How to Promote a Book on Social Media: 10 Tips to Perfect Your Strategy

Knowing how to promote a book on social media is a key skill for marketers aiming for the next bestseller. Here are 10 top tips for how to get it right.
Fanbytes | How to Promote a Book on Social Media

In 30 seconds:

  • Book marketing experts will tell you that social media is one of the most potent tools for finding new readers.
  • What is the best way to promote a book? That depends on who your target audience is, and what kind of book you’re looking to release.
  • Using social media for books’ promotion is easier than it might seem, though. We’re walking you through the 10 best ways to get started.

The difference between a bestseller and a flop? A whole lot of readers. 

Where are you going to find those potential readers? On social media

Knowing how to promote a book on social media could make the difference between finding those readers and not, which is why we’re talking you through how to promote a book on social media – whether that’s Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, or any other platforms. 

How to promote a book on social media: The 10 best ways

Social media is an incredibly diverse space. Different kinds of content work better on different platforms, and with different audiences. After all, all kinds of industries are promoting their wares on social media; the kind of videos which would best promote a car, for example, will not necessarily sell your book list very well. And that’s before we dig into the endless variety of books out there, all of which resonates with their own audience differently…

But never fear. As your resident social media marketing experts, we’ve outlined the 10 best ways to promote a book on social media

1. Find your target audience

As we’ve mentioned, knowing where to direct your social media marketing push is just as important as knowing how to go about it. 

Are your target audience most active on Facebook groups, LinkedIn or Instagram? Are they young Gen Zers, who prefer video content, or the kind of people who’d prefer a podcast recommendation? What about reading an in-depth piece by bloggers in your field (a great option for non-fiction)? 

The easy way to go about finding this information is to check out what previous successful campaigns have looked like. Check out our list of books that have gone viral on TikTok for inspiration. 

Once you’ve found your target audience, the important thing is to see what kind of content they’re already interacting with and creating themselves. This will help to guide the creation of your book campaign strategy.

This will also inform you where to set up shop. Whether it’s a Facebook page, Instagram posts or a TikTok profile, name yourself something recognisable, and make sure there’s a link to purchase the book in your profile.

2. Countdown to your book launch

Generating momentum and excitement around your book launch can help to ensure you’ll have an army of readers already waiting for it to hit the shelves. 

And on social media, creating a sense of ‘FOMO’ (or ‘fear of missing out’) in your followers is a surefire way to get them excited for publication day. 

Sending out advanced proofs to bookish influencers who are interested in your book’s niche, posting about the content of your new release, hinting and teasing at the story… These are all ways to make sure your future readers feel that they simply have to read your book, or else they’ll be missing out on something big. 

Using a countdown structure – posting something small every day in the lead-up to launch – is an easy way to schedule your content calendar, too, making it super simple to plan your social media posts for maximum engagement. 

As with all content marketing, make sure your CTA is clear, so that if you capture people’s attention, they know where to go to buy a copy of your book.

3. Highlight reviews

91% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That’s a huge percentage of online audiences who can be swayed into an interest in your upcoming novel, if you can get them to see a review.

@elise388 Reply to @vainvillage part 1 of rating all the books I’ve read because of booktok 🤠 let me know if you want a part 2 or if there’s any book you want me to talk about in more detail 🤎 #booktok #ratingbooktok #ratingbooktokbooks #book #bookreview ♬ original sound - Elise

Luckily, amongst online book circles, book reviews are some of the most popular content. Whether you’re on Bookstagram or BookTok, you’ll find users posting their thoughts about their newest reads – all you have to do is re-share the ones about your newest publication. Easy, simple, and very effective. 

Sending advanced copies to influencers is a great way to generate book reviews before launch. Afterwards, you can continue to spoke interest in your book via influencers, or you can head to Goodreads and make a fun video responding to the positive reviews you see there.

Of course, any reviews you get are perfect for also adding to your author website, for additional social proof.

4. Hold a contest

Contests are very effective marketing tools. They have a reported conversion rate of almost 34% – higher than other content – and for good reason. Who doesn’t love a freebie?

For book publishers, contests are useful tools for drumming up interest in a title before its release. The more people you can entice to enter and share your contest, the more you’ll spread the word.

To kick off this marketing campaign, partner with influencers in your niche. That way, you’ll have access to a large follower base from the start, and you’ll know the audience they speak to will be interested in entering your book competition. 

To ensure your campaign goes off without a hitch, you should also encourage tagging and feature a worthy prize. Social media contests work best when the rules include tagging a friend, as that way, your reach can grow exponentially. If you partner with a relevant influencer, simply offering a free copy of your book can be a great prize, as their audience will definitely want this. 

This will also help you gauge how much of your audience are looking forward to a particular book’s release. 

5. Offer a free snippet

If you’re looking to grow your email list, offering a free snippet of your upcoming release is a great way to go about it. 

Not only will you be able to grow a bank of users who you can contact directly when the book is released (or with any other marketing updates), you’ll also be able to drum up interest around the book’s contents, leaving readers on a cliffhanger they’ll have to purchase the book to resolve. 

This is another great way to work with an influencer on social media. Ask them to read out their favourite part of the book (you can help by providing some of your fave passages for them to choose from, if you prefer). They’ll get their audience hooked – and they’ll be able to direct them to where they can read more.

