A book influencer on Instagram, C.L. Williams has worked with other influencers across the world, reaching readers as far as the USA, Canada, India and the Philippines. Now she shares her top tips for promoting your work on social media:

Smailholm

Smailholm

Target correctly. You can’t be on all social media channels all the time, so choose which channels to invest your time in carefully. For example, if you are promoting a business book the best place to find business owners is LinkedIn, the best place to find young adults is Instagram and the best channel to find under 15s is YouTube or TikTok. Also decide what channel will best fit the way you like to communicate. For instance, if you don’t like taking nice photos, don’t invest all your time on Instagram. Similarly, if you don’t like being on camera then YouTube might not be for you.

“It’s no good having 10,000 author followers on Twitter, when you’ve a young adult novel to sell. All the young adults are on Instagram.”

Own your brand. Create your own author brand, one that will have longevity way beyond the release of each of your books. Make sure your author brand has a consistent and clear message. Communicate why you write and what drives you. Brands also remain neutral. Try not to share your views on politics and religion. There’s always someone on the opposite side with the opposite views that will create the wrong kind of engagement.

Promote your social networks. Don’t forget to promote your social channels elsewhere. Your social channel handles should be on your website, business cards, even in the back of the book if you are an author. Embed your social channel feeds into your website.

Be kind. It doesn’t have to be an unkind world. Only people make it so. Even if you disagree with something keep it to yourself. Smile emoji and walk away from the keyboard. Always.

Communicate. Communication is a two-way thing. Interact with your followers, don’t just sell or preach. Ask them how they are feeling. Ask them anything. Take the time to get to know them and build trust. If someone comments on your post, like and comment back. Comment on other people’s posts, offer to beta read for another author, offer book giveaways. That’s how you make friends and find advocates for your books.

Invest time in your content. Without anything interesting to say you may as well not be there at all. Spend most of your time on making informative, engaging content: book reviews, author interviews, writing tips. Make it sharp, concise and professional.

Measure. Look at your numbers. See which posts get the most interactions. Sign up to those social media business accounts, most are free, so you can see the stats. Study them and learn from them.

There are no new ideas. It’s true. Honestly. Life is full of the same ideas seen through different lenses. So instead of worrying that the idea isn’t original, find a new lens to look at it through.

Nurture. A following doesn’t appear overnight; you must really work at it. Be a consistent parent and nurture your channels, spending 30 minutes each day to update them. You will soon reap rewards.

Be real. Let them in. You don’t have to reveal everything but candid personal moments, interviews and a glimpse of your life mean your followers learn to trust you enough to become your advocate.

Be consistent. Be consistent with your content and how often you post. Most social media channels use the same sort of format so once you’ve learnt one you can apply the same principles across multiple channels. I post between four and five times a week, always on the same days and times which work best to get the most engagement.

This article is written by Claire Williams: a bookstagrammer and author. Her debut children’s fantasy book Smailholm is available now from all good bookshops or direct via www.clwilliamsauthor.com or https://www.instagram.com/smailholmthebook/