Excerpt: Maintain Your Audience After Launch

The launch of a book, or any product, can earn a lot of attention from the media, industry colleagues, and the public in general. Debut launches done right are sexy and full of potential, bringing with them opportunities for feature stories, author profiles, “ones to watch” lists, and so on.

After the shiny launch veneer has worn off, how do you remain on the radar of the influencers who can help your brand grow?

The good news is that every reader you acquired during your book launch now adds to your invaluable “platform” of people interested in your message. Now, be smart about keeping them in your community. This doesn’t have to be overwhelming—keep it simple. At the end of your book, include a page encouraging the reader to sign up for free tools and exclusive content via your website. Once a quarter, share something of value with them, such as speaking videos, infographics, white papers, and audio downloads. The more exclusive this content is, the better; people love to feel special. This will help sustain valuable word-of-mouth momentum and awareness with your audience while simultaneously building your list.

After all, you’ll need that list to make all of this easier with the launch of your next book, right?

In today’s economy, your customers (readers) are your audience. In addition to supporting you by buying your books, they follow your Twitter account, like your Instagram photos, and share your posts on LinkedIn.

With the growth of social media, customers themselves have become a marketing opportunity—and they base their first impressions of a brand largely on the quality of its social media content. Social media is also an efficient and economical way to keep your audience close after your initial point of engagement.

To revisit our previous discussion of social media, though most authors use social media in some form, many don’t realize that it’s not enough just to gain legions of followers. If you have 100,000 followers on your company’s Twitter, LinkedIn, newsletter, and the like but never update these channels, or if you bombard followers with advertisements, you’ll see your audience decline as quickly as it grew.

The key to maintaining an audience on (and off) social media is to regularly meet your followers where they are. Here are a few ways to do that.

Know them

Much like stand-up comedians read a room to know what their audience finds funny, authors and experts should read social media trends and articles written by members of their audience to hone in on the needs and interests of their readers. Do they value luxury? Are they looking for advice or humor? Are they drawn to brands with a higher purpose?

When executing any marketing strategy, know what story you want to tell and for whom it is intended. This is another area where creating audience personas—a detailed bio of your target reader—can help you set the appropriate tone for your content.

Having a clear storyline to follow for a clear audience will help ensure that your social media content is compelling long after you first make contact with someone, even if someone else on your team handles your social media.

Give to get

Like any strong relationship, your interaction with your audience should be mutually beneficial.

Every time you post on social media, ask yourself what your audience is getting out of it. It could be a link to a helpful article related to your industry, a free ebook download, a product or service giveaway, or an announcement about an upcoming exclusive event that your audience would love. Make sure what you’re offering your audience is worth their time, or they’ll stop spending time on you at all. The 80/20 rule of 80 percent engagement, 20 percent promotion is a solid benchmark to strike the right balance here.

Show up

Brand loyalty is a huge factor in your company’s success, and it’s built on trust. Customers don’t grow to trust a brand that they rarely see or one that doesn’t convey a clear personality, so be consistent and transparent with your followers.

If you haven’t already (and you should have), create an editorial calendar for your social media to plan what (and when) you’ll be posting on your company’s channels. Content doesn’t need to be added every day on every channel, but it does need to be added consistently. As customers learn that there will be something new and interesting coming from you regularly, they’ll be more inclined to continue following and sharing your posts.

Gestures of appreciation are also important ways to reinforce your connection with your audience, both online and offline. Whether it’s through a handwritten note or a direct message online, scheduling in some routine, personalized, one-on-one thanks will earn an abundance of goodwill.

Social media has made it more important than ever to value your audience and to make it enjoyable for them to interact with you. If you listen to them and actively strive to meet them where they are, you’ll see your audience continue to grow in size and loyalty well beyond your book launch.

In terms of angles you can use to breathe new life into an old book, look for hallmark events and achievements, like anniversaries and major milestones, that might grab the attention of the press.

This is a selection from Greenleaf Book Group CEO, Tanya Hall's, upcoming book Ideas, Influence, and Income.  To download free sample chapters from the book, insert your email address below. 

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