- Published on 29 September 2016
Writing is a tough business; in self-publishing, an author must work tirelessly to create their content, then continue working to market and sell their finished book. Social media is a necessity in modern marketing, and an invaluable tool, because it can help sell your book before the manuscript is even finished.
By building up a follower base for your book or professional account, you automatically have an audience for the finished product.
The primary social media networks for authors are Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Twitter is a site for sharing content of any kind: links, photos, videos, and text. But there is a catch: the text accompanying any Twitter post must be 140 characters or less. You can be as witty or philosophical as you like, so long as you keep it pithy! An active Twitter account requires dedication, because the ideal posting rate is ten posts per week. Twitter is a favorite among cultural influencers and bloggers.
LinkedIn is meant to be a strictly professional site. It has “about” sections that include work experience, resumes, and professional references. It is an ideal site for an author profile – if you would like to market yourself as a writer – or for a business related book. LinkedIn users get the best results when posting two to three times per week.
Facebook is a multi-media networking platform. The site supports links, text, and photography, and is especially great with video posts. Facebook markets primarily to adult and family demographics, and provides options for personal and business related accounts. Posting 3 times a week is ta good start to achieving Facebook success.
For any social networking site, it is essential to identify your audience and create content to target that market. The goal truly is to create a network, so it helps to follow users and accounts similar to your own and share their content. This helps to circulate your account, as well as diversify your content.
Limit blunt self-promotion on social media to keep your content varied and your followers interested. Sharing others’ posts, sharing outside links, or posting quick and interesting thoughts are easy ways to shake up your content.
Consistency and perseverance are the keys to any social media success. You will not gain hundreds of followers overnight, in fact you’ll be lucky if you get ten. But if you maintain a regular posting schedule, your follower base will grow. It also helps to have a consistent handle (or username) on all social media sites, making it easier for your followers from Twitter to also find you on Facebook, and so on.
And, of course, stay positive! Keep your posts optimistic and follow accounts you enjoy. If you’re having fun, your account will reflect your experience and your followers will notice.