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How using Twitter & Facebook has Helped me market my book

Posted by Lizzy Armentrout on October 21, 2009 at 11:30 AM

     The online world is one that is growing quickly and authors need to be creating their "name" online.  Unfortunately, many authors feel that it's unsafe to be using it, or many don't know how to use Twitter & Facebook to help market their book.

     My book was just released on September 29th, 2009, but I started building my online presence back in March.  In this blog, I'm going to walk you through what I did to build my online community to the point it's at now and explain how these steps (and of course, God!) have helped me market my book in ways I could never have done w/out the internet. (On Twitter I currently have 1100+ followers and on Facebook 220+ friends.)

     I began with Facebook, which I recommend to anyone who is not accustomed to being in an online community.  After setting up my account, I spent the first 2-3 weeks immersing myself into the Facebook world, looking for connections (friends), and researching on the web how to best use it.  I consider my Facebook world my personal friends/family online community.  These are people I know personally or that I have gotten close to on Twitter. By using Facebook, I've reconnected with many people from my childhood whom I haven't seen in over 15 years! And these people now know I'm an author with a book.  These people would have NEVER have known otherwise. Now  I'm very careful about what pictures I post and about giving personal details.  Remember, once it's online...it's there! 

     Now, how has Facebook helped me market my book? Oh, wow!  Many, many ways.  First of all, everyone who sees my wall sees my website's url under my profile picture.  I make announcements about upcoming signing events or speaking engagements.  I've had friends read my book and then post an update on there about how they loved the book. (FREE advertising, folks! Their friends now see my book's title!)  Then after I was on Facebook for a couple of months and was comfortable with using it, I created a "Fan page" for my book.  Now, this is a MUST for any author.  I have mine set up to be open to anyone who wants to join it.  What is so wonderful for marketing is that you can create an event (make an announcement) on your fan page and it will post there and to your personal account! The events feature will allow you to invite people, keep track of those who RSVP, and advertise the event.  On your fan page you can post photos, discussions, reviews, etc...  And I constantly attach the url as a link to my event announcements.  (Driving people to my site.)  A suggestion: when creating the name of your fan page...if using your author name put a dash and state fan page.  Example: Lizzy Armentrout-author fan page  I didn't do this and wish now that I had.

    On Facebook you have the capability of creating ads for your event, page, or product.  I have run two different ad campaigns.  I did the pay per impression and had over 100,000 impressions w/each campaign.  You set the daily budget as high or low as you want.  It can be a monthly campaign or just limited to one day. You decide!

     Some tangible results I've had these last few months: 

                      -have book reviewers that have friended me

                      -received a msg from a radio host that she is wanting to do an interview

                      -many favorable posts have been made from readers about the book

                      -had an online book reviewer post a review on her blog after she got to know me

 

     Let's move on to Twitter.  Twitter is a much different world from Facebook.  I would recommend taking 3-7 days to focus on building your follower base when starting Twitter.  I took a solid week and just tweeted and interacted with others on Twitter.  In between tweets I would research online the best way to use Twitter to market my book.  I also spent that week looking for people that I wanted to follow.  I started by using the Twitter search engine and searching for book reviewers, authors, books, reading, etc.  When the week was over, I had a good grasp of how to best use it and am now able to just be on Twitter for as little or as much as I want each day.  I usually try to take one evening each week to interact. (Usually while watching tv.)

     Many people just open a Twitter account and put one or two tweets and then forget all about it.  Twitter is about interacting with people and is in real time.  It is constantly changing and updating.  As an author, I'm wanting my book's title and my name to become familiar to as many people as possible; therefore, I want as many followers as possible.  Now let's say Jane Doe is one of my followers, and Jane Doe has 5000 followers herself.  That means if I tweet something Jane Doe likes and she retweets it...my followers and her followers have all seen my name and maybe book title (if I had it in my tweet).  That is invaluable marketing and advertising!! AND TOTALLY FREE!  But first I had to get Jane Doe to follow me and to keep up with my tweets.  How do I do that? By becoming Twitter friends. First I start following her.  Then when I see her tweet something I like, I re-tweet it. Then i just begin  Tweeting and interacting w/her about politics, weather, family, other books...Just like if you were at a party and making friends there.  

