Got Books to Sell? Try These 22 Book Marketing Tips

22 book marketing tips

How many book marketing tips have you tried?

Probably every single one that you’ve read about, right?

What makes book marketing so tough isn’t that you run out of ideas to market your books. It’s that you have so many different plans.

Well, if you want to make it as a writer, get ready for the marathon of writing and marketing. You’ll always be doing both from now on.

To make life easier for you (or harder?), I’ve assembled a checklist of my top book marketing tips for you.

A 22-Point Checklist of Book Marketing Tips

Book marketing requires a multi-prong strategy that consists of the following:

  1. Purchase your ISBNs. Please don’t buy them from Amazon or BookBaby. If you use the cheap ISBNs that publishing companies sell, they will be the publisher of your books. When you buy the numbers from Bowker, you are a publishing company and your company’s name will appear in the book.
  2. Hire a website designerto build an author website using a quality theme. I like the Genesis themes by SudioPress.
  3. Self-host your blog on your website. Don’t use Blogger or WordPress.com. (Note: WordPress.com is separate from WordPress.org, which I do recommend.) Commit to blogging at least once a week if you write nonfiction. If you write fiction, I recommend blogging at least twice a month.
  4. Include on your website the options to sign up for your email list. To make it easy on yourself, use your blog as your regular form of communication you’re your readers. When you need to send marketing letters out, use this list. Make sure that you offer something for free to entice signups. A great enticement would be the first book in your series. If you only have one book written, provide the first two chapters for free.
  5. Define your audience. Before you can even begin to market your book, you need to clarify exactly who your readers are. If you say everyone, you’re marketing to no one because your audience is too widely defined. Let’s look at some examples. Michael Hyatt knows the age, sex and income level of his ideal audience. If you write romance novels, you’ll want to use Facebook and Pinterest or Instagram. If you write young adult novels, I would suggest that you use Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. My point is what you write will determine your reader demographics. It’s best if you have your reader in mind as you write your book and before you sign up for any social media networks.
  6. Once you know where you’ll be spending your time online, regularly start posting. On Twitter, post a minimum of three to five tweets and retweets daily. Post twice daily on your Facebook page, once a day on Instagram, and several times a week on Pinterest.
  7. Make a commitment to your readers by allocating time every day to be social: Like, share and comment on their posts too. Always endeavor to share valuable content that your readers enjoy.
  8. Ask your designer to create a cover for you before you finish your book. I usually nail down a cover six months or longer before I release my books. Also, I let my Facebook fans and friends select the best cover from a sampling of three. By doing this, you will build momentum for your book.
  9. Talk about your book in your social media posts. You could write, “I just finished my first draft of ________!” or “I’m sending my manuscript to the editor today!” This messaging will also help to build momentum. You can even ask your friends and fans for ideas on what to name certain characters.
  10. Join Goodreads, review books, add your blog posts, join a group, and organize several giveaways.
  11. Some authors sign up for the exclusive Kindle SelectProgram so they can offer their books for free as a promotion from time to time. Offering your book for free doesn’t always get the result you want (a high number of downloads with the anticipation of an equal number of reviews). Know that you have options. What you can do instead is forego the Kindle Select Program and schedule several days on a quarterly basis when you lower the price of your ebook to $.99 or $1.99. Then promote the sale price on social media, websites devoted to publicizing $.99-cent books, on your website, and in your newsletter. This way, you can publish your book widely (iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, etc.) and still be able to promote it with a reduced price.
  12. Communicate with your newsletter subscribers Let them know what you’re doing, what you’re planning on writing, what you’re working on, and what promotions you’re planning for them.
  13. Make your books available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks. Over time, create box sets.
  14. Hold contests and announce your awards.
  15. If you are going to have a Facebook page, purchase advertising. Actually, Facebook advertising is a great way to promote your books.
  16. Write another book. Yes, second books improve the sales of first books. So get ready to produce a boxed set by writing every day.
  17. Hire an experienced book blogging company. The one I’ve used contacted high-trafficked blogs in the U.S., Canada, and France. The bloggers wrote honest reviews, sponsored contests for free copies of my book, and some of the bloggers also wrote five-star reviews on Amazon. The company I used is called TLC Book Tours.
  18. Mail books to influencers in your field or genre. I did this and they, in turn, raved about my book on Facebook and invited me to speak to their writers’ groups.
  19. Apply for a BookBub promotion. Authors have crazy success with BookBub. Get ready to discount your book to at least $.99.
  20. Experiment with Amazon ads. However, if you plan to do this, use 1,000 keywords or don’t try this option at all.
  21. Start a VIP list. Send prepublication ebooks to them using BookFunnel and encourage them to write book reviews.
  22. Put your books on preorder for one month. That way you can build sales, and when the books come off of preorder status, you’ll have people ready to write reviews.

