By Nick Masercola, Media Connect Publicist
Does sending out a tweet make you nervous? What about writing a LinkedIn post that makes you sound knowledgeable and NEW, and not just like every other business author on the platform?
One of the things new authors can struggle with is creating a social media presence that works in tandem with their book. While we offer social media services ( ranging from consultation to full-on handling of your accounts) many new authors prefer to take this challenge up themselves to pick up new skills, especially since having an authentic, relatable, and interesting social presence is becoming a larger part of accomplishing your goals with a book.
If you decide to handle your own social media work, you might find it particularly daunting to get started. Here are a few basic tips to get your social presence up and running, and to keep you from falling into embarrassing, first-time blunders.
1. Pick Two Platforms To Focus On
Too many people jump on the social media bandwagon believing that they have to be everywhere, all the time. It doesn’t help that there’s plenty of advice on the internet from “social media gurus” who would say the same thing.
However, by trying to do everything at once, you will do nothing well, and more often than not you really only need to concentrate on a few platforms that assist your book. As a general rule, Facebook or Twitter should be one of those main platforms. If you’re looking to establish yourself as an authority on a subject, or an influencer, pick Twitter to start with. If you’re looking to create more of a community with your audience, pick Facebook.
The second platform you focus on is dependent on the type of book genre you’re writing in. Keep in mind, this is not a hard-and-fast rule, but generally, business and non-fiction authors would do well to improve their LinkedIn profiles, while fiction authors would have a much better time focusing on Goodreads (which, while not “technically” a social platform, has tons of social elements that can help the awareness of your book and brand).
2. Create A Content Calendar
The best time to start creating your social presence is well in advance of your book’s launch, that way you can slowly ramp up as your release date gets closer. For both of the platforms you want to work on, you need to create a social calendar that you will stick to. If you’re just starting off, you may just choose to tweet once per day, and share someone else’s tweet every other day, just to get into the habit of utilizing Twitter as a platform.
Are you struggling with finding content to write about or discuss on your platforms? Set-up google alerts to pick up news stories that relate to your book’s topic or theme, and use those to help you carry a social conversation for the week. This is also an easy way to source ideas and information for blog posts if you’re going to be writing them to support your book.
3. Don’t Just Self-Promote
Many first-time authors, even if they don’t want to do this, wind up self-promoting far too often. Clearly your goal is to get the word out about your book and have it fly off the shelves, but in order to build an audience, you have to provide interesting value or commentary, not just regurgitating your latest book news.
Find influencers in your field, share, comment, and use their articles for discussion points. That’s one of the fastest ways to attract an audience to you to begin. Always make sure you’re adding things to the conversation, rather than repeating someone else’s take. If you’re on Goodreads, make sure to get involved with discussions with fans of books similar to yours, and don’t use every conversation as a possible sell.
People want you to be authentic, and the more of a real person you are (with interesting things to say), the more interest they’ll eventually have in buying your book.
These are just three basic suggestions for starting on your social media presence. There is A LOT more to it once you get going, from how to grow your audience organically, to running sales campaigns, to mitigating any backlash you receive from a poorly-worded comment.
Give it a shot. Of course, if you want professional guidance, feel free to reach out to us at Media Connect.