Is book promotion using social media engagement a waste of time?
When your basic aim as an author is to sell books, social media engagement can be a very real distraction, as well as a poor means of delivering new paying readers.
Sure, social media is the ‘go to‘ promotional platform for almost all authors, but what does social media engagement really achieve?
I would say, very little, even though the likes of Facebook and Twitter make it their business to tell you in their reports how well you are doing on their respective social media engagement measures.
The truth of the matter is, however, that no matter how many shares, likes, favourites, retweets or profile views you get, not one of these engagements take the user to where you want them to go – to your book sales page on Amazon or any other retailer, let alone your blog or website.
All of these engagement actions are passive and are often simply a reflex by users. I know in my own case, I have many followers who habitually retweet, like or favourite every post I make.
It’s nice for sure, but what does it achieve? Perhaps a few new followers, but that is about it.
Even when using paid advertising on Facebook or Twitter, they both happily report how successful your campaign has been, but by engagement measures, and it takes some real digging into their data to discover how few real clicks through to Amazon were achieved.
So, is it worth abandoning social media?
No. Of course, there is a benefit, but it is only by way of constant exposure and keeping your name and books in front of peoples’ eyes, with the hope that one day they will take a closer look.
One tip! If you are linking from social media to your blog or website, always, and I mean always imbed a link in your book cover images to go to directly your Amazon page, as so many users of social media are connecting by mobile devices nowadays, so clicking images is imperative for mobile users, as text links are easily missed or too small to click on a phone.
In the end, when it comes to selling books, I still believe that categories and search keywords on Amazon and Smashwords are far more powerful and beneficial, so perhaps spend less time and effort on social media, and spend more on learning how to better leverage search metadata for your books, because readers who are ready to buy a new book go directly to Amazon to find what they are looking for.
Book buyers never search Facebook or Twitter likes and retweets for a new book to read, do they?