Welcome to the third post in the Basic Marketing for Authors series. Diving into social media, or even dipping your toes in, can be terrifying! Especially if you’re like me and grew up when face and book were two separate words.
We know social media is a great resource for connecting with writers, industry professionals, and learning tips about our craft, but it’s also a great way to reach kidlit readers, or more specifically, their parents.
FACEBOOK: This is an extremely popular site with adults. Having an author page gives you a shareable site that links to your other social media accounts. On this page you can push your tweets and blogs giving you Facebook content without having to create anything new.
GOODREADS: What a great site – one specifically designed for readers! A Goodreads author profile allows users of this site to learn about you, the books you’ve written, and connect with you based on books you’ve read and are passionate about. Additionally, you can sync your blog with your profile, which Goodreads will email to members who like your profile. This site is also a good place for discussions in a few of the thousands of groups available. And don’t forget about the reviews. Positive comments about your book go a long way in drumming up interest in your work.
INSTAGRAM: This is a site for pictures and short videos and is used by middle-grade and young-adult aged kids as well as adults. This media tool is another way to showcase your personality. Post pictures of your workspace (even if it’s messy), inspirations for your books, and sketches of characters and maps. And don’t forget the fun pictures of your animals, favorite hobbies, and yummy food!
PINTEREST: As an author, this site can be used to display your interests and grab the attention of parents with similar ones to yours, or have kids who are like-minded readers. For example, you can show your favorite spooky middle grade reads or edge-of-your-seat young adult thrillers. Along with your interests, you can post vision boards and fan art for your books, both great extras for readers.
TWITTER: Twitter is mainly used by adults and they tweet about everything! (Good and bad) This is probably the best social media tool for making connections, not just with parents of kidlit readers, but also people in the industry. (For more information on using Twitter to connect with the writing industry, read Twitter-101-For-Writers.)
As an author, you should connect with bloggers, parents, teachers,
librarians, and others who are interested in kidlit books and have the resources to help you get yours to readers. The best way to connect is to become part of big conversations. Seek out hashtags on subjects you enjoy – or hate! – comment on them, and engage with the people tweeting. Find hashtags parents and teachers use and get yourself known in those circles. This will also give you opportunities to talk about your book’s topic and begin discussion questions, possibly creating your own hashtag.
SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS:
- Schedule content. Social media can seem overwhelming and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. Use tools like Buffer, TweetDeck, and Hootsuite to schedule daily and weekly social media content.
- Contests and giveaways. Have fans share a post or comment for a chance to win a signed copy of your book. Use giveaways to generate pre-release interest and reviews for your upcoming book.
- Promote events. Social media sites can be used to announce upcoming events like book signings, author appearances, and online discussions.
- Highlight important dates. Facebook and Twitter allow you to pin posts to the top of your profile pages, which will allow greater visibility. Use these for book releases, events, or contests.
- Use images. Tweets and posts with images are believed to generate more interest and more sharing. Show your book cover, a teaser quote, or even a stock photo or GIF video.
- Engage your audience. The more interaction you have with your fans, the more exposure you will have, as the conversations will be posted on your fans’ pages and seen by their friends.
I would love to hear how you use social media and about other sites not mentioned here. And if you haven’t read the previous posts in this series, you can check them out Creating Your Brand and Creating Your Website.
HALLI GOMEZ teaches martial arts and writes for children and young adults because those voices flow through her brain. She enjoys family, outdoors, reading, and is addicted to superhero movies. You can find her on Twitter.