Create a Social Media Plan for 2019 to Maximize Success
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As many of you know, I am kinda the queen of trying to maximize everything so this title was just perfect for me. But seriously, social media is such an important part of any marketing strategy. It is especially important when publishers/ bookstores/ event coordinators often use those numbers to decide whether or not to publish/ allow a signing/ invite you to a convention.
So a solid social media plan is absolutely essential to your marketing strategy. Plus, it can be built absolutely free and scale with you as your business grows. It’s kinda perfect.
A solid social media plan requires three key elements:
1. Know Which Platforms to Focus On
No one can really tell you how to make this decision. It is constantly changing and in flux. But do a little bit of research and then pick the platform that works best for you and that you enjoy the most.
I say this because someone asked me the other day if they had to be on Instagram because they suck at taking pictures. IGs main book audience is teens. If you’re writing to that market a lot of professionals will tell you that you HAVE to be there. But if you don’t take beautiful pictures and you don’t find joy in pictures, then you really, really don’t need to be on that platform. You can also reach teen readers on Bookbub, Goodreads, and Tumblr.
They also still make up the vast majority of the Booktube scene. That gives you blogging/ writing spaces if that’s your thing and video if you prefer that. You don’t HAVE to do IG, but you do have to enjoy what you’re doing. Because if you don’t enjoy it, that will bleed through to your interactions with potential readers and they won’t be interested.
However, if you write YA and you want to reach them on Facebook because you like Facebook, that will be an effort in futility. Most FB users are 35-70. Very few are in the younger range and most of those only use it to keep up with family. It is a great resource for author communities and networking so you can use it for work in that respect, but not to reach teen readers.
Learn more in this article The Power of Social Media: How to Find Readers for your Genre.
2. Know How to Engage
There is nothing more obnoxious than finding someone is auto-posting their IG images to Twitter, 50 # and all. UGH.
How you interact on Twitter is very different than how you interact on Facebook, and IG is different as well. Each platform has their sweet spot and some overlap. It’s ok to share cornerstone content across all platforms but don’t auto-share. Do it unique to each platform. Also, how you interact with the users is different from platform to platform. Take your time to learn the platforms you are choosing. It is better to be solid and strong on 1 or 2 platforms than to half-ass 10 platforms. I speak from experience.
A key to knowing how to engage is also built in knowing your brand and the side of you that you want to present to the world.
Here is a great video panel on Go Indie Now where we briefly discuss just that.
3. Know How to Grow
Again, this is very specific for each channel so telling you exactly what to do will not help you. You need to learn the rules of each platform. But here are some general tips.
Do not always follow back. Be deliberate in your audience. For example, I do not follow anyone on Twitter who does not have something in their profile about being a reader. Even if you’re an author, I won’t follow you unless you’re a reader too. Early on, I followed marketing professionals (because I obviously love it too much!) bookshops, actors (because they’re storytellers too) politicians I agreed with, etc.
Be deliberate in what you share/ RT/ comment and engage with. Make sure that it fits the persona you are crafting and will appeal to most of your readers. My brand is happy geeky book gal and marketing maven. I don’t engage or comment on anything that isn’t 1. geeky. 2. about books 3. women’s issues (thanks to Hell School series, I get a little bit of political talk 😉 ) or 4. about marketing specifically or indie publishing generally.
That geeky topic allows me to share about movies and games I’m geeking out about and connect with those fans, Hell School political aspect lets me talk about social change for women, but I avoid addressing Trump or his followers, I avoid bashing anything (because that’s not very positive) and I avoid telling people what to do and instead educate them on lots of different ways to do what they want to do.
For a personal account following your varied interests and speaking out about topics that matter to you is totally fine. but for a professional author’s account? Not so much. Unless you’re JK Rowling. Then you can follow, RT, and say whatever you want.
Now, if you write political thrillers or scifi with a political bent, then talking politics is allowed though as we’ve all experienced can create a bit of pain.
So be deliberate in who you follow, and who you interact with to encourage them to follow you back.
Bonus: Set Goals and Measure Results
Set goals for following and engagement to keep you motivated throughout the year. You saw that I’ve done this for myself in my Annual 90 day Year New Year’s resolution announcement and goals sharing. I’ve done the same for OWS.
We recommend spending about 15 minutes a day minimum per platform. That means that if you are on Facebook, Twitter, and IG then you need to be spending 45 minutes a day on social media.
What I usually do is divide my interactions into three segments. (In my case, I am spending closer to 4 hours a day on social media. I did mention that I have a problem? Yeah.)
First thing in the morning, I spend an hour working on social media growth. I go to each platform and follow influencers/ engage with those whom I’ve followed but who haven’t followed back, cull those who’ve unfollowed me, invite people to follow, post comments and engagement with new folks. I am sowing the seeds of the day.
At noon I spend an hour responding to/ interacting with/ and resharing posts from my longer-term followers because I want to keep building that relationship.
The evenings I spend 2 hours scheduling out posts and content, then engaging and interacting with those who’ve responded throughout the day.
Also, because I have a social media problem, when I am waiting in line, making dinner, working on chores, and any time I have a few minutes downtime, I am hopping between channels and interacting and engaging. But you do what you can and don’t get sucked in like I have.
No, really, if you hop over to Facebook for your 15 minutes and look up only to realize you’ve been in political debates for 2 hours you might have a problem like me. A key to setting limits is by setting timers. A key to preventing yourself from wasting time is to be deliberate in what you respond to. If your books aren’t about politics then commenting on a fellow authors political post is not fostering healthy engagement and is not a clever cheat to get around not posting about politics on your own page. (Per the branding discussion.)
Don’t try to convince yourself that you were working that whole time. Lying to yourself about your problem is the first sign of an addict. I know. More importantly, if you do a google search, you would be surprised how much of that stuff comes up in the search because your account or your “friends” account may be public. Tha is not a solid search engine optimization strategy either.
Yes, social media is a very fickle and complicated beast but tackle these fantastic tips for 2019 and you will see your platform growing exponentially,
Feel like you need a bit more help with social media? We have a course for that. Check out Social Media 101. It is on sale through January 26th at 15% off. Go ahead and check out the other courses we have over there as they are all on sale for our New Beginnings promotion.
Do you have any tips for maximizing social media success? Feel free to share them in the comments below.
Until next time,
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