We discussed social media groups during our recent Twitter #BookMarketingChat. Of course, there is a lot to cover in one hour, so we chopped the list down to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. We’ll discuss Pinterest, Goodreads, and other social media groups in future chats and my next post. Here are some key tips to get you started on social media groups.
If you have any social media accounts, chances are you’re already in several groups. But for those who are just getting their virtual foot in the social networking door, let’s explain what a social media group is and why they’re so great for building relationships!
What Are Social Media Groups?
Social media groups are general interest or niche-specific forums within social media platforms. Indie writers, paranormal romance book lovers, and author street teams are all examples of the different types of groups you might find on social media. These groups can be open or closed/secret, based on the owner’s (aka, moderator’s) preferences.
- An open group allows any users to join,
- Closed groups require an invitation to join.
- Secret groups are not searchable and invitation only.
- All groups are moderated by one or more people who help to keep the group within their set guidelines.
How to Use Facebook Groups
- Keep your demographic in mind – don’t just follow other authors. Branch out. Find where your readers, bloggers, and reviewers are – these are the people you want to connect with.
- Groups are primarily for building relationships. If you’re screaming BUY MY BOOK in every group you A) aren’t helping your sales and B) risk getting booted out of the group. Don’t do that.
- Author groups – these groups are great for newbie authors who are still learning the ropes of publishing and marketing. These are also a great way to network by sharing other authors promos, announcements, and blog posts. You know, scratch my back/I’ll scratch yours kind of thing.
- Author street teams – some writers like these, some don’t. Rachel loves hers!A street team (aka launch group) is put together by the author (or book manager, marketing team, etc) and is filled with “super fans.” These members generally participate in beta reading upcoming releases, feedback on a cover design, promoting the upcoming release, and other word-of-mouth marketing. Super helpful if you have a solid reader base and are willing to put in the work to manage the group.
Once you’re established your own street team beyond a launch phase, they can become your biggest fans. Treat them well and with respect. Interact, run contests, provide exclusive content to them, ask them to be beta-readers, whatever.
This is the group every author dreams of having — a group of raving fans! Honor and respect them.
- Read the group guidelines carefully. Many groups have “no promo” rules. In other words, you can’t join and start blasting your self-promo all over the group page. (You can, but you’ll likely be booted quickly.)
Here’s a helpful post: Best Practices for Author Facebook Pages and Groups | @JaneFriedman http://ow.ly/LOHm30aBUPl
How to Use LinkedIn Groups
- Join existing groups or create your own – there are millions of readers there. Find your demographic and interact with them. You can schedule posts via Hootsuite, but it’s important (as with all social media platforms) that you LIVE interact here as well.
- Interact frequently. Share your blog posts, interact, network in groups.
- It’s about networking. LinkedIn is less promotional than Facebook and Twitter – but is great for making connections and networking.
How to Use Google+ Groups
- G+ has what are called COMMUNITIES rather than groups. Search your keywords (Read more on Branding and Keywords here: Branding 101) to find communities ex: thrillers, mystery, new adult fiction, true crime…
- Public and private. Some communities are public and open to anyone, others are closed and you must be approved to join. (similar to Facebook)
- Google+ communities are for building relationships – Again, don’t go in screaming BUY MY BOOK and expect sales to blow through the roof. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
- PAY ATTENTION. Biggest tip of the day and it’s a big one: Posting on Google+ is great for SEO visibility. If you’re not on there, get on there. “Google+ content gets indexed immediately and shows up in search results”
Check out this helpful article on Google+ and visibility:
5 Surprising Reasons to Reconsider G+ http://ow.ly/2h3g30aBXCS via @Buffer
We hope you can come to our next #BookMarketingChat. We meet every Wednesday on Twitter at 6 pm pst/9 pm est. Just type in the hashtag to join us! If you can’t make it, visit our public #BookMarketingChat Facebook page and click on NOTES for all of our previous chats.
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Since January 2015, Melissa assisted authors in project management, book marketing management, and administrative assistance as the lead book manager with a hybrid publishing company.
Melissa currently co-hosts #BookMarketingChat with founder & host, Rachel Thompson (@BadRedHeadMedia) Every Wednesday 6pm PST/ 9pm EST.
She is a self-proclaimed book nerd and coffee addict.
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