How To Use Social Media to Launch a Best Selling Book

By Megan McMahon If you haven’t already heard, Likeable’s own CEO Dave Kerpen just recently launched his new book Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (and other social networks). This coming Sunday in the New York Times, you’ll find him at number 7 on the Best Seller List for Advice/How-To while the book has already been published as number 6 in the USA Today Money Best Sellers.

Dave can now proudly call himself a best selling author…but the journey to become one is what makes this all so interesting. For the past 6 months, I worked directly under Dave as the Likeable Social Media promotion leader with a team of no more than 6 supporting me in our efforts. How did we make Likeable Social Media a hit? Two words: social media. So…you want to become a best selling author or at least get a look into what it takes? Here are 9 tips on how you can use social media to make your book a best seller and what we did with Likeable Social Media to make it happen:

Tip 1: Sign yourself up to get noticed. How we did it: Over the course of the past few weeks, Dave pitched blogs and social media sites such as Mashable, Social Fresh, and many more to write articles that would share content from the book in a unique way. This effort was EXTREMELY successful as Dave received 10 million combined impressions and over 25,000 shares! Dave did dozens of webinars in the past 3 weeks alone, sharing even more valuable content with the world. Tangible leads for book sales, as well as with Likeable Media new business leads, were directly attributed to Dave being seen all over the Internet as a whole.

Tip 2: Thank EVERYONE. How we did it: For every article of Dave's that was shared or re-tweeted, @Likeablebook was saying thank you. For every review we received, @Likeablebook was saying thank you. One of the most important phrases in social media is thank you and without a doubt every person that gave Likeable Social Media accolades was recognized via Twitter.

Tip 3: Humanize your book. How we did it: As with all things social media, it's all about the conversation. The last thing we wanted was to be seen as a robot on Twitter or Facebook, so 24/7 we would monitor and respond. On Twitter specifically, each member of the team would sign off on tweets with their initials at the end while all team members were listed in the background of the account.

 

Tip 4: DON'T SELL. Just share valuable content. How we did it: No one likes to be sold to without asking for it and one of the hardest parts about this effort to become a NYT Best Seller was to not promote ourselves. Nonetheless, by sharing valuable, RT-able, and sharable content such as quotes from the book and Dave's articles we were able to create a conversation and a buzz around what Likeable Social media was all about.

Tip 5: Find fun incentives to give away books for free. How we did it: On Facebook we gave away a book a day and asked people to Put Their Thumbs Up for their chance to win books and other cool prizes. On almost every webinar Dave held, a free book and more would be given away for an attendee who was able to correctly answer trivia questions.

Tip 6: Utilize location-based platforms. How we did it: Our team left tips at Barnes and Noble's across the United States and asked people to tweet a picture of Likeable Social Media to @Likeablebook for a surprise free gift. This was one of our best ideas but admittedly it was probably not as successful as it could have been. Perhaps this is because the foursquare boom hasn’t happened yet BUT the app did just reach 10 million users and as I type this, two photos of Likeable Social Media have been tweeted to us.

Tip 7: Tap into blogger’s and other influencer’s interests. How we did it: By utilizing tools to prospect influencers and interested bloggers to read/review the book, we were able to compile a robust list of worthy prospects. Platforms such as BlogDash and Socmetrics helped us to achieve the list we wanted. Then, outreach was done via Twitter, connecting with those we thought would find interest in the book and would effectively get their own followers talking about Likeable Social Media.

Tip 8: Use as a customer service tool. How we did it: With our team monitoring all social media channels, we were able to pick up on and respond to book shipment issues, social media related questions, or any other customer service related matter. Good or bad, people are going to be talking about the book via social networking sites and like our team did, it was important to pick up on issues/questions and solve in an efficient manner.

Tip 9: Stay organized! How we did it: With so much going on and with a team working on all things revolving around book promotion at different times, it was important to make sure that everyone was on the same page with sending books out and other miscellaneous tasks. We found this most useful by working with Google Docs and a private Facebook Group for just our team. Here is a great example of how to get yourself organized: http://bit.ly/BookMarketingSpreadsheet

The Likeable Social Media best seller campaign was a first time effort for Dave, myself, and our entire team. Here are some of our key learnings/other advice from the team: • "Stay authentic and personalize each outbound communication" - Tim Bosch • "Merely selling doesn’t lead to success" - Meg Riedinger • "Engaging customers with questions and thanking them for their support is the best way to continue the growth of your book." - Kelsey Brooks • "Success does not come without experimenting." - Andrew Gionfriddo • "The book campaign was so successful because Dave offered a lot of free valuable information." - Gloria Fanchiang • "Social media allowed us to converse with consumers and display personality behind the book..." - Jen O'Neill

Have you seen any other efforts by your favorite authors on social media to promote themselves? Are you an aspiring best seller who is planning on using social media to spread the word about your book? More questions on how we got Dave on the NYT Best Seller List? Let me know in the comments!