Apart from your email list, social media is by far the most effective tool for your book marketing efforts. It allows you to not only connect with potential readers but also amplify what you want to tell them. In this post, we share our top tips on how to use social media effectively as an author. There are many options to explore, but we focus on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

General tips on how to use social media effectively as an author

  • Start an account for yourself, the author – not for each individual book. Doing this will allow you to centralize your marketing efforts in one place, raise your profile and build your brand. Remember, your book is the product, but you are the brand.
  • Keep your profile picture consistent across all your social media accounts so that you, the brand, are instantly recognizable to your fans. It is important to be easily discoverable across different platforms, and making sure you appear the same on each one will mean that people you have connected with in one place can find you in another. It is also advisable to make your profile picture a photo of yourself rather than a book cover, because people respond better to a face. Profile pictures are usually so small that all of the detail of your cover will be lost, anyway.
  • Don’t get hung up on the number of “followers” or “likes” that you have: quality is more important than quantity.
  • Most importantly, understand that your connections/followers on social media are there to have a conversation. Talk with them, not at them, and don’t spam them with requests to buy your book every five minutes.

Twitter

  • Choose a relevant and recognizable Twitter handle, such as your name followed by “Author” or “Writes”.
  • Make sure you fill out your profile properly and include what sort of books you write, the title of your latest book, and a link to your website.
  • Use hashtags and keyword searches to find the right kind of people to follow, and build your network of connections.
  • Find well-known authors in your genre and start following their followers – some may follow you back.
  • Curate a strong list of people to follow and engage them in conversation.
  • Always be friendly and polite!

Facebook

  • Start a page, not a profile. This will ensure that your content is publicly accessible.
  • Fill out all the details on your page properly and use your header image to full effect. Check out a site like canva.com to make your own Facebook header image.
  • Invite friends and family to like your page, and ask them to invite any of their friends who might be interested as well (attention starts at home).
  • Update your page at least once a week. Ask everyone you know to share the posts you make, as this will maximize your exposure to followers and potential followers alike.
  • Consider buying the occasional Facebook advert and boosting a post or two (it’s cheaper than you think!).

Goodreads

Goodreads is often overlooked, but it’s a very powerful social network that has been created solely to connect authors and readers. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Register on the site and start participating. Build a “have read” and “want to read” list, and review and rate the books you have already read. This will help to build your profile and presence on the site.
  • Amazon bought out Goodreads recently, so your book will appear on the social network a few days after it goes live on Amazon. You can “claim” your book once it is listed, using your account.
  • Once you have claimed your book, you can start interacting with readers who have reviewed it. One great way to do this is through the “ask the author a question” feature.
  • Goodreads also gives authors an easy way to set up giveaways for their books, but this is limited to print copies only at the moment.

What are your top tips on how to use social media effectively as an author? Let us know in the comments!