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Leveraging Social Media for Authors: Strategies for Engagement and Promotion

~ Sankalita Roy

Most authors who love to live in their inner world find it aggressive when it comes to promoting their books on social media. Many authors find it easy to write their books but wonder whether they truly need social media to promote their books or how to promote a book on social media. are the common questions prevalent in the minds?

However, the concerns of the author are genuine but to become a successful author, you need to let the world know about the book. it’s a common logic that when the world knows about you and your books, only then do they show interest towards your work. In this process, social media plays a pivotal role in capturing the attention of a wide audience. It’s almost impossible not to design and execute a social media book promotion.

As an author, it is essential to engage their potential readers in space in today’s world where a maximum number of people are using the internet for communication and advertisement. Let us investigate some strategies that we can use to engage the audience and promote the book on social media as follows:

1. Follow accounts that you would personally want to subscribe to.

Every new journey begins with research, am I right? As a beginner in social media usage for authors, it becomes important to have a clear sense of direction but to have clarity, you need to follow people who are already on the path that you want to be. Similarly, if these social media accounts contain followers that contain an audience like yours, hopefully, these will provide you with the right leads about what to do and how.

Being authentic is one of the best ways to attract like-minded audiences including writers, readers, and digital advertisers- who would ultimately buy and support your content. Support the accounts you are interested in and hope that they aid you as well.

2. Invest in social ads

If you as a budding author haven’t built a large audience and not know how to make them know about you. Here’s an option, you can use the paid advertisements on Instagram and Facebook with say a video or powerful quotes from your book to reach your target audience. As the engagement with your audience grows, new people will automatically reach you.

3. Share your journey

As a reader, we often wonder how writers can write in such depth and how are they able to create a world that is so engrossing yet touches the heart of the readers. Sharing your journey as a writer helps you to build a sense of personal connection with the readers and build a sense of community around you. This can also include behind-the-scenes of your writing journey, the ugly and the good parts of your journey that show that you as a writer are just like everyone else. Consequently, your work will gain more traction.

4. Treat social media platforms differently

Never depend on any particular social media platform to promote your book. different social media platform has different demographic user and the type of content that works best for these users. If you think that the same content works well everywhere, you are wrong. For instance, if you are using Instagram, you have to keep in mind that these cater to the young generation consequently, as a writer, you have to post promotional videos and visual content that works well for the audience. On the other hand, if you use Facebook and Twitter, it caters well to the mature audience. On Twitter, you can share excerpts from your book, using relevant hashtags to reach your target audience. However, the business content works well if you use LinkedIn to promote your work through posts and answering their questions and answers.

As a writer, you must post accordingly based on your target audience and the message you want to convey to the world.

5. Create a media kit

A media kit is a collection of materials that can showcase your book and author brand. It can include sharing the press release of your book, a book synopsis, a bio, a headshot, a book cover, testimonials, reviews, awards and any other relevant information. You can share these things on your website, blog as well as in your social media accounts. As a reader whenever we hear about a book, we ensure that we research the authors and their works as a part of whether we are going to buy their book or not. Thus, a media kit is essential for you. It can help you to establish your credibility, generate media coverage, and spark interest in your book.

6. Create stunning video ads and commercials

The writers are blessed with obstacles am I right? Financial constraints, time constraints and most importantly, marketing and technological skills constrain. You must be wondering why as a writer; do you need to know about marketing and technological skills when you can easily hire a professional to do your work of leveraging your books through social media.

It's obvious that money matters but what about learning these skills yourself? You may not be an expert but a person with little knowledge gains clarity about the direction and the plan he/she is trying to create. Like me, you can also enrol yourself in digital marketing courses, creating promotional videos using Canva. Apply the skills learned to reach your target audience. Before doing so, ensure that the content you are posting is aligned with your goals and is relevant to the audience.

7. Think about algorithms

For paid posting, you can leverage the settings of the algorithm for platforms like Instagram and Facebook. All you need to do is keep an eye on the content that engages more audience and the best time to post such content. As the content reaches more audiences, the more you learn about how to maximize each paid content that you post on social media platforms. This also includes knowing what works best and what doesn’t work well with your audience as one of the things required here.

