Romance books are consistently one, if not the, bestselling genres in publishing. Why? Perhaps it’s because romance writers understand the importance of networking. They create writing groups, attend writing conferences, read each others books and share their love of reading at the drop of a hat. I had the honor of addressing this year’s Romance Writers of America Conference in San Antonio, Texas this week to speaking about social marketing strategy for authors and the complete slide deck of presentation is online and available to view or download on my SlideShare Account here.
You are the brand. Your books are your brand extensions.
For those authors who could not attend, in person, I thought you might enjoy a recap in the way of a resource list. Below is a list and links to some of my favorite time saving tools and applications to help you amplify your voice, attract your ideal reader and articulate your book writing style to new readers.
Auto-Tweet: Connect your Facebook account to Twitter to auto-tweet what you post to Facebook, and not the other way around. While logged into your Twitter account, log onto Facebook and in the URL browser, type in http://Facebook.com/Twitter. You’ll get a pop up window showing you the accounts you manage on Facebook. Choose your author business page and when Facebook asks “Connect to Twitter?”, click yes. That’s it. Now everything you post will appear on Twitter. You’ll still want to schedule some original posts to Twitter, but at least one or two a day will automatically post to Twitter from your most active account, Facebook.
Use Timeline Giveaways on Facebook to create extra fan engagement. Engagement means likes, shares or comments. When fans engage with your page, they are more likely to see your subsequent posts in their news stream. The majority of people will interact with your posts in their news stream and rarely come directly to your page. Facebook only shows your posts, organically, to about 16% of your fans, so engagement is a free way to help your hard created content get the visibility it deserves. Match your prizes to your fans passions and have fun. Woobox, Heyo and Tabsite are three of my favorite apps for hosting a Timeline Giveaway.
Graphics rule on social media and creating nifty quote blocks or adding text to pictures doesn’t require you to be a graphic designer. These tools will make you look like a pro and they’re free – a plus for authors on a budget.
- PicMonkey – you’ll be a graphics creating queen with this one.
- Canva – hot new competitor with wonderful new templates to turn even the most nervous Nelly into a graphics creation diva.
- Quozio and ReciteThis! for the newbies who want to get the graphics monkey off their backs and just get started.
- Piktochart for creating more advanced infographic-style images.
Creating video helps you make an instant and intimate connection with your readers. Record a short message to your readers from your desktop or mobile device, use the Vine app to create a six second video for Twitter, master Instagrams 15 second video option or upload digital photos to Animoto and create your own book trailer or commercial.
Remember that your goal with every post on Facebook or any other social site is to elicit an emotional response. You want to post statements, questions and images that compel readers to exclaim “Oh, I love that,” or “I have to share with X,” or “That reminds me of my experience.” Every like, share or comment increases your visibility exponentially because the friends of the person taking the action can see the interaction between the two of you. This is a subtle endorsement and a casual invitation to stop by and see what’s going on.
Fill out every bit of information in your About section. Even though the visible, above the fold, bio is only 155 characters, everything you write in the available spots is metadata. Metadata helps Facebook recommend your page to people who have liked the pages of other authors. This kind of recommendation from Facebook, at the point of action of a reader, is powerful and can help bring new fans to your page.
Change your Facebook Cover and your Twitter Header Image, as well as your YouTube Channel background whenever you have a new book launch or a special promotion. These large visual billboards are free advertising.
Want to know who’s pinning your books from your website? You can see everyone who pins from your site by checking this analytics link: http://Pinterest.com/source/[insertyoururlhere]. You’ll be able to easily see a visual story about who likes your books, what boards they pin them to and what other authors they love.
Start using #Hashtags. By searching for popular author hashtags such as #amreading, #amwriting, #indiepub, #selfpub, #romancebooks you’ll find others who are talking about your area of expertise. Engage with them. Join the conversation. Let people know you are part of the community.
I’d love to hear from you. Did you learn a new tool or hear about a tip you might try in your own author marketing? There are readers just waiting for you to become visible to them. Take the leap and help them find you and your books.