people to be aware of your presence, you
can toss $100 into the Facebook machine
and get back around 5,000 “
impressions.” On the other hand, if you want
people to actually engage with your messaging by clicking on it or liking your
page, the cost will be higher, and you’ll
want to target a pool of users who are
more engaged but consequently smaller.
Facebook also has a built-in ad reporting tool designed to show what sort of
return—whether it’s clicks, engagements, or shares—you get for each dollar
spent. Authors should use this to understand what they’re getting for their money so they can optimize their messaging
But while it might be tempting to use
Facebook’s advertising tools simply for
promotional messaging, Yount suggests
diversifying posts to drive engagement.
“You need to engage with different cus-
tomers and create content,” she says.
“Understanding what people want to see
and hear from you is really important.
I’ve spoken to a couple of authors, and I
tell them to make their Facebook page a
glimpse into their process.”
For example, authors can upload im-
ages of their favorite place to write, or
post about whatever power breakfast
gives them the energy to write for a full
“It’s an amazing opportunity to give
readers a behind-the-scenes look at what
they’re doing,” Yount says. “Putting in
that human voice is an engaging way to
use your Facebook page.”
If you want people to like you,
“It’s so easy to reach out
and shake someone’s hand
and hobnob with a bigwig
you otherwise wouldn’t,”
Engaging on the platform
is straightforward: find people who share
your interests—especially the “influenc-
ers” with lots of followers—then follow
them yourself and start commenting on
or retweeting things they say. If they like
what you have to say, hopefully they’ll
follow you back, and voilà, you’ve ex-
panded your network.
It also helps to figure out which of
your followers are the most influential.
Free online tools like SocialRank enable
you to sort your followers based on influence.
Twitter also has paid options for promoting and targeting messages to its users. Like Facebook, Twitter allows you to
upload and target users based on your
existing email list or to build your own
audience to message, based on factors
like the keywords that appear in a public
bio (so you can target tweets about your
Bill Walsh biography to self-identified
“49ers fanatics”), follower count, and
tweet history. You can also request from
Twitter a line of code to add to your website, which allows you to target Twitter
users who have visited (Facebook has a
version of this, too).
“You can target anybody on Twitter
who’s visited your website in the past 90
days,” Drake says. “You know you’re tar-
geting someone who’s a quality lead.”
One thing to consider when it comes
to marketing on both Twitter and Face-
book: both user bases tend to access feeds
via mobile devices. Currently, 78% of
Twitter users and 81% of Facebook users
So links directing users away from either social network should lead to a site
that loads well on mobile devices. If
you’re trying to drive purchases via either Twitter or Facebook, make sure that
path to purchase is both mobile-opti-mized and fluid. If a purchase on a mobile device requires too many
clicks or requires extensive
form filling, your would-be
customers will abandon the
page, and that may well
mean lost sales.
This might soon become
an outdated concern, how-
ever, as both Facebook
and Twitter are experi-
menting with features
that enable users to buy goods directly
through their respective networks. Nei-
ther, however, has made these capabili-
ties generally available.
Authors on Goodreads are going to want
to drastically tone down their promotional messaging. Unless you’re interested in irritating prospective readers,
approach Goodreads as a reader first and
an author second.
“Authors who do well on Goodreads
treat it as a big party,” says Patrick
After setting up an author page on the
site, Brown recommends using the social
network’s tools like Ask the Author to
begin engaging with users, or to do a free
book giveaway, in which Goodreads selects certain interested members to receive a free copy of a participating author’s book. Goodreads supplies the author with the mailing addresses of the
giveaway winners, and the author pays
for shipping and handling.
“I got a few thousand entries in the
first giveaways I did,” Hoover recalls.
Through this, she got more people to follow the author profile page she’d previously established.
The detriment is cost. Goodreads
doesn’t support digital distribution
(Brown wouldn’t comment on whether
Goodreads would introduce this feature
in the future), and printing and shipping
books can be prohibitively expensive.
Hoover acknowledged the steep up-front costs. She buys the books involved
in the giveaways at $7.50 each directly
platforms are alike