How to Promote Yourself on Social Media (Without Trying Too Hard)

Written by A Guest Author | February 1, 2018

— By Isabelle Kenyon

So you have a book and you have access to the internet – and theoretically, you can now promote that book to the WORLD through social media.

Unfortunately, social media marketing is a tricky thing to do ‘right’ or to pin down. I’m going to talk you through the mistakes I have made and the things I have learned about marketing on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Facebook is the first social media site I started. I spent along time on getting a logo right and even created a video to introduce myself as a writer.

My initial approach did not work. I created the page to sell my book, not to post content.

I started getting engagement when I began posting poems with a story – a picture, a handwritten note, for example. I started getting even more interest when I did a spoken word feature from abroad, inspired by my location. Of course, you can design your own ‘feature’, and announce that you will be posting a video every week about it – whatever it is, a Facebook audience loves seeing videos on their newsfeeds.

Twitter, I decided to use as an experiment. Twitter has a growing writing community, so think about this when using hashtags to find like-minded people. Writers tend to be avid readers, and supporting their work will often become reciprocal.

I started getting more engagement on Twitter when I took a step back and considered what I was offering my followers – whether for book giveaways, writing advice or pieces of work, people have to have a reason for following you. My solution was first to work with other writers – I created a collaborative project with 116 poets and expanded my circle online, and then to start a ‘How To…’ writing series on my blog.

Instagram is still new to me, but I am enjoying the creativity it is allowing me to exercise. Book marketing on Instagram begins before you have even downloaded the app – do you have an attractive, eye grabbing cover? Do you have a work station you can decorate with other books, candles, fairy lights, warm drinks…Just search #booksagram and you will see what I mean. There is a definite market for book blogging and promotion on Instagram but if you haven’t decided what makes your aesthetic different, you may as well focus on Facebook and Twitter for now, as multiple sites can take up a lot of time!

One thing for sure, social media is a ‘slow and steady wins the successful book race’ kind of journey, and we’re all muddling through it together.

BIO: Isabelle Kenyon is a poet and author of the poetry book, This is not a Spectacle, and editor of Mind Poetry Anthology, Please Hear What I’m Not Saying. You can connect with her at