Increasingly we interact through social media, a catch-all term for various web-based and mobile technologies that allow the user to generate content. Rather than rely solely on traditional media, such as newspapers and television, writers today have to get the word out about their book utilizing social media outlets, which includes Goodreads, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and blogs. Indeed, the advantage of social media is that it allows people with like interests to connect, share information, and discuss topics, meaning you can directly reach those potential readers who are most likely to buy your book.
So which social media outlet is the best way to tell the world about your book?
That in large part depends upon your readers’ use of social media. Therefore, you probably need to have a presence on all of them.
However, some outlets are worthy of more attention. My personal experience in promoting my own books is that some do seem to be more productive than others, and it’s largely a matter of which genre I’m writing in. My fiction and poetry do well on Facebook, Goodreads, and traditional media. My nonfiction (hiking and writing guidebooks) does well via LinkedIn and traditional media. Both genres do well on Twitter. Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube haven’t helped sales in either genre. I’ve had many clients, however, who swear by those last three and find traditional media isn’t receptive at all to their press releases.
My advice is to set yourself up on all of the platforms. Begin by looking at what other authors writing in your genre are doing on those platforms to promote themselves and model their marketing efforts. Interact daily for a few minutes on each platform by posting (with hashtags), liking and following, all to help yourself build an audience.
Now comes testing time. After a month, stop using all all but one of the platforms; when the week is over, stop using that platform and exclusively use one of those platforms you didn’t use the previous week. Repeat this until you’ve gone through all of the platforms. Keep track of which platform you used which week then compare it to your book sales.
Did the sales match where authors who’ve written similar books promote their books? If so, definitely focus on those platforms by using them daily. In addition, continue focusing on those platforms that worked for you. Limit yourself, however, to once a week on the other platforms, if only so you have a presence there.