Marketing Tips for Live Streaming

In my recent article, Five Trends Authors Should Know for 2018, one trend I mention is that video dominates engagement on the Internet. Authors who want the most engagement with fans should consider using video in their marketing strategies.

Live streaming video is growing in popularity. Check out this great infographic that provides great marketing tips for live streaming on social media.

Related Posts:
Should You Use Live-Stream Video?
Using Videos to Promote Your Book
Creating a Book Video Trailer

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Do You Know This Simple Facebook Trick?

Facebook is the most popular social networking site worldwide. With 2.1 billion active daily users, the site has been a great way for authors and publishers to connect with their audience. Sadly, that is changing.

Mark Zukerman, the founder of Facebook, has announced that he is changing Facebook’s algorithm to show more posts from family and friends in individual’s News Feeds, and to give preference to posts that get the most engagement (comments).

This is bad news for authors and publishers who have a Facebook Page (not a personal profile) for their fans to follow and engage with them on the social site. This change means that the already shrinking exposure for any given Facebook Page post will continue to shrink. Currently, less than 10% of the people who follow your Facebook page see any given information you post. This means that if you have 500 followers on Facebook, less than 50 of them will see anything you post.

Facebook has been decreasing the exposure for Facebook Pages for a couple years as they try to push you to spend money to get your information seen. You can pay to Boost a Post to all your followers and beyond, and you can pay to place ads on Facebook so more people are exposed to you and your books.

If you have put a lot of effort into building up your following on Facebook, this news can be very discouraging. After all, Facebook does provide a valuable avenue to connect with masses of people.

Don’t despair. I have a simple trick that you can use and you can get your followers to use so that you can stay in contact with them through Facebook. If you follow any Pages on Facebook, you can use this simple procedure to make sure you still see the information that these authors, musicians, and businesses post. You can also encourage your Facebook Page’s followers to implement this simple move so that they don’t miss any posts from you.

Here is the trick in three simple steps:

  1. Go to any Facebook Page you follow.
  2. Click on the down arrow next to “Following”.
  3. Then click “See First” under “In Your News Feed”.

Doing this ensures that anything this Facebook Page posts will show up in your News Feed. That way, you won’t miss anything from that Page.

If you follow Christian Small Publishers Association’s (CSPA) Facebook Page, I encourage you to enable the “See First” option so you don’t miss any of the great information we post there on a daily basis.

Just go to https://www.facebook.com/ChristianSmallPublishers and complete the three steps listed above. If you don’t yet follow CSPA on Facebook, I encourage you to do so and then enable the “See First” option.

This little Facebook trick can help you and all your fans stay abreast of all the great information your favorite Facebook Pages post.

Related Posts:
Is Social Media a Waste of Time?
How to Make Your Social Media Interactions More Fruitful
Evaluating Your Social Media Interactions

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Are You Showing Your Best Face?

Social media. Authors tend to love it or hate it.

Social media is a powerful way to connect with your readers. For many readers, getting to know the author of a book they love or relate to is natural. Once they have read the author’s book, they feel they already know that author on some level. Social media allows them to deepen that connection.

As an author, showing your personality on social media is important. This is easier for some authors than others. Authors who enjoy more privacy often find it difficult to let their personality shine in social media, while those that are more social find it easier.

A recent study by Sprout Social found that consumers want to see the following characteristics from the brands (and celebrities) that they follow on social media:

  • Honesty (86%)
  • Friendly (83%)
  • Helpful (78%)
  • Funny (72%)

What about you? Are you showing these four characteristics in your social media posts and interactions?

We live in a world where people crave authenticity. People want to know that you are “for real” and not a made-up persona. One of the best ways to demonstrate this to your readers is through showing your failures as well as your successes.

I know an aspiring author who has worked diligently to grow her platform on social media in hopes of getting a traditional publisher to sign a contract with her for her novel. This author understands how to show her personality.

One way she has recently connected with her audience is through chronicling her efforts to go from couch potato to running a 5K race. She has even encouraged her family members to join her in the challenge. This aspiring author regularly posts her ups and downs as she attempts to train herself to run three miles.

What about you? What can you share with your readers on social media to show them your authentic self?

Related Posts:
Is Social Media a Waste of Time?
How to Make Your Social Media Interactions More Fruitful
How to Effectively Use Social Media for Your Book

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Photo courtesy of Gratisography.

