Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Penning Promos: Making It Easy for Fans to Retweet & Share

On my mind this week is Penning Promos: Making It Easy for Fans to Retweet & Share. As we march into the autumn release season, social media promotions for new and backlist books are on the rise. We're shaking off the summer sales slump and embracing the cooler curl-up-by-the-fire weather to catch the attention of readers (yes, yes, I know it's still Hellmouth hot outside in most places, but it is October). We all want to support the authors we love, and frankly, authors love the support.

As authors, what can we do to encourage sharing? Post promotions (not ads) that pique interest but don't fully satisfy it.

5 Tips for Sharable Promotions

1. Keep the Promo Short
This is where you use your 1 sentence hook + 2 hashtags + 1 universal link to buy + graphic/image.

See how Vivien was able to retweet with comment and still have BN's original tweet look great? See how BN's original tweet told us very succicently about the book? Yesssss.  That's our goal.

2. Use Hashtags Judiciously 
Limit your Hashtags to 3. One of those should always be your genre. Remember, hashtags are a way of including your post in targeted search results. Too obscure a hashtag and no one is going to be searching on that term. Too broad a hashtag and you're lost in the deluge.

3. Include a Graphic Sized for the Platform
We all know desktops,  tablets, and phones render images differently. The same goes for social media platforms. Using the right-sized image is how you prevent your fabulous book cover being cropped to a blurry boob-shot in someone's feed.
➡  Not sure what sizes to use? Try this 2019 social Media Image Cheat Sheet from MainStreetHost Marketing Agency.
➡ Looking for free image creation sites? Try Canva or Book Brush

4. Leverage Image Real Estate
Book cover + short quote + eye-catching background.  Don't overcrowd the graphic. Less is definitely more. It's a companion to your text promo. See how the image enhances the post?

5. Be Mindful of Platform Cropping Text and Image
Sure you can write a tome on Facebook (63k characters), but more than three lines of text and the dreaded "See More" pops up. Guess what? Most people don't click that. Plus, if fans share it with a comment (like "zomg, so awesome, buy it now!"), your original text gets shrunk and shortened (depending on platform).

What's the "right" length? Here are three sites with recommendations. YMMV.
➡ The Social Report,   HootsuiteInfluencer Marketing Hub

In summary, do yourself and your fans a favor, make easy to share social media promotions with properly sized graphics. Hook + hashtag + buy link + image.