How to Use Facebook and Twitter to Promote Your Book

WestbowPress Resources

As was talked about in our previous article, social media must be a crucial part of your marketing plan as an author in order to connect with current and future readers. But knowing the "why" behind social media is one thing — actually taking the plunge and doing it is another. It may take you awhile to figure out how everything works. And it may take you even longer to figure out your actual strategy for using Facebook and Twitter. But you have to start somewhere, and once you get going, you'll understand the huge benefits of marketing through Facebook and Twitter. It’s ok if you get discouraged along the way or feel like you should be learning faster than you are. Take your time getting used to social media, and move at your own pace using resources from this article and your own research for guidance.

The first step obviously is to register. If you’re interested in Twitter, check out this blog post by New York Times bestselling author and former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers Michael Hyatt, "The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter".This excellent post will walk you through step-by-step to set up your Twitter account.

For Facebook, there are two ways you can set up your account. You can start a personal profile page that allows you to request people to be your friends and vice versa. Or you can set up a Fan Page that allows you to customize the page, post information and allow people to become “fans” of you. For your marketing purposes with Facebook, the fan page is the best way to go. It allows you to be more professional and gives you a place to direct people. To set up a fan page, go to Facebook and click on the link “Create a Page” on the homepage and follow the steps to set up your page.

Now that you know some of the basics of Facebook and Twitter, here are a few basic ideas of how to use these networks to market your book.

Tweet every day. It's OK if you miss a day once in a while, but shoot for at least one to three tweets per day.

Respond to comments on Facebook or replies on Twitter. When someone posts on your wall or sends you a personal message, reply. It's the polite and professional thing to do and it lets your new contact know that you care.

Follow your readers on Twitter. If a fan begins following you, follow them back. However, you do not need to follow every person who is following you; only the ones with whom you share a common thread.

Re-post interesting tweets. Re-posting is exactly what it sounds like. If you read a tweet someone else shared, re-post it on your own Twitter feed to share it with even more people. By re-posting other tweets that interest you, you can save yourself time and share a great tweet with your followers.

Follow industry leaders. You can stay on top of things happening in the publishing industry through Twitter. Just find a few industry leaders, whether they are individuals or companies, and follow them. Applications like TweetDeck (a Twitter feed that scrolls on your computer desktop) help you keep up with what people in your industry are posting. Also with TweetDeck you can divide your Twitter feeds into various groups such as family, friends and industry leaders.

Ask your readers what they think. Use your blog and Web site to poll readers on cover designs, new book ideas, recruit readers to sign up for your newsletter, run contests and give away books to generate buzz around a new release.

Your time is valuable. Pay attention to the time that you spend on social networking and don't go overboard. Once you get started and using social media properly, you can plan to invest about 15 to 30 minutes a day. Most authors who use social media finds it helps them connect with readers and understand better what readers are looking for.

Research privacy. If you’re concerned about privacy with social media, do your homework. Read the privacy policies of each social media program you sign up for so you know exactly what is visible to the public and what is not. On all social media sites there are always ways to block people who try to invade your privacy. You may find however that most people are not out to get you, they simply want some kind of connection with you.

The rewards of using social media are great. Start small and grow from there.

For more information about social media, Twitter and Facebook, check out these blog posts by Michael Hyatt:

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