Is Social Media a Waste of Time?

“I have heard that social media is important for authors to use in promoting their books, but does using it really help authors sell more books?”

The independent author who asked me this question did not use social media. She had heard that it was important, but she wanted more evidence that spending her time and energy on social media would help her sell more books.

Sadly, I could not give this author hard and fast evidence. While 90% of marketers say social media is important to their business, according to The CMO Survey up to 80% of marketers said they were not able to measure a return on their investment. Basically, a lot of marketers—authors included—are investing time and energy on social media, yet they cannot definitively say doing so has helped them sell more books.

The Harvard Business Review conducted 23 experiments over the past four years. They wanted to know whether attracting and engaging followers on social media leads to increased sales. The researchers focused on Facebook since it is the dominant social network. Here is what they found:

  1. The act of following a brand on Facebook does not affect a customer’s behavior or lead to increased purchasing behavior.
  2. Seeing a friend like or engage with a brand on Facebook had no effect on purchasing habits of other friends.
  3. Boosting or advertising brand content to followers can have an impact. When a brand paid Facebook to display two posts each week to their followers, they found increased participation or spending.

Here is my takeaway from this research.

1. Social Media is about building an audience.
Authors should use social media to build a following, an audience. Don’t expect your social media posts to translate into book sales. Instead, the purpose of your social media posts should be to drive your audience to your website where you can convince them to sign up for your email newsletter. Email newsletters have a much higher conversion rate (engaging recipients to buy your book) than social media posts.

2. Enhancing your social media efforts with advertising provides the best return for your time and energy.
For the best return on your social media efforts, paying for advertisements shown to your followers on social media sites will help increase sales. In other words, social media use combined with paid advertising is the most powerful combination for encouraging your followers to buy something.

So, to answer the question whether social media really helps authors sell more books, the answer is: Not by itself. Social media alone is not enough, you must combine your social media efforts with other marketing efforts—including purchasing advertisements—for your invested time and energy to pay off.

Related Posts:
How to Make Your Social Media Efforts More Fruitful
How to Effectively Use Social Media for Your Book
Evaluating Your Social Media Interactions

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Photo courtesy of Damian Zalesky.

Evaluating Your Social Media Interactions

Many authors wonder whether the time they spend on social media is treasure or trash. Few can directly equate time spent on social media with increased book sales. For most, increased time on social media does not usually correlate to an uptick in book sales.

How do you determine which social media sites to engage on and how much time to spend there?

There are no hard and fast rules to these questions. However, the following information may help you shape a useful plan for yourself in regards to which social media platforms to use and expectations for the time you spend.

1. The world has embraced social media.

The company, We Are Social, tracks internet and social media usage worldwide. Below is their chart showing that 50% of world’s population uses the internet and three-fourths of these internet users (37% of the world’s population) are actively engaging on social media online.

2.  A majority of Americans use social media.

The Pew Research Center tracks social media usage in the United States. Their studies show that ten years ago, only 7% of Americans used social media. That number grew to 65% in 2016, with 76% of U.S. internet users active on social media.

3.  Facebook remains the most popular social media site across generations.

According to Sprout Social, some 65% of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers report that Facebook is their favorite social media site, while 33% of Millennials rate it as their favorite.

4.  Facebook has a greater engagement rate per follower than Twitter or LinkedIn.

Instagram has the greatest engagement rate of all the social media sites—an average of 50 interactions per post per 1,000 followers. However, Facebook’s engagement rate is higher than Twitter or LinkedIn. According to TrackMaven, Facebook’s boasts an average of five to six interactions—likes, comments, and shares—per 1,000 followers per post, while LinkedIn’s rate is three interactions per 1,000 followers and Twitter’s is one per 1,000 followers.

If you are an author, you should be using social media as one strategy to connect with readers and draw people to your books. It’s a medium you can’t afford to overlook since the majority of internet users engage in social media usage.

I believe that knowing the average number of interactions per 1,000 followers for each social media site is valuable information. These figures let you know whether your social media interactions are above average, average, or below average. This knowledge can help you evaluate your social strategy and make adjustments to improve your engagement rates.

Related Posts:
How to Make Your Social Media Interactions More Fruitful
Social Media: An Integral Part of Life in America
A Successful Social Media Strategy

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