Social media is an integral part of any book marketing campaign. But few realize just how much time and dedication it takes to make it really work. That’s why it’s best to be strategic about your use of social media from the start.
Step one is to decide which platform or platforms are going to work best for you and your book. Just as every book is unique, each social network brings different opportunities to the table. Realize that it may be better to focus your energies on the “best fit” option, rather than to create profiles on many and not have the time to maintain them.
Here are some tips to help you decide which social network is the best fit for building buzz for your book.
Facebook Page: As Facebook approaches 1-billion users, you can be confident that your audience is spending some time here. Facebook’s hyper-targeting capabilities through their ads platform allow you to reach your ideal audience and share your story, through content, on a consistent basis. Be sure to set up a page – not a profile, and not a group. You are building a community around a brand, and that brand is yourself.
Google+: Although it doesn’t have the userbase that Facebook has, there are a few communities that are far more active here than on any other social network. Photographers were some of the first to embrace Google+, which has become a vibrant photo-sharing community; thus, it remains the choice network for the majority of pro photographers. If your book has a strong photo element to it, or if it has anything to do with photography itself, Google+ is your place. Another active sect are techies and gamers. If you’re looking to reach the tech nerds, take a look at Google+.
Twitter: Although it can seem like a bottomless pit of noise, Twitter offers authors a fantastic way to connect with those interested in your book’s content through the use of hashtags. As a result, it’s an especially good fit for non-fiction authors. For example, an author writing a biography of Mark Twain could add #marktwain, #americanlit, and #biography to tweets to ensure that they reach people who are searching for more info on Mark Twain.
Pinterest: Is there a visual element to your book? Is the topic supported by endless images? Pinterest is an image tagging and sharing site, which allows users to keep track of favorite images from the web, but also to subscribe to other users’ pin boards that interest them. Let’s say your book is about World War II, fashion, or weddings. All three are topics that are supported by endless images. Create boards for your topic and be a leader in curating relevant and intriguing images not only from your book, but from around the web.
LinkedIn: Does your book meet a development need for professionals? If so, then LinkedIn should be a part of your social marketing strategy. Build up your LinkedIn profile, and be sure to list your current position as “Author of ___”. Then begin exploring existing, active groups based on your topic. For example, if your book is about business leaderships, then start building your voice in groups such as the 80k+-member “Leadership Think Tank”.
YouTube: You usually wouldn’t focus all of your social media energy on YouTube, but if your book will have video supplements, then it’s a good network to have set up; especially being that it is a part of the Google portfolio, and therefore will help with discoverability through search.
Then there are the niche, and micro social media networks. Indeed, there are forums out there for just about any topic you can think of. While those are important, I’d recommend picking at least one of the major networks above and start developing your personal brand.
Which social network(s) did you choose to promote your personal brand and promote your book? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to like us on Facebook.