This week’s post is going to hit on a bit more of the business aspect of writing, specifically marketing. I’m drawing my experience as the Social Media Manager with the National Guard rather than an author selling their own work, so feel free to take all of this and throw it out a window.
1. Post Schedulers (like Later, Hootsuit, and Buffer) are awesome tools that can ease the burden of posting new content regularly. Spend and hour or two a week and plan out your upcoming posts with one of these platforms (I personally find Later to be the most user friendly) rather than trying to scramble for content on the fly.
2. Take advantage of Public Domain/Creative Commons content. Websites like Pexels or DVIDS (for those with novels with military themes) offer thousands of awesome, free photos that are either CC licensed or in the Public Domain. Use a few of these to spice up your regular posts…or possibly use them as possible bits of content on their own.
3. Monitor analytic data. According to our benchmarks, the average engagement rate for an account in the news, sports, college, or government is about 1%. An old adage states that it takes, on average, seven impressions before a consumer remembers a product. Is your ideal customer seeing your stuff seven times? Are they interacting with it? By tracking your engagements and finding ways to capitalize on those trends, you can proportionally increase the number of people who end up actually buying your books.
[Related: Want to know where your book is falling short? Get a free book coaching sample.]
4. Provide a wide range of content. Some people like blog posts (cue pretty much everyone reading this), while others like photos, and some like tweets. It is perfectly fine to have strengths, but the post schedulers that I mentioned above make it incredibly easy to hit several platforms at once. Just because you have a better Instagram presence than Twitter, doesn’t make Twitter entirely worthless.
5. Be Social. This might seem a little obvious but countless people miss this aspect of social media. They throw their content out into the wild, but never interact with anyone else unless that audience comes to them. It is important to reach out, read, like, comment, and share other people’s work. It garners goodwill, supports other people like you, and can help you reach a wider crowd when they return the favor.
6. Be consistent. If you set a goal of posting once a week, stick to it. Social media is a slow game. You build upon your previous momentum and suddenly going silent has a way of killing progress. Cue the dramatic lack of engagement being that this is only the second post since I’ve returned from hiatus.
7. Have fun. If you hate social media marketing so much that it is causing you anxiety, consider backing off. Just because it works for some personalities doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. I wouldn’t imagine an introvert to do well as a used car salesman and not everyone has the fit for social media. Worst case, you hire someone to promote your stuff on social media for you.
Thanks again for reading!
This guest post was contributed by Steven Capps. Steven is a writer with an insatiable hunger for the fantasy and science fiction genre. His writing has been featured in publications such as Fiction, The Bird & Dog, Survival Prepper, Survival Sullivan, Markit Bulgaria, and The Cass County Star Gazette. His blog’s goal is to create a place to talk about improving writers’ craft as well as learn about the industry. Alternately titled “Can Social Media Really Sell Books?”