Wrap Up and a Few Other SoMe Networks
This is the final article in this social media series. For the rest of the articles, either click on the “related articles” in the footer below, or search on SoMe in the search box.
Wrap Up and a Few Other Social Networks
Facebook and Twitter are going to take the lion’s share of your SoMe time. However, there are several other social networks that can enhance your presence and get your name out where potential buyers can find it.
Pinterest is all about the graphics. It’s a wonderful place to share your book covers and swag pictures. Create an account there and get started by finding your colleagues online and re-pinning their pins. Share your own. Generally, when you “follow” someone’s specific board or overall account, they’ll follow you back. Cross-fertilization can mean a lot.
If you post useful images on your site (book covers, for example), make sure you install a plugin that makes it easy for visitors to “pin” that image to Pinterest. In my sharing gizmos, attached to each blog post, Pinterest is one of the choices. Make sure you’ve got one in your list, too.
Pinterest’s search function can be super useful. Find out what your colleagues are sharing, not only by viewing their boards, but by seeing who else has their marketing pictures pinned elsewhere on the site. Having an image go viral on Pinterest is a nice way to get extra traffic. Just make sure what you attempt to share has an audience on the site or you’ll be wasting your time.
For an author, LinkedIn isn’t going to be a go-to marketing tool. It is a good tool for networking, however, learning about writing contests and publisher calls. It’s also a good place to discuss author business matters with other authors, both new and old.
If you’re out to sell books there, don’t waste your time. If networking is your goal, search for groups in your niche on LinkedIn. There are more than a few for authors. If your only purpose is to find new readers, however, it’s not going to be the place for you.
Google+ is the red-headed step-child of social media. Although everyone keeps predicting that it’s going to close, it just keeps growing. People interact there and there are ample opportunities to reach new readers. You can apply many of the Facebook tips to your Google+ page, but there’s something else you also want to do—link your Google+ account to your blog. This is really important.
On my self-hosted WordPress blog, there is a Jetpack plug in that allows me to link both Google+ and FaceBook to my blog posts. With it, I can adjust my message to suit my marketing purposes and the blog’s purpose. The blog post link is automatically sent to FB and Google+ when it’s posted, along with my little social text. That’s how I maintain a Google+ presence, even though I really don’t have time to go there and participate in discussions much.
I’ll be frank. I hate Goodreads, even though I have an author account there and all my books are listed. What kills me about the site is the “drive-by” reviews. People have no obligation to explain why they’re giving you a one or two star review, they just hit a button and wham! your ranking loses two points.
However, Goodreads is a place where many authors interact with readers. You should have a presence at Goodreads and take advantage of what it has to offer, including giving readers inside looks at you and your process, running contests, and joining groups related to your specific niche market. Some authors swear by it; I swear at it.
There are several other social media sites you might explore: Instagram, Fetlife, Library Thing, My Space, Shelfari, Tumblr, and Wattpad, to name a few. These networks were not covered in my class, and frankly, except for Shelfari and Goodreads, I don’t have a presence there. (And my Shelfari presence is very low key indeed.)
Never, ever forget that the purpose of all this networking time is to funnel people to your site and to information about your books and products. No networking site is an end of itself, it is a means to an end. You want people on your mailing list so that you have their eyeballs and attention with every marketing blast you produce.
That concludes this series on SoMe (social media). I hope you found it helpful.