I recently ran across these interesting statistics:
- Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links.
- 23% of total internet usage time is devoted to social networks and blogs.
- 47% of all internet users are on Facebook.
For years, authors and publishers have been encouraged to be present on social media, to engage with customers to increase book awareness and sales. However, many authors and even some publishers have been skeptical as to whether there is payoff in investing time in social media.
A new study of 500 merchants using social media shows that these companies increased efforts to build social media audiences are paying off. These 500 companies increased their Facebook followers by an average of 33% and reported an average of a 26% increase in sales resulting from social media exposure in 2014 over 2013.
In 2014, total e-commerce sales that could be tracked to social networks were $20 billion. Researchers believe that total commerce sales from social networks for 2015 will be $30 billion, a 50% increase over 2014.
What these figures show is that not only is social media growing, it is also influencing buying. One marketing research study found that 71% of consumers say they are likely to make a purchase based on a social media referral. In other words, social media is becoming a “word of mouth” recommendation venue for users.
If you are one of those authors or publishers who is still somewhat skeptical as to the value of social media, ponder this research. Social media’s influence is growing and will continue to do so. Getting people to follow you on social media, like your posts, share your posts, and comment on your posts all increases your exposure and connections. These two ingredients help authors interface with both current and potential fans.
If you are wondering how to increase your presence on social media without spending a lot of time, you are not alone. To help with this issue, a group of internet industry veterans recently launched a service called Find My Audience. The project was announced at Book Expo America (BEA) and is in beta testing. Find My Audience is designed to help authors find people on social media who are talking about books in their genre so that they can begin to follow these individuals, join their conversations, and get exposure with individuals who already read books similar to yours.