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A Social Media Marketing Plan

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A Social Media Marketing Plan

by Dana Lynn Smith

Social media can provide great ways to promote books, but you’ll save time and be more effective if you do some planning before you dive in. The steps outlined below will help you develop an effective social marketing plan.

Think about the other promotional tactics you are already using and how social media fits in with them.

Decide how social marketing should rank in comparison with your other marketing activities. How many hours a week can you devote to it?

Determine what target audiences you want to reach through social marketing. For example:



  • potential new customers
  • key influencers
  • peers and other experts in the relevant field(s) or genre(s)
  • publishing and marketing professionals


Set objectives, describing what you hope to gain by marketing through social media. For instance, you might want to:


  • increase visibility and name or brand recognition
  • establish yourself as an expert
  • develop relationships with others in your field or genre
  • drive traffic to your Web site (directly and through enhanced search engine optimization)
  • sell books and other products and services
  • develop relationships with potential joint venture partners

Based on your objectives, set specific, achievable, and measurable goals for your social marketing activities. For example:


  • add five new incoming links to your Web site this month
  • double the traffic to your site within two months
  • increase your opt-in mailing list by 25 percent within three months
  • increase book sales by 10 percent within two months

Develop your branding. Here are some ways to do that:


  • Get good quality headshot author photos, in low-resolution format, to use in all online marketing activities.
  • Decide what “user name” you want to be known by online. Nonfiction authors should develop a short tagline that reflects their specific area of expertise.
  • Write standard bios in several lengths.
  • Create an online signature for emails and online forums that includes book title, company name, Web site and blog addresses, and one or two social network contact lines.

Determine which social marketing tactics offer the best fit for your book, your audiences, your objectives, and your available time. Social marketing activities can include:


  • social blogging (commenting on blogs, doing blog tours)
  • social networking (Facebook, MySpace)
  • microblogging (Twitter)
  • virtual reader communities (Goodreads, LibraryThing)
  • online forums
  • expert sites and wikis (Squidoo, HubPages)
  • media and content-sharing sites (YouTube, Flickr)
  • social news and bookmarking (StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious)

Decide how you will measure the effectiveness of your social marketing efforts. What metrics will you track, and what tools will you use? Metrics you might track include:


  • friends or followers on social networks
  • articles or pages posted on expert sites or article sites
  • sales of books and other products and services
  • business contacts (peers, influencers, media, potential partners)
  • visitors to your Web site and blog
  • weekly unique visitors and return visitors to your Web site and blog
  • subscribers to your mailing list and blog
  • inbound links to your Web site and blog

Implement your chosen social marketing tactics, one at a time.

Evaluate your progress periodically. Can you tell which activities are generating the best results? Are some activities taking up too much of your time? Make adjustments to your strategy as necessary.

Dana Lynn Smith is a book marketing coach and author of The Savvy Book Marketer’s Guide to Successful Social Marketing, SavvyBookMarketer.com. For free book marketing tips, visit BookMarketingMaven.com.



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