Sharing Strategies, and Ways to Engage Effectively
Episode #9 of the course How to market your book online by John Robin
Welcome to Day Nine. Now that you’ve had a chance to wrap your head around just where on social media you want to invest your time, we’re going to talk about what to share and how.
What to Share and How
There are a lot of authors on social media. No doubt if you’ve already gotten your feet wet, you already know what I mean when I say that it seems everyone on Twitter is an author with a book to promote.
While you definitely want to use social media to promote your work, you also don’t want to alienate others. Remember on Day Five, when we covered your author brand? Your presence on social media is a reflection of your author brand. Promoting your book is your “what,” but your deeper “why” is found in the person whom your fans can connect to.
Most people who connect with you on social media will not become your readers right away. They might not become readers at all. But they might know people who might become your readers.
What this means is, as an author using social media, you want to build relationships with those you connect to. When you’re promoting your book, they’re far more likely to care and—even if it’s not for them—consider passing it along to others. If you really foster those relationships well, some of your connections who would never read your book might otherwise end up doing so simply because they like you and want to see more from this awesome person they’ve gotten to know.
The 80/20 Rule for Authors
It might sound like a lot of work, building individual relationships, and it is. The principle behind an effective sharing strategy, though, is about planting the right seeds for these relationships to come about in the first place.
When you create an engagement system, try to follow the 80/20 rule:
• 20% of what you share should be about your book (or directly related to you as an author).
• The remaining 80% should be about something else.
I like to take that 80% and split it down the middle:
• 40% is about you.
• 40% is about others.
What’s this all about?
A way to think about your time on social media is that you’re in a party room jam-packed with people. You go through the night from group to group and conversation to conversation, and if you want to make friends, you’ll no doubt ask people about themselves.
This principle applies in social media too. “Buy my book” tweeted five times a day with the occasional reply, “Thanks @soandso @newperson @youwho for following me!” is insular. However, if you limit the number of times you have a promotional tweet/post, and follow your engagement system plan, you might:
• Share tweet/posts of people you follow
• Jump into conversations
• Give someone a compliment
• Share something important that shows more about you beyond your writing (perhaps a picture of your cats?)
Try this out, and you’ll see just how these actions plant seeds for deeper connections later and most importantly, cause more people to care when you do try to promote your work.
When you’re using social media, remember the party room analogy. Build relationships to gain long-term fans who will help you promote your book. Instead of flash-in-the-pan marketing, aim for the growing snowball.
Tomorrow, we’ll wrap up with a discussion on further engagement strategies like guest blogging, newsletters, and launch team tactics.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
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