by Mark David Gerson, Award-Winning Author and Master Motivator
If you’re anything like me, you would rather be writing your next book than trying to figure out how to best market your last one. Better yet, I bet you’d rather be using the proceeds from your last one to sun on a Mediterranean beach. I know I would.
You see, I’m an author like you. I’m not a social media expert, and I’m not a marketing strategist (although I do have a long-ago P.R. and marketing background). I write books, fiction and nonfiction, in a wide range of genres. And like you, my goal is to sell them with as little fuss and bother as possible so I can get on with writing my next one…preferably on a Mediterranean beach.
Here’s what I’ve discovered through nearly a decade of marketing my own books: One of the easiest, most effective and (yes!) fun ways to get my books read is through social media. Why is that? Because social media is one of the easiest, most effective and (yes!) fun ways to connect with people from across town and around the world…people eager to have authentic interactions…people enthusiastic about books…people who read.
That’s why social media is so great: At its best, it’s all about human connection. At it’s worst, of course, it’s a cesspool of negativity and rabid hucksterism. But that’s not what sells books. Connection sell books. Human connection. And that’s what I shared on Oct. 26 in Connect to Sell: Winning Social Media Strategies for Authors: How to take the unparalleled power and potential of social media to make the genuine connections that turn strangers into friends, friends into readers, and readers into loyal fans. Along the way I’ll be sharing practical tips, proven techniques and dynamic strategies to help you put the “social” back into your social media life in a way that gives value and gets sales.
And who knows? Maybe the next time we meet it will be on that Mediterranean beach, working on our next books!
For now, though, check out the webinar replay
Download a PDF of the PowerPoint: Mark David Gerson Presentation
Here are additional questions Mark David answered after the webinar:
Question: What's the best way to get others to share your posts to increase reach?
Answer: I wish there was some magic formula that would guarantee that your posts would be seen and engaged with. Just like in the publishing world, even the most compelling content can sometimes be passed over in favor of something barely second-rate. Having said that, the best (though hardly perfect) way I have found is to keep posting content that matches the criteria in the “engagement checklist” I showed you in the webinar and that is aimed at your “tribes." (Take a second look at it in the replay.) As for food v. pets, I guess that one’s a tossup!
Question: Is it worth it to boost a post?
Answer: I’m not the best person to ask that question to as I have only ever boosted one post. If you are going to pay to boost a post, however, direct your spend at your best most engaging content and target it as specifically as you can to reach the people who matter most to you.
Question: What is a meme?
Answer: A meme is a graphic, with or without a photo, that features an inspiring or humorous quote or saying.
Question: Is it worth it to pay to a Twitter sight that has a million followers to expose your book?
Answer: I can’t answer that from personal experience. But one of the things I would want to know before spending my money is who those million followers are. If the site owner bought those followers on a site like fiverr.com, few of them probably have any interest in your book and it’s probably a waste of your money. If you are going to pay for exposure, like any advertiser you want some relevant demographic information on the audience your advertising is aimed at in order to be able to make an informed decision.
Question: Which sites can you go to, to create quizzes?
Answer: I didn’t list any quiz sites on the resources slide (or in the resources chapter of Engage!) because I chose to limit myself to sites I have used successfully…and even though I think it’s a good idea, I haven’t created any quizzes of my own yet!! But here are two (untested by me) sites you can check out – www.playbuzz.com/create, https://www.onlinequizcreator.com. You can also browse through your Facebook news feed for quizzes to see where they were created.
Question: What if you have a pen name as a brand so the personal facebook page has a different name
Answer: If you use a different name as an author than you do in your non-writing life, you have a few options that I can think of:
- Keep them separate and don’t use your personal page for your author persona
- Identify Pen Name and Real World Name as the same person. Here’s a suggestion: Do a search on Facebook for a David Hamilton in Utah; you’ll notice that under “David Hamilton” he has “David Michael” (his pen name and the name on his author page) in parentheses. I’m not sure how he did that, but a look through Facebook’s help pages (or reaching out directly to David) might get you an answer.
Question: I was surprised to hear reach is stronger on a proflie rather than a page; how can you track traffic?
Answer: There is no way to track anything on a personal page, which is one of the several reasons that I keep a business page going. All I can tell you, anecdotally, is that personal posts are more likely to show up in news feeds than fan-page posts and that, in my experience, personal posts get more shares, likes an comments.
Question: Isn't just using a FB personal account for your author presence against FB's TOS?
Answer: That’s a good question and one for which I have no answer. I suspect that if I were to use my personal page in an aggressively forward “selling” sort of way, I might get into trouble. But I’m not a “business” in the sense that a corner garage is a business. And my posts contain a mix of content, little of which is a direct sell.
Question: Should you ever block people who follow you? Do you automate any of your social posts, and if so, when/why?
Answer: Blocking is a personal call. I will tell you, though, that I have blocked people on both Facebook (personal and fan pages) and on Twitter for various reasons: they’ve been obnoxious, they’ve left bullying comments, they’ve attacked other people who have left comments, they are selling followers or sex services, they are otherwise harassing. Blocking is never permanent; if you change your mind, you are free to unblock anyone you have previously blocked.
Question: Mark David, what is the best way, in your opinion, to increase followers organically?
Answer: I use services like to SocialOomph (http://bit.ly/YourSocialOomph) and SocialJukebox (www.socialjukebox.com) to schedule content that I have created for posting on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. SocialJukebox also has free libraries you can access for additional content. By using services such as these to schedule my content, I have more time to engage with others and get my writing done! What I hardly ever do, as I mentioned in the webinar, is use automation to cross-post identical content between social networks, as those posts are nearly always identifiable as automated and are, thus (to me, at any rate), less engaging.