Social Media is not for hard-selling

9 Suggestions: What to Post on Social Media



Social Media Connects the World


People are on the Internet for one of two reasons: Either to solve a problem, or to be entertained.   Are you struggling to create daily numerous engaging “posts” on your Social Media sites?  Then you are not the only one on the search of great content. We all want to stand out from our “competition”.  On the other hand, creating content for Social Media should not end up in stress. In a former post I explained that blogs do not necessarily need to consist of written content, but also may be among others, videos, images, curated content, re-posts etc.  The same is true for Social Media content.  How can you achieve this:

Your Blogs Content
Connect all your Social Media sites and use a scheduling program to post at the best times of the day.  It enables you to publish your message to all of your social media channels at once.  The time you save frees you to communicate with your followers.  Using your blogs content lets you stand out among your peers and makes sure you have original content / messages that no one else posts.  Write posts that resonate with the things your audience cares most about.  Create a document or notepad and start listing your tweets and posts out of short sentences or headlines from your blog or website, add the URL – and voila!  you just have created an archive that you can copy / paste and use forever.

News Content
Ask questions and tease new stories to encourage people to comment and like. Try to find news in your field that is interesting for your followers. Avoid political and religious topics, as well as gossip. Bookmark the best news sites and comb through them, using their sharing buttons to post on your Social Media sites to save time.  Then spend this time to interact with your followers on a personal level. Relevant News provide something that is shareable, conversational, and engaging for Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social platforms.

Motivational Quotes
One of the most popular forms of inspirational content are quotes. Nearly everyone loves quotes! And especially quotes with images. Pinterest has helped to make them extremely popular.  Bestselling author Sean Gardner took it a step further:  “I searched online for inspirational content from my supporters, and then started making image quotes with what they wrote and/or said. I believe this is a powerful way for people to connect online.  The greater the diversity of positive, empowering statements, the greater the diversity of people sharing those points of views. ”

Interact with Followers
Are you a good party guest at the big Social Media party?  Are you commenting or asking questions?  Are you thanking your followers? Invite conversation by asking your followers’ opinions on topics, or asking them to tell you what sorts of content they would appreciate.  Everybody likes being asked, and fans and followers feel extra-appreciated when you fulfill these desires.  It’s all about conversation, that’s why it is called Social Media networking.

Videos and Slide-Shows
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, and creating a short video is very easy these days. Load it up to YouTube or any other video sharing site and post the URL for your video frequently on your Social Media sites.  On most of them visitors can click it directly to watch your content – and generates almost double the amount of visitors / views and attracts more content and likes or plusses on Google+.  The same is true for slide shares

When you are scrolling through the feeds on any social network, what’s the first thing to catch your eye?  I bet images!  No question, photos are THE most popular Social Media tool, and more appealing than text only.  Even if you are not a professional photographer you can use fantastic photos on Social Media – for free.  We listed several sources for free photos you can use on Social Media in former blog posts.  Photos generate more re-tweets and likes, but keep in mind that attaching an image to a Twitter post takes up approximately 11 of your characters.

Promote or Re-Blog other Posts
Retweets are a great way to get more followers.  By retweeting something that links to a website or blog, you are doing a service to the website mentioned and the person who originally tweeted the article!  Social Media is all about networking. Re-tweeting is a very important part of this.

Polls and Surveys
Most Social Media sites offer this option automatically. What could be a question for a poll or survey? You could ask your readers for example which one of the book covers for your next thriller or non-fiction book they like best. Survey Monkey offers a free program  that allows you to create a survey in minutes with our intuitive web based tool. PollSnack offers a similar program. shows in a YouTube video how it works on their site.


For a photo contest, you can encourage users to submit their own photos and videos in order to win a really attractive prize.  Another possibility would be to organize a “pay with a tweet’ contest to win a free book.  In an earlier blog we explained how fast and easy it is to set it up.  Don’t forget to highlight your contest winners in several posts later on.

Encouraging Results:
 joint research project by Stanford and Facebook where the perceived vs. actual audience sizes of 220,000 Facebook users were studied.  Each user was asked what they believed to be the size of their audience, then the research team compared this perceived size to an actual size, using server logs to gauge the true scope of a post’s audience.

The result: Your actual audience size is four times larger per post than what you think.  Great News!

Read also:
A Myth: Selling Books Through Social Media?
Are You a Good Party Guest?




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A Myth: Selling Books Through Social Media?



I am getting this question so often: Do I sell more books when I am on Twitter? Or Facebook? Or Google+? Or LinkedIn? These social mediums are part of the long-term strategy of building your author platform – only one of several places where you can engage with readers and, eventually, possibly, maybe, sell books to some of them. Author Tim Grahl wrote in an article: “Social media is not a mass strategy. It’s a 1-to-1 strategy.”


