If there is one misconception that confuses authors about book marketing more than any other, it is these two words: social media.
Some authors swear by selling books using Facebook or Twitter. Currently, there are several books on the bestseller lists that generated a huge social media buzz.
Yet, other authors swear they tried using social media to launch a new book – but nothing happened. Plus, you’ve heard me report repeated studies that email is 12 times better at selling books than all social media combined.
So, what’s the real answer? Does social media sell books or not?
The answer is yes and no.
Yes, social media sells books. But, no – YOUR social media won’t sell books. Here’s what I mean.
If you have 1,000 social media fans who follow you, it will be very difficult to get those fans to buy your book. Not only are those relationships shallow, Facebook also severely limits the reach you have to your own fans. You have to pay Facebook to access your own audience with ads and sponsored posts.
BUT, if you can get 1,000 people on social media to RECOMMEND your book to THEIR FANS, then you can sell a LOT of books. This is why you hear stories of top authors and celebrities selling thousands of books via social media. They aren’t selling thousands of books to their fans. They are getting one thousand of their fans to recommend their book to thousands of other people. Thus, their marketing reach expands exponentially.
You can try to sell your book to your own fans on Facebook and Twitter. But, when you make that attempt, you no longer engage in social media. Instead, you engage in “commercial media,” because you’re trying to conduct a business transaction – get fans to buy your book.
BUT, when you ask your fans on social media to recommend your book to their friends, then your social media continues to be “social.” You are asking people for “help,” rather than asking people to “buy.”
Do you see the difference?
Here’s the conundrum. It’s easy to accrue 1,000 or 10,000 followers on Facebook or Twitter. But, it’s difficult to get 1,000 or 10,000 followers on Facebook or Twitter to recommend your book to their followers. As Shakespeare says in Hamlet, “Therein lies the rub.”
There are several marketing experts, including myself, who know how to get thousands of people on social media to recommend an author’s book. But, it requires two criteria:
1. The author must already have a rabid following on social media to harness.
2. The author must pay someone a lot of money to manage their social media influencer campaign.
Most celebrities and successful authors already have a large platform and can afford to hire a skilled social media expert. But, the average author cannot.
That’s why social media can be great at selling books and terrible at selling books at the same time.
You can get thousands of followers. But, if you can’t get thousands of recommenders, then social media won’t work.
Where does this point leave you?
If you already have a lot of money and a large platform, then consider creating a social media influencer campaign as part of your marketing plan. I know the secrets.
If you’re not rich or only have a small platform, then stick with what I’ve been saying works all the time without spending a lot of money – email.
Email is the silent tactic that still works for any author no matter who you are or how much money you have. Always include email as part of your marketing plan.
Does marketing a book via social media or email have you mystified? Are tired of trying to do too many things just to sell one book? Ready to make a real career of being an author? I can help:
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