New releases and social media - what are your thoughts?
In my last post, I told you that I had made a decision to become a hybrid author, and I considered the positives and negatives of both indie and traditional publishing. (See my previous post here.)
One of the things I mentioned in my previous post was that a downside to indie releases is not having the marketing support of a traditional publishing house. Well, my first indie title, Scarred by You, released this week. Scarred by You is my 4th published novel and I’m so happy to report that it has been my most successful launch to date. The book reached no.1 in Amazon UK’s Hot New Releases and no.2 in Amazon UK’s Adult Fiction bestseller charts.
A lot of work has gone into promoting the release. That’s no different to traditional publishing, of course, but I did feel the pressure of having to arrange everything myself. The support of industry reviewers, bloggers and fellow authors has been crucial. But for my part (my personal promotion efforts) social media has been my biggest marketing tool.
I currently use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I have considered experimenting with other platforms, such as Snapchat, but I don’t want to spread my time too thinly.
Of the channels I use, I would guess 60% (maybe more) of my social media promotion is via Facebook. Around 30% of my promotion is via Instagram. And the remaining 10% is Twitter based.
These days, I tend to use Twitter more by linking posts from Facebook and Instagram, rather than posting on Twitter itself. While I enjoy reading other feeds on Twitter, I just don’t find the platform especially useful for engaging with others. I find the shrinking of images and the limited characters in tweets highly restrictive.
I love Instagram. I enjoying seeing posts of those I follow. The heavy text restrictions of Twitter do not apply to Instagram, and hashtags really seem to connect posts to people with similar interests (e.g. #bookstagram, #authorsofinstagram, #amreading). My Instagram account is linked to my Facebook and Twitter accounts, which makes sharing images easy. This is my newest platform but I am already starting to build a following on Instagram, whereas my Twitter following has been stagnant for some time.
My preferred, and most useful, platform is Facebook. I have a personal page, an author page and a blogger/reviewer group. The combination has allowed me to build a significant following. There are no text limitations on posts and I find this platform has the highest level of interactions from bloggers, reviewers, readers, authors and other friends.
There are problems with Facebook, of course, and they have been widely publicised in recent months. There are limitations on posts shared on author pages, for example, whereby Facebook does not make the posts visible to all ‘likers’ of your page. This is especially true when links (e.g. Amazon) are incorporated. However, there are some ways to get around this. The first is paid advertising. Although costly, it can be useful, particularly when tailored to a specific audience (e.g. 'likers' of similar authors, blogs or book genres). The second is ‘like and share’ giveaways. I actually find I reach more readers through 'like and share' giveaways than paid advertising. And with shares, like minded/interested people tend to see your posts.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
This is just my assessment of the social media tools I use. I am interested to know your thoughts. Which social media platforms do you prefer as authors, bloggers and readers, and why? Do you also have useful tips for increasing interaction on particular platforms?
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