It’s Monday so you know what that means, I’m back with a new Monday Marketing post.
We’ve all heard the advice that writers need to find their target audience. Those are the types of people who would most likely, enjoy our books.
Now while you truly may believe your book is for “everyone”, the likelihood of that is actually pretty slim.
Always, ALWAYS define your target audience before you start trying to market. The last thing you want to do is waste time trying to encourage people to read your work if it’s not something they would be into.
Where does your audience hang out?
Now I’ve seen advice stating “check out places your audience hangs out”. Wow, great advice. Nice and vague. If your audience is very different from you, you might not know where they are congregating on the net.
Maybe it would help to know other things that your target audience might be into. It’s all about gathering data.
Facebook Graph Search is a good place to start if you want to get an idea of what your target audience is into and the sort of people they might be.
It’s a way to do searches to find what Pages and Groups people, who would be your target audience, might be into.
For example, maybe you write horror but you’re not sure what sort of people enjoy horror books. You can use the Graph Search, find pages and groups that people who love horror novels join and check them out.
How to do a Graph Search
Firstly – you need to have your settings down as English US. My settings defaulted to the UK (obviously, since that’s where I am) but it doesn’t work unless you’re set up for the US.
Next, you go to the search bar and using this exact phrasing type (except for last part):
Pages liked by people who like [insert topic/person etc]
Example: Say you write murder mysteries and you think people who like Agatha Christie-style mysteries might like yours too. You type in: Pages liked by people who like Agatha Christie.
From the below, you can see the people on Facebook who like Agatha Christie, many also like Friedrich Nietzsche and Arthur Conan Doyle. If you select the See All button there are more listed.
You can do this with a topic, author, or even an existing Facebook Page.
You can also do a search for interests. Say you write sci-fi and you want to know the interests of people who like say, Isaac Asimov.
You would type in the exact wording: Favorite interests of people who like Isaac Asimov
(PS: for non-US countries, remember spelling must be the US way)
Here we see that people who listed that they like Isaac Asimov also like Psychology. Again click the See All for more interests listed.
What you can do with this information
This is great for building up an idea of what your target audience may be interested in.
Now, on Facebook especially, interacting with readers and people who might be interested in your books is not really done on a profile or even an author page. It’s done in groups.
This is where interactions happen. So you can use these searches to find useful groups and Pages that you can visit, join discussions and meet people.
What you should NOT do with this information
These searches are about helping you define your target audience and helping you find new places to interact with people.
They should not be used to locate places where you can bombard people with your books, your sales.
If your sole mission is to visit this places and constantly put up posts saying, “Well if you love X book, you’ll love mine. Buy it here!” you are missing the point completely.
Marketing is not about grabbing people by the shirt and screaming, “Buy my stuff! You’ll love it!” That, probably won’t get you anywhere.
Marketing is nowadays about building relationships and offering value. If you interact, take an interest, reach out and make connections with potential readers, they’ll be more likely to check out your books, your blog, your website etc.
Have you ever used the Graph Search on Facebook before? If so, did you find it useful or not? Leave a comment and let me know.
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