Indie authors are busy people. And like most creative types they don’t always appreciate having to interrupt the flow to get stuck into social media. But social networks are fast becoming some of the most powerful tools in the indie writer’s marketing tool box. It’s a conundrum.
Luckily there are ways for writers to make the most of the social media revolution, namely outsourcing to an expert social media marketer. But it isn’t always plain sailing. There are pitfalls to avoid. Here are some tips for outsourcing Social Media Marketing and getting it right.
Outsourcing social media for indie authors – How to get it right
Ebooks have opened up a whole new world of opportunity to indie writers, those talented people who haven’t got into print via traditional publishers but still manage to sell ebooks to a keen and appreciative audience.
If that’s you, how can you leverage social media to your advantage? Outsourcing is a great way to get down and dirty with social media marketing, but it’s fraught with potential problems. Here are some tips for getting it right.
Social media Schizophrenia
It happens all the time. Say you’re a fan of an author. You track them down via social media because you like the cut of their jib. The way they express themselves makes you laugh, fascinates you or simply hits the nail right on the head. But when they respond back to you, things get weird.
What’s happened to that attractive tone of voice, the communication style you enjoy so much, the turn of phrase that makes them special, that razor-sharp wit? If the writer you’re engaging with appears schizophrenic, it might be because they’ve outsourced their social media to someone who can’t mirror their tone of voice, communication style and personality. The result? Confusion, disappointment and damaged brand equity.
Social media works best when levels of engagement are consistent, but consistency goes much deeper than simply sending out regular messages every hour, half hour or whatever. The way you communicate is just as important, if not more so.
Find a social media expert who can adopt your style and tone
If you find social media too distracting or time consuming, or you simply don’t enjoy it, outsourcing is an excellent idea… as long as you outsource to someone who can bring home the bacon in terms of style and tone.
If they can hack it, you’re onto a winner. If they can’t, you might need to consider a hybrid approach where you write your SMM communications, your social media expert gets them out there in front of your fans but you handle responses yourself.
But if you’re lucky you’ll find a partner who has the nous to replicate your tone of voice and maintain your online personality seamlessly. Which means you’ll be able to sit back and get on with writing your next masterpiece while they create appropriate communications for you and handle responses with the right level of creative flair. If I were you, I wouldn’t settle for less.
Remember people follow other human beings, not brands
The second potential pitfall is the people bit. Experience proves that people like to follow other people. Social media marketing is about networking with human beings, not brands. In fact in Britain 40% of punters claim they don’t want to interact with brands on their social media platforms, full stop.
Be yourself from the bottom up
If you’re an indie author about to set sail on Facebook, Twitter or any of the numerous other networks, put people first and create your accounts, websites and any other online presences in your own name. Not the title of a book, a character in a book or anything else abstract. Then you’ll be in an excellent position to capitalise on the human side of things. When you make yourself your brand you stand a much better chance of generating a loyal following of readers and ultimately selling more ebooks.
Planning and monitoring
It’s all very well interacting on social media willy-nilly but it’s much better to have a plan in place, even if it’s as simple as a short bullet list of the aims you want to achieve. A trustworthy SMM expert will ask you to make your goals clear from the offset, and they’ll also either ask you to monitor your social media activities closely or offer to do it for you and report back. If they don’t mention goals and monitoring, find someone who appreciates their importance.
What have you learned about social media so far?
If you’re an indie author, what have you learned so far about using social media to promote your work?
Image source: wolfgangfoto
Mike is CEO of PML Media Limited, a virtual agency staffed by 14 independent marketing professionals, copywriters and technical geniuses.
PML helps authors build and manage their Author Platforms, social media channels, build email lists and create ongoing strategies to help boost their brand, get noticed and sell more books.