Which is the Best Social Media Channel to Sell Books?
This is a very common question but the answer is not so simple purely because it will depend on where the target audience for your eBook hangs out online. It is vital you select your social media channels very carefully because if you get it wrong you will waste a lot of precious time posting and creating content that provides little return on investment.
Social media is a marketing strategy that will help you reach and connect with your audience if done right. If your goal is to use social media to sell more eBooks and build a list of loyal fans, then you must choose the right channels.
Your Goal as an Indie Author Trying to Make Be Known Online
Your goal as an undiscovered Indie author is to find the best fit for your audience when you know where they spend most of their time online. Then, your objective is to become the ‘go to’ person for your target audience. You don’t have to waste your time trying to be everywhere, you just need to be the right one!
So, what should you do? Your very first task is to do your research into where your ideal readers hang out. Are they on Facebook? Instagram? Pinterest? Twitter? A wonderful way to find out is to select the top 5 best-selling authors in your eBook’s genre / category on Amazon and study which social media platforms they use. This will provide you with what works in helping them to build their author platform. Once you identify these top five authors then head on over to Google and enter their name to discover where they are being found online.
Step One: Know Who Your Audience is and Where they Hangout Online
• First of all, you must identify who your audience is there are several ways you can do this:
• Research the best-selling authors in your eBooks genre (use Amazon)
• Spend time connecting with readers in online communities (Goodreads)
• Chat and communicate with readers in forums (KindleBoards)
• If you have a Facebook page, your Insights dashboard will provide you with information on: gender, age, location and interests.
• You can add a survey to your blog or author website
Step Two: Learn More About Each Social Media Channel
Before randomly posting content to your selected channel you will want to learn how your target audience behaves on these platforms. This is essential you plan to spend money on advertising to connect with your ideal readers.
Facebook for eBook Authors
Facebook is a community of sharing, discussing and connecting with people of similar interests. People share their likes and dislikes with their friends. They make recommendations and they buy stuff based on friend’s recommendations. A recent statistic I read showed that around 75 percent of online adults use Facebook regularly.
Instagram for eBook Authors
Instagram is owned by Facebook. Instagram is a ‘visual’ platform which is a mix between Twitter and Facebook in terms of real-time engagement with pictures. People who use Instagram are generally from a younger demographic. As of August 2017, there are over 700 hundred million active users on Instagram each month. Instagram does not yet allow for live URLs to be placed in comments so for some online marketers this is a drawback. Instagram is more of a sharing channel than an interaction one such as Facebook. As a result, you must become skilled in the images and photos you post.
Twitter for eBook Authors
Twitter has become even more mainstream since US President Donald Trump posts every day to tell the world about his thoughts. Twitter is a real-time newsroom where people share what is happening right now in their life. As soon as they create one post they are thinking about their next post which results in previous posts sliding down the list into obscurity. As of the first quarter of 2017, Twitter had 328 million monthly active users.
YouTube for eBook Authors
YouTube is the most widely used search engine on the Internet when it comes to videos. People go to YouTube mainly looking for information, not to connect. Regular unknown individuals have become internet sensations due to the videos they produce and the audience following they receive. Along with notoriety they are making some serious money. YouTube is a good fit for many non-fiction writers because you can create a serious of shorter videos providing tips about your eBook’s topic and on-sell your eBook by giving a little upfront. Many authors are also using YouTube for promoting their eBooks through eBook trailers.
LinkedIn for eBook Authors
LinkedIn is a great resource for non-fiction writers who have a need to develop expertise and are then using this channel to on-sell their eBooks. For fiction writers LinkedIn should not be at the top of your list when it comes to connecting with your ideal reader. The LinkedIn groups function as an active community to get involved in conversations around a specific topic. LinkedIn also hosts a publishing platform where bloggers can develop a secondary channel that leads people back to their websites. LinkedIn has an older demographic than Instagram and targets more of the professional crowd.
Pinterest for eBook Authors
Pinterest is where people share collections of what they like in visual form through images, graphics and photos. Pinterest is used by over 30% of online adults with a strong audience of over the age of 25. The majority of users are female so if your audience is predominantly male then you may want to look elsewhere unless you know your audience hangs out here.
Step Three: Which Social Media Channels Make it Easy to Sell Your eBooks?
With a better understanding of how each social media channel works and after identifying which one is best suited for you it is time to see how you can convert those followers into buying customers.
Not all sites allow you to directly sell. Instagram for example doesn’t allow links so you cannot send them off to your website. Facebook has a powerful advertising tool that can target your ideal readers but direct advertising may not work for your audience. Twitter allows you to add links but it is not a very visual platform so you need to convert followers through catchy headlines and messages.
The greatest benefit of social media is not for you to sell directly but to build your author platform, your list of loyal customers and then to get them to visit your website, blog or online shop where they will be more likely to buy because they trust in you.