My three biggest social media ‘Ahas’
The allure of social media is a powerful one. It’s free. It’s available on-the-go, and it’s a veritable stage from where you can deliver your message to the world. But beyond the buzz and tweet of digital socializing, can social media really deliver on its lofty marketing promises, or is it just a big honey trap?
And, when you have to spend so much time working on the right marketing strategy, is it really free?
You’re likely to have a few questions about how to use social media to publicize your book. You might want to be the next Tim Ferris, or bigger. You might want to know how to be sure that social media is the best way to market your book.
Or maybe you haven’t considered it yet because you’re so busy putting the finishing touches to your book. If you’re in the throes of editing, sourcing distribution channels and designing your cover, you might already feel stretched.
Most authors harbor a paradoxical blend of emotions when it comes to marketing their book. On the one hand they’re hopeful and on the other, fearful. And while they may be full of desire for the success of the book, they might have to overcome feelings of apathy in other areas. But one thing’s for sure, and it’s that as soon as an author decides to market their book, they get bombarded by people telling them they MUST use social media.
Social media marketing can be a challenging labyrinth to negotiate for the uninitiated. As a seasoned social media marketer, I have learned some important lessons which I have used to launch two of my own books, and to help other authors with their social media campaigns. I have seen the platforms evolve, and how the playing fields change when new sites like Pinterest come along and profess to be the best thing since canned beer.
Since social media marketing is my bread and butter, I’m avid about staying current with its trends, anticipating and moving to its rhythms and staying abreast of the best tips, ticks and techniques to leverage it most powerfully.
Here are my three biggest social media ‘Ahas’, which might prove helpful to you and your social media campaign.
- Being a technical whizz won’t cut it. I know Microsoft Word and Excel inside and out. That doesn’t make me the best sales letter writer in the world, or endow me with the skills of a financial analyst. I’ve always said that social media is just a set of tools. If you don’t have the vision or skill to use those tools, you can’t use it to its potential. You MUST have a marketing strategy before you start using social media. You should also map your goals and a timeframe for achieving them. If you have weaknesses in some areas, get help to fill the competency gap.
- “If you build it they will come.” This isn’t the Field of Dreams. Remain fully cognizant of the fact that Social Media marketing takes work. Lots of it. You have to be available online and offline to make connections, meet with people and engage with your audience. And, FYI, it takes clever strategizing to work the two in concert. Developing a plan that blends the two is the key to your success.
- Everybody is on social media.” That’s a myth. Not everyone is on social media. But you can still harness the power of the internet to make it easy for people to find you on the web. For that reason alone having a social media presence can be a very powerful tool to establish and grow your search rankings.
At first glance, social media appeals as a free way to market your product. But remember: the fact that its various platforms are free to join does not mean they won’t demand a considerable investment of your time. Learn how to use social media efficiently so you don’t end up wasting it.
If you’d like to know more about marketing for authors, check out this link to two webinars I recently participated in. With some of the brightest minds in author marketing, they offer a tremendous amount of knowledge about the publishing world. I don’t know of any other webinars (including my own) that go into this much depth on the most important aspects of book publishing and author mistakes.
You can also join us for another excellent webinar Tuesday October 15, 2013 by visiting firstname.lastname@example.org