How to promote your book on social media

Connecting with the bookish community on Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms

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Digital media could have made traditional publishing or physical books obsolete. But these days, it can actually be a great space to promote your books since most people use the Internet. This means your audience can expand greatly if you market your book well. Still, this isn't easy for everyone, and most will ask: What's the best way to promote books online? With that in mind, here are some social media management tips for authors aspiring to connect with more readers:

On what platforms can I promote my book?

a woman looking at a selection of social media apps

Can you promote your book and increase book sales through Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram? And is Instagram or TikTok good for selling books in the first place? These questions might be running through your head right now. The answer to both is yes. Social media has now become a preferred marketplace. 

There are social media posts, for starters. Then there's also an opportunity to build an author website where you can engage with your audience. And if you’re considering paid marketing, the good news is that ad placements on YouTube and Google work well for a lot of publishers.

You might also like: How much does social media advertising cost?

What should I post on BookTube, Bookstagram, or BookTok?

There are a lot of options for content on social media. Authors don't have to stick to simply posting the covers of their books. One good strategy is to post snippets of your work. Your book will go viral once your target audience sees or understands its impact on their lives. 

For example, romantic poets can gain the attention of the hopeless and in love through a heartfelt haiku on Instagram, while health gurus can share recipes for low-calorie meals on Facebook groups for vegetarians. When it comes to creating an online presence to promote your book, consider the value it can bring to readers’ lives and start from there.

More options include testimonials from credible reviewers, snippets from events promoting your book, and even live readings.

How do I get more bookish followers on social media?

To get followers on social media, it's important to have valuable content out there. Aside from creating quality posts on social media and your website, reach out to online communities for readers. None of your content will convert if no one sees it. Here are some book promotion examples:

Collaborate with an influencer

If you’re unfamiliar with social media, you might wonder, "How do I get an influencer to promote my book?" Most influencers ask for something in exchange for endorsing products or services on their posts. You can also try sending a free copy of your book to a book reviewer or photographer you like. If they end up enjoying your book, they'll talk about it even without payment.

Run ads

There are many ways to promote your book for free, but the paid route is also worth considering. Running ads significantly boosts your chances of being seen because platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok all have ads. A paid ad strategist can help you figure out how much you should allocate to reach the desired number of people.

Engage with your audience

Note that your follower count doesn’t necessarily determine your chances of a successful literary debut; building a few meaningful connections can do wonders, too! Thus, if you have 500 engaged followers, you can still have more sales than someone with 10,000 uninvested followers. At the end of the day, take time to reply to messages and unsolicited posts about your book. Moreover, comment on your followers’ content as well. Social media is great for connecting with people, so go ahead and engage!

Additional tips for promoting a book on social media

1. Understand how social media works.

Before you promote your book on social media, it's important to understand how it works. If you don't know where to start, watch documentaries available online about success stories from businesses and personalities. These will motivate you to also give it a try.

2. Spend time online.

You won't learn how to promote your book online if you don't spend time on various platforms. This isn’t an excuse to mindlessly scroll on Instagram but rather a valid reason to be more mindful of the time you spend online. Visit forums for authors in the same genre as you. And read what people are saying. Slowly, join the conversation to gain visibility and opportunities to promote your book.

Allot one hour on Instagram to search for book campaign examples. You can also check the Facebook Ad Library for book ads on Instagram and Facebook.

3. Watch tutorials on running ads.

What's nice about social media platforms is that they're generous about teaching users how to run ads. Find out how to advertise your book for free through Google Digital Garage or Facebook Blueprint. All of these are available without fees for authors who want to market books on social media. Facebook Blueprint also covers Instagram book marketing.

4. Know where your audience is.

figurines of people reading books

Not every platform is for you. Who knows? Instead of Instagram marketing, you might need to study how to use Twitter to promote your book! So get to know your audience and observe where they are. Are they big fans of aesthetic photos and videos? If so, maybe Instagram is for you. And are you opinionated on social issues? Twitter's king of that game. Finally, is your industry very niche? Facebook Groups might lead you to a more interested crowd.

Leveraging social media for book promotions 

Overall, as you become familiar with social media, you’ll think of other ideas for bookish content. You can have giveaways, organise online book readings, and offer promos tailored to your target audience. And if the process seems tedious for you, don't worry! You can always hire a social media marketer to launch, boost, or manage your bookish campaign and help you increase your sales.

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