How Should You Market Your Book on Social Media? (Advanced Tactics)

gamalhennessy Community • Aug 5, 2020

Earlier this week I started listing concepts that can help you market your comics using social media (See How Should You Market Your Comics on Social Media?) This post continues that discussion, with more advanced techniques.

9. Consider the potential backlash your book/team/ marketing could create. In the current social environment, any story can be seen as offensive to one group or another. Because your story will inevitably stand for something, it is likely to stand against something else and the people who support that "something else" can quickly undermine or overwhelm your marketing efforts. While you can't predict every possible attack on your book, think about how things could go wrong in a public arena from the following perspectives and try to anticipate and prepare for the potential backlash with professional poise. If you lash out, you can make a bad situation worse:

a. Legal: You need to avoid libel, slander, and defamation

b. Personal: You don’t want your independent publishing to have a negative impact on you or your family

c. Publishing: You don’t want to do or say anything to injure your relationship with your target market.

10. Strive to be witty: While anger in social media can damage your reputation, sarcasm can be a useful tool in your arsenal. While it can be overused and misinterpreted online, prudent use of sarcasm can take the sting out of negative comments or turn a tense exchange into something more pleasant. Several major brands from Charmin to Old Spice to Wendy’s have made it a focus of their social media marketing. The key is to use it on competitors and critics at or above your level and never use it to attack colleagues, readers, or retailers.

11. Be a creator and a fan: Comic readers identify with other comic readers. Your potential readers who don’t read comics might be more interested in the medium if they see people they identify with reading comics. Your social media marketing needs to convey not just your enthusiasm for your book, but for your genre and comics as an art form. You can promote and review other books (especially your competition), comment on the work of other creators you enjoy, or discuss aspects of comics that interest you. Let your love of comics act to counter the perceived inferiority complex it struggles with in America.

12. Share your work: As your project develops and moves closer to completion, share your milestones with your target market to help them feel included in the process, and identify with the story. Strive to tell stories instead of selling a book. Encourage comments and invite people to share the posts they enjoy. Give your ideal readers the incentive to become true fans and part of the community you are building.

13. Ask everyone on the team to share with their networks: The job of building marketing connections shouldn’t be limited to one member of the team. If possible, everyone working on the book should be encouraged to leverage their professional comic book social media to help in the marketing effort. It doesn’t matter if they are working in a collaboration or work-for-hire capacity, since everyone will benefit if the book does well. Of course, freelance business and creative team members may need more incentive to add social media marketing to their work. You might need to offer an additional incentive in the contract to access all their followers.

14. Guest Blog (if you have time): One of the easiest ways to reach your target market is to tap into pre-existing audiences. Guest blogging or writing a blog post on another published blog as a temporary featured author can save time for a blog always in search of content and give you access to a wealth of ideal readers. 

15. Track your results: It will be difficult to determine how many people your marketing efforts are reaching if you don’t track your performance over time. Most social media platforms will show you some sort of statistics on your reach (the number of people who saw your post ) and level of engagement (the public likes, shares, and comments on a particular post ). There are also more advanced analytics that GlobalComix offers to all its creators and publishers.

The list of things to do on social media for your comic is substantial, but the list of things to avoid is just as important. We’ll go into that next week, but until then.

Have fun with your comic.