Tips for Using Social Media Marketing to Promote Your Book

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Book marketing campaigns certainly benefit from the effective use of online social networks. Below, book publicity and marketing coach and consultant, Sandra Beckwith, she shares her thoughts on how authors can do a better job of leveraging their online social networks to promote their books.

Tell Readers What They Will Get From Your Book on Social Media

Social media networks are certainly an important part of a book marketing campaign and, because they're so accessible, that's what most authors tend to focus on.

But one book promotion tip that will help you stand out across all your networks -- social media and otherwise -- is: focus on what readers will get from your book. The fact that the book exists is not news enough.

Your friends might buy your writing because they want to support your lifelong dream of writing a book or help you get further in your goal to be an Amazon best-selling author—but how many friends do you have?

Their friends want to be entertained, or are interested in the information they can learn from your book—it's the content that will bring readers to your book. That's what you need to make sure to share in your book marketing and publicity efforts.

Change Your Book Marketing Message for Each Social Media Demographic

In terms of rising above the noise, what's true for traditional media is also true for social media -- crafting your message is not a one-size-fits-all situation. The type and tone of information you share might vary from network to network.

For example, say you wrote a professional book about your industry—your tweets would be short, pithy and informal, while your blog posts might be information-rich and full of useful links.

Leverage Each Social Media Platform Differently to Market Your Book

  • Facebook (Personal): Here's a good case for why content is important—in order for information to go viral, it needs to seem interesting or useful enough to pass along. How many of your Facebook friends (and their friends) might find something interesting enough about your book to share it with their networks? Send them a message with a link to the book's purchase page at your favorite retailer, and ask them to share it on their walls.
  • Facebook (Professional): Do you have a separate fan page for your book or one of its characters? These pages encourage interaction, which, in turn, drives traffic. Ask people to participate, as well as share information about the book on their own pages.
  • Blog: You have more flexibility on your own blog so, if at all possible, create a page for your book and share why your book is important and how it will help educate, entertain, or inform readers. When your post updates, you can link back to that page. Ask your blog subscribers to consider sharing that information with their own networks and groups, and, of course, offer to do an interview or guest post related to your book on their blogs, too.
  • Twitter: Of course, you'll tweet about your book to your followers, but be smart about it. Don't do it constantly, and be sure not to make it a hard sales pitch ("Buy my book") But instead, share tidbits that help people understand your book's value. These are the most likely to be re-Tweeted.
  • Your Google+ Circle: The "Circles" tool on Google+ is tailor-made for author networking. Create a Circle for those in your Google+ network who might be interested in your book and share interesting book-related information with them.

Keep Your Social Media Pages Updated

Be sure to keep all your online social networks updated on your virtual book tour stops, media interviews that appear online, and so on. You never know which one a potential reader will visit—you don't want to take the chance that someone interested in your book will miss information that might engage him or her.

Also, it's important to remember that social networks were developed to emulate our real-world networks—to be social, to engage, to share, to learn—not merely to sell. Be active in your groups, participate in online forums.

Share news of your book, but avoid any hard-sell messages. And be generous and reciprocal with those in your social media networks—do unto them as you would have them do to you. Post, tweet and share their news, as well.

Of course, online social networks aren't the only kind we all have. Utilize all your 'social networks' in your book marketing campaign.

Sandra Beckwith, a former award-winning publicist, now teaches authors how to become their own book publicists. For more book publicity and promotion tips, and to sign up for her free newsletter, visit buildbookbuzz.com.