Category: Marketing

Everything you ever wanted to know about marketing your platform and your books

Facebook is King of Social Media Marketing

Facebook is King of Social Media Marketing

I just read the Social Media Examiner’s 2017 Social Media Report and from their research, hands down, Facebook is the marketer’s #1 social media outlet. Usage has gone up considerably in the last few years, but here’s the thing. While usage has gone up, belief in it’s effectiveness has gone down. Way down.

So why the discrepancy?

I think there are two reasons:

One, you can’t correlate sales and ad buys. Unless you have a “Shop Now” button on your page, you simply won’t know why people decide to buy your books. I do know authors who see a considerable jump in sales after a large ad buy. But even with the “Shop Now” button, what you’ll really know is when and how many. Over time, a correlation may be found between ad buys and sales, but the current state of Facebook doesn’t help us truly figure it out.

Two, no one understands Facebook. Truly. Why does one post get likes and shares and not another of the same vein. Why do some political posts grab a reaction and some don’t? Why do Sally’s puppies make a splash but John’s don’t? This is about human nature, which is inherently unreliable and unpredictable.

What does this mean for book marketers? Because there is a difference between “ad agency” guy and publicist. I know some book marketers who have stopped buying Facebook ads altogether and rely on the author’s followers and their followers, like a pyramid scheme, to spread the word. And they use other online marketing methods in conjunction.

My take is that Facebook ads help spread the word about your page and what you’re selling. They also help you grow a followership. But your community is what keeps them around. What are you posting to Facebook? People go to the social media network to find entertainment and news. It is not a built in shopping environment the way Amazon is.

For any author, the idea is that readers get to know you and feel exclusive in their interactions with you. People, in this case readers, want to feel a part of something cool. If you create that in a Facebook Group or on your Author Page, I believe you’ll find good results. I am not discounting ads, but unless you have McDonald’s $52B ad budget, I’d probably stick to buying them at opportune times:

  • New Book Out
  • Author Event
  • Free Give-Aways
  • Important Dates
    • Birthdays
      • Yours or Your characters
      • An important member of the team
    • Anniversaries
      • Your first day of writing or attending your first conference
      • Your books
    • St Paddy’s Day
      • Because who doesn’t love Lephrecauns
      • Pick your favorite holiday and do a give away then

Stick Around! We’ll talk about setting up Facebook Group Experiences and Amazon ads in later posts.

 

 

The Hotsheet

The Hotsheet

If you haven’t signed up for The Hotsheet yet, or if you’ve never even heard of it, let me be the first to tell you to sign up. It’s terribly difficult to sift through the epic mountains of marketing data on the internet and this does it for you. I almost never recommend products on my page, but this one is a must.

It’s a combined effort between Porter Anderson and Jane Friedman. Anderson is a former CNN journalist and is now editor in chief of Publishing Perspectives. Friedman is a consultant for Publishers Weekly. Both have extensive knowledge of the book industry and marketing trends within that industry.

The Hotsheet is basically a book publishing news roundup. So instead of scouring the Internet for what you’re looking for, these two pretty much know what you’re looking for and are trying to make it easier for you to find.

It’s free for a month, so if it’s not your thing, you can opt out. Or if it is, then after the free one, it’s $59/year. Since you’re a writer, it’s also a tax write-off (but I’m no tax attorney, so double check!). Click here to read more about it.

 

It’s all about the live video!

It’s all about the live video!

If you aren’t using Facebook Live, it’s time to start.

When Facebook launched the service a little over a year ago, no one could imagine what a difference it made. The access it grants is astounding, and intoxicating. Users simply can’t get enough of it. And that is good for writers! Here are five tips to get you going.

 

Have a specific reason

Are you going live just to live or do you have a reason? Remember, you are aiming at a particular audience. Think about what they want from you, and what you can give them. The advice here is the same for all content – it isn’t about you and asking people to buy your book. It’s about making a connection.

Think of your surroundings

Is it windy? Is it loud and noisy? Some ambient noise is fine, but if it’s taking over the video, then it won’t help you out. What does the background say? Does it contradict what you’re trying to say or does it compliment it?

Timing is everything

What is going on in the world right now? Are there current events you can comment on that will help you connect with readers? What is going on in your book? Can you relate it to something in world? If you go live during a major world event are you going to look insensitive? Make sure you know what’s going on.

Shorter is better

While Facebook tries to get you to stay live longer, if the video starts to lag, viewers will leave. Plan your content so there is no lag in the middle. Keep it engaging and generally, keep it short. This is true for most videos. Less than a minute (two at most) is good for recorded video, but you can probably get away with longer for live video if it’s fun and interesting.

Use your world

Are you visiting a new place? Museum? Bookstore, coffee shop, historic site? Show your readers where you are and what you’re doing. Are you writing? Take a break and talk about how it’s going (if you’re complaining about writers block, make it fun by showing what you’re doing instead of writing).

Facebook Marketing with Cherry Adair

Facebook Marketing with Cherry Adair

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 1.40.54 AMI just spent the weekend learning about new plotting methods, character development and dialogue with the NYTimes Bestseller Cherry Adair. What a hoot she is!

While her session was about the mechanics of writing, I got to spend a little bit of time chatting with her about her marketing. What struck me the most was her Facebook. The woman runs 12 Facebook pages, herself. Yes, twelve!

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Pinterest – Why it’s beating Facebook & Twitter

Pinterest – Why it’s beating Facebook & Twitter

6939604809_6b072449a0_zAre you on Pinterest? You need to be.

Pinterest has been around since early 2010, and serves as a digital “corkboard.” Users create boards and pin pictures to those boards, effectively building a corkboard of photos about a particular subject. More than 80% Pinterest users are women age 35 and older and in the upper middle class economic scale.

Here are five reasons why fiction writers should utilize Pinterest:

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