Most of all, be patient. Book marketing isn’t easy, but it’s always worth the effort. During those periods of burnout, you may want to hire a virtual assistant to carry the load for a while. Just don’t give up!

What is your favorite strategy for boosting book sales?

 

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

7 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making on Social Media

7 Horrible Mistakes You're Making on Social Media

We all make mistakes on social media. It’s just a fact.

When we publish our first book, we tentatively reach for social media because everyone tells us that we need it if we expect to sell books.

What happens next? We go from dreading social media to acting a tad overzealous.

Some people get so excited when they learn about scheduling applications that they start sending automated direct messages.

They are the bane of social media.

Whether you’re just starting or have been using social media for a while, here are seven mistakes you should never make.

7 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on Social Media

This list could be longer but let’s stick with my top seven pet peeves that people commit on social media.

  1. Don’t use a picture of your dog as your avatar. Look at your avatar. Is it a picture of you? If not, remove the picture of your cat or dog or book cover and upload a picture of yourself.
  2. Don’t forget to update your social media banners. Are your most recent books on your banners? Are your banners consistent across all the social media platforms that you use?
  3. Stop sending automated direct messages on Twitter. No one likes to receive them. If you’re interesting on social media, people will check out your book or short stories or your blog. However, if you send mean automatic direct message, they may block you.
  4. Stop sharing retweets of information about your blog or books. Guy Kawasaki likens this to laughing at your own jokes.
  5. Stop expecting to get high engagement levels on Facebook without buying advertising. The algorithm on Facebook sucks. It’s super hard now to have organic engagement. If you want to sell books using social media, sign up for a Facebook advertising course (Mark Dawson’s is excellent) and learn how to craft your ads.
  6. Don’t talk about yourself too much on social media. Do we like the guy who only talks about himself at parties? Of course, we don’t. Find interesting posts, fun memes, and beautiful images to share.
  7. Don’t blindly decide which social media networks you should use. Determine who your readership is and then figure out where that audience hangs out online. Don’t rush to Instagram just because it’s hot and 1 billion people are using it. Would it make sense for you to use it considering what you write? Figure that out before learning how to use any social media. Once you figure out who your readership is, read this post I wrote.
  8. Bonus tip: Don’t post social media updates without including an image. Ditto for your blog posts.

7 Social Media Suggestions

Now that you know what not to do, here are some tips on what you need to do.

  1. Listen to what others say.
  2. Reply to your readers’ social media posts—and those of influence in your niche —and share their content. Like and leave comments as well.
  3. Win hearts by being authentic, gracious, and thankful.
  4. Be cool. In other words, never write a nasty comment, use profanity, ridicule someone, or denigrate another author or follower. If someone wrote something nasty about you online, turn the other cheek and move on.
  5. Minimize self-promotion. It’s okay to mention that your book is for sale or to share a great review. However, don’t overdo this.
  6. Find the influencers in your genre and learn from them.
  7. Develop relationships with writers in your genre. Get to know them, share their blog posts, and help them sell their books.

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – November 30, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to the newest edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update. This week’s edition covers book reviews and author websites. Plus there’s a post on how to take charge of your creative life. There is plenty to like in the posts below.

