Marketing your business book can be challenging, but social media has made it easier than ever to reach a wider audience.
With billions of active users across various platforms, social media provides non-fiction authors with a powerful tool to connect with potential readers and promote their work. However, with so many social media platforms and marketing tactics available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
In this blog post, I’ll be sharing the strategies I’ve learned along the way – including what it takes to launch and promote a Sunday Times Bestseller – to help you use social media to market your business book effectively.
Whether you’re a first-time author or an experienced writer, these tips will help you create a robust social media strategy that drives engagement and, most importantly, boosts your book sales.
Goodbye overwhelm, hello sensible social media strategy
Before we look at tactics and strategy, let’s take the overwhelm away from the get-go. Social media is a vast thing – and this in itself can put many authors off. Which platform should you choose? How often should you post? What the heck should you post?
So many questions that it’s easier to avoid it altogether, right?
In my honest opinion, while email marketing is the most important thing for authors to get right, you can’t avoid social media altogether.
One easy and effective way to avoid overwhelm is to stick to one platform at a time. This immediately makes things more manageable and can help you get started. Too often, we think we have to be everywhere all at once to make an impact.
It’s just not true.
Find the social media platform that’s right for you – more on that in a minute – and focus your efforts and energy there. Social media is one part of your marketing strategy; don’t attempt to make it all of it. You’ll wear yourself out, ending up with a huge desire to curl up into a ball and rock gently in the corner.
So let’s dive into what you can do to use social media effectively to market your book, shall we?
10 tips for using social media
Identify your target audience
Knowing who your target audience is will help you create content that resonates with them and use social media platforms where they’re most active. Building those connections and engagement through the content you put out will be helpful when it comes to promoting or launching your book.
Ask yourself who your ideal reader is. What challenges are they facing? How do they want to feel instead? It’s likely your target audience will be the ones you work with in a 1:1 or group capacity. Why not pick one person who really fits the bill and think about creating stuff for them?
If you want some help with ideal reader work, check out this blog post.
2. Choose the right platforms
Focus on the social media platforms that your target audience is most likely to use, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram. There’s absolutely no point in posting where your ideal readers aren’t hanging out. As mentioned above, focus on one to start with – but whatever you do, make sure it’s a platform your ideal readers are engaging with.
My comfort zone is Instagram, so I tend to navigate towards that on a daily basis. However, it’s become quite clear in recent months that much of my audience is on LinkedIn, too, so I’ve had to adopt that into my social media strategy. Through analysis and trying different platforms, I’ve realised where my audience is, so I hang out there and chat with people daily.
3. Create a strong profile
Ensure that your profile is complete, professional, and consistent across all platforms. Use a clear headshot and include a bio highlighting your expertise and book. Another thing to consider is to have the same ‘handle’ across all platforms you’re on, too – it just helps people to find you as easily as possible.
Keep information about your book near the top of your profile so people can see that you’ve got credible expertise and are an authority in your niche. On Instagram, be specific with what you do, too – as the platform is now SEO-friendly, so your account will be shown to people looking for specific help/advice/accounts to follow.
4. Develop a content strategy
Content planning is an integral part of your author and/or business brand. One great thing about having a book is the content it produces – you really do have a plethora of it at your fingertips. You can take a chapter of your book and use it to generate social media posts, blogs or YouTube videos – if this takes your fancy.
One excellent piece of advice I’ve heard – and implement with my own content strategy – is taking one long-form piece of content (like a blog/podcast episode/book chapter) and turning it into several smaller bits of content for social media. Each tip you share in your long-form content can then become an individual social post – if you share 5 tips, you have 5 social posts.
Always ensure your content aligns with your book’s message and offers value to your audience. It builds up that know, like and trust factor. If people get value from your free content on your blog/podcast/social media, they’ll be more inclined to buy your book to get access to even more value.
5. Engage with your audience
Respond to comments, share user-generated content, and ask questions to encourage interaction with your audience. There’s nothing worse than ‘posting and ghosting’ – stick around and respond to people who’ve taken the time to engage with your content.