8. Use a content planning, scheduling, and publishing tool

As human beings, we are always busy dealing with our jobs, family, friends, household chores, holidays and so but if you are a writer, the writing time also adds up to your schedule. The management of work-life balance may seem difficult but as you start to plan and schedule, life becomes easier. To promote your book, you don’t have to show yourself uniformly across every social media platform.

Instead, plan your content and post them accordingly. for example- you can post your content every Monday-Wednesday-Friday-Sunday but on other days, you may opt to take a rest. Sometimes using reels, you can share your thoughts on writing your new book with a voiceover and soft music playing in the background along with videos of receiving your book for the first time. These tools are easy to use and they make our work easier to connect with the target audience. Post your content in times when most of the users are using their social media to engage the new audience based on its performance.

9. Share digestible and downloadable content

About the book publishing journey, authors can share content that is related to the book publishing journey. Make sure they can be downloaded. It can include anything from book covers, writing outlines, plot ideas and so on. This strategy engages the audience and makes them feel as if they are a part of the entire book publishing process.

10. Showcase social proof

According to an article on Google, social proof refers to intentional social influence, whereby you encourage your target audience to emulate the opinions and actions of others who positively regard your product or service.

To promote your book to a wider audience, it is essential to share some testimonials and reviews with the world as these would give an in-depth perspective about your work. This social proof results in generating the interest of the audience to read your book. You can take screenshots of these reviews from Amazon and Flipkart and share them on your social media handles.

11. Collaborate and conquer

To widen the reach of your audience, the first thing that a writer should do after the publication of your book is to reach out to the influencers who have millions of followers or personalities with small but engaging followers. These influencers can be book reviewers or interviewers on Facebook and Instagram or partner with personalities who synergize with your book’s subject. These people can help you to boost social proof and provide you with automatic potential leads. Engage in podcasts, interviews and joint live sessions and cross-promotions.

Always and always remember that to become successful as an author, you need to let the world know about you and your work.

12. Relevant hashtags

Hashtags keep the content visible to millions of users, especially the right ones. Imagine you open your Instagram account and you want to look for say bestsellers, what you can do in the search option is to type #bestsellers, and the posts containing the mentioned hashtag will be available to you. However, there is a small tip that helps you to stand out from the crowd to use unique hashtags that say your book is about narcissistic abuse, so you can also use narcissism apart from #bestseller #awardwinningwriter #booklovers and so on, to distil the search of the user to your specific content.

13. Hold virtual events

Well, this is the first time I heard about it and I find it interesting. Launching your book through live streaming builds a sense of connectivity with your readers. If you want, you can also conduct live reading sessions on social media platforms that help the audience know about your book resulting in the development of their curiosity about you, your book, and its subject.

You can also host a virtual book club where you can discuss a chapter from your book or live stream a day in your life of yours as an author. Engage with your audience virtually fruitfully and effectively.

14. Reward your followers

Do you remember how in school we used to study hard for our tests just to receive a star on our copy? This not only motivated us to work harder but the star is what makes our studies more interesting. Similarly, as an author, you can hold giveaways and contests and reward the most active follower with exclusive content. These can be signed copies of your book or exclusive merchandise. this fosters loyalty and word-of-mouth promotion of your book. Engage with active followers by allowing them to have early access to your future works.

15. Centre marketing around your audience

Authenticity indeed is what helps to build a connection with the supportive audience around you. Constant gratitude and appreciation work a long way toward making your book memorable. When your audience feels connected to you, they genuinely become a part of your journey. Focus your messaging on connection, not promotion. This way you build a rapport and get genuine comments about your book, making your social media platform an excellent space to reach out to your readers.

16. Sailing Beyond the book

This is important to remember that do not use your social media platforms for promotions of your book and then stop. This will result in the loss of your followers. Again, you must work hard to reach your target audience. You can achieve anything you want but holding on to what matters is a challenging process. Who we are without our readers after all.

Use your social media platforms effectively to keep building the trust of your audience for future endeavours. Keep your audience engaged and build your rapport not based on your book but on who you are as a person. This helps you to go a long way into your journey as an author. Continue sharing about the writing journey of your next book, insights into the writing process, and industrial trends and keeping your audience updated about your upcoming projects can be one of the ways to build your brand.

To conclude, I would hope that this article will help you to effectively use social media to leverage your brand as an author.

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