User Experience: 6 Author Website Mistakes to Avoid from BookWorks and by Tyler Doornbos: “In more than a decade of making websites, first as a freelance designer/developer for small businesses and individuals, and later as a principal of a design firm, I’ve reviewed a lot of sites. The truth is, that even when they come from professional designers and cutting-edge developers, many sites share the same basic user experience issues. This post will teach you how to avoid the most common mistakes on your author website so that you can outperform the competition.”

Take Charge of Your Creative Life: The SWOT Analysis from Jane Friedman’s blog and by Dave Chesson: “Do you ever feel like you’re swimming against the tide in your creative life? As authors, we have a vast array of ways to spend our time. Time is our only non-renewable resource. Given how precious it is, are you truly making the most of yours? Without a properly calibrated creative compass, it’s easy to spend time on urgent, rather than important, activities. One way to regain control and peace of mind as an author is the SWOT framework.”

How Improving Your Author Website Can Help Sell More Books from TheBookDesigner.com and by Lee Foster: “All of us following Joel’s The Book Designer website have at least one common goal: We want to sell more books, either existing books or books we are now developing.”

21 Signs Your Self-Published Book Could Turn A Profit  from Self-Publishing Relief: “Most self-published authors hope to publish a book (or books!) that will make some money. But while some indie books become popular with book-buying readers, other books struggle to break out beyond an audience of friends and family. How do you know if your self-published book could turn a profit? The experts at Self-Publishing Relief share which factors may play a part in your indie book’s sales forecast.”

Book Marketing: 15 Practical Ways to Get More Book Reviews from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center: “Book reviews. All authors want them (the positive ones, at least!). Fielding a great one can make our day. But many writers are finding that reeling in reviews is getting harder. If you share that view, are you sure you’re doing all you can to attract them?”

Quote of the Week

indie author

 

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Author’s Guide to Email Marketing plus 3 Best Practices

Author's Guide to Email Marketing plus 3 Best Practices

There’s a piece of advice that authors everywhere are receiving that you can’t ignore: start your email marketing list and grow it.

As you can tell from the abundance of blog posts on this topic, I’m not the only one who agrees with this advice.

Moreover, email is the fastest, cheapest, most powerful way to engage with your readers at scale. No other service (not even social media) is as personal as email, and if done right, you’ll sell way more books through email than you could any other way. Tom Morkes

As effective as social media is for engaging with your readers – not to mention discoverability – there’s nothing that quite compares to a robust email marketing list.

There’s nothing that quite compares to a robust email list Click To Tweet

Right about now you probably think that it’s an excellent piece of advice but just how can you accomplish this goal? That’s exactly what this post is about so lean back, take a sip of your coffee, tea, or tequila (or bourbon or wine), and keep reading.

Start with MailChimp

 1

I use MailChimp. I researched a variety of email marketing applications five years ago and settled on this one. Some people like Constant Contact (I don’t) and others swear by Aweber (never tried it), and some are now using Convert Kit.

I’m sticking with MailChimp. (Notice that I’m not using an affiliate link for MailChimp.)

Once you sign up, you’ll need to start a list. Don’t worry that you don’t have any names to add to the list; that will happen with time. The first task is to create a list name. Click the parallel lines to open a menu and click lists.

2-compressor

Next click Create List, complete the details, and Save.

3

Once you create a list, click signup forms and then click Select next to general forms. Now you’ll work on writing a series of sign-up and confirmation forms for your list. Keep your branding in mind when creating the forms.

For example, what are your brand colors? What does your website banner look like? In my case, I use my Social Media Just for Writers logo.

4-compressor

As the drop-down menu changes, you’ll be able to work on different forms in the series of emails your subscribers will receive.

5-compressor

[Read more…]

Are You Ready for 2019? How to Update Your Social Media

Update your social media

Let’s talk about how important it is to update your social media.

When was the last time you changed your password on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest?

When was the last time you updated your profile on Instagram or checked the about section on your Facebook page?

Once we set up our social media profiles and pages, we tend to neglect them.

We instead turn our focus to finding content to post and schedule every day.

Before the New Year rolls in, take time to spiff up your profiles and change your passwords. Yes, you should periodically change your passwords to ward off hackers.

