Let’s face it: There’s a lot of chatter on social media sites. Between people exclaiming over the surprising events of the latest episode of their favorite TV show or sharing photos from their exotic vacation, it can be difficult to be heard—particularly if your goal is to promote your book and/or business.
Here are nine ways to raise your voice above the social media din and get your message across:
1. Content should appeal to your target audience and provide value.
Note that your content doesn’t always have to be directly related to your books or what you do. For example, an author of a local history book might share community resources, local event announcements, and family-related tips. The point is to become a valued resource with your ideal audience.
2. Follow the 90/10 rule.
Avoid selling online and you will achieve more sales. That’s right; we’re all tired of being sold to. When you provide value, you build loyalty and trust. It’s fine to include sales offers up to 10% of the time, but make sure you are primarily serving up useful content. Then occasionally promote your book and you will see the rewards.
3. Use compelling text and descriptions.
You only have a limited amount of space to share information, which means that a well-written message can make the difference between a reader who clicks through or completely ignores your post. Be compelling, but avoid sounding too salesy.
4. Track your results.
Pay attention to user response. If you’re receiving comments and your content is being forwarded to others (for example, retweeting on Twitter), that is evidence that your efforts are working. Also, your network should be growing steadily as a result of the value you’re providing.
5. Use links wisely.
When you share compelling content, it provides an opportunity to link back to your website or blog. This is great for building website traffic. However, not every post needs to have a link. Mix up your posts so that some simply offer something short and sweet. You can also shorten links and track the number of click-throughs with a service like http://bit.ly.
6. Be consistent.
You will get the best results from marketing content through social media by participating on a regular basis. Ideally you should share something every day, even multiple times per day, to stay visible. You can automate some of your updates with services like http://hootsuite.com and http://tweetdeck.com. But don’t automate everything or your audience will notice and lose interest.
7. Engage with your audience.
Social media involves a two-way conversation. It’s not just about shoving data out into your network and waiting to reap the rewards. Reply to people who comment, forward, and share useful content from others and make sure you have a human presence in social media land.
8. Build a social media plan.
You can venture into social media haphazardly, or you can form a plan that makes sense for your goals. A plan should identify your target audience, include a strategy for ongoing content generation, should identify frequency of updates, and indicate the amount of time and resources you are going to allocate to managing your social media strategy.
9. Try a 30-day challenge.
Use the suggestions outlined here and focus your efforts for 30 days. The results should be obvious. If they aren’t, then there is something amiss with your strategy. Ask others for input or solicit the help of a social media expert. There is opportunity for every kind of business to benefit from social media. You simply need to find the strategy that works for you.
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