How to successfully market your business book through social media

Most self published business book writers don't know what social media to market their book through or how. This article provides 5 key tips to guide business book marketing.

There’s so many aspects to successfully marketing your business book, and how to integrate social media into your book marketing plan would have to be one of the toughest parts to get a handle on.

I liken social media to one of those old-fashioned jelly deserts: clear (almost see-trough), wobbly and hard to cut and ends up in bits in your bowl.

For those of a certain generation all we can think about it relation to a great Monty Python skit.

Monty Python aside there are two parts to how to market your book through social media.

Part 1. Know who your target audience is and what social media they’re engaging with.

Part 2. Work out what your target audiences biggest challenges are and engage about these (provided you’ve written a book that actually does this).

Part 1. Know who your target audience is and what social media they’re engaging with and then engage, don’t sell.

If you’re thinking about writing and publishing your business book it’s terrific that you’re reading this post.

Don’t start writing it until you’ve worked out who your target audience is and where they are seeking out information.

If you’ve written and published your book, regroup. Stop wondering why you’re not selling more. Start thinking about who you wrote it for, what their challenges/problems are. Research where they go to get advice, support and information about how to solve their problems.

Once you’ve done this research you’ll know what channels/platforms/social media you need to be engaged with. It’s quite possible that your target audience isn’t on obvious social media channels, they might be in closed industry association networks, specific ‘invitation only’ LinkedIn groups, other invitation only organisations.

Don’t automatically assume you need to be on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium, Quora, Goodreads. Do your research.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should

Social media is just contemporary advertising. Previously there was radio, TV, newspapers, magazine, billboards, side-of-bus advertising. You wouldn’t for a moment ‘advertise’ on all these channels, so approach social media the same way with your ‘advertising’ aka content.

Knowing where your target audience is, who they are reading, watching, listening to will guide you to where you need to spend your time and money.

The reality is you don’t have an unlimited amount of time or the money to ‘advertise’ everywhere. You need to prioritise. Even if you’re going to outsource your social media you need to deeply know where your target audience is.

I’ve blown a significant amount of money over the years exploring various social media marketing programs for a variety of reasons, and have come back to working with the channels I can manage and bring business people to my website.

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Whatever social media channel/s you focus you have to make a commitment to engage them over time, and I mean at least 12 months.

We’ve all seen them, the person who discovers social media and you get bombarded with notifications from them for, oh about 2-3 months. And then they stop. Poof! Disappeared. They might get a second wind after they realise they’ve spent a truck load of money so they should at least try and get some value out of it . . . but this rarely lasts longer than another month or to.

Whatever social media or other channel/s you select you have to commit to them for 12-18 months, minimum. And you need to engage.

And by engage I don’t mean simply join up. I mean start and participate in conversations regularly. Write articles, posts, blogs, whatever and share them. Engage other people on the platforms you’ve signed up to. Don’t’ just push your content/ideas…engage other people about theirs.

To have a relationship means having a two-way conversation.

If you’re constantly pushing out content and offers and spruiking what you have to offer you won’t get engagement. It’s like having a one-sided conversation…it goes nowhere and the other ‘person’ gets bored at best and thinks you’re an ego-maniac at worst.

I’ve been on dates (OK a long time ago) where the guy spent the whole time talking about themselves. There’s 1-2 hours of my life I’ll never get back again. Social media engagement turn-off time I’d suggest is even shorter, perhaps 2-3 two-minute scans of your post, then no engagement. Poof! You’re gone.

The KEY to engaging on social media is to work out WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA is most relevant to your target audience, engage with this consistently, over time and build relationships, don’t sell.

2. Know what your target audiences biggest challenges are and engage about these.

The biggest mistake most business book writers make is to focus on what they know. They’re so focused on sharing what they know (and sometimes ALL of it) they don’t even think about who their target audience is and what their challenges are.

As a result they put all their energy into to pushing their knowledge rather than helping a specific group of people (their target audience) solve the biggest challenges they have every day.

IF you want to want to be successful on social media (however you measure what success is):

  • Step back from yourself and what you know;
  • Step into, deeply, your target audience. Understand them, their challenges and frustrations;
  • Match up the specific knowledge you have about their challenges and engage on this. Don’t spray all your knowledge and insights . . . focus.

In summary, choose your social media channels with care

If you want to successfully market your business book through social media here’s the 5 things you need to do.

1. Deeply understand who your target audience is and what their main challenges are.

2. Research where they currently go, who they follow, what they read and how they engage information . . . this is where and how you need to be.

3. Write great stuff that helps your target audience with the challenges they have. Don’t spruik your latest course, program, book all the time.

Share knowledge and insights, develop trust, deliver value.

4. Commit and execute consistently over time

Only select those social media platforms that you will be actively engaged with over time…and by time I mean 12-24 months.

The social world is littered with super novas. They shine brightly for a few months and then disappear. If you really want to build a presence, respect and engagement with your target audience it’s a long haul. If you’re not up for this, don’t start. Be honest with yourself so you don’t waste your time or anyone elses.

5. Have focus

There are so many social media channels, thousands of them as well as traditional media options. There’s no way you have the time and/or the money to engage/advertise on them all, so work out (research) which ones are the best ones for your target audience. YES…go back to point 1. If you skipped it.

If you don’t know who your target audience is you won’t know where they are on social media, so you won’t know where to spend your time/money.

If you want to successfully market your book on social media stop thinking about you and your book and start thinking about who is going to read your book, why they’d read it, what problems your book will help them solve and why they should listen to you/read your book.


Get this right and you’re on a winner . . . and way ahead of 90% of people who have written their business book and not successfully marketed it.