How to Create Hacker-Proof Passwords

I was listening to NPR one day and heard a program about how to create hacker-proof passwords.

Here’s the formula. Think of your two favorite authors or leaders. Let’s use Hemingway and Faulkner in this example.

Use the first few (or last) letters of their names, stick a numeral sequence in the middle, and add one or more characters.

For example, you could create the following passwords:

  • Hem357Fau*&
  • Way731Ner*^
  • Ing259Ulk%@

Or, you can use a program called 1Password https://1password.com. The application devises a hacker-proof password for each of your social media networks. Then when it’s time to open Facebook, 1Password applies the appropriate password.

This program costs just $3.99 a month. What a deal.

Basic Rules About Passwords

Here are some of my most basic rules for passwords.

  1. Do you use the same password for multiple social media accounts? Don’t. Create separate passwords for every social media network you use and every application you try. I know this can be a hassle but if you use the same password across the web think about how easy it will for a hacker to get into all of your accounts.
  2. Keep your passwords in a safe place. Do not keep them on sheets of paper and do not keep them on e-files labeled passwords. Consider keeping them on an online program such as 1Password.com. https://1password.com
  3. Share your passwords with as few people as possible and only if you have to, such as a virtual assistant.
  4. Use a complicated password with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  5. Never use the word “password” or the numbers 123 for your online programs or ATM cards.

How to Update Your Social Media

Update Your Facebook Page 

Go to the About section on your Facebook page and make sure that everything is current.

If you have 35 or more likes on your page, review your analytics. What are the circumstances that trigger engagement on your page? Does it occur with certain types of posts, images or specific times of the day?

Do you know whether more men or women like your page? Do you know their ages? Check out this section and start planning an editorial calendar for the first three months of 2019.

Review Your Twitter Account

First, look at your following and follower numbers and use a program such as ManageFlitter to fine-tune the balance. I use ManageFlitter to unfollow some users who don’t follow back, to whitelist users I never want to unfollow and to block users who have fake accounts as well as spam and bot accounts. I also unfollow inactive accounts.

There are two Twitter follow limits. If you have fewer than 5,000 followers, the maximum people you can follow are 5,000. (The old limit was 2,000 followers.)

So, if 5,000 follow you, the maximum number of people you can follow is 5,500. So be sure to use Tweepi or ManageFlitter to start unfollowing users who don’t follow you back.

While you’re here, click Edit Profile and determine whether you want to update your avatar (your picture), the banner, or your bio.

Also, if you haven’t pinned a tweet to the top of your timeline, consider pinning a tweet about your most recent book or if you’re an editor, a service you provide.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – November 9, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - November 9, 2018

Welcome back to the Indie Author Weekly Update. You’re going to enjoy today’s roundup. The focus is on book marketing and all the ways you can sell your book from book catalogs to swag to keywords. Enjoy the best posts of the week.

Book Marketing: How to Create a Book Catalog of Your Self-published Books & Why   from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center and by Rachel Amphlett: “When thriller writer Rachel Amphlett discovered that someone had created and published a reading guide and book catalog for her work and was charging readers to download it, she decided to take the matter into her own hands and create her own Readers’ Guide. Here she shares her process and the benefits, to help you do the same for your own back-catalog of books.”

How to Use Swag to Support Your Book Marketing from Jane Friedman’s blog and by Dawn Reno Langley: “More than a million books are published every year, and whether you go traditional or indie, you have a lot of competition. Marketing your book falls squarely on your shoulders no matter where on the publishing spectrum you fall—so you need to how to get the most for your buck. “Book swag” is a proven tool for gathering readers and devoted followers.”

Update Your Keywords to Sell More Books over the Holidays by Penny Sansevieri: “Especially around the holidays, take a moment and tweak your keywords/keyword strings in Amazon. Maybe you can’t incorporate any holiday – or Christmas-specific keywords, but tweak the keywords during the holidays and find the strongest ones for your market. Oftentimes searches that include “gifts for…” ramp up in popularity around this time.”

