The Simple Way to Start Your Social Media Research

Social media research is an integral part of building a strong social media strategy. It forms the building blocks of your social media campaign and is an incredibly helpful guide to get everyone on the same page in a short amount of time. With that being said, if this is your first time working on a social media strategy, it may seem daunting going into it. These tips will help ease your fears and break down the process.

    1. Know Your Book

The first step should be to know your book inside and out. This includes the genre, themes, target audience, and everything in between. In order to move on to the next step, you are going to need to know who you are trying to reach and why it’s important to reach them. Having a marketing plan is a great tool to help fill in the blanks in your knowledge. Collaboration is key in publishing.

    1. Find Your Muse

It’s really important that you take your time finding your muse. You want to find a recent book that has a similar target audience as your book in order to gain inspiration and to see how they utilize their social media accounts. It also helps if the two books share some overlapping themes as well.

    1. Visualize

Now that you have found a book and are inspired, it’s a great idea to create a visual using examples and short bullet points. This can either serve as a reminder for what you want to accomplish, or you can use it as a way to share your ideas with team members before you start finalizing the details. I recommend creating a Google Slide presentation to throw everything together. Remember to grab some screenshots and explain what you found inspiring and why. This is also great in case you have to present your ideas to project teams and associates.

    1. Write it Out

The final step is to write everything out. This is where you are going to have example posts, hashtags, and goals that you want to accomplish. It’s important to keep in mind your resources such as budget and man power when you are creating this. Some key points you should always include are target audience, platform focus, accounts you’re going to interact with, relevant tags, and any innovative ideas. But don’t focus solely on what you’ve seen. The book (or books) you have been looking at were merely inspiration—it’s important that your book has a unique presence.

This is a simple guide for those who are just starting out in social media, so take it as a starting point. The best resources are at your fingertips, so utilize them in any way that they inspire you; don’t feel like you have to follow someone else’s guide or rules. Social media is a fast-moving and overwhelming aspect of any industry, so remember to have fun with it.

Tips for Getting Your Author Ready for an Instagram Takeover

Social media is a great way to generate publicity for a book, and one trend that has recently gained popularity is Instagram takeovers. For authors who aren’t familiar with Instagram, the platform can look incredibly complicated at first glance. Knowing the basics of the platform is crucial, especially given the frequency with which it’s updated. In this post I will offer tips to get your Instagram-newbie author ready for a takeover in no time!

    1. Get Them Familiar with the Platform

Most takeovers usually happen on Instagram stories, but the buttons to add this content may not come across clearly. Make sure your author knows that in order to access this button, they will need to either swipe left or locate the circle at the top left of their screen. I always find that screenshots and examples are incredibly helpful in this step! A great way to get comfortable with this feature is to practice—have them create test posts on a private or personal account so that they have a better idea of what to do when the time comes. This will also allow you to gauge their understanding of the platform as well.

    1. Set Expectations

The idea of a takeover may seem overwhelming to authors who don’t know what to expect. They may ask questions like “How often should I post?” and “What kind of content do I share?” Giving your author some guidelines can help soothe some of this anxiety. Let them know specifics like how often they should post (i.e. once an hour vs. ten posts total), what the time frame is for their takeover, and what you and your viewers expect to see during that time. Make sure they know what they are getting into. I always recommend that authors share fun facts about themselves, pictures of their pets, and other material that allows viewers to get to know them. This will look different for everyone, so make sure you are as clear as possible every step of the way.

    1. Communicate

Given everything going on in the world with social distancing, virtual meetings, and geographical limitations, it is more important than ever to establish effective communication. While emailing back and forth is convenient, giving a step-by-step tutorial in text can be overwhelming. Sharing screens or having an audio connection is a great alternative that will help take stress off your author and make them feel like they aren’t alone in figuring this out.

    1. Know Your Resources

One of the great things about the “new normal” of virtual meetings is that it is easier than ever to find a video tutorial that can do some of the work for you. This video by Louise Henry is very in-depth and effective at covering all of the options that Instagram stories has to offer. In his tutorial, Dusty Porter offers a quick, but thorough, rundown on Instagram stories. These are just a few examples, but you always have the option to take matters into your own hands and screen-record your own tutorials as well.

    1. When in Doubt, Take Over

Some authors just won’t get the hang of Instagram, and that is okay! I recommend that you sit down with your author and plan out content that you can post for them: choose photos to share and create captions with together, or offer a Q&A session via email so followers can still have authentic engagement with the author. There are endless possibilities!

    1. Move On

An Instagram takeover will not make or break a campaign, so if things really aren’t working out, then it’s time to move on. With that being said, always be patient and allow your author the time and space to acclimate to Instagram. Only move on as a last resort.

Instagram takeovers are a fun and low-stress marketing tool that anyone can take advantage of. With these tips, you may be able to help your author in a big way! Just make sure to do your own research, because in the world of social media, the platforms we know and love can change in an instant.