Thursday, March 23, 2017

Which Social Media Should Authors and Publishers Embrace?

How often do U.S. Internet users access the biggest social media web sites?

You may be surprised that there’s only one where the majority of American Internet users go on at least once a week.  70% click on Facebook.

After that, the number drop by more than 50%.  Just 32% click on Instagram, followed by 30% for Twitter, 25% on SnapChat, 25% on Pinterest, 18% for Tumblr, and 17% on LinkedIn.

Obviously, these sites, in one way or another compete for your attention.  Some are unique and others are similar to each other.  The story didn’t say how many hours users spend on these sites or how often they go onto them, but most people appear to use their social media with greater frequency than a few years ago.

SnapChat, the latest to go public, is the newest of the big 7, having launched in 2011.  Facebook dates back to 2004 and is the oldest of the group.

Google+ has been a failure and doesn’t really make the cut, but Google’s You Tube is ever popular.  Over a billion hours of daily video viewing takes place on the site.  So how should authors and book publishers take advantage of what social media sites have to offer?

Social media can be an ally and enemy of the book world.  On the con side, all of these sites suck time away from authors who would rather write than market themselves.  These sites also steal potential consumers who could be using those hours of clicking to read and buy books.  Their free content directly threatens a pay-content model for book publishing.

On the positive side, social media allows for networking, advertising, and the promoting of authors and their books.  That is a valuable tool that continues to grow.

Authors and publishers continue to experiment with how to exploit social media to sell books.  Is it with advertising?  Digital book give-aways?  Blogger tours?  Author-created blogs or podcasts?  Do videos or posting of photos work better to sell books than online book reviews and interviews?  Really, it’s a little bit of everything, in varying degrees of percentages that work best.  Of course, a diversified social media portfolio can stretch and tax authors who have limited time, patience, or marketing skills to pull this off.

Social media is a big ego cesspool.  Everyone is diligent at posting and sharing, but not as good at digesting the barrage of content or taking an action step, such as buying a book.  The click-through rate for most tweets, FB posts, and YouTube videos is probably low.  The sell-through rate is even lower.  But all of this is a numbers game.  Throw enough out there and someone will buy.  It all depends on the quality of a quantity of posted content.  It also depends on the size and caliber of your connected network.  Are you hitting the right people with the right content, with a great enough incentive to share it?

You probably interrupted the reading of this blog post to respond to several intrusive texts or to dart off an email.  Communication invites more communication – but it can crush us.  Social media can be invaluable to promoting and selling books -- provided you use your time effectively and limit its usage, especially if other areas offer a more lucrative return such as direct marketing, speaking tour, traditional media or exchanging large email lists with those who can tell lots of people about your book.

so which social media should publishers and authors pursue? The one that produces, the one that you enjoy doing, and the one with growth potential. There is no singular formula that applies to everyone.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby

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