Social Media is Not for Hard-Selling – period!
It is what the name says: a Social Media place. You don’t go to a party because you want to sell your books there. You go to a party to meet people, to socialize, to have fun. Not all the Social Media places are equaly well situated to meet new people / future readers: Networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, often restrict their connections and information to people you already know. Choosing someone new on LinkedIn requires often that you have to give their email address, and on Facebook you are punished if you choose too many followers when you are not connected previously. More about the differences in Social Media can be found at a Bloomberg Businessweek article.

What Twitter Is:
Twitter is more mobile-friendly. That’s because Twitter was born as a mobile network, like Instagram was. Twitter is not meant as a family or friends affair.  On Twitter are no relationship statuses, photo albums, public “likes,” or open forum conversations with easily track-able dialogue, e.g. for potential employers or new relationships. Facebook in contrast will always appeal to people looking to reconnect with fellow students, old friends and their family members. Twitter is more a professional networking tool – e.g. perfect for writers – rather than a way to communicate with family and friends. Rachel Sprung listed 11 Guarantied Ways to Get Others to Re-Tweet Your Content:

Choose the Right Twitter Followers
If you want to connect with future readers on Social Media, then choose readers, book reviewers, book worms, avid readers, book bloggers and the like as followers. Get more tips in this blog post.
Twitter is meant for tailored follower groups, a world not made up of all of the people you have ever met but rather a community of people you admire or would like to know. How to avoid the wrong tweeps is explained in this blog post.

Benefits of Twitter:
Tweeting is an easy way for someone to support you. You can even provide pre-written tweet-able messages and a Click to Tweet link, so that all they have to do is one click. You can even use this method on free e-books.  Create a nice mixture of your own, really interesting tweets and do some re-tweeting.Follow others, tweet something valuable for others and don’t use Twitter only as a cheap way to advertise!If you want to become popular on Twitter and have your tweets go viral, learn how to use Twitter in a smart and social way, nurse your relationships – that’s what Twitter is there for.  Twitter is a tool that creates relationships and conversation – using it only for “advertising” would be devaluing the system. Read more about Social Media mistakes to avoid on Twitter.

Goodreads: Where Only Readers Meet
Not really considered widely as a Social Media site is Goodreads – even though they have more than 20 million users that chose Goodreads to learn more about books and their authors. Not to forget the ten-thousands of communities and groups for every kind of literature one can think of. Smart authors use and benefit from the countless features on Goodreads to connect with readers and reviewers, and to introduce their books to a really wide targeted audience.

What Else Can You Do to Increase Your Books’ Success?
To make yourself a name as a writer – and more important than to be on Social Media is to WRITE MORE. Your readers want to see content from you.  Write your next book! Write blogs, magazine and newspaper articles! Readers want to get more of your writing.  And if writing is really what you like to do, then write more!!!  Don’t limit yourself only to books!

- Place your book into the right category / genre and sub-genre (important for its success!)
- Create a second, separate BOOK PAGE on Amazon, Goodreads, Google+ and FB
- Set up a media press kit on your website with a link to your book trailer
- Start a Goodreads Giveaway a month before book launch (print book only)
- Write a blog post about the upcoming launch

- Ask friends to list your book under “Listmania” on Amazon & to LIKE your author page
- Exchange books for book shelves with your friends on Goodreads
- Participate in “Carnival of the Indies” blog carnival to promote your blog URL
- Send your books’ cover to cover contests
- Submit your blogs including a bio and URL link to even more e-Zines

- Offer interviews at Radio ( / local or national TV stations
- Make arrangements for interviews in newspapers or on book blogger’s sites
- Try to set you up to become a desirable guest expert on a talk or morning show
- Befriend influential book bloggers for even more reviews and articles
- Gather writing friends for cross-promotions and blog tours
- Add press clippings and articles, already published, to your website
- Get a new business card with images of all your books and sales links

- Place the books’ cover image & description daily on your Google+ stream
- Announce your book launch or book signing on Google+ for FREE
- Get even more friends, followers and people in your circles on social media sites
as you need lots of audience to spread the word about your new book!

- Sell your book to libraries (find out how the library orders)
- Let your book translate in other languages or sell foreign rights
- Split your (non-fiction) book in pieces and sell single articles to magazines
- Participate in writing contests and book awards



If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers:

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Tagged: Benefits of Twitter, does Social Media help to sell books, Selling books on Twitter?, social media for authors, Social Media is not for hard-selling, Social Media myths

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