I have written a lot about timing for traditional book publicity campaigns. However, I haven’t spoken much about social media timing in today’s book marketing campaigns. Many writers tell me they need to wait to start being active on social media. They do not want to be “out there too soon”, because buzz needs to be created closer to the on sale date of a book. I say, don’t wait.
Why Be Active on Social Media Now?
You need to be active on social media and come up with ideas for topics you want to talk about now. Why? Because the first step in the product selling process is creating an interested and aware following. Building Awareness is a marketing term that is included in a three-part cycle that ends will a sale. Social media gives anyone and everyone a chance to employ tactics to generate awareness and gather their own fans. You control the information you make public.
Simple Campaign Ideas
Your campaign could be simple and your book can come up organically, which is better. Decide how many times per week you want to post and what you want to share with your audience. One topic writers share about is what they have read lately. Another topic could be about your process, where you write, how you feel about releasing a book, etc. Write your plan into your calendar online or on paper. Then, most importantly, stick to it. Other things you can do are: use hashtags that are relevant to you and your work; follow other people; and comment on other posts and “tweets” (if you use X (Twitter)). Social media is like a party where you don’t know a lot of people. You can make small talk. Act interested in other people and they will be interested in you.
When To Wait
So be on social, actively, like I’ve suggested above. Look for other writers, who are at a similar stage in their careers, and copy some of what they do. Everyone does it. And if you still aren’t sure if you should wait, take a look at a few cases where tighter timing might make sense.
- You are breaking news: If your book contains breaking news, then there is another layer to your process. This does not affect the creating awareness step, but it could affect what you say about what’s coming. There may be an embargo or restrictions placed by another entity, like a media outlet. Details may need to be kept quiet until publication.
- Your audience is already aware: When you release a book that is highly anticipated, like a sequel in a bestselling series, you may not need to talk about the book on social media. You could wait until two or three weeks ahead of publication to spur a frenzy in pre-orders for the book. A period of fast paced ordering will help drive it up the bestseller ranks on Amazon.
- Your book is based on what you do professionally: For example, if you are a dermatologist and your book is about skincare, your content is going to align with what will be in the book. You could wait to talk about the book product until closer to publication to drive preorders. Maybe you will be selling your book at conferences and events. Your social media can be focused on where you will be and the chance to buy copies in person.
Get out there and share some thoughts and ideas or just ask questions of others. You have everything to gain and, seriously, nothing to lose.
Social Media Marketing Resources
Some resources for information about platforms and content are www.hubspot.com and www.hootsuite.com. You can also download our eguide for different social platforms that explain how several of them work. Here is a recent blog post on the differences between Threads and X.