You don’t have to hang around as soon as you post but do check back in a couple of times a day to respond to comments and engage in conversation. Social media is called ‘social’ for a reason – it’s brilliant for building community.
If people post pictures of themselves reading your book or just of the book itself, share these pics far and wide. Tag the person and thank them. All this adds up to social proof and will encourage others to buy your book too. Same goes for those glowing book reviews.
6. Use hashtags
Research and use relevant hashtags to increase the visibility of your content and reach a wider audience. Taking the time to do this means your content will be seen by the right people as often as possible.
Hashtags on Instagram aren’t quite what they once were because the platform has made captions and bios searchable by keywords, but they do still help people find the content they’re after. There’s always some debate on Instagram as to whether you should you thirty hashtags or just five or six. For me, I always use fewer but make them super specific.
Use this strategy from Mixtus Media to help:
2-3 hashtags for what the post is about
2-3 hashtags for people you want to connect with or reach
2-3 hashtags for you as an author
7. Collaborate with others
Social media works best when you build and connect with a community. To do this, you’ll need to work with other authors, influencers, or brands in your industry to create partnerships and cross-promote your book.
Don’t underestimate how much this can help raise your author profile and get people interested in your book. Always build relationships with people first – don’t just ‘cold DM’ them and request to do a collab or feature on an IG Live.
Get to know them (as you would in real life) and then suggest working together in one way or another, using social media.
8. Leverage paid advertising
Consider using paid social media advertising to increase the reach of your book promotion and target specific audiences. You might not want/need to do this if your finances won’t stretch to it – and believe me, using all these other tips can help grow your reach organically – but it is something to think about.
Doing so means you can get your book in front of the people most likely to buy it. It’s certainly quicker than growing your following organically, and targeting your audience using demographics really can bring a good return on investment.
Seek advice from an ads expert in order to do this in the best way possible, though, rather than just throwing expensive spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks.
9. Offer exclusive content
Provide your social media followers with exclusive sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes looks, or special discounts on your book. Your audience will love feeling like they’re part of your author journey. Often the authors I work with ask me when they should start telling their audience about their book.
And my answer?
As soon as you can! Why? Because the earlier you get people supporting you on your book journey, the more invested they’ll feel in the outcome – and the more likely they’ll be to buy your book when the time comes.
10. Measure and adjust
Famed business consultant and author Peter Drucker once said, “What gets measured gets managed.” And the same is right for your social media.
Tracking your social media metrics and adjusting your strategy accordingly means you’ll be utilising your platforms to the fullest. Use insights to understand what types of content perform best and what platforms drive the most engagement. Once you know this, you can rinse and repeat the type of content and be sure your audience will enjoy it.
But keep tracking, though – audiences can be fickle, and once they’ve consumed a lot of video content, they may well start to prefer something else for a change. Monthly analysis is enough. Trial and error is key. Don’t feel downhearted if something doesn’t work the first time. Keep trying new things, and you’ll soon get into the swing of things.
Hopefully, you’re now feeling more confident and inspired to use social media to help promote your business book. Remember, don’t get stuck on getting things ‘right’ with social media – things change all the time anyway.
Just find a platform you like, where your audience is, and start engaging with them. Create content that showcases your book and your expertise in all their glory in a way that feels comfortable for you (no TikTok dancing necessary!) as often as you can manage.
You absolutely don’t need to post three times a day, seven days a week. You’ll enter burnout territory. Consistency does make a difference, though – posting a few times a week works brilliantly.
And don’t be afraid that people have heard what you’ve got to say once already – it really is a case of rinse and repeat your book’s key messages. Not everyone will have seen your post the first time around, anyway – social media is fast-moving, so keep plugging it, even after it’s been released.
Interact with others, create a consistent posting schedule and build a community, and you’ll soon have an army of loyal fans who love and support you and your book.
And don’t forget, if you want some help or advice with social media strategy for your book, get in touch today and see how I can help you.