As an author, you already know the importance of being active on social media to help sell books and build a fanbase, so I didn’t list tips for beginners. I have a few ideas to help you market yourself—and your book—better on social media. These are tips and tricks I often share with my authors and use for myself.
Pin posts to Twitter, your Facebook page, and your Facebook group (you do have your own Facebook group, right? Because I’ve only been preaching about this for a million years, give or take). Ensure the pinned post has some type of opt-in for a freebie so they’ll subscribe to your emails. If you’re pinning a post, then it should tell them to do something.
Add emojis to your Instagram bio to catch attention. I like to use the pointing finger right above my freebie opt-in so that it’s the first thing they’re directed to. Use emojis in your posts too!
Update your LinkedIn title with stronger keywords. Your title shouldn’t say, “Jane Doe, Author.” It should say, “Jane Doe, Romance Author of [Title], Part-Time Nurse, Full-Time Mother, Oil Painter.” For example, mine says, “President of Curiouser Editing, Author of the Pre-Publishing Checklist, Editor, Writer, and Coach.” If you need more help with LinkedIn, I highly recommend The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business.
Like as many Instagram photos as you can under relevant hashtags (#bookstagram, #bookish, #indieauthor, #writercommunity, #writerlife, #bibliophile, #amwriting, #amreading) to gain more followers. I like to time myself for ten minutes so that I’m not spending a ton of time on it, but I’m still seeing results.
Use the WordSwag app to create visually appealing photos with text for Instagram (or Twitter/Facebook). Foundr Magazine swears by this in their freebie PDF, How to Get Your First 10,000 Instagram Followers.
Buy the Followers + for Instagram app to keep track of your stats as well as discover who’s unfollowing you. This is very helpful if you suddenly lose an influx of followers—why did they unfollow you? Too many posts? Ugly photos? Irrelevant photos? If you’re an author who writers paranormal novels, then posting about politics 24/7 might turn them off.
Add a Hello Bar to your website. You can use this for email subscription, to announce your book’s release, or to advertise a course.
Add your blog subscription opt-in to your Facebook page. You’d be surprised how many people forget to do this.
Ask questions on Facebook and Instagram for better engagement. Every time I ask a question, I get a couple dozen comments on Instagram, sometimes a few dozen. Make sure that it pertains to writing or publishing in some way.
Try live streaming on Facebook to interact with your readers. Facebook Live has the highest engagement rate out of every possible option on that platform.
Add images to your tweets to get more retweets.
Try using Facebook’s carousel option to promote your book.
Repost, repost, repost. Not everyone will see that you posted your book’s 99¢ sale.
Tag people you talk about in your post. Tweeting a Medium article from Positive Writer about free Createspace books? That’s three tags right there: @Medium, @ADDerWorld, @Createspace. Posting an Instagram photo of three books you’re reading? Tag the authors. Posting the link to your blog on your Facebook page where you mention different writerly websites? Tag them.
Add a location to Instagram posts. For example, if you’re at Barnes & Noble in Dallas, add that as a location. This will increase your visibility.
Add a cover photo to your Twitter account that shows off your book specifically. I’m a huge fan of The Thatchery’s cover photos, so consider hiring someone to make you one that you can use on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Check them out here.
Reply to every single person who follows you and thank them for the follow. I’ve found that this works better than sending them a direct message, as it comes off kind of spammy. They're engaging with you, so you should engage with them. Also, in your tweet, don’t be afraid to tell them about your book and engage them in conversation.
Connect with authors in your field by using the Advanced Search option on LinkedIn. For example, if author Damien Taylor wanted to find more fantasy authors, all he has to do is type in “fantasy author” in his keyword advanced search to connect with them.
Post at the right times, please. All it takes is a little bit of research. According to Buzzsumo’s article on Facebook engagement, posts published between 10:00 p.m. and midnight get the most engagement. I’ve also noticed that 2:00 p.m. is a great time to post on Facebook and Instagram, while author Damien Taylor has seen some serious engagement at 3:00 a.m. Wow!
Directly embed videos to your Facebook page rather than posting your YouTube link. It gets better engagement.
Share the love and tell us some of your favorite social media tips and tricks.
P. S. I've updated the Resources page to better serve you.
An expert editor, seasoned writer, and author-centric marketer, Shayla Raquel works one-on-one with authors and business owners every day. A lifelong lover of books, she has edited over 300 books and has launched several Amazon bestsellers for her clients. Her award-winning blog teaches new and established authors how to write, publish, and market their books. She is the author of the Pre-Publishing Checklist, The Rotting (in Shivers in the Night), and her novel-in-progress, The Suicide Tree. She lives in Oklahoma with her two dogs, Chanel and Wednesday.