We know that social media are great for promotion, increasing visibility, and building up an audience. It works very well both for businesses and individuals – and it could be just as effective for any nonfiction author, who wants to promote their work.
Why should nonfiction authors promote on social media?
No matter how digitalized our world becomes, people still buy books and still remain interested in them. Moreover, the whole publishing process had become easier: you could always try self-publishing if you aren’t able to find an official publisher or simply want to do it your way.
But did the promotion became easier as well? Not at all. In fact, promoting your books now is much harder than a decade ago, no matter whether you’re working with a publisher or publish your books on your own. Even in the first case, your publisher will do a certain amount of promotion (which you might not consider to be enough) – and the rest will be up to you only.
That’s why those authors who are yet to become popular and bestselling are looking for the most effective ways to promote themselves and their work. Lucky for you, despite you might need to invest a lot of time and efforts into promotion, you most likely won’t need to invest any money – after all, you can do it completely for free with the help of social media.
The social media isn’t definitely the easiest way to promote – but they’re probably the most effective one. The outreach could be great, while the investments might remain minimal. But there’s a trick to it as well – you need to know how to do it right. And it’s might be even more difficult than crafting a strong APA style cover page with no prior essay writing experience.
So if you want to promote successfully, you need to do your best in order to succeed. And here’s how you can make your social media content more effective and compelling.
1. Identify your audience.
Every author writes for someone – and that’s especially true when it’s nonfiction writers we’re talking about. However, even if you believe that you know who your audience is, you probably still should think about it twice. The most common mistakes people make is believing that their audience is actually bigger and less specific than it is.
For example, you might think that your audience is everyone who’s creative – but is it really so? Maybe your books and tips will be good for artists but unsuitable for writers? Or maybe they are addressed to all creative people but of a certain age? The more specific you’ll be while answering those questions and researching your target audience, the easier it would be to come up with the effective promotion strategy.
2. Think about where you can find your audience.
While all social media are effective, some of them will be more effective for you than the others. And there’s no need to try creating content for each and every social media when you can save time and nerves and focus only on the ones that would help you reach your goal quicker.
Once you find out who your audience is, you need to understand which social media they use the most. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s not. If you struggle with the process, you could always use websites like Pew Research Center to help you: for example, it shows that 68% of US adults were Facebook users in 2016.
3. Think about what can you offer them.
Sure, you either wrote or are writing the whole book directed at your target audience – but if you’re going to share excerpts from it online, probably no one is going to buy it, right? This seems obvious but you’ll be surprised at how many people repeat themselves both on social media and in their writing.
Don’t be like that. Try building your audience by offering them something valuable yet not mentioned in your book. For example, the author of the recently published book on finances, «The Financial Diet», runs a YouTube. She’s been running it for a couple of years, sharing some personal finance tips, before she decided to release a book. Is the book related to the content of her channel? Yes. Does the book repeat that content? No. Though some parts might be similar in general, the advice and the formatting are different – and that’s what the audience is willing to pay for.
So try to come up with the content that is related to your niche – some tutorials, tips, lists, spreadsheets, and so on.
4. Keep the headlines in mind.
The headlines are extremely important for content promotion – you probably know this already if you came up with one for the book. But though both the book and the social media headlines need to be catchy and informative, they still differ, just like the content for online and for print.
Good social media headlines often include various power words and attract attention – and they are also short (preferably no longer than 60 characters).
5. Take it slow.
While promotion of your book might be (and probably is) your main goal, you still shouldn’t rush it as soon as you start posting on social media. Instead, take it slow, building a long-term relationship and a proper reputation.
While it’s crucial to establish the right relationships with your audience, it’s often impossible to achieve when they see (or feel) that you’re all about promotion. We bet you’d be annoyed by someone aggressively trying to sell something to you as well.
So don’t make it look like that. Even if you need to mention that you’re going to release a book, do it in a subtle way. And don’t give up even if your audience doesn’t grow as fast as you expected it to be. It often requires time, persistence, and even luck – if you keep writing and posting regularly, there’s a huge chance that one of your posts will become a success. And if you continue working hard but something’s still off, you might want to adjust your strategy a bit or consult someone to find out if you’re doing something wrong.
Mastering the skill of social media promotion is not a necessary thing to do for nonfiction writers. However, doing so could help you greatly, expanding your audience and making the promotion of your book easier. Moreover, if you won’t stop doing this, you’ll contribute to your future as well: after all, you’ll probably going to write and release more books later.
So if you’ve been thinking about whether or not you should give this a try, we strongly suggest you do so. This might require a bit of your extra time but if you follow these tips and do everything right, this will be definitely worth the effort!
We wish you good luck with your social media conquering!
Kevin is a professional educator and a private tutor with over 8 years of experience. He is also a content writer for various blogs about higher education, entertainment, social media & blogging. During his off time, Kevin enjoys traveling and cooking. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter, Linkedin & Google+.
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