How to Use Social Media to Sell Books?

As I say to my clients, social media is not a sales channel. It is a networking environment. However, new research shows that social media may be gaining ground as a referral engine for sales. While networking remains core to social media, consumers are now using their favorite social networks to buy, buy, buy! That’s right, social media is impacting buying decisions more and more. Take note: 55% of consumers say they buy products online after finding them on social media. 

Although some authors are still not comfortable with social media, many social media platforms have proven themselves worthy time investments. More and more readers are being introduced to new authors via their favorite social networks. 

At first, social media was primarily used to connect users to friends and family. Eventually, many big brands, such as Nike and Wendy’s, saw an opportunity to leverage their products to this newfound audience and began using social media as a way to strengthen their market presence and brand message. Authors began logging on as well, at first connecting with fans and readers from across the world, and now finding new readers.

There are several factors that have contributed to this uptick in social selling. Platforms like Amazon and Google have made it easier and faster for consumers to find, buy and enjoy their purchases. Bloggers have increasingly leveraged their influence by endorsing products and aligning with brands on social media. Smartphones have also improved, making retail therapy possible from just about anywhere. Waiting in lines has become a dangerous time for me. 

Although building a following on social media can take months, sometimes years, there are some ways to take advantage now:

Build an Author Website: Make sure you have a mobile-friendly author website where you can direct people to buy your book via social media. If you don’t have a website yet, or you are in need of a website upgrade, check out Pub Site. It’s a platform for building author websites. You can try it out for free for 14 days, then it is only $19.99 a month, which includes hosting. If you don’t have a professional website that allows people to buy your book easily, spending time and effort on social media won’t be as effective. 

Select Carefully: In the past, authors were trying to be on every network; that is not necessary anymore. Ditch the social networks you don’t enjoy and focus on one or two that you do (as long as the demographic of your network is similar to the readers of your book).

Be Consistent: Post daily and be consistent. Remember to provide a clear and direct link from your social media profile page to your website. Direct people to read your blogs, and make sure there are links to buying options on your blog/website. 

Try Experimenting: Social advertising is used primarily to boost posts and increase followers. Now, however, authors are seeing some success with e-commerce ads. Click-through rates are up by almost 3%. Give it a try. I encourage everyone to experiment, but don’t spend too much unless you see real results. 

Use Visuals: When it comes to visuals on social media today, video is king. Facebook and LinkedIn give more exposure to video content. It’s not for everyone (it’s not for me, for example!), but if you like being on camera, give it a shot. 

Have Fun: Remember, the more fun you have on your social media, the more people will pay attention. Ask questions. Readers like to win, so host a special giveaway for readers who pre-order your book. This will encourage your followers to buy within a set period of time and boost social engagement along the way. 

As you can see, you can see sales benefit from having a strategic, active social media presence. Find one or two social networks that you like, and start building a following. It may sound overwhelming, but you can make it work. I promise!

If you have any questions, please join the conversation on my Facebook Author Page. Thanks