A few weeks ago, we touched on the use of social media to brand your KDP enterprise. So, by now you should be, if not an expert on the topic, at least incredibly well-versed. Your social media branding game should be so good that you are becoming a recognizable brand among the digital window-shoppers.
Okay, but how do you convert browsers into buyers? Branding is awesome, but you don’t want to be like that expensive Hermes handbag: looks stunning but it’s out of reach for a variety of reasons (or at least that’s what I tell my wife each Christmas). Your storefront looks great – now you have to give people a reason to come in and buy.
SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGERY AND VIDEO CONTENT THAT CONVERTS
Ah, I recall the glory days when all it took to sell a book was a cover, a billboard, a window sign, some well-placed ads that didn’t need to look any different from each other…and a deal with a gargantuan publishing house.
Back in the day, getting a publisher to make such a deal was like winning the lottery, and the odds were against you. But, once you got the deal, you had the resources of a bookselling machine to do the work of getting your work into the hands of readers, and checks into yours.
Now, that barrier to entry has been removed. You are your own publisher.
Hooray for you: now you have to do all the other work the publisher would do for a writer, but in an exponentially more competitive and splintered market. One size will not fit all, and you need to tailor your sales pitch in such a way not only to speak to tiny pockets of interested readers, but louder than all the other voices vying for their attention.
Here are important thing to know about using social media effectively:
Each social platform has its own vibe. Your imagery needs to match that. Think vibrant and eye-catching for Instagram, professional and polished for LinkedIn, quirky and fun for TikTok.
- Strategies for Instagram and Stories: Your first image or video is like the headline of your ad; it needs to grab attention. Use high-quality images of your book cover, engaging teasers, or even snippets of reviews.
- Effective Videos for TikTok and YouTube: Tailor your content for the platform. On TikTok, hop on trending book challenges or create snappy book trailers. On YouTube, longer author interviews or in-depth book discussions work well.
UTILIZING DIRECT PURCHASE OPTIONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
When I tell younger people that we are living in the future I imagined as a kid (except for all the war and famine and lack of jet-packs), I point out that, when I was a kid in the 1960s and 70s, I envisioned a world where you could watch a TV show, see something in the show that you liked, touch the item on the TV screen and buy it right there.
“You’re watching ‘Star Trek,’ I would tell my friends, “and you can click on Captain Kirk’s phaser and ‘BOOM’ someone sends you a model or toy of the phaser.”
What my friends thought was lunacy as we played with our lawn darts, Klick-Klacks and Easy-Bake ovens (Google them – it’s a wonder we’re still alive) is now as real as Dick Tracy’s “Two Way Wrist Radio” watch.
- Direct Purchase on Platforms: Platforms like Instagram and Facebook now offer direct purchase options. Link your KDP listing directly in your posts – it’s like having a ‘Buy Now’ button right there.
- Maximizing Conversions: Ensure your social media profiles are optimized to lead potential readers directly to your KDP listings. Make the journey from post to purchase as seamless as possible.
PLATFORM-SPECIFIC MARKETING STRATEGIES
Now that the “click to buy” feature is available for your social media platforms, you still have to compel potential customers to use it. Each social media platform is a different beast, and they each require a unique approach.
- Instagram: Utilize hashtags, engage through stories, and create visually appealing book teasers.
- Facebook: Leverage groups, do live readings, and explore Facebook Shop integration for direct sales.
- Pinterest: Pin your book covers, create thematic boards related to your book’s content or genre.
- TikTok: Participate in book trends, host author Q&As, and share engaging book trailers.
INEFFECTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES FOR KDP AUTHORS
Just as important as what to do is what not to do. And it’s pretty simple:
- Don’t spam your followers with constant sales pitches.
- Avoid using low-quality visuals or off-brand content.
- Be wary of tactics that might work on one platform but fall flat on another.
LEVERAGING INFLUENCERS IN THE BOOK COMMUNITY
If word-of-mouth is the still the most reliable way for customers to consider buying your product, think of influencers as word-of-mouth on steroids, put in a blender with the role of spokesperson, PR consultant and Consumer Reports (if Consumer Reports could be bought).
Yes, you will need to pay these folks. But I they are trusted authorities in their niches, their commercial value is their credibility. If they don’t like your product, chances are they’re not just going to take your check. Those who do and still claim high viewership numbers are most likely “churning” viewers just to keep their numbers up.
- Recruiting the Right Influencers: Find influencers who resonate with your genre and have an engaged audience. It’s not just about follower numbers; it’s about the right fit.
- Best Practices for Collaborations: Be clear about what you expect from the collaboration and how it will benefit both parties. Track the impact of these partnerships on your book sales to gauge their effectiveness.
BUILDING A COMMUNITY AROUND YOUR BOOKS
Social media is more than a marketing platform; it’s a community-building tool.
- Engaging with Followers: Create interactive content like polls, Q&As, and book discussions. Share insights into your writing process and invite feedback.
- Successful Author Examples: Look at KDP authors who’ve built a loyal following on social media. What strategies do they use to engage and grow their audience?
MONITORING AND ADAPTING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
The only constant in social media is change.
- Evaluating Effectiveness: Regularly review your social media analytics. Which posts get the most engagement? What time of day does your audience seem most active?
- Adapting to Feedback and Trends: Stay flexible and ready to tweak your strategy based on what’s working. Keep an eye on evolving trends and reader preferences to stay relevant.
So, there you have it – a battle plan for conquering the social media landscape as a KDP author. It’s about being seen, heard, and felt in the digital world. Dive into these strategies, experiment with different approaches, and watch as your KDP books soar to new heights.
So, what social media strategies have worked for you as a KDP publisher? Any lessons learned the hard way? Share your stories, ask questions, or seek advice – let’s learn and grow together in this crazy, ever-changing world of book marketing.