     Now, many people make the mistake of only tweeting about their book or their events.  DO NOT DO THIS!!!  I love tweeting and will quit reading tweets from people who only talk about their book or their event.  Many on Twitter will unfollow you if you do that. So how do I get my name and title out there?  Here's a tweet that I used in the beginning:  "Am really excited about the release of my book, A Vengeful Spirit, coming on 9-29-09 published by Tate Publishing."    Then after I had started interacting and tweeting other stuff with others, I would tweet: "Like to read a good mystery? You'll love "A Vengeful Spirit" available in stores now."

     A major advantage on Twitter is using it to do a promotional contest.  I have already had 2 book giveaway contests and both were a huge success for me because both of them furthered my book's name in different ways.  How do you do a book giveaway?  I would suggest googling that and researching it.  There are many different ways to do it.  This is what I did.  My goal was to get my book's title out to as many people as possible.  So I tweeted: "Book giveaway on 9-30-09. Winner will be randomly drawn frm list of anyone who re-tweets this Plz RT #VSP"  Then at different times during the day I'd tweet that in different ways. (Some people only check Twitter in morning, others at lunch, and others only at night.)  The reason the tweet ends #VSP is so I can track the tweeting.  (The # is called a hashtag on Twitter.  I don't have room to teach that here.  Just google hashtags on Twitter and you'll find lots of info.)  At the end of each day I'd print out the list of those who had tweeted it.  Then on the 30th I went to random.org and put in the total number of tweets and it picked a number for me.  I counted down to that tweet and then announced on Twitter the winner.  Again, when announcing the winner your goal is to get your title out there.  So my tweet went "Congrats to ________for winning book giveaway of "A Vengeful Spirit" Didn't win? Ask for it in your store."  That was tweeted for 2 days at different times.  How did the book giveaways help me? After announcing my first winner, I found out she was a book reviewer!!  My book was in pre-release at this point, and she gave me my first book review! (And loved it!)  After she read the book she tweeted that she had reviewed it.  I tweeted the url to the review.  I put a link from my site to the review. AMAZING!  How would I have accomplished this without twitter? Who knows!  The second giveaway's winner is a reader in AUSTRALIA! Now, I live in NC in the USA and could not afford to market or advertise in Australia, but now I have a reader who's going to read the book and if he likes it...he'll tell his friends there about it!  THIS IS THE POWER OF TWITTER! People around the world are seeing you for free! (Once you start following more than 10 people I would encourage you to use seesmic (a computer app) to help you manage your Twitter acct)

     Now, I'm a Christian so I also use Twitter to tweet about God, Jesus, church, church activities, etc.  One night after church I started tweeting lines from hymns and my Twitter friends started tweeting the rest of the line.  I picked up 100 followers in just an hour doing this, and I wasn't even doing it for that reason! I was just interacting!

      While on Twitter I joined a mystery book club.  My book was the selection one month.  Two of the ladies wrote reviews and put them on their online blogs which I've linked to my website.   I currently have two upcoming radio interviews as a result of Twitter.  People in SIngapore, Australia, Canada, England, and I have no idea where else are my friends on Twitter and know me by name. Need I say more? Why aren't you tweeting yet????

 

 

I would love to help you with this.  If you have questions about any of the above, please email me at lizzy@lizzyarmentrout.com 

A site that will help you manage your tweets tweetlater.com  (It'll let you set up the day and times of tweets so you can tweet even while you're not at a computer.)

 

Follow me on twitter! @lizzyarmentrout

    

 

 

 

 


 

 

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2 Comments

Reply Lisa
3:46 PM on January 23, 2010 
Excellent information, Lizzy! And I can vouge for every bit of it, having watched you through the whole process! A textbook example with the results to prove it!
Reply K.M. Weiland
11:59 AM on November 25, 2009 
Excellent thoughts. I dove into the whole social media thing myself earlier this year, and my road plan sounds a lot like yours.