Published Podcast Ep. 27 | Building an Author Brand Through Social Media with Corporate Communications and Business Development Manager Kesley Smith

In today's episode we talk with Kesley Smith, Greenleaf's own Corporate Communications and Business Development Manager, about how authors can grow their brands through social media.

1:20 – Welcome Kesley! Tell us a little bit about what you do here at Greenleaf.

  • My job is to build long-term relationships with industry professionals and publications to create effective and mutually valuable partnerships. I also oversee all of our Greenleaf Book Group and imprint social media.

1:40 Why is it important for authors to have a strong social media presence?

  • Having a strong social media presence is a key aspect of an author platform. We live in a digital age where a large percentage of information is shared through social media.
  • Authors can share news and updates about their current and future book launches, tours and signings on Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter and even YouTube.
  • Because of social media, an author's community knows ahead of time when their pub date is, and because of their successful social media marketing and established a fan base, authors can sell a large number of books in pre-sales.

2:35 - What is the 80/20 rule when using a social media marketing strategy?

  • The 80/20 Rule used to be the golden rule of effective social media marketing. It states that 80% of your social media posts should inform, educate, and entertain your audience, while only 20% should directly promote your business.
  • With social media marketing growing as fast as it is, the 80/20 rule isn’t as relevant as it used to be. The perfect percentage of social media marketing is that there isn’t one.
  • Each brand and each company has a different, voice, message, and goals. It’s important for everyone to discover their brand’s voice and test the ratio to see what best represents the brand.

4:50 – What are the basic steps an author should take if they’re just beginning to build out their social media presence?

  • A strong social media following won’t magically come overnight.
  • Establish workable goals. (Ie: building your brand, enhancing your reach, creating a community) Not just selling more books.
  • Create your own social media content ratio, as we just discussed.
  • Dedicate time to social media- consistency is key.
  • Research. There are many helpful hints to social media marketing. Hubspot, Sprout Social, Hootesuite, Inc (some written by GBG) all have great content to help with your social strategy.
  • You can schedule in advance to help allocate time and organization
  • Analytics are your friend. Test to see what is working content-wise. A/B testing helps. Review your analytics once a week or bi-weekly to improve your reach.

6:37- What kinds of events and milestone should authors share on social media?

  • Social media can be used for both effective marketing and publicity for your book. You can use social media to share:
  • Pub dates
  • Pre-sale information
  • Speaking engagements
  • Author book signings
  • Book Giveaways
  • Call to action purchase links
  • Targeted Ads about the book
  • Reviews
  • Book Mentions

7:00 – Are there tools authors can use to maintain a consistent posting schedule?

  • Social media is time-consuming. To have a strong brand, you need to be consistent on your social channels.
  • Sit down, and draw out a posting schedule to help keep you on track. There are great scheduling platforms that can schedule posts months in advance, provide detailed analytics, and help you stick to your goals.
  • I have experience in using Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Hubspot. All three are great platforms and can help you organize your content schedule and make it a little easier to add to your busy schedule.

8:20 – How do authors continue the audience building they do on social media outside of social media?

  • Social media, while important, is just part of an author’s platform. An author builds his/her platform outside of social media through booking speaking engagements, writing blog articles for his/her website, and contributing articles to credible publications (Forbes, Inc., Fast Company etc).

9:20 – Is there anything else you want to share with the folks who are listening and thinking about jumping into the social media pool?

  • Don’t get discouraged if you’re working on social media and you don’t have 20,000 followers overnight, or even in a month. It takes time and consistency. I recommend sitting down on a Sunday and planning out your social media for the week.

About Kesley

As head of Greenleaf's business development team, Kesley builds long-term relationships with industry professionals and publications to create effective and mutually valuable partnerships. Kesley comes to Greenleaf having earned a Master’s degree in Business from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She leverages her dynamic background and experience in traditional and digital marketing strategies, corporate communications, social media marketing, advertising, public relations, and brand awareness management to ensure optimal success in all of her projects. Kesley spends her social time with friends and family and is an avid all seasons outdoor enthusiast enjoying wakeboarding, wake surfing, snowboarding and skiing.