It’s been stated repeatedly that social media sites like Instagram and TikTok are the new ultimate sales and marketing platforms.
You can run entire businesses from having accounts on these two sites, and influencers are now some of the most sought-after experts that businesses want on their contact sheet.
There are all sorts of influencers; the ones you’ll be most familiar with are dancers, models, and fashion enthusiast who benefit extremely well from the aesthetic-based algorithms of Instagram and TikTok. However, #bookstagram and #booktok are some of the most followed hashtags on the two sites and features thousands of accounts and social media blogs dedicated to reviewing and promoting the latest popular literature covering the tables at Waterstones and hitting bestseller lists.
These social media book blogs have created internet sensations (Colleen Hoover, Sally Rooney, Sarah J Maas, etc.) and this online popularity translates into impressive sales for the authors and the publishing companies. So, how have book businesses nailed social media marketing and what can you emulate to create success for your own business?
Unfortunately, we do judge books by their covers
As fickle as it might sound, sometimes a pretty picture is all it takes. Book cover designs are incredibly important to dedicated, hardcore book lovers and if a book has an unfortunately boring or generic cover, it might just not catch people’s eye in shops or online. Unique, gorgeous book covers can propel a book into online stardom because people want to share the images they can create around the book’s design. Publishers, designer, and printers understand this very well; they know they need to create a cover that stands out on shelves for all the right reasons. That’s how they can pull bloggers and book-influencers in to share photographs, images, and videos of the book to their online audiences, encouraging more and more interest in the book with the well-designed cover.
Whatever industry you’re trading in, clever graphic design, sleek branding, and carefully considered images will boost your reach on social media platforms. Good photography and fun videos will increase user engagement will your profile, improving your ranking, and the more shareable your content, the better your reach. Visuals are incredibly important, and they come from the root of your business: branding, product design, font, colour scheme, imagery, etc.
Promotional items to relevant influencers
Publishers know if they want to be absolutely sure certain book-influencers will read, review, and share their latest books, they need to offer the right incentives. Providing free copies in exchange for a few posts or stories about the books is the main strategy for getting books on the right profiles. Publishers also provide bloggers and influencers the opportunity to sign up to PR lists, where they let them know which books will be released across a certain time period and people can request pre-release copies of the books to create interest before the book hits shelves.
How does this work for you? If you sell a certain type of product, finding the relevant social media accounts with your target market and forming a mutually beneficial relationships with the owners of those accounts can massively boost your marketing campaigns. Larger influencers will expect set payments, which will vary on the number of posts/stories that you want. These types of posts tend to come across as less sincere; a good strategy is to thoroughly research your market and find micro-influencers you think will honestly enjoy your product or service and send them a promotional product to try and review on your behalf. Not only does the influencer feel more inclined to post positively about your business because it is relevant to them, but overall, the promotion will seem more genuine and transparent.
Position yourself as a source of information
Publishers and book-influencers have created information platforms for book lovers: they report on what is coming out, book-related events, which pieces of literature are worth reading and which aren’t, additional products and gifts that might interest them. Publisher social media accounts are a lot of readers’ first point-of-call when they want to know about new books or book deals.
You want to make sure you are sharing posts about your products or services, but you also want to establish yourself as an industry expert and source of knowledge. It encourages more people to follow your platform, even if your products aren’t entirely useful to them. The specific information or advice you provide followers might be the reason someone recommends your business or returns to you when they need someone with your particular product or skills. It makes your brand memorable and reliable.