In the realm of social media, Google+ has been the black sheep. Built by Google with the intent to meet and surpass Facebook, it has been “disparaged and shunned by much of the public.” The Google Plus network is primarily trafficked by professionals and individuals interested in networking or specific interests. Despite it not reaching the fame of Facebook and LinkedIn, it is still a good platform from which to market an e-book if you know how to use it.
The Key to eBook Marketing on G+
Promoting an e-book on G+ requires a fundamental understand of Google’s social media creation. Understand it not as large or as trafficked a network as Facebook. In fact, Google officially gave up on rivaling Facebook this year, and it’s likely we’ll see fewer updates (if any) to the network as Google – now Alphabet – focuses on other endeavors.
However, this does not mean the potential of attracting a fresh audience has waned. It simply means you must pay attention to these five ways to market on G+:
#1: Create an Eye Catching Profile
You’ll need a Google Plus account to use the network. While you can create a Google+ page for your book, we recommend sticking with an eye-catching profile instead. It’s less work and easier to manage in the long run.
Here’s what you’ll want to pay attention to when fleshing out on your profile:
- The About Section: There are three sections to focus on in the about section; story, links, and contact information. Your story should include an introduction detailing who you are and what you do. Links should include your website, blogs you contribute to, and your other social media channels. Your contact information should house a clear means of contacting you.
- Your Profile Pictures: Upload a good headshot. Try and make it more professional and less personal. You can also upload a custom cover image. We recommend creating one that promotes your latest book or series.
- Posts: Once you’re set up with G+, start posting your blog updates to your profile. Experiment with hashtags to increase exposure.
For an example of how to create an eye-catching profile that attracts followers and views, check out Anita Lovett’s G+ profile.
#2: Link to Your Online Presence
We mentioned including links to your website, blog, blogs you contribute to, and your other social media channels in the links area of your profile’s about section. It’s worth repeating because this is super important!
The links you include on G+ should encompass your entire online presence for two major reasons:
- It gives your fans multiple ways to follow you, perhaps on networks they frequent even more than G+.
- The “contributor to” links can contribute SEO, especially if you post your latest blogs to the posts section of your profile.
#3: Join G+ Communities
G+ communities are a fantastic way to promote your website, blogs, and e-books. You can search the communities for those friendly to independent authors, self-publishers, and bookworms (there are a lot). Be sure to review the posting guidelines to each community in detail and follow them. Join relevant communities and promote away.
Pro Tip: Google Plus Communities are a great way to garner reviews. Many communities have a section or thread for indie authors requesting reviews of their work.
#4: Host a Hangout on Google+
It’s been said the major drawback of being a digital publisher is the inability to meet with fans. No matter how humble you are, a fan base is a necessity. You need people who eat your work for breakfast and wait with baited breath as you hammer out your next masterpiece. Without them you can kiss revenue goodbye.
Google’s Hangout feature grants users the ability to connect virtually. In your case, a connection to your readers. You can use a Hangout to host a chat or a Q&A session to promote or preview a published or upcoming book.
The awesome thing about the G+ Hangout feature is you can use it in whatever way you imagine. For example, some brands use it to schedule a weekly or monthly chat that is basically a live radio broadcast. As an indie author, you could use a hangout to connect with your fans in any number of ways from promotional to educational.
#5: Create a Community and Recruit
The fifth and final way to use Google Plus to market an e-book is the most ambitious. You can create your own community centered on your literary works, a specific book series, or one of your books. Once created, you can send invites to your G+ followers, promote the community via your G+ posts, and recruit, recruit, recruit.
G+ may be the black sheep of social media, but it’s still a powerful marketing tool. Apply these five tips and you can start making it work for you.