6. Create a challenge

On platforms like TikTok, challenges are one of the most effective marketing tools – and they’re a great way to encourage the creation of user-generated content, which you can then repost on your own channel.

You don’t even need to create the challenge yourself – you can simply join in. Brands like Harper Collins have used this tactic, interacting with trends on TikTok, to great success. 

@harpercollins ☕☺️ What are you reading this week? This paperback of Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So is out now, and we're giving away copies on our IG - head there to enter to win! #booktok #bookish #booklovers #bookclub #bookgiveaway ♬ Coffee and Currently Reading - ✨ Maddie ✨

Recently their ‘share your coffee and current read’ post, which incorporated the use of a popular BookTok audio, was used to introduce their followers to a giveaway competition – two tactics in one!

TikTok challenge trends move fast, so if you want to be in-the-know, get in touch with us, or subscribe to our TikTok trend newsletter, which details the best trends each week, plus how brands can use them.

7. Create a hashtag

Similar to the above, a hashtag is a good way to make sure that your new book has visibility over any content related to your ongoing campaign. 

It also gives your followers a way to engage with your content, and allows others to find it. You can use several hashtags in each post on social media. We suggest mixing a generalist hashtag with more niche ones, then introducing a hashtag for your book title. For example, #booktok #romancenovel #itendswithus. 

For more help on how to use hashtags to hack the TikTok algorithm, we’ve written about the best hashtag strategies here. 

Plus, should your title go viral, having an associated hashtag will make it easier for new users to find information about it and get involved themselves. 

8. Add it to lists

Some of the most popular social media posts concerning books are those which share a user’s ‘tbr’ – or ‘To be read’ lists. 

These posts will run through a stack of books or shelf, and give a small amount of information about each title. Often grouped by theme (such as romance, young adult, or crime), they offer readers information about what kind of content they can expect – and also situate your book within a context of already-established reads. 

Is there a book that’s already popular in your field? This is a perfect way to piggyback on their viral success for your next book. Saying “If you liked this read, you’ll love this new one” will help your ideal audience find you. Don’t forget to include both books’ hashtags, and always be positive about others’ work – after all, you’re speaking directly to an audience who loves them.

This method is an easy way to begin to build hype around your new release, as the more users see it on these kinds of lists, the more they’ll want to read it, so they can join in on any future conversations about it. 

9. Interact with others’ content

Collaboration is key on social media

If you want to increase your overall engagement, making sure that you’re actively participating in the communities you’re hoping to break into is vital. 

TikTok is a great social media platform for collaboration, because it has native tools that allow for users to respond to one another. So – look at BookTok and respond to users’ relevant videos. You may even find book influencers have started their own prompts which you can respond to.

As your presence grows, don’t forget to respond to positive reviews, too. Users love to see that their content is meaningful to you – and you may find others are more inclined to post their own positive reviews if they see that you’re reposting videos. That’s great for spreading awareness!

The more engaged you are, the higher your brand sentiment amongst users will be – which means they’ll be more likely to trust your recommendations and want to support your content in turn. That’s a win-win situation. 

10. Keep the momentum going

The post-launch phase is just as important as the pre-launch promotion. 

Just ask authors like Colleen Hoover. As we spoke about in our BookTok article, her bestselling novel ‘It Ends With Us’, which was released in 2016, only hit its book sale stride in 2021 after going viral on TikTok

@colleenhoover It Ends With Us was inspired by this woman and all she went through. Thank you #booktok ♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) - Danilo Stankovic

Since then, it has sold over 300,000 copies – proving that there’s no end-date on a book’s lifetime, and viral acclaim can happen at any point after publication. 

How do I get people to promote my book?

As you’ll see, many of the book marketing tips we’ve highlighted have something in common: they rely on social media users getting involved in your book promotion

Social media is incredibly collaborative in nature. Users across every platform enjoy interacting with one another, and readers in bookish communities are no different. Understanding how to get people involved in your social media push is key to knowing how to promote a book on social media successfully. 

Of course, working with an influencer is one of the best social media marketing strategies, because they already command an engaged following of your target audience

We’ve talked before about how users trust the word of an influencer more than they do other kinds of advertising – and this is something you can leverage in your book promotion

By finding the right influencer, you can encourage more user-generated content, more hype, and a bigger audience of readers keen to get their hands on your book release. 

Using social media for book promotion

It’s time to hit “unsubscribe” from everything you previously knew about book promotion, because social media is the best way to guarantee new readers now. 

From arty photos of the book cover to vlog-style reviews, interactive challenges to videos of the book launch, there are a lot of ways you can use social media to make the most out of the direct-line to readers it provides. Just make sure you keep an eye on your target audience, and create content that they’ll enjoy before, during, and after your book launch. Nail it, and you might just have another viral hit on your hands. 

If getting to grips with your target audience is something you’d like some help with, or you’d like to talk in more detail about a content strategy for how to promote your book, get in touch. We’d love to talk you through how we’d create the perfect social media marketing campaign to win over your ideal audience of readers.

Let's Talk

To find out how Fanbytes can help you connect with a Gen Z Audience fill in the form to get in touch!