“Where do I start with social media?” is the number question I hear from authors, publishers, agents, and everyone else who is overwhelmed by the craziness of social media.

“Do I need to tweet?”
“What should I say on Twitter?”
“Do I need to be on LinkedIn?”
“Do I need a personal profile or a fan page?”
“Does Pinterest sell books?”
“Do I need a video trailer?”

I think there are two considerations that should guide your decision about what social media to pursue. Being thoughtful and strategic about these questions can mean the difference between a successful, sustainable campaign, and an awkward, short-lived attempt.

The first question to consider is the time commitment and level of interest of the person who will be executing the campaign. What can you manage? What is your current level of tech savviness? If you try to change all your behavior at once, and move too far out of your comfort zone, you’ll create an unsustainable situation. Start slow, and do what feels rewarding (possibly even fun) for you. The truth is you won’t do it at all if it’s not rewarding, and if you don’t feel like you’re learning… it’s worth it to realistically assess your comfort zone in the beginning and try to grow from there.

The second consideration is your audience. Is your book literary fiction? Then you should be on Goodreads and Facebook, targeting book clubs and engaging in conversations about literature. Is it YA? You should probably be on Instagram and Tumblr… Or do you have a fact-filled non-fiction title or a cookbook? Facebook and Pinterest work well for that type of content. If your book is a business book, a LinkedIn profile and advertising campaign is the right tactic. Understanding your audience’s current behavior and joining their conversations is key to making your social media messages resonate.

Email me at sarah at hey-sarah.com and let’s find the right plan for you. I create custom Social Media Playbooks that provide content AND specific directions and tips to help authors, publishers, and agents take control of a social media campaign/strategy.

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