How to Use Social Media to Market Your Book
Gone are the days of traditional marketing. Social media can be one of the most powerful tools you can have in your arsenal when it comes to marketing your self-published books. Find out how best to utilize it to give your book the audience it deserves.
Much of the success of your book is going to rest on how well it’s been marketed. Mismarketing and false advertising has led to the death of many otherwise great works of fiction. Your book needs to find its audience, or no matter how well it’s been written, it won’t get the response you might be wishing for.
It’s no secret that the game has changed drastically when it comes to both self-publishing and self-marketing. Traditionally, publishing houses usually took care of marketing the works they purchased through the use of catalogs, library releases, bookstores and, more recently, websites and press-release events.
However, with the rise of self-publishing has come the rise of self-marketing. The current social media landscape has produced multiple online niches -virtual cafe nooks of conversation, debate and discussion around just about any topic you can imagine . . . including books.
Every social media platform has a reading community churning out content related to their newest faves or hate-read pile. This post will introduce you to the biggest platforms you’ll need to familiarize yourself with based on who your target audience is.
Book Twitter is the place to go for active participation, not only amongst readers but between readers and authors as well. Yes, authors have discovered that the 280 character-cap parcel is perfect for quick circulation in advertising their latest works, as well as a good platform for connecting with other authors, publishers and readers.
Twitter’s interface also makes finding reading communities so much easier. Simply search up a hashtag for any book or series that you’re interested in, and you’ll have access to thread upon thread of discourse and gushes or rants.
Updates on sequels, book trailers, teaser quotes and such are all examples of good ways to use Book Twitter to your advantage when it comes to advertising. In later posts, we’ll go more in depth with how to really make use of the algorithm to gain traction and visibility for your book.
Twitter is also one of the most diverse platforms to use in terms of finding your target audience. Unlike sites like Facebook, which typically appeal to older audiences, or Tiktok, which caters mostly to the teen crowd, Twitter has a good mix of both and everyone in between.
It’s definitely a solid pick regardless of who your particular demographic may be.
Another popular platform for advertising your book is Youtube. The reader community on the site, aptly named “Booktube”, has many channels that specifically review books across every genre.
There are also community discussions where several content creators will get together to do a round-table style conversation about anything from book picks of the year to genre tropes they favored, or criticism of popular material. It’s a good way to get a feel for what the reader community is expecting from new books in depth.
Some “booktubers” boast almost half a million subscribers, and have had interviews with authors as well. Engaging with this community can be an excellent way to get your book out there, especially if they provide a spoiler-free review.
This is where using ARCs, or “Advanced Reader Copies” in your marketing plan can really come into play for building excitement around your book before it even releases. If you can arrange to have a popular reviewer receive an ARC, it can be invaluable in drawing quite a lot of attention from readers who frequent Booktube.
Ah, Tiktok. For most, the app is either the source of their addiction or the bane of their existence. However, there is a flourishing reader community there as well. This is definitely one of the most dynamic platforms to use, simply because of how the app works.
It combines the highly visual and more personal aspect of Youtube videos with the easy-to-find search options through the use of hashtags, like Twitter. Engagement on Tiktok through comments and likes also helps tailor the algorithm to present similar content.
In this way, not only can you personally use the app to familiarize yourself with popular tropes, genres, etc, but any advertising you release on the platform can potentially reach a wider audience if you use the sound and hashtag system smartly.
Viral videos serve as great marketing and with the shorter, more condensed video format, you’re less likely to lose the attention of your potential audience.
While Tiktok is mostly used by the younger crowd, and as such, caters well to the YA genre, there is a surprisingly large amount of NA and adult readers on there as well -with an entire subcommunity dedicated to all things spicy.
Other Social Media Platforms for Book Marketing
Other social media platforms you can make use of are less significant than the big three mentioned, but are still worth acknowledging. Facebook is great for finding reading groups for book discussions with an older target audience. Pinterest is a great way of presenting a visual board of character edits, aesthetic quotes etc that can also create hype around your book. Spotify can also be used to create character playlists that can help immerse readers in your stories.
While these can be great supplementary platforms, it’s advisable to stick to Twitter, Youtube and/or Tiktok as your primary platform to market your book.
Learning how to navigate this new world of marketing can help you foster a robust, lively and incredibly loyal readership base that will see your success skyrocket.