Simplify Your Social Media Marketing: Set Up Outpost Channels

If you’re doing your own book marketing, how do you determine how much time to spend on social media? You can simplify your book marketing by designating a primary social media channel for engagement and modifying the rest into outpost channels.

In the first entry of this two-part series on how to spend less time marketing and more time writing, I wrote about designating a primary social media for engaging with your readers. You don’t have to engage on every channel to build reader loyalty and sell more books. You just have to engage on the right channel.

After you set up your primary social media channel for engagement, it’s time to modify the rest of your channels into outposts. Which outposts you choose depends on five measures.

outpostWhat Is an Outpost?

A social media outpost has two primary purposes:

  1. Maintain a presence that aids in discovery or search ability of your author platform.
  2. Redirect potential fans to channels where you personally engage and interact.

We need to differentiate between the terms “having a presence” and “personally engage.” An outpost channel is where you have an updated presence but do not post or engage on a regular basis. The page has updated information and calls to action, but there are basically no conversations there.

An outpost is not an abandoned or neglected channel. People who find you there will immediately know two things:

  1. Where to find you and actively engage with you.
  2. Your current offer, promotion, or latest book.

Five Measures to Determine Your Outposts

Use these five measures to help decide which social media channels are good candidates for outposts.

  1. Your target audience fits the outpost channel’s demographics. You won’t want to waste your time setting up an outpost where your readers might Make sure they are there.
  2. Ideally, the outpost channel should support a cover photo option you can use for a billboard and a profile on the home page that supports live links. This is not a deal breaker but if there are no live links there will be no immediate redirect opportunity.
  3. Choose outpost channels that support a holding message. Does the channel have an opportunity to “pin” or designate a post at the top of the landing page or in a visible bio? I believe this is a mandatory requirement. Otherwise you do not have the opportunity to redirect potential fans to a place where you are engaging or showcase your latest book or offer.
  4. Choose channels that support advertising options at multiple price points. Even if you think you will never use this option, you never know down the road.
  5. Choose channels with good discovery options. Fans should be able to search you by your real name or page name on the platform. Some channels require people to know the exact username for search: another good reason to use your author name as your username if possible.

If you want to learn more about how to set up and maintain outpost channels, grab a copy of my new book, Sell More Books With Less Social Media. The book includes a free comprehensive online class to help turbocharge your learning and take you deeper in the material. You can get your copy on Amazon, Kobo, or Nook.