Getting a website up and running is only the first step. It is there, ready to catch the attention of those who come there, but you need to help people find it. To get an idea of the challenge, go to your favorite search engine and type in your name (or the name of your book) to see what appears among the results. Your website should be the first entry for your name, and the Amazon listing of your book should be the first entry for your book. But if no one knows your name or the title of your book, how will they find your website? To draw visitors to your site, you also need social media accounts where you can post small items to bring attention to your site. Social media options include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, Instagram, and so on and so on.
How many social media accounts do you need? As many as you can manage that will connect the netizens on it to the content of your website.
Which ones do you need? Those where the audience is most like your desired readership.
Where should you begin? Begin with what is familiar.
By now, nearly everyone has a Facebook account. But don’t assume you can manage your personal Facebook account to market your books. Your personal account likely has friends and family as your connections. While you may want all those friends and family members to be interested in your books, by themselves, they will not make you rich and famous.
To market your books, you need a Facebook page – one that can be devoted just to your author role or perhaps even one for each of your books. Again, the key is to have no more than you can manage.
Facebook pages are public, unlike the recommended privacy settings for your personal account which should limit who can see what you post to those you have friended or their friends. For your books, you want to draw as broad an audience as possible. You want to invite people to your page, but you want others you don’t even know to discover it and to “Like” it.
Once you have a Facebook page, you’ll need to post something to it frequently – not necessarily every day, but don’t let too much time pass between posts. If you have a book signing event scheduled, add a post about that. If your book has been reviewed favorably, post that. If you find another book that deals with the same or similar content, you might want to post a link to it. Consider this carefully, however. You want visitors to pay attention to your book, not the other one. Word your post to attract readers of the other book to yours. If you have a YouTube video of an interview about your book, post that. Periodically, you can copy a portion of your own book onto the Facebook page to give visitors a taste of what they can look forward to. If you find a link to something that interests you, something that would give your potential readers a glimpse into who you are, post the link with a comment to explain why you are sharing it. And with every post, include the link to your website where the book can be purchased.
For a more detailed description of how to set up your Facebook page to market yourself and your books, check out these YouTube videos from iBrandYourBusiness:
- Jenn Benninger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9SDy58HBYo, created February 2014, updated November 2014
- Teresa Santa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjVWUXd65nM, created November 2014