Can you automate social media book promotion?
Spending hours every day promoting a book is hard work and time-consuming. It is often counter-productive as it eats into your writing time.
Endlessly adding posts manually to your social networks can help. But is all this hard work effective? The answer is probably yes, but only to some degree.
Wouldn’t it be better if you could save a lot of time on these repetitive tasks? Can you spend more time writing, but still have your books promoted effectively?
There is no doubt that the Internet and social media marketing are the best ways to market your books.
So it is natural that exposure on social media and Google and Bing search are the best means of letting the world know about your book.
The key to gaining market traction and sell your book, however, is to work smart and not necessarily hard to access these routes.
A little automation and much better social media sharing and scheduling will help you plan a better marketing strategy and be a better social media manager.
To do this, you will need a self-hosted WordPress site and a social sharing plug-in to start sharing social media content.
Most web hosting services now offer one-click installation of a self-hosted WordPress site, and prices for annual web hosting are very cheap.
My host is not one of the cheapest around. But it still only costs me a little over $100 per year for hosting up to 25 websites.
You will also need a premium WordPress plug-in that will become your auto social media posting schedule manager to post your book and related content to your social media accounts directly from your WordPress site.
The best plugins
The following two plugins are popular with content marketers, especially for evergreen content.
I use Revive Old Posts, which is easy to set up and use and is very flexible. There is a free version you can try at first, but it lacks the full functionality of the premium version.
I also use SNAP Social Media Poster, which is cheaper, but it requires some technical knowledge to set up.
Again, there is a free version to try. But it is limited to post automatically to only a few social media services.
Once you have your blog set up, add all the pages for each of your books. Then write some blog posts about your books.
You can easily import your existing blog posts from a free WordPress site or even import from Blogger.
Now all you need to do is set up your Facebook page, Twitter, and LinkedIn account on Revive Old Post or SNAP.
Then set your schedule to post all your promotional book pages, your existing blog posts, and perhaps your book trailers.
If you want to access many more social media platforms or automatically post your new blog posts from your site’s RSS feed, you should consider using SNAP Social Media Poster.
I use these two plugins together on one of my blogs, and they do not conflict with each other.
How automation works
To see how all this works in action, you can take a look at my personal Twitter account. It is using this technique for sharing content.
Take note that my book promotion posts are spaced out on a schedule to allow for a lot of quality content from my blogs in between.
My Twitter feed posts content from my website, my personal blog, and this blog.
Scheduling from Revive Old Posts or SNAP will depend on the amount of content you have.
You don’t want to keep posting the same posts and your book cover over and over again.
You might find that once a day on Facebook and twice a day on Twitter works for you.
Or, posting a little more often on weekends on your social media channels could bring good results. You can also set a time to post, so you could select evenings or late afternoon.
Using social media automation tools and setting your social media activity from WordPress is quite easy, but creating great content takes more time.
The key benefit of automated social sharing is to drive more traffic to your blog. It will improve your blog’s traffic and search ranking. And, of course, get more exposure and sales for your books.
Once you set it up, it is far less time consuming than email marketing.
To these ends, consider writing more evergreen blog posts, which are much more shareable types of content over a long period of time.
Also, don’t have only one page on your blog for each of your books.
Create multiple pages and posts. When you share, there will be a greater variety of content to promote your titles on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.
The cost of top quality web hosting is not expensive now.
So you could even consider having more than one website or blog.
It is not unusual for authors who look at self-publishing as a small business venture to have separate websites for each of their books.
Sit back, relax, and write more
It will take a while to get your new blog set up to automate social media book promotion.
But once you have done so, you will have much more time to do what you really should be doing. Writing more productively on your blog and writing more books.
There will always be a debate about automation on social media.
I live in Europe and get a large proportion of my blog and social media traffic from the US. Automation helps me get content out at the best time of the day, which happens to be in the evening or when I am sleeping.
I prefer to have dinner in peace and sleep instead of posting about my books on social media.
But, keep it personal
How you use automation is up to you. But don’t forget about your social listening.
If you use it wisely, automation is a great tool and a huge time saver. But don’t become a robot and let automation replace you.
Never lose your personal touch. Make sure you respond in good time to people who reply, like, or comment on your automated posts. And especially online contacts who tell you that they have read your book.
I check my social media accounts and blogs at least three times per day. I try to respond to every comment, with either a reply or at least a like click.
By doing so, you can still keep your social media feeds feeling personal, even if you respond a few hours later than you usually would.
So, automate for sure. But stay connected with your social media followers, blog commenters, and of course, your readers and book buyers.