How Do We Find Targeted Readers? 5 Top Tips!

By Rachel Thompson | Blog

Nov 16

5 Top Tips To Find Targeted Readers

 

Whether you’re a blogger, journalist, author, or small businessperson, you want people to read what you write. And with the popularity of social media, reaching readers has never been easier.

 

Or more challenging.

 

I’m asked at least once each day this question: How do I find readers of my work?

 

One author friend says readers should find you. Unfortunately, that rarely works given the billions of ads, tweets, messages, shares, pins, emails, and other bits of information that crosses our eyeballs each day.

 

Here’s what I do for my own accounts and also what I do/recommend for my clients.

 

1) Keywords. Everything you do for your author platform starts with knowing your keywords. This is the basic concept of branding, which most authors tell me they don’t understand.

 

What are keywords?

 

Let’s break it down: which words best describe you, your work, your book or service? Are you a mystery writer? Then that’s a keyword. Are you a book blogger? Then that’s a keyword. Do you eat ice cream upside down while juggling? Then you’re on your own. (Kidding. I could totally brand that.) Pick around six to eight keywords and that becomes your foundation.

 

Remember this also: everything is changeable. Nothing is set in stone.

 

An example of my author account, RachelintheOC: author, social media, men, women, love, loss, humor. For my business account, BadRedheadMedia: social media, books, book marketing, branding, self-publishing, reading, writing.

 

These are the topics I read about, write about, and search for readers who are also looking for these keywords.

 

See, your head hasn’t even exploded yet.

 

2) Search. Now that you know your keywords, use the search function in whichever social media channel you prefer. I use Twitter’s Search and Advanced Search screens. They are extremely helpful to look for readers. For example, I’m a nonfiction essayist. So I look up terms like ‘reads nonfiction,’ or ‘nonfiction essays,’ or ‘nonfiction bloggers,’ etc.

 

The biggest mistake I see with authors on Twitter and Facebook is they are targeting other authors. Sure, authors read too. But too many people focus on selling instead of targeting.

 

Well, of course, spamming your own book links repeatedly is pretty douche-ish, also.

 

If you’re not a tweeter, use Facebook’s Search, Google (they have a great free keyword search tool), YouTube, whatever.

 

I personally use ManageFlitter.com (I use the Pro version but it’s free for individual accounts) for most of my account management. It’s so easy. Enter a search term and it finds relevant accounts using that term or people currently tweeting about it. It also weeds out fakes, eggs, inactives, and nonfollowbacks. It’s great.

 

3) Following. The main reason I prefer ManageFlitter over any other search is that I can use the Fast Select button, and follow say, one hundred targeted people at one time. (You cannot do that on Twitter itself or even other follow/unfollow third party apps in one quick step.)

 

Why follow that many? Everyone is different. I have about 80K followers, and yet I follow about only about 16K. Why? Lots of reasons but mostly I only follow those who are interactive and share great info. If all you do is spam your book links, I’m not your girl.

 

4. Research. One of the best books I’ve read on the science of social media is by Dan Zarrella, titled Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness. I like this guy. He’s done a ton of research on millions of emails, tweets, facebook messages, and other various and sundry stuff and shares with us the results.

 

One of the biggest tips I’ve gleaned from him is the theory of ‘Contra-Competitive Timing,’ which breaks down to this: in many cases, the most effective times to send are the less popular times; because your messages have less clutter to compete with, they break through. Friday at 4pm is the most retweetable time.

 

Which makes sense. We’re busy during the week, barely having time to respond or thank people. But evenings and weekends are less busy, so people can pay more attention to social media and will share more stuff. This is good to know but also important to employ.

 

5. Ads. From a purely qualitative point of view, ads are extremely useful if for no other reason (besides increased exposure) than to see the insights. Who is clicking? Where are they clicking? Which ad resonates the best?

 

If this is a foreign concept to you, I encourage you to be brave and spend a buck or two a day on Facebook ads, Goodreads ads, or Google AdWords. We learn by doing, so jump in.

 

You don’t need a degree in marketing to create an ad. Granted, AdWords can be confusing (which is why I make my husband, The AdWords Guy, do it for me – okay, that sounded funny). But I find it quite easy to create a Facebook ad and have seen great results from that.

 

There are a multitude of places you can find readers if you make a true effort, in addition to the ones I’ve covered here: blog tours, book bloggers, book clubs, GoodReads, Shelfari, Library Thing and more.

 

I find that targeting my reader base is much more effective from both a marketing and time-management perspective than sending out links about my book, my book, my book, all the time, repeatedly, until it becomes redundant (see what I did there?). 🙂

 

I’d love your feedback. What did I miss? What do you find effective? Please share below.

 

 

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About the Author

Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month – created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader’s “Best of 2015” top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed.

She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly.

Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs,  #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats.

She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

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(83) comments

Dianne Solberg (@Wxmouse) November 16, 2012

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Temujin Hu November 16, 2012

I paid for a facebook ad for my author facebook page and got almost no clicks, but when I had the facebook ad advertise the post on my author page for my blog, and targeted the ad for who I thought would be interested in the blog, my page likes almost doubled. But, didn’t notice any increase in sales. Still, more people are noticing me, and that can’t be bad.

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Tonia Ries (@tonia_ries) November 21, 2012

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Eva November 21, 2012

Great advice to unfollow people who only spam their books. I agree that we need to find readers more than we should too many fellow authors, especially when there’s little interaction with them.

I wanted to share that running a Goodreads giveaway concurrently with both a Goodreads ad and a Facebook ad (about the giveaway) has yielded good results for me.

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Fiza Pathan December 3, 2012

I found your post about targetting readers most helpful. I have written and
published a new book Treasury Of Bizarre Christmas Stories through CreateSpace
and Kindle and I am wondering now if my choice of keywords was appropriate.
I also have an ad on Goodreads.com which is one of your suggestions. Any insight
from you will be gratefully appreciated. I am going to retweet your blog
as I think that it will help other authors too.
Regards
Fiza

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    Rachel Thompson December 3, 2012

    Hi Fiza! I can’t check your book myself since your keywords are on the back end of your Amazon account. What’s important to remember is that keywords are not set in stone. If you feel a different one (or ones) would work better, edit yours to include them (in the KDP).

    As for tags, those are similar to keywords on the front end (where people purchase your book). So check the tag cloud and see if any of your tags or keywords are in that cloud. It’s a wonderful little cheat sheet.

    Hope you find that helpful and thanks for commenting!

    Reply

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@QueensMFA December 7, 2012

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@cairnswrites December 7, 2012

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@KimDalferes December 7, 2012

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Anonymous December 30, 2012

Google Adwords for authors= just about the most ridiculous, money-losing, non-ROI producing activity there is. The only one making money from an Adwords ad to a book is Google (and maybe the Adwords guy). Don’t do it!

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    Rachel Thompson December 31, 2012

    I’ve had completely different results than what you profess. Regardless, everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. I don’t know which you are since you are ‘anonymous.’

    However, it’s worth nothing that WordPress traced your actual IP provider, city, and state. Why not come on out and say who you are?

    Reply

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@jppastor May 17, 2013

Targeted Reader’s – http://t.co/FUm5C3lKbM

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