How’s That Working for You?

“How’s that working for you?” This little, yet powerful question was made popular by Phillip McGraw, of the Dr. Phil show.

Let me ask it of you, author. When it comes to social media, “How’s that working for you?”

How's That Working for You?

When I consult with authors, I frequently hear this phrase—or one similar:

“I’m on Facebook. I have a lot of followers. They like and comment on what I post, but people aren’t buying my book.”

In fact, studies show that, on average, 53% of people who follow brands (businesses) on social media don’t buy anything from them at all. They just want the content (the information) the brand shares.

Authors hear “build a platform” and jump into social media trying to gain an audience. Often, they gain followers, but get frustrated when they don’t see these followers convert to book sales.

One reason for this is that people are not in a buying frame of mind when they are browsing social media. It is much easier to sell someone a book or product when they are already “shopping”. Someone who is engaged in the shopping process is much easier to persuade to buy something than someone who is not thinking about buying a book or product.

This does not mean that you can’t or won’t ever sell a book to someone via social media, it just means that it is harder. This is why I tell authors to not just use one tool (social media) to market their books.

Social Media is not your only marketing tool.

Instead, social media should be used in conjunction with other marketing tools like:

1. Content Marketing

Content marketing is about giving your audience useful information that has value for them. It is information that your target audience is thirsty for. It’s about creating blogs, articles, video, and audio that provides valuable information and insight for your audience. One study showed that 7 out of 10 consumers would rather learn about a product or company from interesting content than from an ad.

2. Email Marketing

Email is more effective at reaching consumers than social media. Emails prompt purchases at a rate of at least three times that of social media. Two-thirds (66%) of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message. When people like the content you are creating, they will give you their email address in exchange for receiving more content directly. This gives you the opportunity to market your books directly to a group of interested people.

3. Media Interviews and Speaking Engagements

Speaking is one of the best ways to sell books because people buy books from authors they know and trust. Speaking to a group of people develops that trust and allows an audience to get to know you. Media interviews work similarly. After people hear you on the radio or a podcast, they feel they know you and are more likely to purchase your books.

Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference

I will be teaching four continuing sessions on “You CAN Indie Publish & Market Your Book” at the upcoming Great Philly Christian Writers Conference in August. This seminar focuses both on how to publish your book as well as how to begin marketing your book—using more than social media. I invite you to attend the conference and get the information and knowledge you need to successfully publish and promote your books.

Related Posts:
Not Everyone Uses Social Media
Are You Using the Right Social Media Channel?
How to Improve Your Social Media Success

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.

Are You Using Video?

Some friends of mine own a custom jewelry making business. They have long had a presence on Facebook, but have recently been dabbling with Instagram for more exposure.

They told me that, to their surprise, after posting a video of one of their employees doing a funky dance in their warehouse, they had a spike in sales. One customer even wrote them and told them that she had been following them for a while, but after seeing the video, she had to buy one of their products.

My friends were perplexed. They reported that the video had nothing to do with their jewelry. I commented, that it may not have showcased their jewelry, but it showcased their workplace culture and was authentic.

I then explained that consumers crave authenticity. They want to know who they are doing business with. The video of an employee dancing showed their clientele the human side of their business.

As an author, you can take two lessons from my friend’s experience.

1. Use Video

Video on the internet is extremely popular. Everyone is watching videos. Video on the Internet is extremely popular. Everyone is watching videos. In fact, Cisco predicts that by 2020, 82% of all consumer web traffic will be video.

Video has become an important part of people’s shopping experience. Consider these statistics:

  • Almost 50% of web users look for a video before visiting a store, says Google.
  • Wyzowl says that 79% of consumers prefer watching videoto reading about a product.
  • And Hubspot says that 43% of consumers want to see more video content this year.

If you have not yet jumped into videos, try using some video in your marketing this year. You can post videos on your blog and in your social media posts.

2. Show Your Authentic Self

People want to know you, the author of the book. So, show them your true self in your videos. In other words, make some informal videos that show your personality and likes or dislikes. Tell a story, even one that is not related to your book’s content.

To make your video attractive and draw people to your books, keep these three tips in mind.

  • Grab attention fast. Studies show that the first 8 to 10 seconds of your video determines whether it will be watched to the end.
  • Keep it short. People are busy. Videos that are one to two minutes in length are more likely to be watched all the way through.
  • Include a call to action if you can. You cannot insert a link into a live video, but if you are using a prepared video, include a link to your website at the end.

Related Posts:
Are You Using Videos in Your Marketing Efforts?
Using Videos to Promote Your Books
Should You Use Live-Stream Videos?

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.

Photo Courtesy of Drew Graham.

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

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.