Unit 4: Reader Acquisition
Part 3: Paid Social Media Marketing
If you are very active on social media, you will notice that some posts appear more frequently on your feed, and if you look closely they will be marked as “sponsored posts”. The author of these posts pays to have them appear X amount of times over X amount of days in order to reach as wide a target as possible. This is paid social media marketing, and understanding how to use it to your advantage can help you reach more people via social media. The algorithms set in place by Facebook and Twitter don’t always allow your content to appear in front of the right amount of people at the right time, and therefore a paid campaign can strategically open your market up to a much wider audience.
Let’s take the two main platforms mentioned above, Twitter and Facebook, and look at how they work. While Twitter acts like a real-time reel of 140 character stories, news flashes, thoughts, and shout-outs, Facebook has more longevity, as statuses may appear on other peoples’ feeds for more than a few minutes. While the younger generation is moving from Facebook towards platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, it is still the preferred social network for 24-50 year olds. Both networks have their uses and benefits, and once you delve further into how they work you will see how different they are.
Let’s start with Twitter, and look into how you can use this platform to your advantage. You will need to define your main marketing objective and use that as your strategy: are you looking to sell more books, or are you looking to gain a wider sphere of influence? Are you ready to craft high quality 140 character messages on a very regular basis? Your aim will be to attract and garner followers by consistently posting content that will lead them to your landing page. Your aim will also be to incite retweets so that your information is shared to a wider audience. It is important to remember that tweets have a lifespan of about an hour, so you will need to schedule your posts frequently, making sure they attract the attention of an idly scrolling eye. Check out some other successful and up-and-coming authors’ Twitter feeds to see how often they post, and what kind of content their tweets contain.
With Facebook, you have the opportunity to craft longer pieces of content that also have a longer lifespan. While it is important to post often on Twitter, you can get away with a couple of posts on Facebook a day. As with Twitter it is important to define your objective, and to create content that engages people, attracts them to your page, and incites them to click through and share with others. The more fans “like” your page, the wider your audience will become. Remember to stay original, friendly, and interesting in your posts, as this will help organic shares via your fan base.
For both platforms, you will need to define your business objective, craft a plan of action, and remain consistent in your style, posts, and posting frequency.
Now that you have defined your business plans, you can go ahead and see how an ad works for you. Creating an ad on Facebook is very straightforward: as long as you have the content and creative parts ready, you know who your target audience is, and how often and how long you want to add to appear, you are good to go. Take a good look at your feed – you will probably notice some posts that appear frequently over the space of a few days or a week. These are sponsored, or paid, posts, and probably appear on your feed because you follow the business, have friends who follow the business, or because you are interested in a similar business. The same will happen to your paid post.
When it comes to Twitter you will be using Twitter’s Engagement Campaign process. You will want to define what you are promoting (a book, a pre-sale, or your mailing list for example), decide your target market, and identify keywords, followers, and interests that will help streamline who will see your ad. The keywords will be related to your promotion, the followers are the group of people you are targeting (for example, if you are promoting a YA novel you may want to target the followers of Rookie), and the interests are topics that the people you are targeting would be interested in. You can exclude certain topics if you want to narrow your target audience down to a very specific group. You will also need to compose or choose existing tweets that you would like to promote. Once you are all set with content and set-up you can choose your budget and launch your campaign. In addition to just a regular ad campaign, Twitter also allows you to add a Lead Generation card at an extra cost, which will allow you to collect emails for your mailing list.
Social media marketing should already be part of your overall business marketing plan. The different platforms available are a great way to promote your work, get your name out there, and encourage organic shares. Twitter and Facebook have good, low-cost, advertising processes in place that can really boost your coverage – as long as you spend the time crafting the best copy and objectives that you can!
Have you created a Facebook or Twitter ad? How did it go? If you’d like to discuss best practices, hop on over to the AuthorpreneurLaunch Forum. Let’s chat!
Growth Hacking Tip: Add an image to your Google+ profile for increased open rates
While you’re sending emails from a real person, you might as well add an image that will appear in the thumbnail of people’s inboxes as well. This will help reinforce that you are in fact a real person and can help boost open rates on your email mailouts.
Meal of the Week: I made pork chops with mashed potatoes and kale & carrots. 🐷🥔🥕
P.S. Next Step: Build Your Author Business Plan! – You’ll feel great once you complete your plan. The 8 modules can be completed in 1 weekend.
— Marquina (@Marquina) October 24, 2017
Also published on Medium.