An Introduction to Social Media Marketing

Social media has become one of the most effective forms of global communication, allowing businesses to reach new, previously unavailable audiences with the click of a button—for free! The different platforms available have continued to multiply, each unique in its approach to reaching and captivating millions of people, every second of every day. There is a good chance you found this blog post through one form of social media or another.  Neglecting the potential clientele social media can bring you is no longer an option. But to those who are not well versed in the many incarnations of the social network (i.e., people not in their twenties and thirties), this can seem like a daunting task. It’s important that you understand social media marketing fundamentals, from maximizing quality to understanding what platforms are best for your book. This blog is the first in a three-part series that will help you understand social media platforms and how you can utilize them to sell more books.

Identify Your Value Proposition

The most important part of the marketing effort for any author is identifying the book’s value proposition. The value proposition should be solidified before you set up any social media account. This is going to be the crux of your marketing effort; everything you do with your book should revolve around it. If someone were to come up to you and ask, “Why should I buy this book?” your value proposition would be your reply. The value proposition may end up as your back cover text, so it’s important that you optimize it as much as possible with keywords that will increase search engine efficiency and readability.

Market to Your Target Audience

Identifying your target audience is the next crucial step in your marketing effort. Nailing down the broad demographic factors that make up your audience will enhance your marketing endeavor, resulting in tangible gains and measurable improvement. The first step in identifying your target audience is realizing that it is not everyone. Think hard about the factors that would make up your potential reader. Sex, age, education, income, and family status should all be taken into account. If possible, identify these before you write.

Build Trust

I have an account, but what do I say? For better or worse, social media has given everybody a voice. The opinion of the common man can be immediately transported across the globe from any place at any time. This immediacy changed many aspects of society, especially marketing. People no longer want to be constantly marketed to. Instead, they want opinions from people they can trust. Whether it be friends on social media or a review they read on a website, it is important to realize that you need to court your clientele before bombarding them with sales pitches. How do you do this? Give them something for nothing. Abide by the 70%-30% rule. 70% of your content should be entertaining or informational while only 30% should be marketing your book. Entertain them while establishing your brand. Build their trust before you ask them to buy your book.