Have You Pre-Sold Your Book? by Joel Friedlander: “One of the biggest lessons you can learn when you start to really look at marketing your books is about creating anticipation. Think of the last big movie you were looking forward to.”

Amazon and the Also Bought Apocalypse by David Gaughran: “A real horror story has been slowly building for the last year or so and I’m getting a lot of emails on the topic so it’s time to deal with this head-on: what the hell is going on with Also Boughts?”

Quote of the Week

Indie Author

 

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Every Author Needs Visual Marketing

visual marketing

In the past, I theorized that we were moving closer to visual marketing.

Guess what? We’re there. We’ve arrived.

According to this awesome blog post by Hubspot, there are many reasons why you should be focused on visual marketing on your blog and in your social media posts.

Let’s review a few of them.

  • Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images. Okay, the source for this statistic is Buffer, usually rated among the top three blogs in social media so I believe them and so should you.
  • In an analysis of over 1 million articles, BuzzSumo found that articles with an image once every 75-100 words received double the social media shares as articles with fewer images. So, if you want more people to read your entire blog post, include multiple, color images.
  • Users view 85% of videos on Facebook without sound. What this tells me is that it’s the images that mesmerize people.
  • Cisco projects that global internet traffic from videos will make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021. You can replace the word images with the word video. Whether you post images or video, you need to do one or the other.
  • 80% of marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing. Convinced yet?
  • Video (63%), alone, has also surpassed blogging (60%) in usage as a social media marketing asset. Yeah, video is huge. Just look at how popular Facebook Live is.

Also, several sources indicate that including images with your tweets double the chance of a retweet. So don’t tweet anything without including an image.

Finally, I find it interesting that 65% of the population are visual learners. Therefore, it makes sense that we ended up here, in the midst of visual marketing.

Finally, look at the rapid growth of Instagram. The user base soared from 90 million in January 2013 to 300 million in December 2014. Guess where we’re at now?

Instagram has 1 billion monthly users. Incredible, eh?

Free Image Sources for Your Visual Marketing

I’ve written about free image sources in the past but that listed needed to be updated. So here’s an up-to-the-minute list of free image sources that are available today.

visual marketingUnsplash

When you navigate to this website, the following words greets you:“Beautiful, free photos. Gifted by the world’s most generous community of photographers.”

All images on this website are free to use, which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for commercial purposes, without any attribution to the photographer.

Crediting photographers here isn’t required, but that would be excellent. It’s your choice.

By the way, you’re going to love these photographs.

visual marketingPixabay

Another one of my favorite free image sites is Pixabay.

I’ve been using this site for years, and sometimes I’m amazed at the free images I find.

Pixabay greets you with this message: “Over 1.5 million royalty free stock photos and videos shared by our generous community.”

Once in a while, the folks behind this website ask you to buy them a cup of Java. Otherwise, you can avoid the cost by uploading images of your own for Pixabay to make available for its users.

New Old Stock

This website provides vintage imagesfrom public archives that are free of copyright restrictions. Most are black and while a few are in color.

Picjumbo

This website provides stock images for free. If you’d like, you can donate to this website.

visual marketingGratisography

This website has some fun and unusual images. They are all high resolution pictures that you can use for free both personally and for commercial projects, such as your blog or website. The photographer for all of these images is Ryan McGuire.

Morguefile

Morguefile has come a long way. When researching it in the past, it seemed as though I could only find stodgy looking images. Its website has had a facelift, too. Visit Morguefile today. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – October 19, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - October 19, 2018

I hope you enjoy this week’s Indie Author Update. You’ll find informative posts from Diana Urban from BookBub, Rachel Thompson, Sandra Beckwith, and Amy Collins. Plus, there’s a podcast episode from Dave Chesson. Enjoy!

How Successful Authors Use Social Media: 23 Content Ideas by Diana Urban: “Social media can be a useful part of an author’s platform, helping them connect with readers, fellow writers, and the publishing community. But deciding what content to post next can be a struggle. So how do successful authors use social media to engage with their fans? And what can authors post on social media besides links to their own books?”

