Social media marketing is the process of using social media platforms in order to communicate and interact with your audience, build conversions, create a brand identity and drive user engagement.
So how can you tailor your content according to individual social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat?
Marketing on these social media platforms creates the potential to reach thousands, and even millions of readers worldwide. If you are not utilizing social media platforms to engage in two-way communication with your target audience, you are missing out on opportunities to increase your readership. With 2.4 billion users, Facebook is the most popular social media platform today. On Facebook, the largest user group is between the age group of 25-34. Instagram is an active platform with more than a billion users. 60% of Instagram users are between the age group of 18-29. To make the most of your social media strategy, adapt your content for each platform according to the demographic that is active on each platform.
The audience of today wants to interact, react and co-create. Social media enables you to create a more transparent and meaningful relationship with your readers and gives them a more direct way to give feedback about your book.
So, here are some powerful tips for successfully marketing and promoting your book on social media in 2020.
Establish Clear Goals
Take a step back before you start executing your campaigns and establish clear goals. This will equip you to measure success and increase reach. When setting goals, ensure you are specific, realistic and have a timeframe of the activities and that of the expected results. For example: to sell 1000 books, we need to reach 1,00,000 people from the audience in the first 180/360 days. Keep plotting and updating your marketing plan daily. Make changes if something is clearly not working. Your goals could include the number of book sales you want to make, the number of people from your target audience that you intend to reach and improving the traffic on your social media platforms. Don’t forget that a lot of social media networks have built-in analytics that tracks your performance. You can measure your social media performance on Brandwatch and Google Analytics to optimize your promotion strategy.
Identify Your Target Audience
To give direction to the marketing plan you must first identify your target demographic. By visualizing your target customer, you can customize content to ensure it receives high traffic. For example, if the age group of your Target Audience mostly falls in the range of 30 years and above, then a GIF based on a millennial movie will not be well received. Understand who your audience is through customer interactions, and by reviewing your competitors. Identify their audience by selecting them via age, gender, location, and interests. Research other authors who write books that belong to the same category, genre, or niche as yours. You can also check their follower list on different social media platforms to receive a clear understanding. Evaluate the audience that finds different parallel mediums pertinent to your book, interesting. This will make it easier for you to understand your potential readers. Your target audience will include people who follow movies, plays and other books that are similar to the genre of your book. Facebook Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Instagram Analytics, and Google Analytics give you a comprehensive insight about your followers, helping you understand how they interact.
Create Compelling Content
Not sure where to start? That’s alright! Select a few authors and book publishers whom you admire for their creativity and model after them. Remember, the golden rule of social media is to communicate transparently, candidly and creatively with every post and response on social media. Each piece of content you share should tell the audience a little more about your book and yourself. You can post fun content like quotes from your book, musings, the journey of your book, your own journey and interesting trivia related to your book or yourself and user-generated content. Showing that there is a real person behind your book will help to nurture relationships over time.
When creating your social media strategy, follow the 80-20 rule. Use just 20% of your content to directly promote your brand and dedicate 80% of your posts to engage with your audience with fun and educative content. You can also follow the rule of thirds to divide the content that you post. 1/3 of the content you create must focus on engaging with your audience via the comment section, answering questions, conducting live sessions or reposting user-generated content. 1/3 of your content should directly promote your book. 1/3 of content should be similar to the genre or topic of your book. Post a balanced amount of content from each category.
A video of you while you are working, pictures of candid moments, quotes from your books, thought-provoking links from other news and publications, interviews, writing tips, hidden facts about your books, entertaining stories and behind the scenes, responding to comments and questions on your page, inviting your followers to a book event and sharing links to E-commerce sites where your book can be bought, are all great ways to help build your brand. Develop content and make your followers part of your everyday moments. Mix up different content formats such as GIFs, Videos, Text-based Images, Static images
Conduct research to understand which content works best on which platform. Then, customize and repurpose the content for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. This will give you the most out of your content strategy and effectively translate to engagement. You can use ready-to-use templates on websites like Canva and VSCO to edit your pictures to improve the aesthetic appeal of your posts
Use Marketing Metric Tools
How can you calculate the effectiveness of your marketing campaign?
Certain metrics are used as benchmarks according to which the success of the specific campaign is ascertained. Use tools such as Reach, Engagement, Organic and Paid Likes to assess your campaign.
Reach is used in most types of marketing campaigns. Often confused with impressions, reach is the total number of unique users that view your ad or have interacted with your piece of content. The key being that reach is the count of unique users. Have a predetermined goal of how many people you want to reach with your campaign.
