This morning I logged into Facebook and as is my custom I browsed through my newsfeed to see what my lovely friends were up to.
As I browsed I noticed a post by a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile so I followed … nay, stalked her back to her wall. What I found on her wall made me cry a little in my heart. Her wall consisted of promotional post after promotional post after promotional post with little to NO content beyond: Here’s my book! Buy it!
Guys. And Gals. We need to talk. Please, please, please don’t do this. Online marketing is a delicate, fickle, cranky beast. The surest way to drive away business is to dedicate your online presence to promoting your products. Places like Amazon or Ebay can get away with that because they’re geared toward selling products, people go there to FIND products but social media is different. People friend or follow on Facebook to be entertained, not to be marketed to.
If you spend all your social media time promoting your product, you are that door to door salesman people used to hate. Don’t be the door to door man. Be better than that.
Okay, so, how DO you use your social media effectively? And how will people know to buy your stuff if you’re not telling them about it constantly???
It’s not as intimidating or as complicated as it seems.
Branding. Everything you do online should link back to everything else you do. You need to make yourself visible and you do this by making sure your Twitter, Facebook, Webpage and other social media sources (Instagram, Youtube, etc) look, sound and feel the same. If possible use a name that crosses all these platforms. If you’re Jane Doe on Facebook, be Jane Doe on Twitter and your Webpage too. This way if someone stumbles upon you on, say, Instagram, where you NEVER promote, they’ll be able to track you back to Facebook where you DO promote. But what if people don’t track you back? Oh, they will. People online are creepy like that… I mean, lovely! They’re LOVELY like that.
Also, keep your imagery and style consistent throughout all of these pages. If you check out my Facebook Page (N.R.Tupper), Twitter (also N.R.Tupper) and Webpage (this blog and/or penrbrown.wix.com/nrtupper) you’ll notice my header image in each is art from my novel. No matter where I go, my novel is being pimped if people take a glance at my page. I don’t have to say a word, all my branding does it for me.
The Majority Rule. The majority of everything you post online should not be promotion. Post funny pictures. Post funny stories. Post helpful blog posts. Post your thoughts or opinions. Heck, talk about the writing process! (People enjoy commiserating about creating). And once in a blue moon, when the cheese is high in the sky, post a link to your novel. Scroll through your Facebook wall or Twitter, do it right now.
Is your wall all promotional (look at my novel! Look at my novel! Look at my novel! PLEASE BUY MY NOVEL!)? Change that.
Put yourself in the shoes of a consumer. If you friended someone on Facebook and they only ever posted links to their books wouldn’t you find that tiresome? People want to connect with you. They want to talk to you. They want to know who you are beyond what you’re selling.
So show them.
And have fun! For goodness sake! Your biggest supporters will be those people you connect with on a deeper level than; ‘Buy my book!’
When you do advertise and/or post your links to your novel make sure you are representing as best as you can. Dot your i’s, cross your t’s, decorate your advertisement as spiffily as is possible. If you feel comfortable doing so, share your adverts with trusted friends who can help you tidy it up and make it better.
It’s a sad reality but the outside really does count. People who don’t know you WILL discredit you if your advertisement isn’t the best it can be. Nobody will take you seriously if it looks like you slapped a picture in paint and just randomly put text on top.
Take a few minutes to read some online tutorials. Spiffy! Just make things spiffy! You CAN do it! It just takes some effort to learn.
Be responsive. If somebody comments on your posts respond! And do it as soon as you can. The more responsive you are, the more people will speak to you. NOBODY likes it when they speak and they’re ignored, so don’t ignore people. They’ve taken the time to read and respond to your post so take the time to respond to their response.
In the end social media marketing isn’t that complicated, instead it can be a lot of fun. What’s more fun than making new friends, chatting about things you love and maybe, on the side, selling a book or two?
So get out there! And get marketing!