Social Media for Authors

By New Shelves Books on March 1, 2021
By New Shelves Books on March 1, 2021

Social media can be a fantastic tool when it comes to connecting with your audience and drawing in new readers, but it can be a daunting task to figure out. It is tricky to find the balance between posting about the book that you are so proud of and your personal life, but there is a way to effectively use social media to your advantage.

It all comes down to two elements:

  1. WHAT you post and
  2. HOW OFTEN you post


What Should I Post?

Posting about your book on your social media accounts is a great way to advertise, especially if you’re trying to keep your marketing budget low. On the other hand, posting too much about your book is a quick way to lose reader’s interest. It’s all about balance.

From our experience, using about 70-80% shareable (think memes and famous quotes) or personal content with about 20-30% book related content is a great ratio. You want to be relatable and draw people in and then present your book. This may seem odd, but hear us out.

When people follow you on Instagram or like your Facebook page they are looking to interact with YOU first and foremost. Your book is a part of what you do, but it is not the whole package. Readers want to know about your life and your thoughts.

This does not mean that you shouldn’t be posting content centered around your book, it just means that you need to find the ratio that brings balance to your feed.

Some non-book related content could include:

  • your pets
  • your hobbies
  • what you are currently reading
  • travel photos
  • articles that you have found particularly interesting
  • any other fun things you do that you are comfortable sharing on the internet

It does not have to be an invasion of your privacy, but you want to come across as relatable and show off your personality.

Book related content that does well includes:

  • reviews from readers
  • short quotes from your book
  • event announcements
  • awards received
  • release dates
  • sales or promotions
  • pictures of your readers enjoying the book

Any graphics with this sort of content are eye catching and great ways to show off the book you worked so hard on. Variation is ultimately what we are going for!

Stuck In a Rut?

Having a list of ideas, whether you compile your own or use a pre-made list, can help to keep your content fresh and varied.

If you are struggling to come up with post ideas or are feeling uninspired, the New Shelves Social Media Posting Guide has prompts for both holidays and every day posts broken down month by month.

How Often Should I Post?

This is a tricky question and fully depends on the platform you are posting on.

For example, you can post on Twitter multiple times a day and no one thinks anything of it because content becomes old news in a matter of minutes. This doesn’t mean you should be spamming your Twitter, but you can definitely post more frequently there. It’s a great way to share articles and thoughts on current events.

Facebook and Instagram on the other hand do not have a chronological feed like Twitter and therefore you have to be more strategic with your posting schedule.

Posting once a day on Instagram is really all you need to do, anything more will begin to set you back because of the way their algorithm is set up. Even once a day can be a lot. The general rule of thumb is to post at least three times a week, especially if you have an important release or event that you want to share. If you miss a post or two, don’t sweat it! The key is to make sure you are maintaining a semi-regular posting schedule so that your followers regularly interact with and see your content.

If there are things you want to share on Instagram, but don’t want on your permanent feed, your story is a great way to share extra content! Share to your Instagram story as much as you want, it expires in 24 hours so it’s a great way to connect with your followers without bogging down your feed.

For Facebook, you don’t want to post more than once a day. By posting multiple times a day, your content could actually be flagged as spam and get hidden within their algorithm. The three times a week rule that we use for Instagram also works well for Facebook!

Slow and Steady

The key with any social media platform is to keep a regular posting schedule, vary the type of content you are posting, and make sure to interact with your followers!

Like, comment, and share content that your followers tag you in. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint.

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Maintaining your social media accounts does not have to be a full-time job. With only a few minutes a day, you can stay up to date on all your social media activity.

If you are looking for additional help with building and maintaining your accounts, Your Guide To All Things Social Media is a great resource with step-by-step tutorials for getting started on 6 of the most popular social media platforms.

Using Social Media to Your Advantage

Connecting with people is very easy with social media, so make sure you are using it to your advantage. You never know where you might find your next reader!

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