Social Media Promotion is a critical component of marketing your product. I believe that no one is better at marketing yourself than you. However, there are social media promotion companies who can offer you a full array of services to strengthen the reach of what you first take time to lay groundwork. I suggest a company that is close to home. I prefer that because, if there’s an issue, you can sit with them in-person to discuss it. That being said, here is a list of five best practices for social media promotion you can do on your own, for free, to set the tone for your online image.
- Be Honest: The problem with creating a persona anything other than who you are is that it’s a facade you must put time and effort into. This not only takes away from energy best spent on your art, it may come off as pretending. Our culture is rife with that as it is. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, be consistent and honest in how you represent yourself. For better or worse, social media promotion is a window into your life. Readers are starved for the real deal, and they can be critical when inconsistencies rear their heads. I always think of the tragedy behind A Million Little Pieces where the author thought he could pull a few little lies past Oprah Winfrey. He got caught, and it was ugly. Don’t be that guy.
- Save Your Battles Over Politics and Religion for Your Books: I am not saying to lack conviction when it comes to topics you’re passionate about. What I am saying is that if you make a point to take a stand, or worse yet – get into an internet war with an opponent, you will alienate readers. A mentor once told me, “You can be dramatic or successful, but you can’t be both.” I firmly agree. Your fan base is reading everything your write. Your haters are reading closer. Do not stoop to the level of someone trying to trip you in front of thousands of potential buyers. Weave what you believe into your books. You’ll sway more hearts and open more eyes through your books than a tiff online.
- Marry Genres in Your Advertising: Do not post whole poems or short stories online. Why would anyone buy your book when they can get it for free off Facebook? Instead, take a snippet of one piece, add it to a non-copyrighted image, and create a sensory advertisement that whets the appetite. You can go a step farther and plug a link to the song that inspired those lines. If you don’t have the technical skills to do this, like me, reach out to someone who can. It is money well-spent. This not only adds depth to the descriptive value of the advert, it also allows folks unique insight into you and your work.
- Do Not Beat People to Death with Advertising: Nothing turns me off from a person or product like accepting a friend request and immediately getting slammed with an epistle of how well they know me, how vital their product/service is to my life, and then demanding an immediate response. I find this on LinkedIn every day, and the only thing is accomplishes is me hitting the Block button. Be patient and do your research. Tailor your proposal to those who are looking for what’s in your wheelhouse or skill set. On Facebook, if you “like” someone’s page, don’t insinuate that they are obligated to do the same. Social media promotion is an art of salesmanship. Read up on effective sales techniques. Join pages and/or websites designed for promotion. When you meet readers in-person, take a minute to ask how life is treating them (and mean it) before attacking them with your sales pitch.
- Support Others with Abandon: Whether an introvert or extrovert, technology allows us to make business contacts, learn new things, reach millions of people, and discover cutting edge advertising advantages from the safety of our writing desks or smart phones. For half an hour in the morning, without looking at faces, names, ethnicity, or sexual preference I read what folks are passionate about, what they create, and how they promote. If I dig it, I share it. This is good karma, and what goes around comes around. Art is not a small pond with too many big fish. Art is an expanse of ocean with too many fish that don’t want to share. If you focus only on you and never look out the window, you are missing opportunities to live, learn, and grow. I’ve made 90% of my lasting friendships and book sales by sticking to this principle.
Now, before I wrap this up, understand that I know these five best practices for social media promotion due to trial and error. I’ve made a fool of myself on more than one occasion. I try to keep my ego in-check, and some days are harder than others. My goal in these blog posts is to share with you what works, and hope I help you dodge a few of the potholes I hit head-on. If you help good men and women up with good works, miracles happen. Put on your true face. Don’t be afraid to promote what moves you. Show passion with couth and tact. No one can promote you better than you.