When a user interacts with your content or ad in any way – the user is said to be engaging with your content/ad. By simply liking, sharing, commenting or even viewing content – you are getting users to engage with it.
Organic likes are when users like your content by their own volition and their normal course of activity online. Consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals and their engagement with your content. You can also use paid promotions to boost the exposure of your posts, resulting in an increase in engagement.
Remember to Use Hashtags
A post on Instagram with at least one hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag. If your goal is to get discovered by as many people as possible and build a community around your book, use hashtags that are niche and relevant to your book. It will translate to more engagement, more followers and more potential readers. Try to create a hashtag that communicates with the audience beyond your book title. For example, if your protagonist (Dummy name: Elda) is a survivor against all odds and you are trying to get your audience to share their stories of survival, then the hashtag could be #EldaIsYou. Use apps like Sproutsocial to extract the hashtags that you should be targeting.
Get Influencers to Promote Your Book
Do your research to check the number of followers of an influencer, the number of impressions/engagements they get per post and whether the target audience relevant to you follows them. Some influencers have a large number of followers and can draw attention towards your book by posting about it. Having an influencer interview you and post the interview on their blog, will translate to an increase in visibility – leading to an increase in book sales. You can also increase the credibility of your page by getting an organic or paid shout-out from the influencer your target audience follows.
Offer a Free Chapter
Offering the first introductory chapter for free is a great way to get your readers hooked before the book is published. It offers the readers a taste of what they can expect from the book. A free sample chapter will build anticipation for the release which will result in an increase in the pre-order sales. When you release a free chapter of your book, spread awareness about it across social media. Ask your followers to become email subscribers when they land on your website. This will give you data for remarketing and sending reminders via email for when the book is published.
Start an Interactive Contest
Contests tap into the human drive to compete and provide your audience with an opportunity for interaction. Giving your followers an incentive will drive them to respond to your posts. When your followers participate in your contest, you invite them to talk about you or your book, to win something in return. It makes them naturally invested in your brand and helps you learn more about your readers. Here are a few thought starters to jumpstart your creative process.
Make a post and ask your followers to tag a person, relevant to the genre of your book. For example, tag a person who enjoys books that send a disconcerting tingle down your backbone. Then the winner and the person they tagged will win a free copy of your book. You can also conduct a Trivia contest. The questions should coincide with the theme of your book. A photography contest is another way to create a lot of buzz and excitement among your audience. If you’re publishing a sequel, ask your followers to post a picture of your first book in the series to get a chance to win the next.
Best time to Post
In addition to a content strategy, to connect meaningfully with your audience, you should get the most eyes possible on your content and maximize engagement by knowing the best times to post on social media networks. Decide a specific day for when you post and stay consistent at it. According to recent analytics conducted for Facebook and Instagram, Wednesday is the best day to post while Sunday receives the least amount of engagement. On a weekday, from early morning to mid-afternoon, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. is the best time to post. Contrary to the popular belief, late night and early evening along with weekend days bring in relatively low engagement. This is because people tend to go through their social feed while they are commuting to work in the morning and during lunch breaks.
Schedule your posts
Create a content bank in advance and schedule it to avoid having a social media writer’s block. It will enable you to stay consistent and active with your posts, helping you to keep up with the online trends. Creating topical content for important occasions such as #WorldMentalHealthAwarenessDay, #WorldEnvironmentDay, and #InternationalWomensDay may slip your mind. Planning in advance is essential because it will help you save time, allocate your resources effectively, avoid cross-platform errors, ensure that fresh content goes live on various platforms and keep a record of your schedule to later help you understand the kind of posts that work best for your account. Hootsuite and Zoho are great tools to schedule posts across multiple platforms.
Look for Inspiration
Authors and poets use social media as a great marketing tool. Poets like Rupi Kaur and Lang Leav are examples of the ultimate poet-entrepreneurs, that approach social media as a serious platform to promote their content. Rupi Kaur has sold more than a million poetry books, the highest number on record. Instagram has made it extremely easy for readers to come across a variety of content. You can also reap the rewards off of social media by following the tactics carried out by popular poets and authors on social media.
Use these tips to effectively market on social media or you will undoubtedly miss out on leads, customers, online visibility, and sales. If you do not have an active presence on social media, establish one immediately if you want to avoid missing out on important conversions and opportunities to grow your reach.