Shama Hyder joined our September #BBchat to talk about social media marketing for authors.
For the September edition of our #BBchat Twitter chat, Shama Hyder, bestselling author and award-winning CEO of The Marketing Zen Group, guest hosted our Twitter chat on the topic of “The Zen of Social Media Marketing for Authors.” Hyder is the author of The Zen of Social Media Marketing and Momentum: How to Propel Your Marketing and Transform Your Brand in the Digital Age. She prefaced the chat with a blog post titled “How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Author Platform and Sell Your Book.”
Why is it important to begin building up excitement for your book before its release?
Very simply: competition. Building a community who is hungry for your information is the best way to move your book. Creating anticipation is the oldest marketing strategy in the book. No pun intended. ☺
What kinds of freebies or incentives do you suggest to boost your pre-orders?
Whatever is valuable for your audience! And, every audience is going to be different. My audience wanted 1-on-1 time with me so we did that, as well as created an entire free e-course to help them implement. It’s whatever format helps your audience get more value. Infographics, videos, podcasts…no book is an island.
How do you identify your target audience for your book on social media?
I did it the other way around for my books. I found the target audience first, and then wrote to that demand. Authors must think like entrepreneurs.
How do you partner with relevant influencers to expand your reach?
You want to start building relationships before you need them. Fellow authors with similar audiences can make great partners.
What kinds of videos do you suggest authors create for their social media audience?
Again – I’d say know your audience. This is crucial. For non-fiction, case studies, examples, how-to’s work well. For fiction, deeper looks at characters or even short stories work well. Diana Gabaldon is a master at this.
How do community-building events on social help authors to build connections with their audience?
Anything that allows your readers to have access to you goes a long way. When the Zen of Social Media first came out, I’d tweet unassuming readers when they mentioned the book, and they’d love it! Now, The Zen of Social Media Marketing is in its 4th edition and Momentum just came out two months ago.
How do you recommend authors set the goals for their social media activities?
Consistency is more important than trying to hit random numbers. Whatever you are doing, do it consistently!
How do you determine an appropriate amount of time to spend on social media?
The honest answer is that it depends! Again, consistency and value are more important than which platforms you used and how much time you spent. Are you being consistent in your efforts to reach your audience? And, is what you are creating valuable to them?
Do you use any online tools to manage your social media presence?
Do you have any recommendations for further learning about social media marketing for authors?
I promise this isn’t shameless promotion, but many authors have told me they found The Zen of Social Media Marketing to be helpful! ☺ Also, Social Media Examiner by Mike Stelzner is an excellent resource.
Guest: How do you build a community? I’m on Facebook and Twitter but need guidance on how to do that in a simple and easy way.
The best way is to create strong content that your audience will find valuable. If they’re engaged with your content, they’ll be more willing to distribute your message on their own Twitter and Facebook accounts, thus expanding your reach considerably.
BookBaby’s marketing manager Lucy Briggs conducted this interview with Shama Hyder.
How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Author Platform and Sell Your Book
Social Media For Authors
Five Essentials Of Your Author Marketing Plan
Rebel Miller: Book Marketing Lessons From A Self-Published Author
Book Marketing Tips For Self-Published Authors