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7 Effective Social Media Strategies for Authors

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Social media platforms, such as Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn are valuable marketing resources for authors. When an author establishes a network of potential readers on these platforms, they have an audience to whom they can promote their work. Regardless of the type of book you’ve written, learning effective strategies for using social media is beneficial. In this post, I share seven effective social media strategies for authors you can use to build your audience and increase your chances of having a successful book launch.

7 effective social media strategies for authors

Here are seven effective social media strategies for authors that you can implement before or during your book launch:

1. Be authentic

First and foremost, what you share on social media should be authentic and true to you. As you’re likely passionate about the contents of your book, posting about related topics often appears genuine. For example, if you’ve written a book about growing cacti, you might share personal photos of the cacti you grow and explain how you take care of them.

You can also share content that allows your readers to get to know the person behind the author. For example, you might post a recipe for a meal you prepared, instructions for a craft you made, or a photo of you and your friends. It’s helpful to include a caption that provides more information, so others can learn more about you from the post. For example, if you share a recipe, you might explain that your grandmother taught you how to make the dish when you were a child. When you let others know more about your life, it makes you seem more human–less distant author–and helps them relate to you.

2. Share and interact consistently

As an author, it’s essential to post and interact consistently with your audience on the social media platform where they spend their time. If you’re trying to establish an audience, my general recommendation is to share three to four posts weekly. These posts may range from book progress to life updates. Once you’ve established an audience size that you’re content with, you can post less frequently, but still aim to post consistently. For example, you might share one or two quality posts each week.

You may begin posting more frequently in the months leading up to your book launch and continue during the months that follow. You can share book-related content, such as a cover reveal, your media appearances, or information related to your book topics or writing process. Continuing to share life updates with your audience during this time is also beneficial. In my blog post, Best Marketing Practices for Authors Using Social Media, I share how frequently I recommend posting on various platforms like Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

3. Own your expertise

When you post on social media, it’s vital to communicate your expertise on your book’s subject. For example, if you write a book about a specific diet, you can share posts that highlight your extensive knowledge regarding the foods and their macronutrients. Regardless of your subject, aim to convince your audience that you’re a guide who’s there to help them get from point A to point B with the tools and advice you share. You wrote an entire book on the topic, so feel self-assured in your ability to discuss the book’s message. Note that this strategy pertains mostly to non-fiction authors.

4. Be friendly

When posting and interacting with others on social media, being kind, polite, appreciative, and supportive is essential to building a following. Remember that there’s a human behind each handle, and they’re more likely to engage with your content and support your work if you appear friendly. Some examples of friendly interactions on social media include:

  • liking and commenting on other users’ posts

  • responding to other users’ comments on your posts

  • following other users who consistently engage with your content

  • ensuring your messaging is always respectful and inoffensive

  • avoiding using language that is easy to misconstrue

5. Follow the 80/20 rule

As an author posting on a social network platform, it’s vital to follow the 80/20 rule, which states that 80% of your content is valuable to your audience, while the other 20% of your content is a call to action. Here are some examples of valuable content:

  • helpful advice based on your topic/industry

  • authentic updates about your life/work

  • an article or podcast that you find interesting/entertaining

Here are some examples of calls to action:

  • join newsletter

  • join a webinar

  • download free content, such as a free chapter (in exchange for e-mail address)

  • purchase the book

6. Consider your messaging

Your messaging is the way you communicate with your audience and convince them they need your book to navigate their journey. To ensure your messaging is consistent, try to identify a precise need and how your book can help fulfill it. For example, your book might aim to help mothers with young children who are going through a divorce. Often, the more specific your message, the more you can connect with the audience.

When creating 80% of your content, consider how it might help your readers. For example, you might share a personal account of how a single mother managed to nurse her newborn baby and preoccupy her toddler simultaneously. It’s also essential to consider what feelings and emotions you want users to experience when viewing your posts, such as hope, confidence, or encouragement. Note that while you want to encourage your audience to purchase your book, avoid being overtly salesy. Instead, focus on building your social media presence and creating content consistently. Then, when you’re ready to launch a book, you already have an established audience who’s likely to purchase it.

If you want to learn principles that can help you develop an effective social media plan, I highly recommend picking up Social Media Success for Every Brand by Claire Diaz-Ortiz.

7. Be patient

The last strategy I’ll share in this post is to practice patience. Remember, developing a following on any social media platform is a marathon, not a sprint. With persistence, you can grow your following and get users to interact with your content. Most people are unlikely to purchase your book because of a single post. Instead, it’s a journey you’re taking with them and it takes time–and many high-quality posts–to nurture this relationship.

Whether you’re in the midst of the writing process or have already finished your book, now is the perfect time to consider a marketing strategy. To help you get started, I’m offering a FREE download of my guide, 10 Things You Need For A Successful Book Launch. This valuable resource is packed with expert tips and strategies to empower you to craft an effective book launch and connect with a larger audience of eager readers.

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