As writers, you want to reach as many potential readers as possible. That means investing the time and energy into marketing yourself and your books, and one way to do that is with social media

But where should you start? How can you go about using social media to reach more readers? Read on for some tips

Determine Which Networks to Focus On

There are tons of social media networks—and more being created every day. You obviously can’t be active on every single network that exists. Nobody has the time for that! So, it’s important that you home in on two or three social media networks that will be best for you.

For writers, Twitter and Facebook seem to be the most active. If your book is image-based—whether it’s a coffee-table book or an illustrated children’s book—Instagram is a good option as well. Choose no more than three networks to spend your time on. Any more than that, and you’ll be spreading yourself too thin.

Engage, Engage, Engage

Whichever two or three networks you choose to focus on, make sure you go all in and be active! One of the worst social media mistakes you can make is to be lazy about engagement. Be sure to post frequently in your networks of choice, and also engage with other users. This means taking the time to like and comment on other users’ posts, and always respond to comments left on your posts or profile.

Use Hashtags Wisely

Ah, hashtags. The elusive and sometimes confusing factor of the social media world. Once only used for Twitter, now hashtags are used on virtually every social media network. When selecting hashtags to add to your post, keep them short and easy to remember. #ScienceFictionRomance is good. #AliensInLoveOnAnotherPlanetInAnotherGalaxy is not. Also, don’t use dozens of hashtags. It’s overwhelming. Instead, focus on less than six key hashtags.

The 80/20 Rule

Follow the 80/20 rule on social media: post informative, entertaining content 80 percent of the time, and self-promote 20 percent of the time. This may seem counterintuitive. After all, you’re on social media to sell books to new readers, right? So why wouldn’t you just push your books all the time? Well, to be frank, you shouldn’t do this because it’s annoying. No one likes to constantly have a sales pitch thrust in their face. If you are relentless with the self-promotion, you’ll lose followers—and quickly.

Instead, focus on posting relevant, interesting, and entertaining content. Are you a cookbook writer? Post about your favorite in-season produce. Do you write science-fiction? Post about sci-fi conventions in the area or the latest sci-fi theater releases.

By keeping these four pointers in mind, you can ensure that you’re on your way to using social media networks wisely . . . and to reaching more readers for your books.

Social media is just one way to reach more readers. If you’re interested in marketing your book in other ways, check out Palmetto Publishing’s marketing services!