Post, tweet, blog, repeat. Share, respond, retweet, repeat. As a writer, you may feel like you’re spending more time writing content for social media than writing your novel, short prose, or poetry. Yet social media engagement has become so vital that many traditional publishing contracts now have clauses that require writers have author websites and active online profiles. And the publishing industry has responded by producing a whole new breed of publicist: the social media consultant.
Social media consultants are marketing and publicity liaisons to the online world with expertise in social media venues, marketing strategies, and best practices. They also have connections to prominent influencers in the industry. What your social media consultant will do for you depends on your goals. Do you want to increase followers and fans in the most efficient way possible? Do you want to make the most of your advertising dollars? Are you re-branding your books, or building a whole new brand? Or do you want to develop a smart campaign for your next book launch?
Here Are Five Ways Writers Can Benefit By Using A Social Media Consultant:
Increase Followers And Fans
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social media networks. There’s also YouTube, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, Wattpad, etc., all of which serve different audiences. Your perfect social media consultant is one who has experience raising authors’ profiles, whether they write nonfiction diet books or speculative sci-fi/fantasy. A savvy consultant will focus your efforts on the precise social media venues where you’re likely to get the most engagement for your efforts.
Write Scintillating Content
Knowing where your customers hang out is only the first step in turning them into true-blue fans. You also need to write dazzling content to capture their attention and then engage with active posters. This can take a tremendous amount of time and effort. A social media consultant will share advice on best practices and help you draft fabulous content. Depending on your budget, your consultant can even monitor responses and answer queries to build a relationship with your readers for you.
Tweets scroll by on Twitter feeds with the swiftness of a sparrow, so knowing what time of the day the flock is thickest is crucial to the amplification of your message. A bigger audience increases your odds of getting more likes, retweets, and even clicks-to-buy. A consultant will keep tabs on specific data generated by your multiple social media venues to pinpoint when your audience is most engaged.
Support Social Synergy
A social media consultant may watch which hashtags are trending on Twitter to be alert to the possibility of connecting your brand, blog, or book to a popular, related, worldwide discussion. Your consultant will make sure your social media output stays on message and points back to a central hub, like your author website, to maximize sales and/or mailing list conversions, depending on your goal.
Strategize Events And Launches
A professional social media consultant will strategize with you on how to best build excitement online for your upcoming book launch. Just like in traditional media, efforts often begin six to eight months (or more) before the laydown date. Using contacts with publishing influencers like book bloggers, reviewers, and targeted fan sites, a social media consultant can arrange for reviews, online interviews, blogger contests, and publicity to be scheduled in a way that builds up to the big day, and then continues through those crucial first eight weeks. They’ll make sure every tweet, post, and blog includes prominent calls-to-action to encourage folks to buy.
Just like book publicists, no social media consultant can guarantee you a positive return on investment from their efforts. Only you can decide whether engaging a professional can free you from the demands of time and effort that social media requires so you can focus more on what you do best: Writing!
Question: How many hours a week do you spend crafting social media posts and responding to those who comment?