Social Media Marketing for Poets and Writers

Social Media Marketing for Poets and Writers

So, you have a new book and you can’t wait to develop a throng of eager buyers on Twitter and Facebook. Those of us who are active on social media have seen the fly-by-night writer who jumps on Twitter and Facebook after the book is out and tries to get a buzz going only to crash and burn. They post a few tweets and Facebook posts hoping the book will take off and sell as if opening a store, flinging open the doors and saying, “I’m here!” expecting eager buyers of poetry books to rush to Paypal or Amazon.

Those of us who have spent some time around these parts realize people don’t flock to you because of one great Tweet, or even a great book alone.  Most of us have wonderful friends that we have met on Twitter and have developed relationships with over time. We’ve all made mistakes learning the ropes, but there some ways to get your poetry marketing on the right track.

Poet on Poetry’s blog was born on April 23, 2011.  We are not the Huffington Post yet, but we will top 20,000 views in the next couple of days.  How did that happen when so many poetry blogs hunger for 200 views per month? How do you drive traffic to your shop once you’ve flung open the doors and put out the Open sign?
Well, that is my secret and I am not going to tell you.  

Just kidding, I am considering writing an ebook that will give you step-by -step instructions and tips.  Marketing on social media is different than marketing anywhere else in that it is even more about relationships than other forms of marketing. The biggest tip I can give you is to promote others-Follow them, Like their Facebook page, Follow their blogs.  Engage those people who interest you by sending them feedback and making comments on their blogs. Retweet them to everyone every chance you get.  In short, show Twitter love.

Let everyone who sees your avatar think of you as the biggest cheerleader for poetry and poets on social media. Be selective about who you cheer for, since people will be deciding if your ideas are worth clicking on. You want people to think, “I’m going to check out this link because this person usually promotes good stuff and is never just self promoting.”  Promote what you like and you think others might like. Develop a reputation for finding good poets and poetry sites and tweeting about them to your Followers.

You can always start with me!  I almost always Follow people who are Retweeting me and I always follow back people who comment on my blog, post on my blog or Like me and the blog, if I can find them!  I suggest if you Follow the blog with Google Follow that you send a message to me and tell me that you are Following just to be sure I realize you are there.  The other ways to follow the blog let me know when you join, Google doesn’t.

Twitter’s law: Before you ask other writers to read and retweet your material, read and retweet other writers. You build your credibility by promoting others and that karma is returned to you and works much better than constantly posting links promoting yourself. It may seem counter intuitive, that to get others to look at your work, you need to send them somewhere else, but it works. An added bonus is you will find some delightful people, ideas, poems and material that will inspire your own writing.

I’d love to hear your ideas!  What do you think works for marketing on Twitter and Facebook?  What irritates you about writers who  market on social media? What suggestions do you have for lowly poets out there looking for ways to sell their work? Do you have an amazing success story?  Please share!

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Write with you said...

Great post. I find using twitter and facebook also comes with its own etiquette which is sometimes hard to define. I generally follow back those who follow me (assuming they're not just spam fronts), and DM them saying thanks for following and asking them to stop by my blog.

As I was doing a freebie promo on a book last week, I included a code and link for them to get a free copy. To me, I was just saying thanks, but one of them then posted that I had "spammed" him. (rolling eyes). It just goes to show that sometimes even a gesture of appreciation can be misread.

Poet on Poetry said...

Yes, sometimes the etiquette rules can be hard to define but with a little time you'll see them more clearly. I used to send a Welcome DM asking people to view my blog until I got hundreds of them myself. I think a much better approach is to offer something to support others first and give them time to get to know you before offering them your free materials, which for most people is a way to promote themselves. Here is an example of the best introduction DM I have ever received and an example of giving before receiving which is Twitter's first rule:

@GettingWell4 1:00pm
Thx for following! Let me know what you want RT'd!

What do you think?