Thanks to plagiarism consultant Ron Greenberg for this guest post, and to freedigitalphotos.net for the cool graphic…
You’ve been hearing about the buzz and the mythical success stories in author social media for years. So you finally sat down after a lot of mulling over and created the social media profile for yourself as an author on Facebook/Twitter/Google+/social network of your choice. Your mission: to generate interest in your work, new readers and book sales.
But after some time tinkering with your profile(s), It’s becoming painfully clear you are not doing enough. What should you do? Here are six things you can do right now in order to jump start your lead generation on your author social media assets:
1. Compelling Content is King
A phrase that has been repeated endlessly in social media/inbound marketing circles for recent years is “create compelling content.” And for a reason – the best in the business really make sure that this “first commandment” is served at all times. This means using your author social media as both a channel where you will learn more about what your target persona (the imagined type of reader of your content you want to convert) finds interesting and as a means to disseminate this content. Think broad: white papers, infographics, special reports, stats, how-to guides are all game and can possibly help you gain the trust of your readers. Just make sure what you share responds to their “pain points,” educates them and ideally, entertains them.
2. Engage, Don’t Just Broadcast
Author social media changes the traditional paradigm of marketing by truly allowing one to one and one to many interaction between you and your readers alike. So before you start creating an Excel sheet with tweets to neatly schedule and forget about, stop. You should complement it with real time communication with other readers and authors. Focus on a couple of key users you want to engage and build up on it. Comment on their posts, retweet (Twitter), like and comment as your business page (Facebook), answer questions (Quora), submit and comment on most interesting articles from your niche (Reddit).
3. Keep Your Focus Sharp
Figure out on which social media your desired buyers spend the most time and apply the 80:20 rule to them. In other words, recognize that 80% of your author social media success is likely to come from 20% of the biggest social media networks. If you write visually distinct books such as children’s books, coffee table books or cookbooks, Pinterest and (to a lesser extent) Facebook will be your king. If you are a how-to author that solves an annoying problem in a new way your audience is most likely to be on Twitter or Hackernews. Business related writers may find more of their folks on Linked In.
4. Be Regular
By this, we don’t mean be ordinary. What we mean is be consistent and post regularly. Post at least once a day on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and at least five times a day on Twitter. Make sure you spread the messages though: social media posts infamously don’t stay long in user’s news feeds. Use HootSuite or SproutSocial to schedule your messages at different times throughout the day and week.
5. Use Social Media Monitoring Tools
With so many social media profiles and pages it’s possible to have, you want to make sure you are monitoring each carefully to make sure you have effective lead generation in place. Good news is that a plethora of tools that ease the process exist out there. Some of them are: Hootsuite which allows you to schedule your posts, monitor campaigns and track keywords across multiple social media; Tweetdeck – a very similar, widely used platform; Social Oomph – a robust, mainly free to use scheduling and monitoring tool with a simple interface but strong features; and Twubs which is a new addition to Twitter monitoring that focuses on tracking hashtags and even allows you to register and manage pages for your own hashtags.
6. Lead Generation is a Process
Another trap that many authors fall into is expectations of instant success even if all of the above rules are observed. This happens very rarely. Once you start engaging your target users successfully don’t become weak and ruin everything with hard sell. Rather, invest time in slowly nurturing the relationship and trust before you attempt converting those fans to book buyers.
Rob Greenberg works as a consultant at the http://www.plagiarismdetect.com/ plagiarism detection service.