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Social meida book marketingSocial media is a strong tool for marketing your books, but determining how and where to put your time and energy is not a straightforward endeavor. How can you be sure all the hours and attention you’re investing in your social media strategy will pay off?

Consider the following tips when evaluating where to spend your social media resources:

  • Reach readers where they are.  One of the amazing attributes of social media is that it reaches all industries. However, not everyone uses it the same way:
      • Science.  Scientists and researchers turn to social media platforms like MyScienceWork as a tool for collaboration, research, a way to find peers in similar niches, and as a forum for publishing, promoting, and debating research papers and ideas.
      • Medicine.  In the medical sector, platforms such as PatientsLikeMe have revolutionized the way people with life-changing diseases disseminate information on testing treatments, new uses for existing drugs, clinical trial opportunities, and more.
      • Tech.  Obviously one of the first sectors to embrace the idea of a social media platform as a way to network with other IT enthusiasts, techies ask for tips, post guidance, find jobs, and discuss the latest developments on sites like Toolbox for IT.
  • Remember that social media is about the person-to-person connection.  In this ever-more-digital environment, publishers who can connect readers with authors will have the most success.
    How do you foster this type of connection? Engage authors in marketing. Get them involved on social sites both general (e.g., Goodreads) and specific to their audience (similar to those cited earlier). Work with them to promote themselves and their publications through multimedia.
  • Don’t underestimate the idea that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Many social networks make images the primary mode of communication, and for good reason. If you’re looking for 19 good reasons, consider those listed here, including number 10 on the list, “Pinterest generated more referral traffic for businesses than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined.” To make your posts more powerful, embrace imagery, cover art, videos, and infographics.

Outside of industry-specific social media sites, the top places for publishers to reach potential readers are still the big five: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and YouTube. This list seems obvious for a reason — these platforms are widely adopted and have loyal, regular followers.

A reliable strategy for publishers to harness the power of social media is to start by developing a presence and reaching readers though the top sites. You can then customize your approach to further your reach to each author’s specific reader audience. Remain agile and watchful of social media trends, and be ready and flexible enough to be open to new ways of engaging readers through the power of social media.