Lola’s Advice is a monthly feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews, which will be posted on the first monday of the month. Lola’s Advice posts are usually how-to or tips type of posts. They are mainly aimed at authors, but I also try and show the blogger/ reader side of the topic I address. I share my knowledge or personal opinion on mostly book, authors, marketing and promotion related topics. I hope it’s helpful for authors and bloggers alike. Also even though it’s advice please understand that even if you follow all my advice it still won’t guarantee your book will be a success, but it hopefully will be helpful. I also believe that not everything works for each author, every author and book is different and different strategies work for different people. So please use whatever you want to or fits with your style. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.
It feels like nowadays the focus when it come to book marketing has strongly shifted to newsletters. I think mostly this is a good thing as newsletters have some benefits compared to social media, I talked about newsletters and getting more subscribers last month. But on the other hand I also think social media still has it’s place too and if as an author you can do both I would definitely recommend that. I think social media still has it’s place, so I thought it would be interesting to list some ideas for what to post on social media below. Please keep in mind not every idea works as well for every social media, but most of them can be applied or adjusted for different social media sites.
What to post on social media
- New Book release. This one is probably pretty obvious, but I wanted to list it anyway. Make sure to post about your new release on release day, I think it’s best to include buy links as well if possible so people know where to get their copy.
- Announcements. Think of things like an audiobook deal or signing a deal with a publisher if you’re traditionally published. But also things like the title for your next book or the planned release date.
- Pre-orders or count down. If you do pre-orders for your book let your followers know when the book can be pre-ordered and how much the book costs and include links to where they can pre-order your book. Some authors run a 0.99$ or cheap pre-order deal, if you do that make sure to emphasize that as well. You could also count down till the book releases, which you can do with and without a pre-order.
- Cover Reveal. If you’re doing a cover reveal, reveal the cover on your social media. Even if you’re not doing a big cover reveal with multiple bloggers participating, you can still do a cover reveal on your site and social media. Or you could even share cover drafts if you feel comfortable with that.
- Blog Tour stops or blogger posts. If you’re doing a tour or guest posts/ interviews etc on blogs, it’s a good idea to link to these posts. These posts are often fun to read for your followers and it’s a bit of a thank you to the blogger posting them. Make sure to tag the blogger and/ or tour organizer if possible so they can see you shared their post.
- Reviews/ review quotes. If someone leaves a positive review for one of your books you can share the link to their review on social media and/ or a quote from their review. This is a way to promote your book more subtle without just putting the buy links in people their faces and sharing other people their opinions of your book can be a great way to promote it.
- Sign-up form/ links. If you’re doing a tour or have open spots on your arc team or looking for reviewers for a book you probably have sign-up form or link to where they can sign-up. Share these links so your followers can hear about these opportunities.
- Personal tidbits or book related information. This one depends a bit on what you’re comfortable with sharing on social media, I know some authors who share a lot about their personal life and others who share less. I think a glimpse into your personal life or the person behind the books can be interesting for fans. Some ideas: what you’re cooking, your writing spot, your pets, what you’re writing today, random tidbits you want to share, a quote from your current work in progress or how your book is coming along, other hobbies, places you visited, pictures of inspiration, inspirational quotes etc.
- Excerpts/ short quotes. I think excerpts or short quotes form your book are great to share on social media. They can give your followers a bit of a feel for your book.
- Teasers. Building on the previous points, short quotes can also be made into teaser images. Teaser images often include a quote and a picture and a nice way to spread the word about your book and build excitement.
- Other authors their books or news. Sharing other authors their post is also an idea, especially if the author writes the same genre as you as your followers might be interested in hearing about that.
- Blog posts people mention you or your books in. Sometimes bloggers mention your book in top ten list type of post or any post other than a tour or review, which can be fun to share as well if you feel like it.
- Giveaways. If you have a giveaway going on it helps to share on social media as well. Or you could do a giveaway on social media only. I did a whole post about giveaways last year.
- Character inspiration/ world inspiration/ pictures related to your books. I think anything inspiration related can make for a fun post that’s book related, without directly about selling your book. And as a reader I always like reading these type of posts.
- Video content. I’ve heard video content can do really well on facebook, so maybe you can share some video type of content. Think of recording yourself, filming something in your surroundings, making a book trailer or even a gif type of picture for your book.
