It’s Monday Marketing time, people! Today I thought I’d talk (more) about social media.
Last year, I did a series on Social Media but I think discussing it specifically for Marketing is important.
Not all social media is the same. Ones such as Twitter and Snapchat are fast-paced social media platforms.
LinkedIn is more business oriented, designed more for making professional connections. Instagram is obviously a more visual platform, whereas Facebook… well, Facebook has changed a lot.
It used to be where everyone hung out (except me, I was a late (and grudging) comer to the platform).
In fact, it’s a shocker I’m even ON social media. I hate it, but it has its uses. Like Taxes.
The main point I’m trying to make, is each social media is different. They attract different types of people, different age groups and so knowing this can make a big difference.
For example, young people aren’t on Facebook as much as they are on Twitter and SnapChat. So if you’re an YA author who is only using Facebook as their social media platform, you’re missing out!
Now, let’s discuss using social media.
What Social Media is NOT for
The Heavy Sell
The main reason social media shouldn’t be used for the heavy sell is that it moves too fast. Most posts have very short lifespans in someone’s timeline.
The problem is, people who try and use social media for the heavy sell, do so by saturating their timeline (and thus the timeline of their followers) with constant “buy my book!” posts.
For all the sales you get from that oversaturation tactic (if you get any), you lose a lot more potential customers. Why? Because people don’t like heavy sells to begin with and giving them a torrent of it on their social media is likely to get you blocked.
If all your posts are that, people will stop following you, stop interacting with you.
Someone, somewhere, (obviously claiming to be a Marketing Guru) told people to use DMs to sell. And sell they tried! (Marketing Guru guy needs a good kick in the pants!)
If you’re on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, chances are, someone has tried to contact you via DM (Direct Message) to sell you their book. Or give you their book for free (I’m calling that out too – still bad marketing).
Unsolicited DMs are so prevalent that many people put “No DMs” in their profile bios.
What many writers do is create an auto message and the moment someone follows them, it pops up saying:
“Hi, thanks for the follow, now click this link to buy a book you don’t care about from someone you don’t know!”
I have unfollowed so many people who did this. That’s not selling. To sell you have to connect. You haven’t connected, you’ve spammed! We all hate spam.
When people follow you, that is usually the first contact you have with them. They’ve seen something on your page and thought “yeah, this person seems cool, I’ll check them out.”
So that auto message of “buy my book” suddenly seems over the top. Imagine if you were at a conference and someone came over to talk to you and the first thing you said was “I’m an author, here’s a link to buy my book. I hope you love it!”
Now, do you really think that would work? Do you know that person reads Dinosaur Spy Horror? (or whatever it is you’re writing). No. So let’s try NOT to do that.
Tag, you’re it
Have you ever been tagged in a post or tweet and when you got there, it was just some post where they are trying to sell their book?
I have… a lot. Frustratingly, these are not people I’ve said “hey, tell me when you’re book’s out, I want it!” but always people I have zero connection or interactions with who copy me in.
9 times out of 10, they are flogging a book in a genre I don’t read. What a waste of time!
I’ve even had a few use my game hashtag #TheMerryWriter on a selling post. Not cool, people! Not cool!
The One Trick Pony
This is where someone posts nothing but posts about buying their book.
Remember, the book is the product but you need to offer people something of value – the book is not the “something of value” unless you’re giving it away for free, and you know how I feel about that.
If your entire feed is about selling, then you’re doing it wrong. This is why writers need to have blogs. It gives you a place to give back to your readers, share insights and thoughts, share reviews or tutorials, share your journey… don’t just share your buy links.
These can then be shared on social media (though, not ONLY that). You should be sharing other people’s content too. Adding in some insights, funny thoughts, tidbits about you, asking questions etc.
Obviously, a blog only works if you’re not making every post about your book sale.
What Social Media IS for
Social media is a great place to make connections with other writers. These will become your group, your tribe, your beta readers, etc.
It’s a great place to make connections with readers. To see what people enjoy, to learn more about your genre and subgenre. To gently share your characters and ideas in order to tease and intrigue readers who may eventually become fans.
If you do that, you won’t need to heavy sell them, they will be EAGER to hear when you’re book is coming out.
Writing is a solitary business, but that doesn’t mean it is 100%.
These platforms can become places where you can reach out to people who understand when you’re going through writer’s block, that you can celebrate victories with or commemorate rejections with.
Sharing your story
No, I don’t mean throwing huge chunks of your novel into posts or exposing spoilers, I mean lightly feeding excerpts, character images, trailers and quotes to your followers.
It’s about discussing the writing journey you’re on and telling people why you love this character or that. It’s helping people fall in love with your characters before they even read the book.
PS: One person who is GREAT at this is my friend and fellow writer S.R Severn. From pieces she has fed out on social media to the way she discusses her characters, I am already desperate to read the book and totally in love with her characters. Check her out!
What’s this got to do with Marketing?
Depending on how you approach social media and which platform(s) you choose to use, can have an impact on your marketing.
I see all the time people stating they aren’t good at marketing, and yet their social media is full of people liking and commenting when they share excerpts of their book or a character-inspired image.
People are often doing it without even realising it. Then there are others who follow the bad plan of sell, sell, sell and can actually do more damage to their marketing.
So, I shouldn’t sell on social media?
No, that’s not what I’m saying. If you have a book out, then hell yeah, you need to tell your followers.
BUT, if that is ALL you are posting if you are DMing people with it and more of your posts and tweets are about selling than anything else. That’s bad marketing.
Sorry, I’ve been a little absent, there’s a lot going on right now and I’m just trying to keep all the plates spinning. I’ve hopefully caught up on all comments on this blog and replied to all entrants of my Newsletter Giveaway.
If you received my Newsletter at the end of March and entered the giveaway and haven’t heard from me, please email me again.
So, social media, love it or hate it?