In December, I read a post on the Marking Land blog titled 5 Ways To Embrace Your Inner Marketing Technologist.
The post was about how marketers can embrace technology, but I, of course, immediately began to think about authors and Indie authors in particular and how we could embrace social media.
I’ve decided to list most of the basic principles listed in the Marketing Land article, and customize the advice for writers.
Let’s get started!
Understand That Creativity Without Conversions Is Equal To Zero
I think we’re all creative and that we all apply our creativity differently in the world.
For example, I have endless praise for my husband, a car mechanic, for how he applies his creative thinking to solving a range of mechanical issues that in the end, reduces repair costs for his clients. The more he does this, the more frequently he receives referrals, and his business grows.
His creativity fuels conversion, albeit off the world wide web.
But we’re not mechanics. As writers, it’s our dream to spend our days writing and enjoying profits from the sales of our books.
The hard reality is that few writers become millionaires, and most of us need day jobs to support our passion.
To increase sales of our books, we market our books on social media, we blog, and we usually pay someone else to build our websites.
Despite all your effort at getting traffic to your website, what if the copy on your website doesn’t convert traffic into book sales?
What if your landing pages for your books fail to trigger more purchases?
And, what if your calls to action fail to trigger signups for your newsletter?
If you’re unhappy with your website conversion rate, subscribe to Google Analytics. Or use a program such as SocialReport so you can track visits, find out how long visitors stay on your website, discern where they navigated from, and determine conversions.
Tracking and learning more about your website visitors may sound difficult, but it isn’t. There are plenty of applications that will do this for you. Once you have the information in hand, you can use your creativity to adjust the language and fine-tune your calls to action.
In other words, don’t be afraid to try applications and new social media networks. By trying them, you aren’t making a commitment; you’re merely saying, “Hmm, this looks interesting. I wonder how it really works?”
Install some WordPress plugins that someone suggested to you. Read blogs – Blogging Wizard and Buffer are great sources for information on blogging and social media – and continue your education in handling your website and your social media accounts.
Simply put, never be afraid to experiment. Sign up for Canva, an image creation application, and start experimenting with designs for your Facebook banner and Twitter header images. You can also use it to create visuals for Facebook posts, tweets and images for your blog.
Understand What’s Possible
I always recommend that new authors start with one social media network, then slowly advance to incorporate more.
There will always be another new application and another new social media platform. Google+ was once new, and so was Pinterest. Now they are part of the old guard on a new front.
I do have one caveat here: Don’t waste your time on platforms that your readers don’t use. You may want to refer to a post I wrote titled How to Target Your Readership. That post contains data from a recent Pew Research Center report.
Immerse Yourself In Digital Marketing Best Practices
It’s not easy keeping up with social media. I try the best I can by reading about 70 blog posts on social media every week!
Not everyone has time for that, especially a prolific author who works, has a family, or enjoys traveling.
Do your best to keep up and don’t worry about the latest tweak or change to Facebook or Twitter. They are always changing in some manner, and you’ll eventually catch up.
When using social media, always follow these four steps:
- Curate the best content you can find.
- Schedule your messages on the social media channels you use.
- Take time to be social.
- Review your analytics so you’ll know what’s working.
To economize your time when using social media, follow these steps:
- Curate content by using AllTop.com, Content Gems or Swayy to find information within your niche that’s worthy of posting.
- Sign up for HootSuite to schedule your social media posts throughout the day.
- Spend ten to fifteen minutes each day retweeting, reposting, replying to and sharing your readers’ content.
- Weekly or monthly, review your analytics to determine the messaging that works best with the readership you are targeting.
And don’t forget to have fun!
This article was originally published on The Future of Ink and is reprinted here in its entirety for our Magnolia Media Network readers.