Okay, you’ve opened all these crazy social media accounts, invited a few friends here and there, hooked up your primary accounts to your Hootsuite/Buffer aggregates… and now you feel like you’re in a void.

How does all the hieroglyphics translate to book sales? How do I avoid sucking up time and resources with a scattershot approach?

Define Your Social Media Target Goals

social-media-strategy-goalsA well-defined social media strategy begins with asking and answering some honest questions about your goals, and carefully defining your audience:

  1. Who am I trying to reach, and where are the MAJORITY of those readers spending their time? Where am I willing to spend my time, and how much of it?
  2. What is my “call to action” or goal/purpose on each site in which I interact? You may have a few different goals, each achieved by different sites. In example:
    1. Goodreads to engage with potential readers in your genre
    2. LinkedIn to establish contact with thought leaders for speaking appearances
    3. Twitter to “buzz up” your book, and ultimately get fans to click on your site and join your mailing list
  3. How does each action contribute to your greater brand-building goal of getting 5 or 10 or 15 new people each day to see your name and the name of your book?

Share Your Content OFTEN

Sometimes you’ll be simply tweeting something cool you see, or sharing another book you love. But when it comes to your own blog content and sharing that across social media platforms, it needs to happen repeatedly in order to get the most juice out of each post you publish.

CoSchedule offers up this sample schedule of their own (click to read the entire article; it’s full of great intel on WHY you need to post content more than once):

  1. On publish – Social message sent when blog post goes live
  2. Same day – Initial social messages trickle out to your accounts over the next 2-3 hours.
  3. Next day – Messages are shared again on the appropriate social channels.
  4. Next week – Another series of messages are pre-scheduled and sent the following week.
  5. Next month – Even more social messages are pre-scheduled for the following month.
  6. Next _____ – Additional messages can optionally be scheduled for the three-month mark or beyond.

Author of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Guy Kawasaki advocates sharing on Twitter four or more times daily, to match the habits of various users (morning commuters, lunch-time Tweeters, afternoon break check-ins, evening commuters, after dinner check ups).

When asked by folks if readers might think this is too much, Guy is quick to point out that anyone seeing your message on Twitter five times in a day is spending too much time on the platform.

Take Advantage of Social Media Strategy Templates

Social_Media_Marketing_CalendarIn our “Additional Resources” section below you’ll find a number of really great, useful templates developed by experts in the social media field, including entries from Hootsuite, Buffer, Keyhole, and Hubspot.

Some are easier to manage/manipulate than others. Some focus on analyzing your data; others on scheduling. We suggest focusing on the scheduling part of your social media management first. Once you are comfortable enough with your goals and social media strategy, and are managing it among your other tasks (writing and pitching influencers!) then you can begin to fine-tune the process using more marketing analytics.

We see a few too many authors jump into social media with both feet, schedule like crazy, then quickly despair when the analytics don’t yet meet expectations. Building a strong social media platform, like any sturdy foundation, requires some time and patience. There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a great author give up after four or five months’ time and claim “Social media didn’t work for me.”

The plain fact is, it can take an emerging author 12-18 months of diligence to establish a strong presence and following. But once you do, that following WILL translate to book sales!

Additional Resources

share-social-media-strategyWe Want to Know What Works for YOU

Do you have a social strategy or a template that’s worked to improve your own scheduling and goals? Share it with our tribe with your comment below (or suggest a guest post follow up!)