#SocialSeries: When to use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest

By Adam Mawer

Do you know if your social media efforts are positively impacting your book sales? If you said no, you’re not alone. Many authors remain skeptical about social media’s return on investment (ROI) and would rather spend their valuable time and resources planning, writing and editing their next great book.

Yet, building a social media following to promote a book takes time and perseverance. To be successful at social media, you must be consistently posting thoughtful and original content that will appeal to your followers. If your followers are engaging with your content (liking, commenting, sharing, etc.) they will likely help spread the word and buy your book upon its release.

For some authors, creating original and dynamic content is onerous – this is completely understandable. However, it has been proven that the more time you put into your social media channels, the higher your ROI (book sales). While we would love to assist every author by creating a personalized content strategy, we realize this won’t suit everyone’s budget.

If you’re administering your own social media channels, we’d like to help by sharing some of our extensive research with you. We assembled an infographic outlining the best times to post content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +. By following these times, you can optimize your posts by increasing the likelihood for engagement, a loyal following and, thus, book sales. Although, be mindful that these times are averages from a plethora of industries and there is no substitute for deep, personal insights on your followers when deciding when to post your content.

Infographic Social Media Times web size

Afternoon Advice

Facebook is the social media juggernaut and is largely responsible for the phrase “social media” as it exists in our vocabulary. To promote your book, a strong presence on Facebook – typically through an author page– is necessary. If you write within a genre that has a high appeal to women, Facebook is a great channel to use as Facebook’s gender breakdown is approximately 58% Female and 42% Male. To optimize your posts, it is recommended that you post between 1 pm and 4 pm, Monday – Thursday.

Timely Tweets

Twitter is the 18 minute medium. By this, we mean that within 18 minutes of sending a tweet, it is no longer visible on your average follower’s home page. With that in mind, you should be tweeting several times a day to ensure maximum exposure for your book. In terms of the gender breakdown, as indicated by our infographic, Twitter is 52% Female and 48% male, with females tweeting more frequently than males. To optimize your posts, it is recommended that you post frequently between 1 pm and 3 pm, Monday – Thursday.

Planned Pinning

Pinterest is the social site all about visual discovery! It’s a great channel for a fiction and non-fiction authors to populate their boards with highly visual content referencing topics or scenes within your book. Some of the most popular topics on Pinterest are travel, home décor, lifestyle, fashion, babies, food and wine, health and fitness. With that said, it should come as no surprise that Pinterest has a very large female representation with 87% of members being female. To optimize your pins and your public boards, it is recommended that you pin between 2 pm and 4 pm, Friday – Sunday.

Morning Medium

Google+ is that one uncle you only see on special occasions, weddings and birthdays – you don’t really know him, what he does or how to talk to him. You just know he’s a part of the family. Of the four social networks addressed here, it is the newest and least understood.  However, due to its integration into Google-owned YouTube, there has been a sharp increase in the number of active members to nearly 400 million. Plus, Google+ offers Hangouts, an instant messaging and video chat platform connecting you with your readers. As displayed by our infographic, Google+ is comprised of approximately 60% females and 40% males. To optimize your posts, it is recommended that you post between 9 am and 10 am, Monday – Friday.

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Which social networking sites work best for you?