How to Find Your Audience Online by @nblackburn01

By Naomi Blackburn | Author Marketing

May 10

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Kerry Gans asked, “How can an author find an online audience?” Today, I am going to not only discuss the basics that we all know about, but I am going also going to talk about some sites that authors may not be familiar with: Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram, which are considered to be soft marketing outlets.

The basic social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Google+. Let’s do a brief breakdown of how to utilize these in a marketing plan.

Facebook

  • Facebook pages: If you don’t have a public Facebook page (Rachel recommends an author page), whether it is for you as an author or your book, make sure you start one. There are so many creative things that you can do once you do have one. It opens up a whole lot of little worlds to you.
  • Street teams: Several of my author friends have street teams. I love these little groups IF THEY ARE DONE CORRECTLY. Friends and fans of the author are invited to become members of this private group on Facebook. They become the author’s mouthpieces to spread the news when new releases are coming out, book sales are occurring, or other great news, such as hitting the best seller list. Fostered right, street teams are wonderfully supportive groups who represent the author well. Fostered wrong, they can become a wandering posse of thugs beating up on anyone who looks at the author wrong. So remember, those on your street team represent you to the general public.
  • Networking with fellow authors: I have seen some of my author friends be so creative in their networking opportunities on Facebook. Everything from taking over each other’s Facebook pages to introduce fans to new authors to starting new groups. If you play nice in the sand box, it is amazing what positive networking can do for authors on Facebook.
  • Facebook groups: There are tons of Facebook groups on every possible subject out there. I encourage authors to not only belong to authors/readers groups, but to also look for groups that discuss topics you write on. For example, Facebook friend and true crime author Gregg Olsen belongs to a group that discusses true crimes. When he participates in these groups, does he spam? Nope, but every time they see his name pop up, they are reminded of the books he writes.

Twitter

  • It is all about the hashtags. While hashtags can be quite intimidating and overwhelming in the beginning (or at least they were to me), once you get the hang of them, they are quite fun. Mix up the standard hashtags, such as #amreading or #bookworm, with ones that depict your book. For example, are you a southern writer? Utilize hashtags that are centered around southern themes, such as #southerncharm. Here’s an article from Twitter on how to properly use hashtags.
  • Another way to use hashtags is to make up your own. When I developed The Author CEO, I got tired of using the same old hashtags and wanted my tweets to stand out. As a result, I developed the #authorceo hashtag that I use when I am posting new blogs.
  • In a moment of distraction while preparing this article to send to my editor, I came across this wonderful article on BookBub’s Insights page: How Successful Authors Use Twitter to Promote Their Brand. This article offers wonderful tips by those who use it well.

Goodreads

  • I have written extensively regarding Goodreads. Goodreads has numerous areas for authors to interact with potential readers, including groups, events, developing friendships, etc. Have further questions on how to navigate Goodreads? Check out our previous articles that I have written for both BadRedhead Media and The Author CEO.

Google+

  • Google+ offers its own version of some of the features mentioned above. Hashtags, links and attachments are partnered with follower and followed circles. I use this medium as another way to get my information out to those who might not follow me in other locations.
  • For the difference between Google+ and Facebook check out: How Google+ is Different from Facebook — A Primer for Authors by @K8Tilton

Now that we have the basics down, I want to talk about lesser-known sites that may not immediately come to mind when we talk about social media, but they are still quite valuable. I consider them to be subtle outlets. Sometimes the soft marketing outlets provide some of the best opportunities for connecting with an audience.

Pinterest

  • pinterest logoI really love Pinterest as a soft marketing tool for authors. For those not familiar with Pinterest, the concept of it is to develop boards that photos and other things such as recipes, videos etc. are “pinned” to. If it has a link or can be uploaded, it can be pinned!
  • My advice to authors is to think of the description for your book. Let’s take again the example of a book set in the South. When one thinks of the South, what do you think of? Is it cooking? How about southern locations? Maybe country music. If so, you can find some images, links, etc., that you can pin to your board!
  • Still confused about Pinterest? I give some tips on the WHY and how in a 2012 article, What is Your Pinterest? Even though it was written in 2012, I stand behind all my tips. Kate Tilton has also shared several articles here on Rachel’s blog.

Instagram

  • instagram logoI have to say that I am a very visual person. What I love about Instagram is, again, the soft marketing concept. An author connects with readers through their own photos and CREATIVE use of hashtags. Focus not only on what describes your book, but also give your followers insight into you. Remember that successful sales is about rapport building. When readers feel that they can connect with an author, they are more likely to become a loyal fan and buy more books!
  • Want ideas on how to use Instagram? Try: Connect with Your Readers – How Authors Can Use Instagram by @K8Tilton

Snapchat

  • snapchat logoSnapchat allows authors to have online discussions with followers, called “Live Chats.” But, different from Google hangouts or Twitter Chats, these conversations disappear. Want to learn more about Snapchat and how you can fit it into your social media plan? I love this article on SnapChat for Beginners from Mashable.

 

 

So remember that today I just wanted to touch on some of the basics for authors to explore in their social media campaigns. Already being authors, creativity is in your blood. Streamline that creativity and evaluate which sites not only work best for you, but the ones you have a ton of fun using.

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo)
All content copyrighted unless otherwise specified. © 2015 by BadRedhead Media aka Rachel Thompson, author. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author. 
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About the Author

Naomi Blackburn, owner of The Author CEO, a consultation firm dedicated to helping independent authors navigate the development of strategic business plans and the marketing world, holds an MBA and has worked in the field of business development, sales and consulting for 12 years. A former social worker, she has helped hundreds of clients meet their life goals. A top 1% Goodreads reviewer, she comes to the world of books from a reader/reviewer’s perspective. She strives to help authors achieve their goals by teaching them to think of themselves as CEO/entrepreneur of a small business and helping them negotiate the business side of selling books.

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(4) comments

[…] those plans include finding your audience, so Naomi Blackburn shows how to find your audience online. Some plans hope to generate money from your blog, so 21 experts tell how to monetize your […]

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neelyr May 19, 2015

Fantastic post – thank you for sharing!

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    Naomi Blackburn May 24, 2015

    Thanks, Nellyr! Remember to not box yourself in with social media. There are really a large number of sites out there. I just touched on some of the top ones. Have fun with your social media because you will do more of it and it won’t feel like such a job. Just remember to keep it balanced and focus on your ROI.

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