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Smart social media book marketing doesn’t refer to the volume of time you spend, in fact, there’s very little correlation.

You can spend a lot of time on social without doing anything particularly worthwhile. No, that wasn’t meant to be a joke but I’ll understand if you’re a social media skeptic who’s laughing.

The point being, if you do the right things on social you can almost guarantee engagement, which helps build your brand and your network. It simply good marketing, and it’s the kind of advice you should expect from a good book marketing company.

So here’s a collection of book marketing ideas for social media that can help you promote and engage smarter in 2018.

Run social media ads

Social media ads used to be insanely complex, but the respective platforms have really gotten better about making them user-friendly and much more targeted, so you know your money is being spent wisely.

Speaking of money, that’s another misconception. You shouldn’t be spending a lot on ads, your budget should really be $50 per month at most – because if you’re using them correctly, and targeting them to your potential reader market, that’s really all you need to see a boost.

So give them a shot, or if you swore them off a few years ago, give them another shot.

Brand your social media images

Canva makes this super simple. Not only can you work from templates to inspire your creativity, they handle the sizing and formatting for you as well.

Ensure your header photos represent your brand and also consider doing more images in general to increase engagement, promote a new release, giveaway or discount price promotion.

Once you have these designed in Canva, it’s easy to change up minor details to fit whatever you’re trying to promote.

I wrote about images recently if you need some ideas!

Make your blog posts easy to share

Apps like AddThis or ShareThis should appear with each post, and ClickToTweet creates clickable tweets right within your content.

Run a participation contest

Ask fans to share or re-tweet your posts for a chance to win bonus content or a signed copy of your book.

We tried this with my latest How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon release and it was a huge hit! I let everyone know the first 5 to share and re-tweet the link to my Amazon book page would receive a free copy, and I got great exposure out of it.

Run a fan art contest

This is a really fun opportunity for your fans!

Create a unique hashtag and ask fans to share book-related art on social using the hashtag.

If you have a series you can sweeten the deal by selecting a winner or two to be featured in the back of your next book!

Ask questions and encourage participation

The more your friends and followers engage with you by liking and commenting, the more exposure you get – because oftentimes their friends and networks get alerted to the activity as well.

So be smart, don’t just shove your books down their throats, and ask them questions, do polls, get creative when it comes to communicating with fans on social.

Pre-schedule social media content

Being “good” at social media book marketing doesn’t mean spending all day online.

Use a scheduling app to help you create posts in advance so you can plan out the bulk of your posts in a single sitting once a week or a couple times a month if you’re really organized!

Then you just need to post timely content as the opportunity arises.

Pin important updates on your feed

Do you have a release, upcoming event, or other super important announcement? Consider pinning it to the top of your Facebook or Twitter feed to ensure everyone sees it.

Host a release party on Facebook

Events on Facebook are getting easier and easier to create and execute, so consider doing one for your next release.

This is a perfect opportunity to post shamelessly about your book. Invite people by letting them know you’ll be doing giveaways for fun prizes.

Milk the event for all it’s worth. Share it a lot leading up to the big day.

Post behind-the-scenes looks on Instagram

People who feel connected to brands are more loyal, of course. The more human you can be, the stronger than connection.

Post images of your work space or a page of your upcoming book. Maybe it’s your writing coach (aka cat or dog) and other fun, “get to know you” photos.

Create Pinterest boards of inspiration

If your audience is predominantly women, Pinterest is still a really viable option for you.

We’ve had authors start an account for the main character and use Pinterest as an extension of the character and the world they created. This is a really fun, unique approach to using the site.

Are you a visual person? If your topic, theme or story line has a lot of potential for visual connections, take advantage of that! Find more potential readers on Pinterest.

Maybe you’re starting afresh and need some help. I can help craft you a personalized social media plan among other book marketing strategies to really get you exposure in 2018!

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