• Margaret McGriff

How to Use Social Media as a Fiction Author

Updated: May 17


Many authors and editors think that the first place they should start with marketing is social media. You probably clicked on this blog post so you can finally get the answers to your most pressing questions.


  • How many times should I post to Instagram?

  • What should I post on Facebook?

  • Should I even be on Pinterest?


And I totally get it! A lot of book marketing advice tends to focus on social media to where you’re thinking that’s the only way you can market your books or editing services. With so much advice, tools, and tactics, it can get really overwhelming really fast! And what happens when the overwhelm hits? You either get stressed out and the quality of content suffers or you don’t do anything at all.


Neither one of those things moves our writer businesses forward.


The key to effective social media marketing, and marketing our books in general, is truly understanding the role social media plays in our writer business. And before we move on, there’s one thing you have to remember:


Social media is not the heart of our writer business. It’s not the thing that will make or break book sales or solely determine how many clients you’ll have. How many followers you have or how many likes a post gets is not going to equal book sales. On this blog, I talk about a lot of other forms of content that can also help you drive book sales and clients. Some of it you can use on social media, like videos and others are hosted on your website, like your blog where Google helps you get seen. Email marketing is its own type of content machine that doesn't necessarily rely on social media. There are a lot of tools you can use in your marketing toolbox.


Social media is just another marketing tool where you decide how it will work for you. Here’s how.


Use Social Media As a Distribution Channel

You can use social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook as a way to get your other types of content out to your tribe. For example, let's say you created a blog post on the history of pirates. You can use a snippet of that blog post as a caption on Instagram along with a cool Bookstagram image. You can create a Pinterest pin so when people click on it, they will go to that blog post. In both instances, you're not creating brand new content for the platform. You're actually taking what you already have and just reusing it in a way that will work on the social media platform of your choice. Social media is a tool to drive traffic to your blog, website, Amazon sales page, etc. You just put enough of that long-form content out there so people can discover it, click, and then go where you need them to go. Now when you think of social media in that sense, the stress and overwhelm of having to create new stuff all the time f dissipates, right?


Use Social Media to Connect with Your Tribe

Business and branding coach Michelle Knight said this on a live video and it really stuck with me, “ Social media is meant to be social”. Whenever I find myself getting stressed out or overwhelmed with social media, I go back to this concept. Social media can be a fun and engaging way to connect and grow your tribe of fans. Geeking out about a popular book release, gushing over fan art, raving about a movie, this using fun filters -- those are fun ways to engage with people on social media. You’re not stressing about how many followers you have today or how many likes a post gets. You’re having fun with your community by talking about the things you both love in common. So when you think of social media as a place for people with similar interests, goals, and struggles to congregate, it becomes easier to think about the content you want to share there.


Your turn! How do you use social media in your writer business? As a distribution channel? A place to be social? Or both?




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© 2019 by Margaret McGriff