Creating Connection: Tips to Promote Your Textbook on Social Media
Social media can be an extremely powerful marketing tool for your book, but only if you leverage it wisely and approach it with a strategic plan. Whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or other platforms, here are some universal tips to help you cultivate an audience, provide followers with valuable information, market your textbook, and have a little fun along the way.
First, embrace the “social” in social media. The power of social media resides in its reach. It’s not enough to create a social media account and post some content. You need that content to be seen, and it won’t be seen if you don’t first cultivate an audience.
For academics, an effective way to attract followers is through sharing thought leadership and engaging in conversations. If there’s something in the news that relates to your areas of academic research and expertise—or any of the topical areas of your book—post about it. Write articles and blog posts. Share ideas related to your research. Engage in scholarly conversations with others on social media. These efforts can build your reputation as a thought leader, and when your textbook goes to print, you’ll have individuals who are already interested in your book, because they are already interested in you and what you have to say.
Ask for help to expand your reach. When your textbook is fully available, reach out to close contacts in your network and ask if they’d be willing to post about your book on their own social media accounts (this is especially impactful if they have large social media followings and/or are notable individuals within your academic discipline). Every boost helps, whether it’s the simple act of sharing your original post or creating a short personal statement about why others should check out your book.
Consistent content is key. Posting about your book one time is not likely to result in adoptions or sales of your text. You have to commit to posting consistently and providing your followers with valuable information, whether it is directly related to your textbook or not. If you are quoted in articles, publish peer-reviewed work, publish blog posts, speak on podcasts, are promoted, participate in panels or conferences, post about it! If any of these activities relate to the content in your book in any way, be sure to mention your book.
Let’s get visual. Images are extremely valuable when it comes to social media marketing. They are more appealing than text and can catch attention while people are scrolling through their feeds. Ask your publisher for a file of your book’s cover that you can post to social media. Post pictures of people holding a physical copy of your book when it’s published.
Let your personality shine through. If you’re being disingenuous on social media or only posting what you think you should, your followers will be able to tell. Be yourself. After all, you are your greatest marketing tool. If you’re energetic in person, let that come across in your posts. If you’re passionate about your area of expertise, show people your passion. If you rely heavily on research and logic, your posts will share information and help to educate others. Embrace what makes you unique as an individual, an academic, and an author.
Always include a link to where interested parties can learn more about your book and buy a copy. Ultimately, you want social media posts related to your book to inspire adoptions and sales. Make it as easy as possible for anyone who is interested in your book to click a link and discover additional information about your text.