It’s rare when I’m reading a book do I find myself taking notes. But Chris Syme’s SMART Social Media For Authors is packed with so much useful, actionable information, that I couldn’t help myself.
The book is both a guide and a resource. Chris gives examples of other sites to check out, as well as handy explanations of some of the social media platforms, so that authors can decide for themselves which networks will work best for them (based on their target audience).
Some hints: long blog posts are great for non-fiction readers, younger readers are on Instagram and Tumblr, and older readers are on Facebook. Also, the best time to post each day varies for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
The idea of building a system is also an important theme, and if you do it right, you can add value, find loyal readers, and make it easier to market in the future.
So how do you do that? By reaching out to your target audience. According to Chris, that doesn’t just mean breaking down demographics and finding readers based on similar authors. You also want influencers to help you in the short-term and advocates to help you in the long term. And don’t forget the seekers, who are just looking for information, amplifiers, who can magnify your reach, and joiners, who are the most valuable.
Chris also takes into consideration budget and time management. She recommends keeping a diary for a week, where you write down how you use your time. Then, figure out what was effective and what you should stop doing.
Another big takeaway is to always set goals. Then you can use those goals to keep track of your progress and pivot when necessary.
Book launch plans are also key. Chris recommends planning three months ahead of time, and to set up giveaways and thank you campaigns, as well as ads and email blasts. And don’t forget to follow up on everything after the launch.
Chris offers so much great advice in such a short book, that she inspired me to write a post for Digital Book World, called “What Are the Ingredients of a Successful Marketing Plan?”
The bottom line: SMART Social Media For Authors is an excellent resource, and one that both authors who are just beginning and authors who have already started building their platforms should read.
You even get access to bonus materials, including videos, more resources, and a special, exclusive Facebook group. (She practices what she preaches.)
Oftentimes, content like SMART Social Media For Authors can seem overwhelming, because there is so much information and it can be hard to know where to start. But Chris has made it easy to break down all the steps into manageable chunks. She encourages authors to think about what they are really trying to do, and then only do the tasks that will help them accomplish those goals.
I’ll stop gushing now so you can pick up a copy of Chris’ book and start implementing her strategies.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published on February 29, 2016.