Following on from the article I wrote at the weekend about whether or not Social Media has become too big to be effective, I thought I would follow up with another article along a similar line. The response I’ve had about my article has been very positive. It seems there are many others having the same problems getting noticed amongst the volume of messages that are floating around between connections. Last night I had 1129 tweets on Twitter in just one hour from the 1968 people that I follow. How many of those did I read? Well, honestly? None of them. So, how can we get noticed? Just so we are clear – when I’m talking about Social Media, I’m not talking about it as a social tool for organising your social life, but as a business tool for getting noticed. After all, you’ve spent hours and hours sitting in front of the computer developing a curvature in your spine all in the name of writing, so you need to spread the good word about this amazing book!
There are several ways to improve the volume of people that view your posts, but they all pretty much mean you have to spend some money! Sorry, but life’s like that. You need to start treating your writing as a business and that means developing a marketing plan and putting a little bit of money into it. If you’ve put so much effort into writing your book, don’t prevent the word from getting out there by refusing to spend some money – it’s an investment in future book sales of books you haven’t written yet as well!
Let’s start with Facebook and Twitter. The great thing about these two giants is that they have an amazing database of information about every person that uses their sites. It’s all based on you and what you have ‘liked’ and what you are following, so they have a pretty good idea where to target your advertising. Targeted advertising obviously costs you money. Do you want to spend money? No, of course you don’t, but you can promote your posts and tweets for as little as £4. Obviously the smaller the amount of money you pay, the smaller the number of your target audience it will reach. But, it will atleast guarantee that more people see it than if you don’t promote it. Likes by your friends and family don’t really count in social media – they are duty bound to support you. Some may even buy your book, but it’s the other potential customers in the big wide world that you want to reach, and they are the ones that will pass over your posts because they don’t recognise you and your profile picture so don’t stop long enough to read it. Targeted advertising puts your post at the top of their page, or as a permanent fixture to the margins ensuring that it doesn’t get lost amongst all the other posts. So if you have a new book out that is aimed at teenage boys with a passion for computer games, then that’s exactly who you can target.
As with all plans, make sure you set yourself a budget and don’t exceed it. Only promote when you have something newsworthy to say or sell. Use it when you have a special offer on your book download, as part of a competition or when a new book is released.
Multiple Automated Platform Updates.
This is a great way of saving time and blanketing all different media platforms all in one go. You don’t have to spend ages writing and re-writing the same post on every different platform. By targeting all of the social media you are maximizing exposure and reaching more people. As an example – this article is automatically posted to all my other social media accounts as soon as I press the ‘publish’ button. If you have a WordPress blog (which this one is) you just have to input your accounts to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Tumblr (go to Settings then Sharing). You can also add sharing buttons at the bottom of each post for your readers to share for you. This is a great way of becoming viral without doing anything else. It won’t cost you anything to ask your readers to Like the page and share.
Some companies do this automatically for you including Hootsuite. Their basic package is free, but is limited to 5 social platforms. A more enhanced package starts at £7.99 per month.
Don’t forget to link your Amazon Author Profile as well as your Goodreads profile to your blog if you have one. Every time you post, it’s updated there too. If you are finding that keeping your social media up to date is taking a lot of time out of your day, then multiple posting is definitely the way forward.
Target the people who will talk about you
Find people on your social media platforms that review books. Get to know them and let them have a complimentary copy of your book. When they review they generate more exposure on your behalf. Usually they will post on Amazon, Smashwords and Goodreads as well.
I think that generating conversation on social media is probably the most effective way to get more exposure without doing anymore hard work. But, for it to work you have to have something newsworthy to say, not just an obvious promotion of your book. You need to make you posts and articles interesting, and interesting enough for others to share and report on them. Who better for this job than journalists? This might also get you some crossover coverage with other types of media. I’ve come across a company called Muck Rack which is effectively a database of journalists on twitter, as well as other media. For a monthly fee you can pitch three stories a month to a relevant journalist who will hopefully take your story and talk about it. Their conversations and recommendations are important to their followers and will help to get more effective exposure across Twitter from credible sources. I’m still looking into this, but for it to work for a writer you would need to have some newsworthy to say ever month to make it worth your while. Packages start at $99 per month.
Well, that’s a few ideas for you all. I’m looking into other ways of promotion and will report back as I go. Let me know what you have tried and what has worked for you.
One last thing….
Don’t forget to like and share this article!!!!