The Layman’s Guide to Algorithms, Bookstagram and Trends to boost social media presence
Trying to get a considerably large social media presence is no easy task. Especially in an age where we are all influencers in our own right and content is being churned out at every turn. This enormous quantity of content can surely overwhelm any novice in the field. But a basic understanding of algorithms will help any newbie author prepare content and its promotion.
The moment one types the word ‘algorithm’ in the search bar, we are flooded with articles about computer software and coding, burdened with technical language, can bog anyone down.
But in today’s world, social media marketing is all the rage; hence, knowing and understanding the concept of social media algorithms and how it works is necessary for authors. All your content (posts, videos) needs to be curated and posted, keeping in mind how the algorithms work. This includes what you post, the background scores you use and the hashtags you include to enhance your social media presence
While this article talks of algorithms, it talks of a simplified, easy-to-understand basic version of algorithms. In reality, algorithms are far more complex, involving a sophisticated model of artificial intelligence and IT techniques.
Going past the mathematics of it, algorithms are simply a set of codes that sorts your feed based upon the relevance of content. It decides what kind of content is most likely to appeal to you; more often than not, it is correct. But that isn’t all, algorithms also decide the visibility of your post. These mathematical equations affect who sees your post on their feeds, how often and to what extent.
However, these algorithms are not perfect. They often mess up, “hide” posts and sometimes even recommend random posts to random users. Companies are constantly updating algorithms for a seamless experience. Algorithms impact small businesses, authors looking to promote their books, and many others trying to market a brand or create an online presence.
For an author trying to promote their book or novel through social media, the best way to remain in the limelight is by generating interactions for your posts and using trends, specifically Instagram reels. Interactions can be of any kind – comments, likes and even sharing through private messages. These interactions show the algorithms that the book-loving audience is interested in your post, making your posts visible to those interested in books or authors.
Trends change. Hence, to become a master marketer, you must be updated on the latest trends, challenges and even memes.
Unlike traditional marketing, modern-age marketing depends upon the latest happenings and trends. However, the problem with modern trends is that they may not last longer than a day. By trends, we don’t only mean the escalation in the consumption of a specific kind of content, e.g. in 2022, ‘reels’ have seen more significant engagements, garnering more followers for its creators than their posts. Also, public conversations and community memes.
To improve social media presence within prominent book communities online, like ‘bookstagram’ on Instagram, start by following readers and authors. Interaction is the key. Talk to your followers, observe what they post and analyze the common discourses in the community. For example, if you’re a romance writer, you must’ve noticed the recent trend wherein many authors market their books by referring to the ‘tropes’ they use in their writing.
With the resurgence of retro and early 2000s trends, a book set in this era can be marketed by using nostalgia and tapping into Pinterest visual aesthetics. Of course, these marketing tactics can only do so much. At the end of the day, your writing and genuineness sets the ball rolling. Popular trends often weigh the algorithm in your favor. Like, using a popular song on your reel can boost its chances of being visible to a large number of people when compared to using original audio.
Building a Presence on Social Media
Building a presence on Social Media largely depends upon your content and how active you are. Algorithms often consider the frequency with which you post and the engagement your posts record. Creating a posting schedule is the best way to be consistent with your posting. Start by posting at least three times a week and then gradually increase it to one post every 48 hours.
Here are some other tips to keep in mind:
- Write an interesting bio: This may seem unnecessary, but adding essential words like ‘author’ or ‘writer’ can help make your profile visible to those looking to expand their readership and are ready to experiment with newer genres. It increases the chances of your profile being visible universally, that is, to all readers, instead of limiting it to a small inner circle of audience. Additionally, also consider adding a link to your latest release or your website to drive exposure
- Craft a website: A social media account is great for marketing but a website is where the true information lies. Do not completely depend upon your account. Instead, utilize your social media accounts to attract users to your websites. In many ways, websites are much more efficient when organizing your work, events and attracting potential publishers.
- Choose your Hashtags: Algorithms rely heavily on hashtags to segregate posts. Ensure you’re updated on the most widely used hashtags and incorporate them in your posts. Even simply adding ‘bookstagram’ under your post can have an unexpected impact on its popularity. Hashtags can consist of genres, recommendations, tropes, etc. Analyze hashtags on existing posts and find out which one suits your account more.
- Be yourself: Lastly, don’t rebrand yourself. Be authentic, let people into your life, be open about your writing methods and rituals, and interact as much as possible. Instead of crafting an entirely new personality for yourself just figure out who you really are and personalize your social space accordingly. Not only will this help you navigate online spaces but it will make audiences feel closer to you.
Algorithms are constantly changing. A rule that exists today might completely disappear tomorrow. Like all other aspects of social media, algorithms have their fair share of criticism. What is most important is that you enjoy the journey of understanding social media and what it represents. Don’t overthink every step; be frank and let your readers know you are a person and not merely your profession.
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