What You’re Doing Wrong on Twitter and How to Make It Right from Anne R. Allen and by Rachel Thompson: “Twitter is a wonderful way to connect with readers, book bloggers, and book reviewers if you are connecting with them strategically. Many writers are completely flummoxed how to do that.

Episode 51: The Cold Hard Truth About Book Marketing Services by Dave Chesson: “If you’re worried about marketing your book and are looking into getting a book marketing service, I advise you to proceed with caution. There are some that will work fine with your book, however many will take any book and put it through a conveyor-belt like process for marketing your book.”

3 ways to pitch your book to the press as the perfect holiday gift by Sandra Beckwith: “Every year at this time, newspapers, online news sites, and bloggers start thinking about their holiday gift guides. You’ll start seeing them in late November and all through December.”

Must read post for all writers

Understanding the Current “Dos” and “Don’ts” of Amazon Book Reviews by Amy Collins and from TheBookDesigner.com: “We would like to bring you up to date on the current rules and share some guidelines we have found most helpful when trying to get reviews for your book on Amazon. Here you will find the most frequently asked questions around the Amazon review process and Amazon’s answers. I have gone right to the source and given you the Amazon rules right from the horse’s mouth.”

Quote of the Week

indie author

 

 

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

 

20 Tips to Rock Your Social Media Updates

20 Tips to Rock Your Social Media Updates
Getting frustrated with your social media updates?

Not seeing as much engagement as you’d like?

Everyone has that complaint from time to time. Even I do. (Yes, me!)

Tips to Improve Your Social Media Updates

There are many ways you can boost engagement and feel better about your social media updates.

Shall we get into the meat of this discussion? Let’s!

Here’s my list of tips to increase engagement on all of your social media posts.

  1. Always post images. Always. It’s easy to do on Instagram and Pinterest because, obviously, if you don’t have a picture to post, you don’t have anything to post. So I’m talking about all of the other platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.  We can reverse the order of this tip and put it this way: never post anything on social media without including an image or a video. According to CoSchedule, images increase retweets by 150%, and according to KISSMetrics, Facebook photos attract 53% more Likes and 84% more click-through rates than text posts. Besides, Facebook makes it easy to turn a text post into an image post with its array of color backgrounds for your status updates.
  2. Share quick tips with your followers and fans. Remember that Facebook posts limited to 80 or fewer characters receive 65% more engagement. Yeah, this is another example of when less is more.
  3. Ask questions. If you go to a party and ask questions, people will love you, right? The same dynamic works on social media.
  4. Comment on current events such as Warriors basketball season starting 8-), updates from the World Series, or any issue that is fun and not too controversial. They can even be personalized. Did you take a hike last weekend or win a race? Post images.
  5. Post humorous memes. People love these.
  6. Give away a free eBook for the best photo caption to a funny or ambiguous image.
  7. Share a thought or image that moves you.
  8. Get personal. I tend to like to not be too personal online. It has to do with my comfort level. But the few times that I am less private, engagement soars. So, self-reflect before your self-reveal and then decide if you’re comfortable being more personal and opening up more often. People want to get to know the author behind the books they read.
  9. Share a photo from your past and post in on Thursday with the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday. Author Mark Dawson does this all the time on Facebook.
  10. Buffer reported that to make a tweet more popular, focus on length, nouns and verbs. Don’t focus on mentions or hashtags. Also, use positive words and use an indefinite article such as A or An.
  11. Use emoticons. People love these, and they aren’t going away. I use them sparingly in my business-related emails, but I do use them.
  12. Don’t over-promote yourself. Let’s return to the party analogy I mentioned earlier. Nobody — and I mean not a single person — likes the guy who only talks about himself. It’s a turnoff, right? What you need to realize is that marketing isn’t about your or your books or your blog posts, or your courses. It’s about the benefit. What benefit do readers derive from your books? Even when you focus on the benefit, you still have to do your marketing sparingly. Promote other authors. Promote your readers. Share or retweet what they post. Leave comments on their updates. Marketing is never about you. Sure, you want to sell books, but you won’t get sales by over-promoting yourself. You’ll get sales if you promote other authors, do things for your readers, learn about your readers, answer their questions, and ask them questions. Got it?
  13. Develop content aligned with your marketing objectives. Otherwise, you’ll just be guessing in your marketing and never know for certain what to post.
  14. Run polls and surveys. That’s right, ask your fans and followers what they want to read by your on your blog and in your books, and what they prefer to see on your social media profiles.
  15. Engage in conversations. You can ask questions, and you need to answer questions when readers ask questions. Look at your news feeds and take time to share, retweet, and leave comments.
  16. Sharing images is the first step, making sure that they are correctly sized is the next. Don’t use an image designed for a  Twitter post on Facebook and vice versa. Resize images according to the platform’s preferred image dimensions.
  17. As best as you can, make sure that all of your images are the best they can be. Never settle for boring.
  18. Everyone loves a smile, right? Well, it turns out that on Pinterest smiling faces get more saves.
  19. Leverage popular phrases or slogans. During the World Cup a few years ago, “because of fútbol” was a favorite phrase. On Twitter, Monday Motivation and Wednesday Wisdom are hashtags that are always used on those days. These sayings can surface suddenly and be time-limited in their popularity. Use them while they’re hot.
  20. Be consistent in your blog images. Always use the same size for the image at the top of your blog post and use the same fonts.

