by Kyle Perkins.
Okay, so a lot of this community thrives on pimping, promoting, and the hard work of fans. That’s a fact. However, there is a right way to do things, and a wrong way to do things. So, I am making a guide that I hope will not only be helpful to authors, but to the people that promote them.
Let’s start with Facebook.
1. Effective posting.
Okay, first thing is first. Have you noticed that when you post fifty posts to various groups promoting an author, it rarely ever gets any results? Well, the reason for that is people use these promo groups as a dumping ground. The only reason people ever go there is for the sole purpose of dropping links. Sure, the group may have thirty thousand people in it, but you aren’t getting thirty thousand people looking at your links. In fact, most of those times those groups are completely dead aside from when someone pops in to drop a link, and they aren’t scanning through your links and purchasing books when they do. So, now you posted fifty links to fifty dead groups.
Alternative: Let the author post one promo post on their public page, and then everyone(Fans and friends) can like that post and leave comments. When you do it this way, the post starts on its upward path towards “trending.” You see, the more people that like or comment on a status, the more people Facebook puts it in front of. The other upside of this, you stay out of facebook jail because you’re not posting the same link fifty times to where facebook flags it, and you as spam. You ever notice how when one post gets like three hundred likes on it in the indie community, everyone you know has seen it? This is why. Far more effective than blind pimping. If you must post to a hundred groups, switch up the post a little each time. Use a new pic, or rearrange the wording with each post so you’re not flagged.
2. Your friends aren’t reporting you.
Yes, this does happen, and sometimes people are assholes and will report you out of spite for some slight you did against them in the past, but most of the time when you get reported, it’s because of you. See, Facebook has an “auto-report” feature. If someone has posted something questionable in the past, like say a naked man, Facebook logs the image and post. Then, when you post it, it flags facebook and the system automatically blocks you or suspends features on your account.
Alternative: Use better judgment. Facebook has a stick up their ass about nudity, so if you post something with nudity, don’t act shocked when you get banned. It will happen.
3. Make engaging posts.
Your fans want to get to know you as a person. There is a reason people follow indie authors, and it’s accessibility. We have time for our fans and our fans love talking to us. However, don’t over share. “Just had toast, it was alright,” is never something anyone cares about, or wants to see. You might get a pity like from your mom but your fans will begin questioning why they even followed you in the first place. Also, keep in mind that only posting about books and your own promotion can wear your fans thin as well. It comes across as cold, and maybe selfish, narcissistic. Like they’ve befriended a personified advertisement.
Alternative: Like I said, fans love having access to their authors. Yes, we are their authors. They own us. The least we can do for all of their hard work is to be engaging when possible. Post things that your fans can participate in, show them the real you. I promise, they will love you for it.
4. Back everything up.
Facebook is the digital representation of an asshole. It can get rid of your account with zero warning, and offer no explanation. Always keep everything saved onto your hard drive or external hard drive. Preferably both.
5. Groups and pages.
If you have a group or page, and all you ever do is post promotional things, people will unfollow. There is no sense of having a page with five thousand followers if no one cares what you’re posting. People in this community have learned to tune it out.
Instead, if you have a group, make it about books. Whether that’s discussion, writing prompts, games, etc. Then, set one day aside in the week to let people pimp. That way, people go there on that day strictly to pimp, but the rest of the week they are just there to hang out. They won’t unfollow if it’s a place they frequent, and are more likely to see the pimp posts on the day they are allowed. Believe it or not, a group with three hundred active members is more exposure than a group with thirty thousand defunct members that only pop in to pimp.
If you have a page, same concept. Give your fans news about you and your life, ask them about theirs, engage people. Make contests and games the whole community can enjoy. If you only post promo posts, people will start ignoring it. It’s basically spam, and everyone hates spam.
Now, for Twitter.
Ever feel like Twitter is just a waste of time because there is no real interaction, or it just seems too complicated? Well, some of you work way too hard on Twitter. A hashtag can be the difference between three people seeing your tweet, and a hundred thousand. Now, while in facebook we want to take a more personal approach, in twitter, it’s all about the numbers.
See, whenever you tweet with a hashtag, everyone following that hashtag will see it on the recent feed. So, say your hashtag is #Robots, well everyone with an interest in robots is probably looking for like minded people that are also into robots. How they find you is through those hashtags. Some good hashtags for indie authors are #ASMSG, #IAN1, #IARTG, and so on.
When you use these tweets, you connect directly to indie book guilds, retweet groups, etc. Those people then add you to their network and begin retweeting you, gaining you a ton of exposure. You might think you’re doing someone a favor by retweeting their tweets, but really, you’re doing yourself a favor by connecting to their audience. It’s a mutual trade-off. Which brings me to my next point…
What if there was a way to where you could retweet these hashtags twenty fours hours a day and maximize your exposure, even when you’re not online? Well, there is. I made a bot that does just that. My bot will go through and analyze the latest tweets with your chosen hashtag, and retweet it at whatever interval you’d like. Whether that’s every ten minutes, every five minutes, etc. My bot will also thank people when they follow or mention you, which gives you even more exposure. That way, you have more time to write, or pimp on other social media networks because your twitter is automated. So, people begin following your account for the latest indie news, and once you tweet about your books, many people are ready to return the favor and promote your stuff.
If you’d like me to make you a bot, just click here.
If you know of other useful hashtags, please tell me about them below. =)
3. Hashtags for branding.
Another route you can take is creating a personalized hashtag. Whenever you make a hashtag that’s personalized, chances are other people aren’t using it. For instance, I have a book called “Bait, Brutes, and Bullets: Tales from New Biloxi,” and if I wanted to make that into a catchy hashtag, what would I do? Well, we know that #Biloxi is probably taken and used by people from or living in Biloxi, MS, right? I could use #BaitBrutesBullets though and chances are that no one is using that. So, if someone was to look up that hashtag to see what it is, they would only see me and fans/friends posting it. The only information on that hastag would lead back to my books.
Now, use that hashtag alongside a big hashtag like #ASMSG and a ton of people will be retweeting it because you added a hashtag that the indie network tweets on sight.
So, my tweet would look like this: “Hey everyone check out my latest book! whatevermybookiscalled.com #ASMSG #BaitBrutesBullets #IAN1 #IARTG”
That would get retweeted by those three networks, putting my hashtag on the map.
Now, if I had all of my fans make tweets just like that, we have a shot at trending, which puts it on Twitter’s front page.
I hope some of these tips help you guys in the future, this was all I could think of and I’m exhausted. Night, folks!