Having a social media presence is important. Just ask people like President Obama, Kim Kardashian and even the world’s most notorious “Donald”. They would all likely tell you that social media is one of, if not the most important tool they’ve used on the road to success.

Ongoing promotion of their brands through social media channels continues to keep them in the public eye and top-of-mind with their target audience long after their initial launch.
As a self-published author, social media can and should mean all of those things to you too, if you know how to use it the right way.

But how exactly do you do that? Keep reading to find out some of the smartest ways you can use social media to promote your own unique brand.

Establish Social Pages on Relevant Platforms

In order to build a strong social media presence, you have to actually be on social media. But it’s not enough to just have one account if that social media space isn’t extremely relevant to your audience.

There are thousands of social platforms available to internet users. However, no matter what type of books you write or the kinds of people your target audience is made up of, if you have accounts at Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn you’ll very likely have access to at least 95% of them.

Goodreads is another awesome social media platform geared specifically towards authors and audiences eager to consume the bountiful fruits of their labor.

When you set your social media pages up, remember to be consistent with your branding across each platform. No matter which channel someone from your target audience visits, they should be able to tell at a glance that the page is connected to you and your brand.

One caveat however, is that maintaining several social accounts can become time consuming and distracting, so limit your focus to two or three of the top platforms and use them to really connect and engage with your audience.

Create an Interactive Community for Your Fans

Social media has forever changed the way that business people interact with their customers and fans.

Marketing used to be a very business-centric activity, where an entity would blast a single sales message out to many different potential consumers. In that type of scenario, there was no easy way to target specific consumers or for those consumers provide invaluable direct feedback to the company.

The advent of the internet and social media totally flipped this situation on its head, and today, marketing is completely consumer-centric. The customer expects to have an individualized and personal experience with whoever provides their goods and services.

Using social media to bring a large group of your fans together, offers the perfect opportunity to connect with them over your book ideas, get them excited about upcoming releases and lets them exchange directly with you. In turn, you receive priceless feedback about the different things they’d like to see from you in the future.

Building a strong social community, provides you with a never-ending source of inspiration and promotional opportunities to build on for years to come.

Develop a Regular Posting Schedule for Updates

The worst thing you could do after getting started with social media is to neglect your pages and let them sit for days, weeks and months without updates. Posting infrequently or in a haphazard way won’t win you any loyalty points with your audience.

One of the true secrets and cornerstones to establishing and maintaining a strong social media presence is having a regular posting schedule for updates and sticking to it through thick or thin.

The good news is that most social media platforms make this easy by letting you pre-schedule posts to go out at a certain time. You can plan your posts well in advance and have them go out at a set time even if you’re focused on something completely different at that moment.

Utilize Customer Feedback for Future Projects

When it comes to finding out exactly what your readers want, how often they want it and how they want it delivered, there’s no better way than by asking them directly.

Access to your fans and their thoughts is one of the ultimate advantages of establishing, maintaining and growing your brand through social media channels.

A simple but highly effective method of tapping into the needs and wants of your audience is known as social “listening”. It allows you to gather new ideas for your future writing projects and can even help you gauge what your audience thinks about a project you’re working on before you ever release it.

If you throw a well-thought out and provocative question to your audience, you can then sit back and “listen” to the conversation that unfolds.

Of course, you want to interact and respond to questions directed at you, but you want to spend most of your time reading and sifting through the responses and comments shared. You will no doubt find precious nuggets of gold waiting to be claimed.

And you don’t have to limit yourself to your own social channels. Network with other authors in your niche and “listen” to their audiences as well to find out what they’re interested in. Chances are you’ll learn something new and important about what they want.

Connect With Top Influencers in Your Space

A wonderful thing about social media is how close it brings us all together. These days, it’s not uncommon for someone to tweet their favorite star and actually get a response.

Another awesome thing about social media is that it has forged a way for everyday people to become very influential online.
You can use this to your advantage while promoting your brand and books, by connecting and building relationships with top influencers who have a very large social media followings and fans who would be interested in the type of books you have to offer.

Using these connections as leverage lets you tap into brand new, super-targeted audiences and works to enhance your credibility as an author worth paying attention to.

Take the time to figure out who the top influencers are in your space and make the effort to build relationships with them. Doing this always leads to more success and exposure for your brand.

Use Your Platforms to Launch New Book Offers

One of the truths of marketing products and services, is that it’s easier to sell a product, in this case – your book – to someone who has already bought from you than it is to sell to a complete stranger. This is where the power of building up your social media presence and your own fan-based community comes in.

Imagine always having a group of people who are ready, waiting and willing to buy your new books as soon as you release them?
This is one of the main secrets that propels star authors like J.K. Rowling and countless others like her along the path to self-publishing success.

The bottom line is that if you use it the right way, your social media presence could be one of the most important keys to your success with self-publishing.

Take the time to establish your pages, build up a strong community, nurture your fan base and connect with them on a deep level. Do that, and you’ll have the ability to tap into a regular and ever-renewing source of idea-sparking information and potential sales whenever you need inspiration or have a new book ready to promote.