Learn the basics about using social media as an author. Stand out to your fans and activate a community.

Your fans are scrolling. They browse their feeds quickly, moving through hundreds of posts from family photos to news and announcements. As an author, you might feel pressure to stand out in a busy space. As you shape your social media strategy for your new book, start with these tips to stand out — in a way that feels authentic and true to you.

Start a conversation

To build your brand as an author using social media, you’ve got to participate in the conversation. You’re unlikely to develop a following if your social presence only goes only one direction, so start with these suggestions.

  • Chat with your followers. Thoughtfully respond to comments on your posts, even just to say thanks for reading.
  • Consider featuring or recognizing fans who’ve mentioned you in their posts. Reward your fans for their interest.
  • Show some personality. While your audience is certainly interested in your writing, the most successful author accounts also give readers a glimpse of a three-dimensional personality behind the page. Fans enjoy getting to know the person behind the books.
  • Start the discussion. Ask questions of your followers. Ask them about their favorite reads, ask them for feedback — about a preview chapter you’ve released or another passage.
  • Converse with other authors. See where other authors post on social media, then contribute and participate when it’s an open discussion.
  • It takes time to build a following. You don’t have to be online all the time, but you can schedule “social media time” a few times a week to plan and post for your channels.

Provide a variety of content

To keep readers interested, vary the types of content you share on social media. You need to share key moments like when your book or pre-order will be available. You can also participate in discussions, share writing tips, or update followers on your progress.

Try using short passages from your book in posts. Try teasing new plot points that will get your fans excited about a new twist you’ll only reveal in the next book. Ask your followers a question about that plot point. Do they like it? Do they have suggestions?

You can also vary the media types that you share through your social channels. Post quotes from your book, photos of your bookshelves, or interesting points from your reviewers, even if they’re not 100% positive.

Of course, your big moments — posts that you might even consider for paid promotion — should take center stage on social media. The moment when you reveal your book cover is a great example of one of these big social media moments.

Use rich media

Just like a book cover, aim to make your posts intriguing and visually attractive. Try using imagery, photography, and video. There are great tools available for creating professional-looking images and videos for social media, and many of them are free.

  • Canva helps everyone create beautiful graphics for social media without the difficulty of other professional design apps. You can choose from their library of layouts for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and more.
  • Over just requires your thumb and an iPhone to quickly combine text and images for beautiful social media artwork. Create, customize, and share.
  • Unsplash is a resource for great photography to use in social media.
  • Unfold is an amazing app for creating social media stories. It provides templates and a collage editor to help you easily produce professional-looking posts.

Use one link

After you’ve got your fans interested, make sure you give them a way to act on that interest. In every post, include a single, direct link to your book’s product page on Apple Books.

Try using an app like Bitly to make short, branded links (or “vanity URLs”). It will also help measure your fans’ engagement with your links.

Or try a social media management app like Hootsuite or Buffer to save time and manage all your social media in one place. They provide tools to schedule posts and track the performance of your content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.