Social media can be your most powerful tool for getting your book in front of readers–but are you using the “right” platform to effectively reach your audience? We’ve broken down the most popular social media platforms to help you determine which offers the best social media promotion opportunities for your book. Find out which social media you should be using below!
With 2.8 billion users worldwide, Facebook still dominates social media. However, the platform is not necessarily seeing the same level of engagement that it was a decade ago. The most active users on Facebook are still millennials ages 25-34, 18.8% of whom are male. Facebook is the best social media platform for growing a personality-based brand. No matter your genre, we recommend that all authors create an author Facebook page, and post at least once per week. The genres that will find the most success on this platform are personality-driven nonfiction including self-help, how-tos, business, and lifestyle brands. Romance and mystery/thriller authors will also find an engaged audience on Facebook.
YouTube maintains 2.3 billion users worldwide, and is the second largest social media network. YouTube is also not what it was a decade ago. The popular video-viewing platform has been saturated by “content farms” churning out derivative videos to soak up as many views as possible from the algorithm, celebrity brands, and a select number of influencers who dominate the space. However, BookTube is alive and kicking, even though traditionally published A-listers still get top billing.
Genre fiction authors (romance, YA, fantasy, historical fiction, sci-fi, horror, and “book club bait” mainstream literary/women’s fiction) will have the most success in approaching BookTubers for reviews, unboxings, or book haul videos. If you’re an author who is considering starting your own YouTube channel, understand that (much like starting a successful podcast) it’s a long term endeavor with a high degree of investment and slow rate of return. You must be prepared to create consistent, weekly content that is related to, but not solely about, your book. True crime, supernatural, and paranormal authors may find success here, as (again) will personality-driven nonfiction authors who can create self-help, how-to, business, and lifestyle content.
Of Instagram’s 1.4 billion users, the highest percentage are aged 25-34, followed closely by users who are aged 18-24. Because Instagram is a photo and video platform, highly visual, aesthetic, and/or informative content reign supreme. Personality-driven lifestyle authors will continue to find a receptive audience on Instagram, as will self-help, business, and how-to nonfiction authors. YA, historical fiction, romance, and mysteries also perform well on Instagram.
With 732 million users, TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms, with more than 50% of users under the age of 34 (the majority are teens). “BookTok” has already become a popular buzzword in the literary sphere. YA authors–fantasy in particular–will perform best on TikTok. Romance, historical fiction, and paranormal fiction will also thrive on BookTok. Nonfiction authors who specialize in true crime and “life hacks” can also find a dedicated following in this space. As with YouTube, be prepared to create regular short-form video content that does not always revolve around your book(s) in order to find success.
Pinterest has 478 million users. 77.1% of users are female, and 38% are 50-64 years old, with the 30-49 demographic coming in second place at 34%. Like Instagram, Pinterest is driven by images, so “aesthetic” genres like adult historical fiction, fantasy, and romance will draw attention. Lifestyle how-tos are also incredibly popular. Unlike Instagram, book discovery is more circumstantial rather than personality-driven, so we would recommend using Pinterest to promote your book if you are familiar with and actively engaged on the platform already.
Twitter has 397 million users, 63.7% of whom are male. Twitter is the perfect platform for political, social commentary, historical, self-help, and business nonfiction. Content can be either topical or personality-driven. While any author in any genre can have a Twitter page, we would recommend using Twitter to promote your book if you are already familiar with and actively engaged on the platform.
Chelsea is a copywriter, editor, publicist, and content creator at Books Forward, an author publicity and book marketing firm committed to promoting voices from a diverse variety of communities. From book reviews and author events, to social media and digital marketing, we help authors find success and connect with readers. Interested in what’s possible for your book sales and building readership? Check out our services, tell us your goals, and get a customized publicity campaign tailored just for you.