Social Media Marketing, for Novelists, Is Relationship Building

by Beth Bacon

Reprinted here from DBW Daily

What is social media marketing for an author? If you’re fairly introverted, humble, or shy, you may not like the idea marketing your own work.  But social media marketing does not have to mean getting on a loudspeaker and booming out self-lauding messages. That model for promotion is not necessary. Instead, think about marketing as building relationships.

Walk in your audience’s shoes

Marketing for authors can be all about friendships—cultivating two-way conversations with your readers and potential readers. Start by thinking about your book from your readers’ perspective. Walk in their shoes. What does your book mean to them, really? What are the underlying emotions that your book brings out? What needs in life does your book fill?

Think about how your book fits in to their frame of mind, then write about those themes in your social media and on your blog. Stick to those themes, again and again, in social media. The readers who respond to those themes will come back, again and again, for your unique perspective.

Be part of your audience’s community

What kind of community is your book part of? Maybe the characters in your book take part in an affinity group— model airplane hobbyists, for example, or twenty-somethings who love to shop for shoes. Go where your characters go and get to know those communities. Show up in person at events that attract the kinds of people that would like your book.

Talk about those affinities in your blog and on social media. Online, think about where your community congregates. Even if it’s a loose-knit electronic community that follows a few web sites—visit those sites regularly. Know your readers and reach them where they are.

Put feedback loops everywhere

Relationships are about give and take, listen and talk. All of your social media communications should be two-way communications. You can connect to your audience via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and Goodreads. Those vehicles all allow for two-way communications. Spend time there. If social media is a chore for you, then schedule social media sessions into your day the way you might schedule an undesired exercise session.

Create feedback loops wherever you can. Make it easy for people to sign up for a mailing list on your site or email you directly from your ebook. Once you get a bunch of email addresses, you can start an infrequent newsletter just to stay connected.

Marketing is a relationship

Listen, reach out, and think about what your audience is saying. Your readers will eventually give you ideas on new marketing activities and meaningful discussion topics for your social media conversations.

About Beth Bacon

Beth Bacon is a children’s book author and runs Contact her via Twitter @ebooksandkids.