You invested tons of effort to write your book, and it was even harder to get it published. You didn’t have a team of publishers watching your back; you did all the work on your own. You’re proud of that piece, and you should be. Now, the marketing aspect is also your responsibility. You can hire a marketing team to manage the post-publication stages, but there is really no need for that, at least not before you become a celebrity in the world of literature. If you know how to use social media platforms, then you’re all set to start promoting your book.
Without proper promotion, you’ll have a problem. Don’t worry; you can handle it. In this post, we’re going to talk about the ways a social media publishing calendar can make the promotion of your book much more successful. We’ll also give you practical tips that will help you build such a calendar.
What Exactly Is a Social Media Calendar?
By now, you’ve probably realized that a huge part of your audience uses social media networks. Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Tumblr, Instagram, and YouTube are only a few of the channels that connect you with the readers. They post their reviews, questions, and all kinds of comments. However, you can’t just show up there, create a profile and expect a great rush of activity. You have to attract the audience through different updates and strategies that will help you build a greater base of followers. In other words – you need a plan.
A social media calendar is a marketing plan that summarizes all updates you plan to launch on different social media channels. Think about it this way: you’re a writer, so you have the power of the words. It’s not that difficult for you to think of effective updates that would attract the readers. However, you also need an editorial strategy that will help you allocate those updates wisely across social media.
The social media calendar is a chart that should be really easy to read. It helps you organize your activities on social media platforms, and it helps you achieve the purpose of the overall marketing plan.
Why Do You Need One?
You’re aware that some of your tweets, Facebook statuses, and updates on other channels perform well, but others don’t attract attention. The most common reason for that is failing to listen to the interests and needs of the target audience. You need to evaluate the interests of your audience, and use them to plan the posts you’re about to share. A social media calendar will help you post more effective updates.
The calendar will also prevent you from missing important dates. Let’s say you wrote a book with a theme from World War I. You can organize a series of posts around a calendar that reminds your followers about important milestones. You’ll also add reminders about different holidays, so you’ll connect with the readers from different nations and religious.
With a social media calendar, you’ll achieve a balance between the different social media channels you use. You don’t want to spam a certain network just because you noticed greater activity there, and keep neglecting all other channels. Your calendar will get you in a comfortable routine: you will plan, post, and communicate on several networks with frequency that’s not overwhelming, but stable and effective.
Another serious problem the calendar solves is posting in the wrong time. You need to observe the activity of your audience. Facebook, for example, achieves its peak in sharing content between 11am and 1pm, as well as at 9pm. These statistics show you the general activity peaks over social media channels, but your audience may be different, so you’ll need to observe it. Then, you’ll develop a calendar that schedules the post during the times when you get the best chance to get attention.
How to Create Your Social Media Calendar
You can download a premade template for your social media calendar if you don’t want to bother creating graphs. The template is a basic Excel spreadsheet with several tabs for different social media networks. If you don’t like this template, you can use your Google Calendar to plan the posts, or you can create your own Excel document.
- First of all, you need a monthly calendar, which gives you an overview of the overall promotional activities throughout the next months. Make sure to mark important dates and plan the development of the campaign in stages. For example, you can devote the first week of the month for posting excerpts from your book, along with nice images that will get tons of shares. During holidays, you can develop a holiday campaign and offer discounts on your book.
- Things will get a bit more complicated when you start planning the activity on different social media channels. For example, the Facebook Updates tab will include the date, time, and message for each post you’ll launch. You’ll plan the time of posting in accordance with the activity of the audience. Then, you’ll briefly outline the message you plan to share. If you’re planning to promote a link to your blog or website, you’ll include that one too. Finally, you’ll also add a note about the image or video you plan to accompany the post. You’ll repeat this planning process for every Facebook update you’re about to launch; and you’ll do the same for all other social media networks.
- Don’t forget to include curated content in your plan; not all updates have to be 100% unique and creative. Your audience is interested in the books and articles you recommend, so share some valuable content with them.
- Don’t worry; you don’t need to construct a detailed monthly plan for each social media profile you have. You can do that on a weekly basis, or you can plan the updates in the morning and then post them throughout the day. However, it’s important to keep them relevant to the monthly plan you’ve tailored.
- This calendar is still flexible, so you can adjust it as the promotional campaign goes from stage to stage. If, for example, you get important comments and questions from your readers, you’ll need to answer them. Thus, you should feel free to adjust the calendar according to the situation, but keep the main purpose in mind: effective promotion of your book.
Tools that Make Planning Easier
Your calendar includes specific posting times for different channels. Are you supposed to glue yourself to the tablet or smartphone and set reminders to post those updates as planned? Of course not! You can schedule the posts and use a tool that will automatically share them at the right time, on the right network. Here are some tools that will help you with that:
Your job didn’t end when you published that book. You’re a writer and a publisher, but you have to be a marketer, too. The social media calendar may be a complicated process to explain, but it’s really simple to maintain when you get into a routine. The plan will make a huge difference in the overall promotional campaign.
Antonio Tooley is a marketing specialist at an online writing service Edugeeksclub. He loves blogging about SMM, marketing, education and productivity. He’s also crazy about riding his bike and bumping into new people (when he’s on foot). He will be happy to meet you on Facebook and Twitter.