Every author uses social media to extend their reach. If you get on Twitter, you’ll see all kinds of authors tweeting nonstop, begging you to buy their new book. On Facebook, you’ll see authors posting continuously about their fantasy novels. And on Pinterest there are boards and accounts stuffed to the gills with pins about books. So what’s an author to do? With some planning, you can go beyond the usual social media posts. In this series of blog posts, you’ll get ideas for how to use the social media platforms effectively. Look for more posts soon.
The Website is the Torso
Picture your website as the torso of your online efforts, with the arms and legs as different platforms. Your website should be the first thing you work on. If you don’t have a website, where will you drive traffic? Yes, it’s great that you’re on Amazon selling, but it’s best to have a website because you own the content. You can discuss all kinds of things in blog posts, and you can take snippets of it to tweet or post in different places. You can also go back into the archives and recycle some of that lovely content. There are no gray areas, as there are on social media sites, about who owns your content.
Search Engine Optimization
If those aren’t enough reasons, the biggest one is search engine optimization. When someone looks for you on Google, your name should appear. In this excellent article in Huffington Post, Annik Lafarge discusses many more reasons to have your own website.
Hire Help if You’re Not Technical
Do not let the lack of a website stop you. You can find a developer to help you with a simple website. Attend a WordCamp in your area (San Francisco Word Camp is the mother ship, by the way) to meet developers and others with WordPress sites. I recommend WordPress because there is such generosity in the community. You can watch video (recorded or live streaming) if you can’t make it in person. But getting there in person is well worth the effort.
Branding Across Social Media Platforms
Make sure you have high-quality images of you and your book and that your branding is consistent. Your readers should not be confused about where they are–and they should know that you’re an author. Caterina Rando, my business coach, recommends having a picture of yourself holding a book right up against your face. Ensure that colors are consistent. For instance, Caterina uses rich reds, oranges and yellows in all her marketing materials. Your readers should know exactly what you do. For instance, Jack Canfield’s site is very clear. If you have a tagline, use the same one everywhere from your website through all your social media platforms.
Once your website is dialed in (and I won’t go into details here, but there should be a few blog posts, at the least), you can use social media more effectively. Your tweets can send people back to your website. You can point to Twitter from Facebook, to Pinterest from Twitter, and from Google Plus to your website.
For instance, if you want people to come to a Tweetchat (a subject I’ll cover in an upcoming post), tell people on your Google Plus account, on Twitter, on Facebook, on LinkedIn, in your email marketing, etc. Promotion takes more work than you might think, so allow lots of time.
Can’t Wait to Get Started?
If you can’t wait to start on your social media, here are some posts to read and videos to watch:
- The excellent Keys to Being Social from You Too Can Be a Guru (highly recommended!)
- Pinterest (how to pin)
- Facebook (sharing content for more reach)
- Twitter (best practices)
- LinkedIn (top ten tasks and power tips)
If you have questions that you’d like me to cover in upcoming posts, please leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to address it.