How to Market Your Book and Your Brand on Social Media
Marketing has changed significantly in the past few decades with the internet and social media platforms. Book marketing and brand growth, which used to take tons of resources, can now be done from a laptop or a phone. Although that’s made it more accessible for emerging and independent authors lacking the support of a big publisher, it still does take time, effort, and some knowledge.
No matter what wealth of resources you have at your disposal, you still need to have a plan and know how to execute it. As an author, you’re responsible for most of your own marketing, even if you sign with a traditional publisher. If it all feels overwhelming, check out our book marketing packages, which include social media posts that you can use to promote your book and grow your personal brand.
Pick your platform(s)
The most important consideration when choosing the social media platform(s) is which you’ll enjoy using the most. Do you already have accounts on any of these platforms? If you’re a loyal user of a particular platform, concentrate on that one—you already know its ins and outs. Also, posting and interacting with your followers shouldn’t feel like a dreaded chore, so choose what works best for you.
You can’t have too many social media accounts for your author persona, so go ahead and create accounts across multiple platforms if you have the interest, time, and energy to manage more than one. Many writers are most active on Twitter, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find an engaged community on Facebook, Instagram, or even YouTube and TikTok. You may also find success on lesser-known platforms, especially if you’re catering to a more niche market or readers from a particular country.
The whole point of creating social media accounts is to engage with your audience, so consider the average demographic of each platform and how you would personally interact with them. Each platform also has characteristics that will influence what and how you post—Twitter messages are limited to 280 characters, all Instagram posts must be accompanied by a picture, and YouTube deals exclusively with video content. So, although you can upload the same thing across all your platforms, you’ll have to vary your approach.
Another important aspect of social media marketing is devising an overall marketing plan. Are you looking to connect with readers, other writers, agents, publishers, and influencers? Also, ask yourself what you want from your social media circle: Are you looking to increase book sales, promote an upcoming book, or network with other writers? Keeping your goals in mind will help you pick the right platform(s) and craft a marketing strategy. Of course, you can chase multiple goals, but make sure to weave them all into your plan seamlessly.
Engage with your audience
You want to build an online community and interact with your network, but you don’t want it to turn into a part-time job, so set yourself clear objectives and try to stick to a routine. You can prepare and schedule your posts in advance through third-party apps so this doesn’t consume too much of your time.
It’s a good idea to set aside a specific block of time once a day or at least once a week to reply to comments and DMs, find new accounts to follow, and interact with people outside of your network to gain new followers. Writing all of your posts in one go will make your overall marketing strategy more cohesive and save you time so you can stay focused on your writing. This allows you to dedicate only specific blocks of time to social media marketing while reaping the benefits continuously.
Promote your book
Promoting an upcoming book is a great reason to get on social media, but you shouldn’t wait until the last minute—the more established you are and the better your communication with your audience is, the bigger the splash your book will make once it’s released. The best strategy is to embark on social media marketing long before your book hits the shelves, slowly dripping more information to your loyal followers as you grab the attention of even more potential readers.
If your book has already been published and you’re still not on social media, hurry up! There may already be a conversation around your work, and you definitely want to be a part of it. Social media is a great place to tease your upcoming projects and events, as well as offer glimpses into your process, snippets of your behind-the-scenes life, and exciting news and wins, such as reviews, interviews, and mentions. While it’s advisable to make yourself personable to your followers, keep it professional and don’t delve into deeply personal things.
Grow your brand
Even if you’re not ready to begin promoting your book—you might still be writing it—it’s not too early to get on social media and start building your community and your brand as an author. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a brand, you’ll be one as soon as you become a published author, and building a solid brand will matter when the time comes to start promoting your book. The earlier you begin, the bigger the fan base you can build up, so the best time to launch your social media marketing campaign is right now!
Readers aren’t interested just in stories but also in the people behind them—they want to humanize the authors of their favorite books, and social media allows you to curate and manage the narrative that defines your brand. Being relatable and accessible is a great way to grow your network and attract new readers. By interacting with your followers and the accounts you’re following, you can reach users who might not have heard of you. Responding to comments also makes you feel more real to your followers, not some unreachable celebrity that seems to be living on a different planet.
Self-published authors have countless tools at their fingertips to market and promote their work, but it can also be incredibly time-consuming and draining if you don’t have a strategy in place. While you should definitely get on social media to build your brand and promote your books, you don’t have to do it all alone. If you would like to work with a team of experts on your marketing strategy, check out our book marketing packages for authors.