If you are a new author thinking of how you can build a following, market a book and sell more books, you might certainly want to consider the potential impact of social media. By simply establishing accounts on the various social sites and developing a reader following for blogs and articles that you can share there; you can potentially become a best-selling writer. In fact, many aspiring and established authors make a fairly decent income through books promoted through this marketing vehicle.
There is added value in using social media sites to market your self-published books and establish your personal brand. In addition, if your book sells well or develops a strong following, you have a much better chance getting a major publishing house picking it up later.
Social media user numbers continue to swell and provide a potential gold mine for you book promotion. By tapping into the phenomenon, you potentially have access to large numbers of people that you othe4rwise would not have or would have to pay to access their contact information.
To give you an idea of how the social media user numbers stack up, take a look at the most popular site figures so far during 2012:
• LinkedIn has 175 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
• Facebook claims 955 million monthly active users with approximately 81% of them outside the U.S. and Canada.
• YouTube states that they have 800 million unique users each month with 70% of traffic coming from outside the US.
• Twitter touts 140 million users who send over 340 million tweets per day.
• Pinterest boasts almost 11 million members and is estimated to be the third most popular social media site in the U.S. based on traffic.
• Google+ has an estimated 170 active members and expects to have over 400 million by the end of the year.
Initially, you might want to ease into the social media stream and choose one of the premier sits (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter). LinkedIn is more for building business connections, including other writers and writing groups and publishers, editors and people in the writing industry. Facebook and Twitter lend themselves to personal connections that can lead to book promotion and sales opportunities. Once you become comfortable with its features and uses, add another.
One key to effectively utilizing social media in your marketing strategy is to plan how and when you will use it. One big mistake many authors make is that they do not have a dedicated schedule planned for when they will make entries or visit the various sites included in their plan. Choose a couple times a week and allocate 1-2 hours for blogging or writing articles that you then share through your social media channels.
Another thing to remember about writing for social media is that you should have a primary goal or focus if you want to develop a following. Readers typically search key words related to their target interest topic. If those words bring them to your blog or website and media entry, they you have done well. Too often, writers will offer ideas and advice on a variety of themes or topics in which they have interest or expertise. This scattered approach rarely works to their advantage related to social media marketing strategy.
One final thought related to effective social media usage to build your author platform is to be professional. Respond to each remark left about your entries and be sure to thank anyone who reposts your material on another site or comments about updates you make.