E-Marketing Strategy: 3 Ways to Engage Your Audiences Through Social Media
1. Contests. Using contests as a marketing tool is nothing new. But, due to the explosive and public nature of all of these social media platforms, a well-run contest can be enormously effective at reaching new people within your target audience. I have run Twitter contests that successfully reached 40,000 people for the price of one free book and 30 minutes.
There are several styles of contests you can try: an old radio-style contest (think "the 27th caller"), a photo or video contest, a writing contest, a trivia contest, a "photograph our books on your bookshelf" contest and so on. These are fun to invent and fun to play. I recommend running a contest once a week—at the same time each week so that people will know when to play.
2. The Giveaway. Giveaways are a much beloved tool of some social media marketers. They can be cheap and easy ways to motivate word-of-mouth recommendations. If you've got some books burning up shelf space that you'd like to off-load, look to your social media audience.
Pick a book to offer up—signed copies work well—and let people know that you'll send it off to the 1,000th person to "Like" you on Facebook, or the 5,000th person to follow you on Twitter, or—better yet—the 10,000th person to subscribe to your e-mail newsletter. Yes, you're effectively buying contact information, but it's a cheap, targeted, fun and public way to do it.
3. Access to the Experts. When all is said and done, your social media subscribers aren't following you for you. They're following you for your access to the content and authors they love. Therefore, the most effective arrows in your quiver are the authors themselves.
Use Twitter, Facebook and your blog to connect your authors and your readers. Hosting a Q&A session with an author on Twitter, for example, is a good way to garner a lot of quick and targeted attention. This type of session doesn't have to last any more than 30 minutes to be effective, and most authors will love to do it. The discussion generated during that time will reverberate throughout Twitter—as everybody who is participating in the discussion will be doing so publicly in the feeds of all their followers, advertising the discussion, the author, the book and you.