Best social media sites for authors to use

You want to use social media, as it’s the best way to market directly to prospective buyers of your books. But with the dozens of social media sites out there, which one or two are best for you?

Which social media platform(s) you use largely depends upon three factors:
• If your target audience is there
• If the platform lends itself to the way you promote your book
• If you get results from posting there

As an example, my writing guidebooks do quite well on Twitter, Google+ (during its heyday) and LinkedIn but don’t net much off of Facebook, Pinterest or Tumblr. I don’t get many followers on Facebook, and promos for my writing tips blog don’t lend themselves well to picture-oriented platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr. In contrast, my hiking trail guidebooks do quite well on Twitter, Google+ (again, during its heyday) and Pinterest, all of which can show scenic pictures from the trail. As with my writing guidebooks, not many people follow my hiking guides on Facebook and the recreational activity doesn’t fit the professional nature of LinkedIn.

So, you’ll need to test each platform to see what works best for your books. To get started, here are the major social media platforms that you should consider trying out.

With more than 313 million visitors every month (for this and all further quoted numbers, as of January 2017), Twitter offers an excellent opportunity to build a large base of followers. To get more follows, use hashtags, retweet other tweets, and follow others. Building a base of followers takes time, but once you reach 10,000 followers, it tends to take off on its own.

With 2.07 billion monthly visitors as of spring 2017, Facebook allows for excellent targeting of prospective customers if you are willing to enter the ad arena. It’s not so great for just making posts, unless you can develop a solid base of followers who regularly check your page.

YouTube receives 1 billion monthly visitors and is the second largest search engine in the world – yes, that’s right, an incredible number of people go right to YouTube to see if there is a video on the topic they want to know about. Because of this, on other search engines YouTube videos usually appear high in search results.

Popular among professionals, LinkedIn is a great way to connect to others looking for consulting and coaching. It’s also an excellent way to develop a relationship; given this, the platform is less effective for selling books than it is for selling services related to your book (which in turn leads to book sales!).

The most popular of the photo-sharing platforms with 600 million monthly visitors, it is an great platform for posting photos of you at any events. Unlike other platforms, where hashtags either are not used (LinkedIn) or frowned upon if more than three are given (Facebook, Twitter), most Instagram posts contain any number of the metadata tags.

The photo-sharing sight is excellent for posting pictures of your book covers and other products (be sure to include links to the pages where they are sold). Because tagged items in Pinterest can go viral rapidly and show up high on search engines, you really can significantly boost your sales. Pinterest boasts 150 million monthly visitors.

With more than 420 million users and 113 million posts per day, this photo-sharing sight can be used the same way as Pinterest. Tagged items tend to appear high on search engines.

A word of caution: Of course, not all of those monthly visitors are interested in the topic of your book or even in reading. Generally, the more visitors, however, the greater the number of them will be interested in your book’s genre or topic.

Thank you for joining me for this episode of the Storytelling 1-oh-1 Podcast, a production of Inventing Reality Editing Service.

Do you dream of becoming a published writer? Do you want to ensure your book reaches the largest audience possible? Inventing Reality Editing Service can help you improve your writing and self-publish your manuscript. For more, check us out online at slash home. Until next time, I’m Rob Bignell, and keep on writing!


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.