tool.

Build your social media strategy thinking about three stages.

Pre-launch: At this stage, you need to generate brand awareness about yourself as an author as well as information and teasers about your upcoming book launch.

Launch: You should have a build up to your book launch, but remember that your book launch in itself should be celebrated on social media.

Post-launch: You have to think about infinity and beyond for your social media strategy. It can’t just halt after your book launch.

Elements of a social media strategy

Each social media strategy will be unique, however, there are certain core elements that will shape your strategy:

  • Build relationships: It’s not just about promoting your book, it’s about you as an author making connections with your followers and potential fans. The stronger the connections you build, the more your fans will advocate for you.
  • Timing is key: Start planning early, and post consistently. If you haven’t quite gotten started yet, there is no need to panic, but you should get started. Building a community on social media takes time, effort, and patience. It’s not something you throw together in a month. As long as you post often and consistently, your audience will come to expect to hear from you.
  • Be careful of too much automation: It might seem amazing to set up social media formulas and bots to automatically retweet, like, comment on, follow, etc., but you definitely can’t set it and forget it. You want to make sure that your content isn’t just coming across as spam filling up your profile. While we are dealing with technology, it is the human touch that will make you stand out.
  • Post compelling content: Make sure your content is engaging enough to make people stay and find out more about you and your book. That means you shouldn’t just post the same promotional tweet over and over.
  • Consistently brand your profiles: Make it easy for people to recognize you across social channels. By using the same profile and banner images it creates a consistent experience for your fans.
  • Use contesting wisely: You don’t just want to give away books all over the place for nothing. Set up contests so that it helps you build your social following or generates user-generated content in some way. Be sure to check with the rules and regulations of each social channel before you start!
  • Build your email list: Provide easy ways for your fans to get on a pre-order list or to sign up to receive information on the launch. Start priming those people on your email list two to three weeks prior to the book launch so they know what to expect in terms of launch events, launch day contests, next steps, etc.
  • Use highly visual content: Plan for interesting content by setting up a photo shoot, creating a library of interesting photos related to your book, and book art to share on social media. Great images and videos get more interest on every social channel.

While social media can be a lot of work, it can be very rewarding both in the short term and the long term for authors. If you haven’t started building your profile as an author on social media, it’s time to get yourself set up!

ABOUT THE BLOGGER

Candace Huntly is the founder and Principal of SongBird Marketing Communications, a Toronto-based boutique firm that works with clients to take their strategy and brand to the next level. She is an expert at telling brand stories and getting them shared through the right channels. She is conducting one of the workshops at Author Summit 2015, PR for Authors.