Most of us have a bit of a love/hate relationship with social media. It can reel you in, leaving you feeling unproductive, but in the 21st century, it is pretty much a requirement for any brand. And as an author, you are indeed a brand.
Social media encompasses the websites and applications people use to create, share content and communicate virtually. They provide an opportunity to connect with people across the globe.
Choosing Your Social Media Platforms
Choose a few social media platforms you would like to focus your efforts on. Once you’ve joined some of these core services, and created your author profile, don’t forget to maintain an online presence. Regularly checking in with your fans is an easy way to bolster sales (and can also be a lot of fun)!
Using these tools can drastically increase your exposure and potential audience while opening up new opportunities.
YouTube is a wildly popular global video-sharing website that likely needs no introduction. Over one BILLION hours of video content is viewed each day on YouTube.
You can get by on YouTube without owning professional equipment; with a webcam or smartphone and some free video-editing software, anyone can film, edit, and export content.
When it comes to editing, you can stitch video clips together, erase unwanted sections, and add title screens, transitions, and sound effects using the free software that typically comes with your computer.
Here are some tips for using YouTube to promote yourself and your work:
- Make your videos easy to search by tagging them with relevant keywords.
- Create trailers for your audiobooks! These can take the form of excerpts, or you can unleash your creative side with a more traditional film-style teaser.
- Post links on your channel and in your video descriptions to places people can purchase your audiobook online.
- Your YouTube channel is a great place to show off your audiobook cover art! It’s also a good idea to change your profile photo to your author photo for easy recognition.
- Embed your YouTube videos on your website.
- You can add annotations in the form of layered text, links, and hotspots over your videos. This can help enrich the video experience by adding information and interactivity.
- Share on other channels to increase your exposure, and encourage conversation in the comments section under your videos to keep people engaged!
SoundCloud is the leading online social sound platform, allowing anyone to upload audio files to share with a worldwide audience. SoundCloud makes it easy to share these files publicly to blogs, sites, and other social networks.
- Upload an excerpt of your book to SoundCloud to share on your preferred social media platforms, embed it on your website.
- Add links to your SoundCloud samples to let people know exactly where they can buy the whole book.
- Upload an excerpt of your book and easily share right from SoundCloud to other social media channels. Email excerpts to friends, or create a mailing list to share with your readers.
- You can even embed your SoundCloud clips right on your website!
Facebook is a free social networking website with over one billion daily active users. Beyond keeping in touch with friends, family, and colleagues, Facebook is used to promote your audiobook and connect with a larger audience.
Here are some tips for using Facebook to promote yourself and your work:
- Rather than using your personal Facebook account, create a page specifically for you as an author.
- Share content from other authors, brands, and personalities that align with you.
- Join facebook groups for authors who share marketing tips or stories about their journey.
- Engage with your readers by liking and responding to comments.
- Share excerpts of your title via YouTube or SoundCloud clips and encourage discussion.
- Always provide links to places people can purchase your book.
- Use hashtags and get involved in trending conversations.
- Photos and video are more engaging than plain text—use this type of media wherever possible!
- Experiment with sponsored posts and ads. Facebook ads can run on budgets of all sizes. Experiment and find out what works for you.
Twitter is an online social networking site that enables users to send and read 280-character messages called "tweets". 280 characters may not seem like much, but that’s the beauty of the service— this form of micro-blogging delivers information in easily-digestible snippets for anyone to browse through. You’re not limited to text, either; you can also share photos, videos, links, polls, and more to connect with your fans and potential readers.
Here are some tips for using Twitter to promote yourself and your work:
- Retweet content from other authors, brands, and personalities that align with you.
- Tweet your followers, other authors, publishers, bloggers, narrators, and even celebrities!
- Try to keep your tweets conversational. People don’t like being advertised to, so keep it casual, light, and fun, while including links to your books.
Reddit is a user-submitted aggregator of everything on the internet. Literally everything! Millions of people use Reddit every single day. It is a fantastic place to connect with authors and readers alike. It’s free to join, anonymous, and best of all, fun! Here are some tips for using Reddit to promote yourself and your work:
- Join subreddits dedicated to writing, books, genres, audiobooks, and even book sales.
- Join in the conversation with other authors to learn about market trends, bestsellers, books you should read, and new places to sell your audiobook.
- Experiment with paid ads on Reddit! Reddit lets you pick where your promotional post will show up to get the most bang for your buck.
Goodreads is the world's largest site for book lovers. Anyone can freely search their extensive database of books, annotations, and reviews. Users who create an account can add books to reading lists, follow their favorite authors, and create polls, blogs, and discussions.
Here are some tips for using Goodreads to promote yourself and your work:
- Develop your author profile – become a 'Goodreads Author' with an official badge from Goodreads.
- Leave reviews and comments on other books.
- Add books to your Read, Currently Reading, and Want to Read bookshelves, or add custom shelf categories!
- Host a Goodreads Giveaway contest to introduce readers to your books.
- Join groups dedicated to your chosen genre(s) to engage with a wide audience of readers and listeners.
General Social Media Tips
- Keep descriptions and visuals consistent across all platforms to increase brand recognition.
- Post with consistency
- Create content with the three E’s in mind:
- Connect with your audience by showing off your personality.
- Connect with bloggers, vloggers, & TikTokers who can help spread the word about your book. Send them promo codes in exchange for honest reviews. (Email us for help with promo codes)
- Cross-promote with other authors and narrators.
- Build anticipation for upcoming releases with excerpts, samples, and cover reveals.
- Provide links to your books wherever possible and encourage leaving reviews without spamming potential readers.
- Develop a consistent brand voice that your ideal readers can connect with and stick with it across all platforms.
- Use a social media scheduler to stay on top of multiple accounts so you can spend less time posting and more time creating your next masterpiece! Hootsuite, buffer, & later are all great options.