License: Creative Commons image source
A Guest post by Anna Fox
You’ve spent countless hours planning, developing, writing, and proofing your ebook – at this point, you’re almost certainly feeling as if your job is done and it’s time for a well-deserved break.
Alas, though, there is more to be done.
While the ability to self-publish electronic books via the internet has made it possible for any of us to become published authors, it also leaves you flying solo when it comes to the many benefits offered by traditional publishing houses, marketing and promotion most prominent among them.
Lucky for all of the self-publishers out there, the modern age of the web and its entanglement with social media presents the opportunity to reach as many or more people than traditional marketing has in the past.
Here’s a look at some of the information that you need to know in order to promote your ebook using social media in a time- and cost-effective manner:
Start By Gauging the Value of Social Media for Yourself
License: Creative Commons image source
While blogging and being active on social media are no-brainers for most ebook writers when it comes time to sell their product, there are those in the field who believe that taking the time to focus on those areas of the marketing game are simply a waste of time.
In fact, successful ebook writer and marketer Michael Alvear called both blogging and leveraging social media in order to promote an ebook a “time-sucking, no-value vortex that cannot sell books.” Strong words that require further investigation, to be sure.
The truth is, Alvear is right in an extreme sense; spending too much time on social media can be wasteful, with any extreme amount of time spent promoting through it unlikely to translate into sales enough to justify the hours eaten up. But does that mean that social media should be avoided as a social marketing tool for ebooks entirely?
Of course not.
By way of example, there are 1.2 billion users on Facebook alone; if taking an hour or two to set up a social presence and an additional 15 minutes each day will allow you to reach even a tiny fraction of them with word of your ebook and what it has to offer, I think we can all agree on that.
Social Media Can Be Effective While Taking Up Surprisingly Little Time
At its base, there are two keys to social media that every ebook marketer must keep in mind.
1. Be Thorough, Informative, and Tantalizing
With your ebook written and published, you’ve already got all of the information that you need to make quick work of setting up your initial social profiles. The trick will come in finding a happy medium between being too conservative in your approach and simply spreading yourself too thin.
An important note to keep in mind during this initial phase of your planning is that the social web extends far beyond the easily recognizable big players. While tackling the size of major networks can usually be considered a necessity, don’t neglect to research social niche platforms; the MyBlogU Media directory is an excellent example of a small, yet useful, network that you risk overlooking if you don’t.
Simply identify the networks that you wish to conquer – Facebook at the very least, thanks to its sheer size – and then get to work registering the necessary accounts. Choose a fitting account name or page title – preferably the name of your book, for SEO reasons – and then set to work filling your profile with information.
With a Facebook page, you’ll have all of the room necessary to detail your ebook and yourself for your fans and followers; with some other networks, such as Twitter, you’ll have limited room to work with, so be sure to choose each and every word wisely in order to give followers an idea of who you are and what you do at a glance.
2. Be Active, Approachable, and Engaging
With informative profiles online and just enough thought-provoking tidbits strewn throughout to get your visitors’ attention, it’s now time to take the leap from serving basic information to becoming an interactive ambassador for your product.
While your interaction itself can become as complex as you’d like, you really need only to post content to your profile, and be prepared to answer questions and opine on comments as you go. Make a point to post something new once per day; whether it’s a quote from your book, a link to a related article, or simply a note to fans, keep it interesting and worth commenting on.
Keep in mind that “engaging” refers not only to your interaction with your fans and followers, but also in being proactive in ensuring that your content reaches as many social users as possible. To this end, make a point to leave comments on related blogs that link back to your profiles, and take the time to join social sharing websites such as Viral Content Buzz, helping your content to stretch and far and wide around the web as possible.
Outside of the particulars of your personal social marketing plan and the nuances generated by your content, niche, and fans, there’s really nothing more to it; being an effect social marketer comes down to nothing more than planning, consistency, and patience.
All in all, with a solid evening spent designing and deploying your social profiles, and a bare few minutes a day utilized to keep them well-worth visiting and exploring, your potential reach is relatively unlimited, making social marketing of your ebook a very worthwhile – and not at all time-consuming – endeavor when it’s done correctly.
Anna Fox is the writer addicted to self-improvement. She is running a blog where she helps bloggers get hired!