Good gravy. I JUST WANT TO WRITE BOOKS!!!
Have you ever said that as you get sucked into the rabbit hole of social media?
I get it. As authors, we love to tell our stories. We crave pulling those characters from our heads and hearts and getting them down on the page for our readers to enjoy.
But somewhere along the way we get pulled away from storytelling because so much of our success as an author depends on our ability to engage with readers and organically market our books to them.
I wanted to share a couple of social media hacks that help me save time as an author so I can spent less time online and more time in my manuscript. Hopefully one or two of these nuggets will help someone else out there!
- Facebook Offers. Whenever I run a sale or freebie promo, I utilize the Facebook Offers tab on my author page. Offers are weighted differently than general posts in the Facebook algorithm and they have boosting capabilities. PLUS, any user who “saves” the offer will receive a reminder shortly before the offer itself expires. Sometimes that extra little ping is enough to secure an additional sale.
- Canva. I cannot say enough awesome things about Canva. With a click of a button, your images can be resized to the correct aspect ratios of various social channels. Plus they have a Free Forever plan with access to select stock images for just a buck. If you don’t want to pay for PicMonkey or invest in Adobe PhotoShop, this is an awesome option!
- MissingLettr. For those of you who are regularly putting out blog content, you don’t want to overlook MissingLettr. Integrated with your blog’s RSS feed, MissingLettr automatically creates year-long campaigns featuring your content to be pushed out onto other social channels. Long gone are the days of “one and done” posts. Once a post goes live, you go into the MissingLettr platform to review and approve their suggested tweets/posts and their timed cadence. Then you let it work its magic.
- Schedule your life. At least your social life. As cumbersome as it may seem, take an hour or two each month and schedule content through programs like PostCron or HootSuite or Buffer. Each of these offer social listening tools as well, so you can stay up to speed on what’s trending to develop content that is on point and on target. Just don’t forget the social part of social media — do check in and engage!
- Facebook Business Manager. If you have a pen name or want to keep bookish stuff completely separate from your personal Facebook account, start using Facebook Business Manager.
- Leverage Free Stock Sites. If you’re an author on a tight budget and unfamiliar with Flickr’s Creative Commons section, you’re about to have your mind blown. Search for “commercial use allowed,” include attribution when you post, and the image is fair game.
- BookLinker. I recently learned of this little gem and was practically ripping my hair out that I wasn’t told about its awesomeness sooner. Forget about the days of Bit.ly links for the book world. Booklinker generates universal URLs, so it doesn’t matter if your reader is in Australia, Argentina or Arizona, the same link will take each individual to their respective country’s purchase page.
- Share content that already exists. You don’t have to be the constant source of brilliant posts or amazing blog posts. The point of social media is to be social. So linking an article by another author or sharing one of their hilarious posts is totally fair game (and is great for author networking, too). Just give credit where credit is due.
- Firefox Facebook Share Button. This extension can be downloaded so a little “F” appears next to the URL field of your Firefox Browser. Then if you want to quickly share the page you’re looking at, be it a highlight of free books for the weekend or a cover reveal for a highly anticipated book, you don’t even need to be on the Facebook page to share that content.
- Learn effective retargeting in the social space. With your audience needing to see your name and release multiple times before actually purchasing, retargeting is going to be critical to your success. So this means you need to make sure you’re well versed with Facebook Pixels and Custom Audiences to more effectively run ads.
- Cross-Promote to your other channels. Have a blog? Make sure it’s linked to Facebook, GoodReads, Twitter, Amazon, etc. When you’re able to blanket your message, you don’t need to have a single reader following you on EVERY single channel … just a few.
- Embrace new technology early. Early adopters to shiny new objects tend to perform the best, which is why it’s critical to learn new features and platforms like ChatBots and Book+Main when they’re new to market.
Have a handy hack worth sharing? Leave it in the comments below!