When it comes to social media for authors, there is a multitude of options out there. Different people recommend a plethora of platforms to choose from, and others will say to choose one without giving any specifics on where to pick based on what you want out of it.
I’ve spent countless years trying to understand which social media platforms work for me as an author and have seen that there are pros and cons for each.
Facebook: the pillar of social media platforms. So many have accounts on there, and most are endlessly scrolling on their newsfeed looking for their next dopamine injection.
This can be a great starting point and hub for so much of your social media posts. However, keep in mind that Facebook has a primary audience of older populations. You won’t find teenagers on Facebook nearly as much as Gen X, Boomers, and Millennials.
Whenever you post on Facebook, make sure to use imagery to catch people’s attention. Large amounts of text cause readers to scroll quickly past because they don’t want to read long text messages. If you break it up into smaller chunks and use a picture relevant to the text, then you have an advantage over others taking up space on the feed.
My recommendation is to approach groups versus just your page. You can share information about your writing on your page, but groups are where you interact with readers in your genre.
Another benefit of Facebook is how intuitive the ads are. You can target a multitude of large-scale published authors and interests while spreading the word about your book or freebie.
The social media of food blogs. At least, that’s what Instagram used to be known for. Nowadays, they have branched into so many different themes and topics that you can always find a space.
Instagram is where you might want to reach out to Millennials who love visuals in their imagery versus the content of the post itself. Because of that, you want to design graphics that make your readers want to read about it.
Like Facebook, Instagram also possesses an intuitive ad manager built through Meta Business Manager.
The new kid on the block. Right now, this is my favorite social media for authors. It’s still constantly growing, and there’s a vast amount of room for growth compared to any other social media out there today.
It’s not all dancing and music either. There’s an entire section of TikTok called BookTok where readers and writers join to talk about books and book-related content.
Most of the readers on TikTok are younger Millennials and older Gen Z. However, there’s a large audience within the other age ranges as well. If you write romance or fantasy with a romantic subplot of any kind, this is the perfect social media for authors.
Although you will see ads constantly showing up, it’s not a perfected science and may cause you to lose money as people are looking to be entertained versus buying something immediately.
I wouldn’t personally consider Pinterest a social media for authors. If anything, it’s closer to a search engine than a social media. There are comment functions and the ability to like specific pins, but when was the last time you used that function?
Likely, when you go on Pinterest, you use it by searching for specific topics and pin stuff that is relevant to you. That’s what readers are doing too.
Plenty of readers go onto Pinterest to find their next book. Whether that is reviews or covers that immediately catch their eyes, they are looking. Your job is to create boards and pins relevant to your genre that interests readers to follow you and see more of what you have to offer.
Most users on Pinterest are moms. If your books target those readers, then make sure you take advantage of them.
Pinterest also has ads available. However, Pinterest doesn’t have as high of an ROI for readers to purchase books right away. Instead, they may pin your cover and buy it later, which makes it harder to measure the quality of ads.
Don’t look to Twitter to sell your books. Twitter is a social media for authors that’s not so much to connect with readers, but rather to connect with other authors, publishers, and agents. You’re spending more time communicating and networking through replies than making your tweets.
Avoid using Twitter as an echo chamber. Tweets without hashtags and a lack of interaction with others rarely get seen by others. You might have someone that follows you see it, but you have to get them as a follower first.
Where Facebook and other social media platforms hide posts that include links, Twitter tends to show everything to your followers as it populates timewise. This is both a positive and negative. Your tweets will never be hidden, but you will only be seen during that period. Constantly posting throughout the day is a great objective, so more people see you.
Overall, make sure to look at Twitter as a form of connecting with others versus you trying to sell your books.
Where Twitter is great when it comes to networking with other authors or agents, LinkedIn has its community to network with. If you’re writing non-fiction targeting business professionals, this would be where you should look.
Looking at LinkedIn, it’s all about finding a career or talking with others in your field in a professional manner. You’re sharing educational material that helps your audience. This builds credibility amongst your target audience and makes them interested in what you have to say.
When you’re on LinkedIn, look to gather people within your immediate circle relevant to your audience. The more people you have within your circle, the more who will see what you have to say.
These new audiences are also used to gather leads to sell other services such as speaking gigs or classes versus selling your book outright.
After learning about the different social media for authors, think about who you want to reach. Is it the young generation, or an older business-minded person? When you have that in mind, pick one or two at most in the beginning and master it.
Although I do mention specific genres that do better on different platforms, you can still break from this. Some young adult authors find an audience on Instagram, and there are horror authors who find a spot within TikTok. Don’t let the general population persuade you to avoid the platform, but don’t fully ignore it either.