- Discounts, deals and free books. If your book is discounted, available for cheap or free that’s something your followers probably would be interesting to hear about, so post that on your social media. This also counts for group promo’s you’re part of.
- Ask questions or ask for feedback or ides. Ask questions on social media can be a good way to get interaction with your followers and at the same time this also makes sure more people see your post.
- General writing/ book related posts. Anything that’s related to writing or books works well on an author social media page as well. Think of book related posts on blogs or writing/ reading related memes. Or posts about your writing or reading.
- Link to your website, new pages or new blog posts. If you have a website it can be handy to try and send some visitors there now and then from social media. Let them know when there’s something new or send them to a specific page you want people to visit. If you have a blog you can share the link to your latest blog post.
- Link to your newsletter sign-up. If you hope yo get more newsletter subscribers you can also mention your newsletter on social media. I’ve seen some author announce what will be in their next newsletter and encourage people to sign-up. A more general promotional post to encourage people to sign-up for your newsletter can be effective to, or share the link to your latest newsletter so people can see what type of newsletters you send out.
- Buy Links. Don’t make buy links the only thing that you post, but I think there is a time and place for posting buy links for your books. Like if you do a pre-order or new release or when you’re posting about your book. I remember an article I read once that recommend one promo or buy link post per 4 posts or something in that direction. I think that as long as you have other posts as well, posting your buy links now and then is perfectly fine. After all you do want people to hear about your books and buy them if they are interested. And if you talk abut your book providing the buy links makes it easy for people to check out your book.
General tips and idea concerning social media
- Post regularly. It depends a bit on the social media site, but for most sites I think it’s beneficial to post regularly, say at least once or twice a day. If you post more there’s also more content that can be seen. It also helps to keep you and tour brand or books fresh in people their heads.
- Reply to tags. When people tag you on social media if you have the time take the time to look at their post or maybe even share it if you think your followers would be interested as well. If people reply to your posts try to reply back if necessary. This isn’t necessary, but I do think it helps to create a nice social environment.
- Share other people their posts. Sometimes sharing another person’s post on a topic can be more effective than making a new post yourself. Especially on facebook I find that sometimes a post I share does better than when I make a new post. Sharing is also a nice way to help/ give credit to the person who posted that and boost their views for that post as well.
- Ask to share. If you want people to share your post ask them to do so. I once read an article which showed that tweets where people asked “Please RT” got more retweets than those without. So asking your followers to share can be an effective way to get more shares for your post or tweet. I would advice to not do this too often, but in moderation I think this can be effective.
- Schedule your social media posts. Scheduling your social media posts can make posting a bit easier as you don’t actually have to be online to post, you can schedule a bunch of posts ahead of time on different times and you can forget about it after that. Think of sites like tweetdeck or buffer for scheduling, but I heard even for instagram they have a site to schedule posts. On facebook there is also a standard option to schedule posts, so you don’t need an extra site for that, but I know some people prefer to use another site for that.
- Vary posting time and type of media. Varying posting times and type of media can be helpful to reach more of your audience/ followers. Not everyone is awake or online at the same times, so varying posting times can help to reach different people at different times. Varying type of media, text only, image and video can also help as some type of content work better than others. I think varying things up also helps so you don’t always post the exact same type of content.
- Use hashtags. On many social media sites you can use hashtags, this can be helpful as hashtags usually have different formatting than other posts and people searching for that hashtag might find your post. Think of using hashtags for giveaway or win when doing a #giveaway, hashtags for #bargainbooks or discount when running a deal or #free when you have a free book. For books you can also use hashtags for genres as well.
- Tag people when it makes sense to do so. If it makes sense to do so tag people. Tagging people makes sure they also hear of your posts and might even like or share it and it’s also a good way to boost your reach. Only tag people when it makes sense to do so. For example when sharing a review or post of a blogger you can tag the blogger, when promoting a multi author box set you can tag the other authors, when promoting a tour tag the tour organizer, when sharing a deal on a promo site tag the promo site, when sharing a link to your book on instafreebie tag instafreebie.
- Make your profile complete. I can’t emphasize this enough, but if you have a social media profile make sure your profile is complete. Is there a space for a picture and/ or banner? Add one. Space for a bio? Write one. Space to include links or add a widget for your newsletter? Do so. Having a complete profile looks more professional and using the space that profiles provide to include your website link or other links can direct people to other places.