Using your author social media to generate leads requires being a leader!

Using your author social media to generate leads requires diligence as well as being a leader!

Thanks to plagiarism consultant Ron Greenberg for this guest post, and to 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 plagiarism detection service.

7 thoughts on “Six Strategies for Building Fans with Author Social Media

  • July 23, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I’ve found that being regular, approachable and engaging in social media (rather than just posting Buy My Book comments) have definitely helped me develop relationships with potential book buyers, including book clubs.

    • July 23, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      Absolutely James and thanks for reinforcing that – it really DOES need to be a conversation vs. just an author shouting “Buy Me” from the nearest social media rooftop (otherwise they’d call it advertising, eh?!) Write on and thanks for weighing in, always!

  • July 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Another helpful post, but the problem I have is fitting all of this into my busy schedule. Any ideas, especially for social media?

    • July 20, 2013 at 12:47 am

      Yes, get thee on Hootsuite – Once you build your author FB page, Google+ page, LI and Twitter, you can load ’em all up there and then when you want to push out content, be it a link to your blog post or cool article or upcoming event, you post it there and can select to update all the accounts at the same time… You can do up to 5 for free (we set authors up on all plus FB personal page) or the paid version for multiples, which I use so I can also update FB groups, LI groups too! Allows you to manage things in record time and leave yourself more time to blog and WRITE!

    • July 20, 2013 at 12:54 am

      Hootsuite! Lets you load up to five accounts free (i.e. FB personal, FB author page, Google+ author page, LI and Twitter) – or for $10 a mo. unlimited (what I use to also update FB and LI groups we belong to) – You can push content out – whether blog post link or link to cool article or your news about whatever, and update ’em all at once, leaving you more time to blog and WRITE!

  • July 13, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I have just dived into the Social Networking thing, and I will continue to try, but it really seems to me that in most cases, everyone is looking to sell, not buy.

    • July 13, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      It can seem that way at first, but there really are plenty of both. Part of it is making sure you’re asking for conversation. Think about it in real-life terms: If you’re at a party and you ask someone what they do and they tell you, then you have a conversation about it, as opposed to just launching in to what you do and them doing the same… Fellow writers won’t be as much help as seeking out readers – there are LOTS of ’em!

Comments are closed.