1. Wasting time by trying to be everywhere and end up going nowhere
Instead choose one social media channel but produce good and consistent content. Start to build up your presence where you feel comfortable with the format. If you want to say things in just 280 characters, go to Twitter. If your friends are using TikTok but creating videos is not your thing, think twice. Otherwise your accounts will quickly turn into ghost towns if you don’t keep them updated and therefore you become tired from not seeing any results either.
2. Not knowing reader’s profile
In the beginning it’s a lot of testing because you don’t have many followers and therefore you don’t see many insights regarding the platform you use. For instance, Facebook starts providing info about your followers when you hit the first 100. However, I have found that libraries can provide valuable insights about your readership profile (depends on country). Many Estonian libraries use a public system where authors can track how frequently their books are lent out as well as information about the lender (age, sex, city). This info pays off when running online ads and targeting potential clients!
3. Mixing personal & professional accounts
One of the questions is: “Should I continue with my personal social media account, have one as an author or create a separate one for my book?”
If you separate the accounts, you need some content strategy. E.g. your author page is connected with the book-related things only (documenting your process, showing characters, sales promotions, events updates). Otherwise you likely run out of content ideas and feel that your professional & personal accounts share pretty much the same things. Because your book forms a very big part of your personal life. Or as many of your followers are your friends, they can get saturated with the same content coming from your accounts all the time and somebody could mark it as spam what’s not good for you.
Tip: If you plan to write more books in the future, it's good to start building your personal brand step by step and have a separate author account. You can also create a fanpage for your current book only but there you see a challenge when you want to write more books in the future.
The challenge I helped my client to overcome!
Terje is a first-time self-publisher from Estonia who had created for her book a separate Facebook page before our collaboration. However, she was randomly sharing the process about her book there and also on her personal Facebook and Instagram accounts. We started with creating content categories and choosing dates & times when her audience was the most active. But, one of the biggest challenges came when the book was published and we felt that all the content we now create is only sales related.
I came up with a creative solution that her followers enjoy: rather than thinking that the characters' "lives" ended with the publication of the book, I proposed to continue their fictional lives. For instance, a hippo, called “Otto” is dreaming about becoming a chef in the book but keeps postponing his dream. We decided that Otto finally made his dream come true and every week on Wednesdays we share new recipes that he cooks. As Terje herself likes cooking as well, we saw a good opportunity to unite these two things
Check Terje’s Facebook here.
P.S. If you’re a first-time self-publisher, there are 2 ways I can help you
1. Create a successful crowdfunding campaign
2. Create content strategy for your social media
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org