Social media: Most authors either hate it or love it.
Two of the questions that I hear the most about social media are:
- Is social media worth the time and effort?
- Does the time invested in social media really pay off in book sales?
Whether you love or hate social media, whether you are convinced it drives sales or are skeptical, the facts is social media is extremely popular. Around seven in ten Americans use social media to connect with others, share information, find entertainment, and engage with news. In essence social media is where your target audience hangs out.
Pew Research recently put out a report on patterns and trends in social media over the past decade. When Pew Research Center began tracking social media adoption in 2005, just 5% of American adults used at least one of the social networking platforms. By 2011 that share had risen to half of all Americans, and today 69% of the public uses some type of social media.
For many users, social media is part of their daily routine. Roughly three-quarters of Facebook users—and around half of Instagram users—visit these sites at least once a day. According to Pew Research, Facebook is by far, the most popular social media site. Here is the breakdown of Internet users for the main social media sites.
- 79% have Facebook accounts
- 32% use Instagram
- 31% have accounts on Pinterest
- 29% have LinkedIn profiles
- 24% are on Twitter
I believe that social media can be a very powerful tool for authors. However, it is not a selling tool, it is a connecting tool. You can’t view social media as a sales channel. Rather, it is a means to building an audience—a channel for gaining people’s trust so that you can lead them to your books.
If you are an author who is averse to using social media, I suggest that you spend your time on one social media site. Create a profile, begin connecting with people, and learn how the site works. Even a presence on one social media site will begin to enlarge your reach and help you develop a larger audience for your books.
If you are unsure of what you should be doing on social media, I suggest that you watch my on-demand seminar Develop an Audience for Your Books. This seminar will give you ideas on what to post on social media and how to use it to connect with readers for your books.
As always, this seminar is free for Member of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA). Others can stream the seminar for just $20 at http://mcbuniveristy.selz.com.
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