As we explore ways for self-published writers to market their books, we are always excited to uncover top tips and advice that will help you promote and sell books via Social Media. Here we asked Alexei Lee, Head of Social and Promotion, Strategy Digital for their Top 5 tools for authors to use for managing their social media time and why.
Alexei recommends these social media tools ...
When looking to optimise your social media presence to communicate with the right people the first step is to monitor and identify the relevant people to interact with. For this employ a tool such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. Tweetdeck is a Twitter tool for tracking conversations on the social media platform in real time, organising those conversations by topic, event or hashtag. As well as setting up alerts for tweets relating to specific topics, it also allows you to filter searches by content type, engagement and user.
Hootsuite is a social media management system tool designed to help users effectively track and manage presences across multiple platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Wordpress blogs LinkedIn and Google Plus.
The primary benefit of both of these tools is that they allow you to manage your time by scheduling tweets and posts in advance, as well as viewing activity across all your social media platforms. These platforms allow you to monitor what people are saying about you via multiple viewing streams.
The benefit of seeing exactly what people are saying about your work in real time is that it gives you the ability to respond to comments and join conversations within an optimum window of opportunity.
Being timely about this can help you further the conversation and increase engagement all round, and using Tweetdeck and Hootsuite will help you not only achieve this but also save a lot of wasted time and effort attempting to monitor these conversations and comments manually.
Content curation is a key aspect of any social media strategy, and a tool like Swayy will help save you time when it comes to scouring the web for relevant content to share. There are many curation tools out there that allow you to discover and share content. Swayy is one of our favourites because of the way it analyses what your audience are already sharing and then recommends similar content to share.
Plus it’s at the cheaper end of the spectrum! And it can be used freely with limatations. Once you’ve linked your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to the dashboard it will suggest a list of trending topics along with their sources you can review and select from to share with your followers.
On your dashboard you will see a 'Trending Sources' box. This indicates which sites are gaining the most shares via your social community, you can’t edit these sources.
The idea is that Swayy analyses and filters content from the links that it finds via your follower networks and then presents you with the most relevant / shared content based on your defined topics.
There’s not a huge amount of customisation available, it’s a fairly simple tool and you are pretty much at the mercy of their algorithm in terms of what content it throws up, so you will get see some content that is not what you want.
There are other content curation tools out there like Content Gems and Feedly that offer much more granular customisation of the content you receive, but we chose Swayy for its simplicity (easy for time-poor authors to set up and use without technical knowledge!).
Content Gems if you want content suggested based on topics. Feedly is good if you just want to build a content list from the sites you already read and share from.
As authors, there is no doubt that the written word is your number one marketing tool, after all it’s your passion. Publishing a regular blog, whether to showcase snippets of your work, talk more personally about day to day life as an author, literature in general or a combination of all three, is essential.
Tumblr provides the perfect platform for short-form blogging as it also allows users to monitor other relevant blogs and bloggers via a user-friendly dashboard, which continuously feeds the blogs they follow, allows the scheduling of blogs to be published at specific times.
Not only does Tumblr incorporate a tagging function to highlight certain keywords, making it easier for readers to find in relation to their interests, it is a ‘ready made’ blog platform which can be customised to look great through a few simple clicks with no coding required. It serves as both an effective monitoring tool and an efficient publishing and marketing tool.
If you have your own site with a blog already on it, no point in doubling up so I’d suggest sticking with your own site. That way when you promote content you are driving people back to your author site as well. I suggest Tumblr as a quick and easy way for any authors to start blogging if you don’t already have a website or blog set up.
Another alternative is Wordpress, which is a much more customisable and comprehensive blogging platform, but requires a fair amount of technical knowledge to use properly and get looking nice. If an author has this and the time to set it up, go for Wordpress. If you don’t have much technical knowledge or time, go for the quick and easy option and use Tumblr.
When you’re busy doing what you do best – writing – you don’t have the time or the inclination to keep researching and tweeting content throughout the day. This is where a decent scheduling tool comes in. Tweetdeck and Hootsuite both offer scheduling, but for the really time poor I’d recommend Buffer.
The Buffer app allows you to shove things into a ‘queue’ that then publishes your updates according to a pre-determined times of the day and week, which takes the legwork out of thinking about when things should be posted.
Within the time and day range you set, Buffer will post your updates at the optimum times they’ve identified will get maximum ‘eyeballs’. This tool not only makes you more time effective but will also ensure the content you’re posting is achieving the best possible results – i.e. follower interest - for you.
Find out more about social media marketing for writers ...
Paula Wynne is the founder of Book Hub. She started Book Hub out of a need to market and promote her own fiction. As well as running Book Hub, Paula is an author with several published books.
Paula's Book Marketing for Authors Series features the following books: Book Marketing for Authors: Essential Steps for Before, During and After Your Book Launch; Book Promotion for Authors: How To Grow Your Readers Fan Base With Cross Promotions; Email Marketing For Authors: How To Use Email Marketing To Find New Readers and Book Selling for Authors: 7 Steps to a Bestselling Novel. Find out more about Paula's Book Marketing for Authors Series here.
If you would like to find out how to get your book into the bestselling charts with little money needed, download a free copy of Paula's Book Selling for Authors: 7 Steps to a Bestselling Novel.