There is a never-ending climb on the social media learning curve. Just when we understand everything – or at least think we understand everything – Facebook changes, Twitter adds a twist, or a new network suddenly surfaces and becomes the darling of the day. Isn’t this what happened when Pinterest jumped onto the scene? We were comfortable with Facebook’s new Timeline and starting to use Google+ when suddenly there was another social media site that we needed to conquer.
Some people find the never-ending treadmill of learning about social media exhausting if not exasperating. I don’t. It’s the reason I don’t get involved in other forms of marketing because, quite frankly, they bore me. Social media is exciting.
It’s not unusual for writers to become exasperated with the whole bucket of likes, tweets, hashtags, and connections. Timeline on Twitter is not the same thing as a Timeline on Facebook. And yes, you can now use hashtags on Facebook but I doubt they will ever gain the importance or prominence of Twitter hashtags.
Have I lost you?
Don’t worry. I’m devoting this post to some tips I’ve recently learned and I want to share them with you. Here we go!
I recently wrote a post (10 Twitter Tips Writers Need to Know) that listed the results of Dan Zarrella’s research on the most “retweetable” words. I followed his tips and guess what? Traffic to my website doubled the day that post was published. If you’d like to attract more traffic to your website, I recommend you read this post or even better, purchase his book, The Science of Marketing: When to Tweet, What to Post, How to Blog, and Other Proven Strategies. His strategies, based on a scientific study, do work. Really!
I’ve made some mistakes on my Facebook page recently. It all started when I boosted a post about a blog I’d written. As soon as I wrote the post, I “boosted” it with $30 of advertising money and traffic to my website doubled. (I didn’t do this for the post mentioned above.) Another time, I decided to boost a post a couple of days after my Facebook status update was published. Guess what? I was too late. Nothing happened!
If you’re not familiar with a boosted post on Facebook, let me explain. Unlike the ads you see along the right ribbon of your Facebook profile or page, posts that are boosted with advertising dollars appear in your news feeds and look like a regular status update. This type of content is called branded content.
Due to Facebook’s notorious news feed algorithm, posts from your author page only reach about 10% of your fans’ news feeds. Boosted posts penetrate those news feeds and promise to widen the group of people who will see what you’ve written. Think of boosted posts as ads made to look like a regular status update. According to Facebook, boosted posts appear higher in the news feed so that there’s a better chance they’ll be seen and read and that the Facebook user will click the link to your website.
The lesson for me is that I need to boost a post as soon as I finish writing it.
Lessons from Penny Sansevieri aka @bookgal
I’m a member of the Bay Area Independent Publishes Association (BAIPA), which meets monthly in San Rafael in California. If you live near the Bay Area, I highly recommend that you attend these meetings. (I’m not on the board of directors so I can plug the organization freely.)
- There are now 1 billion eBooks on Amazon.
- Short is the new long. In other words, short eBooks sell better so let people know that your books are quick to read.
- You will increase exposure for your books if you cross-promote them and if have you’ve written several books. There was a post on the blogosphere recently that debunked this theory but Penny still adheres to it.
- The more books you sell, the higher Kindle will push your books up to the front of the store. I found this to be true recently. I offered a Cyber Monday special on my eBook Social Media Just for Writers. I sold so many copies that day that my book jumped to the #1 spot among social media guides on the next day. In addition, I sold twice as many copies the day the price of the book returned to $7.99.
- Keywords are everything on Amazon. Include them in your book descriptions. Also, you can change your keywords as often as you’d like as you experiment with the keywords that help you to sell more books.
- Did you know that you’re allowed up to 280 words in your book description? Penny suggests using every word available and to use html code to create bullets and to highlight text.
- Do you sometimes wonder whether your book is in the right category? Penny recommends selecting a narrow niche within two broad categories. For example, let’s say that you wrote a romance novel. That would be your broad category. Your selections for narrow categories might include western romance, zombie romance, or paranormal romance. Distinguish your book by selecting the most narrow subcategory possible.
- When was the last time you thanked a reviewer? Confession: I never have because I didn’t know that I could or should. Now I do. So the next time someone leaves you an unsolicited review, thank that person.
- How do you end your eBooks? Penny strongly suggests that the last words in your eBooks should include a call to action with a link to Amazon’s review web page so that the reader can write a review. Don’t forget to include your contact information too.
- Here’s a final tip. Don’t forget to include a video or two on your Author Central profile. Videos are popular.
What have you learned recently about Twitter, Facebook or Amazon? I’d love to know!
About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media strategist, trainer, and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.
Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web