A 2013 Infinite Dial Report by Edison Research highlighted interesting indicators for author entrepreneurs.
1. Consumers are using more social media channels than ever before, creating a possible challenge for some authors who want to focus on what they do best: write. However, to keep up with the changes, check a website such as Alltop.com, and click on Social Media Marketing. Or, (blatant self-promotion warning) you may want to subscribe to my blog, www.SocialMediaJustforWriters.com. Blogs that I subscribe to include Rachel Thompson, Joel Friedlander, and Livehacked.
2. A whopping 139 million (53 %) of Americans now own smartphones and other mobile devices (iPad, Android tablets, etc.). The amount of time people spend on a mobile device is growing at fourteen times the rate of desktop usage. Consequently, mobile navigation is the norm. This means that you’ll need to make sure that your website and e-newsletters can be easily viewed on these mobile devices. Since mobile devices provide a smaller space for reading text, images and short posts become increasingly critical.
3. People like to say that content is king, but what does this really mean? It means this: Endeavor to build your platform on the foundation of excellent writing. By consistently creating original content and including links to it on the social media networks you use, your influence will grow.
4. Facebook seems to be the platform that everyone loves to hate. Yet it’s difficult to argue its significance with its base of more than a billion users. Be sure to take advantage of its Graph Search feature (the ability to search by keywords on Facebook) by using keywords in your descriptions. These keywords can include hashtags (words that when preceded by a # become hyperlinked) #Southern #novel, #memoir, #shortstories, #thriller, etc. Pack the general description for your Facebook author page with keywords that best describe your books.
5. Branded content — content for social media created by businesses and corporations such as LL Bean or Zappos — appears in users’ Facebook news feeds (the Home tab). These posts appear either because you have liked a company’s Facebook page or the company pays to “boost” their status update with advertising dollars. You, too, can boost branded content. If you allocate as little as $30 per month to boost some of your posts for your Facebook author page, those posts will better penetrate your fans’ news feeds and widen the circle of readers who will find you.
6. Twitter is an essential platform for writers. The Edison report found that only 11% of Americans had never heard of Twitter, which means that 89% are at least familiar with it. If you had to select just one social media platform (something I don’t recommend), Twitter would be the essential online venue for you.
Reprinted from “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com