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25 Tips for Posting on Social Media

posting on social media

Note: This is a completely version of a previous post.


Posting on social media can be a quandary for some authors.

Regardless of all the tips posted online, when it comes to a personal decision, many writers don’t know what they should say, especially once they learn that always talking about their books and blog posts is verboten (forbidden).

I get it.

Here’s my confession: I sometimes struggle with what to say on my Facebook profile. My life just isn’t that exciting, you know?

And I’m not into posting selfies. I’m just not that photogenic.

But when it comes to my professional social media accounts — my Facebook page, and Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts, I have no problem.

Why? Because I know that on those accounts I need to balance inspirational and education information. I want to encourage people, post images, and ask questions.

I have those platforms down, so to speak.

I want you to feel the same way. I don’t want you to ever feel insecure about what you’re posting or sit in front of a blinking cursor wondering, “What the heck should I say?”

So let’s get to it.

You Need Great Content on Your Blog & on Social Media

Sometimes content you found on the internet years ago can still apply. I know that I posting on social media use these tips that I found a few years ago from Search Engine Land. I consider their advice the meat and potatoes of everything I write online.

  • Is the content informative?
  • Is it authoritative on the subject matter?
  • Is it interesting?
  • Is it well-written?
  • Is longer content broken up into well-organized sections by headings? You may have long paragraphs in your books, but that style doesn’t work for blogging or for your social media posts.
  • Does the content make good and interesting use of visual elements? Remember, you need to include images with your blog posts. Multiple photos keep people reading your blog posts. On social media, pictures are a must.
  • Is the writing free of embarrassing spelling errors or remedial grammar problems? I use Grammarly to check my writing and punctuation. Are you using an editing application to check yours?
  • Is it written appropriately for its intended audience? How well do you know your audience? Are you writing for women in their 30’s or men 40 and older? You must know your audience if you expect to sell any books. The same is true for your audience on your blog and on social media.
  • Is the content free of industry-insider jargon, focusing instead on terminology your readers would use (and search for)? Get rid of all jargon and cliches before tapping the publish button.
  • When appropriate, does the content show your unique voice or even a sense of humor? Are your snarky or quirky? Don’t be afraid to show your real self. Being authentic will enhance your brand. Embrace who you are and don’t be afraid to show those sides of yourself online.

The above suggestions apply mostly to blog writing, but you can adapt some of them for social media.

You can also use these suggestions to evaluate blog posts written by other people you might want to share. Since 80% of the content, you discuss on social media will be from sources other than your own, ask yourself if that content incorporates the above suggestions.

If it doesn’t, don’t use it.

So what will you post 20% of the time when you can talk about yourself? When you think about it, you’re still going to be posting quite a bit of information that emanates from you.

What should you say?

posting on social media

25 Tips for Posting on Social Media

Here are some examples of great content for your social media profiles:

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