by Kris Maze
Love it or hate it, social media is an important tool for authors. Whether you are traditionally published or an indie, all authors have an increasing responsibility to promote their own work. Thoughtful planning can help writers connect with readers in new and meaningful ways. Take a look at trends for 2022 that writers shouldn’t ignore.
Below are 5 main trends, predicted by social media specialist companies Hubspot and Hootsuite, and their application for authors. These findings were pulled from surveys from various businesses around the world to see what is working for promoting sales and making an impactful author presence.
In what ways can this help your author business grow in 2022? Central ideas from their survey are the following. Read on!
Which trends might help your Author Business?
Let's break this down.
- What trends are making an impact?
- What marketing efforts are work the time and energy?
- How can I inform my writing business practices as I use my resources to meet my goals?
- What are my goals?
The Hubspot 2022 Social Media trends report had two phrases peppered throughout:
The NOW Consumer and Snackable
Substitute “consumer” with "reader" and the report applies to writers. We have our lovely stories and want them in the hands and eyes of our beloved readers. Sometimes that doesn’t happen without a little magic from technology. Whatever your writing goals may be, these trends could revitalize your sales and engagement in the new year.
The technology mentioned in the reports is constantly evolving but, in general, the findings were consistent. Readers have more expectations of better content and ease of getting it. They also have a tendency to want small bites of content. And more often. Read on for information on these key ideas and how they apply to writers connecting with more readers in 2022.
1. TikTok To Dominate In 2022
TIkTok is no longer the new kid on the block and with new ways in 2022 to sell books on this platform, it is an attractive option. This platform definitely fits the snackable factor as most videos are a few seconds long. They string together seamlessly, drawing the viewer in to watch several before closing the app.
In April of 2021, Writers Helping Writers, the makers of the fabulous One Stop For Writers and Thesaurus books, hosted a blog post on the topic. See here for practical ways to use TikTok to see your books.
Things That Make TikTok A Notable Marketing Tool
- This platform allows anyone to be a creator making it a great equalizer.
- It doesn’t take a fancy set or specialized cameras to make fun videos.
- Many posts that go viral are based on hashtags or music connected to the video, as this part of the algorithm drives more readers to your work.
- #BookTok and #AuthorTok are some of the top hashtags on the platform.
- TikTok supports User Generated Content (UGC) which resonates as more authentic and spontaneous with viewers.
- It’s a more direct way to engage with audience.
- Authors and small businesses have linked their TikTok videos to LinkedIn to increase following and sales. Their videos also diffuse easily to other platforms such as Facebook.
- Platforms like Instagram Reels and Reddit’s new video feature are very much like the Tok. And the imitation adds to TikTok’s growing validity.
- Some of the Generation Z are creating resumes on the Tok with increasing acceptance to demonstrate their creativity and skill sets.
- TikTok is currently adding monetization aspects, offering shopping links, and making it a big contender with other large selling platforms.
Think about whether this trend will work for your writing situation. It isn’t for everyone, but it is making an impact on how we buy books and connect with readers. Here is an article regarding how the book industry is using TikTok. Whether it is your toolbox or not, it is a growing platform that will take storm in 2022.
According to the Hootsuite 2022 Social Trends report:
“Although Facebook (62%) and Instagram (49%) were ranked as the most effective platforms overall in our survey, the biggest jumps in perceived effectiveness belong to TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat—which all went from single to double digits. TikTok in particular, went from 3% last year to 24% this year… an increase of 700%.”
And a study by Edison Research claims in a report from March of 2021:
TikTok usage surged, particularly among 12-34 year-olds. Forty-four percent of 12-34 year-olds are using the service, up from 25% last year – an increase of 76%.
2. Third Party Cookies will go away by 2023.
Really. The little pop-up you both agree to and accept as a part of most websites will disappear. Brands will offer more personalized service and need to be more responsible with viewer information.
3. Social selling demand will grow.
According to Hubspot:
This influencer marketing push marks a big opportunity for brands to align their products and services with relevant influencers to meet new audiences in a place where they are already spending most of their day. If you’re not already considering this strategy, now is the time: 69% of marketers plan to disburse more money on Instagram influencers than any other market this year.
- Work with influencers – big companies are seeing the strength of this method and it holds a better ROI (Return on Investment)
- Major influencers not needed, find someone in your niche, or a micro-influencer and let them help you build your author brand. Guest spots or book influencers are big on all the social media sites. Find on that resonates with your work.
- Build up reviews with the support of other people’s followers.
4. Post-Pandemic selling
“There are over half a billion more people using social media worldwide than at the same time last year, indicating an almost 14% year-over-year increase.” Digital 2021: 60 percent of the world’s population is now online - We Are Social Global
How do we swim in that ocean as independent authors?
Focus on specifics that are relevant to your audience. Current audiences are more tech-savvy than ever. They have higher expectations and are used to having almost instant access to many things, including books and other content you produce.
A snapshot of today’s online consumer:
They want less interruption.
They want to check out with a single swipe.
They want to read their book with one click.
They want to have it all and now.
Readers also want to connect with you as an author. They want to connect with your stories. They want to go in-depth on what inspired you to write it, to try the recipes the characters eat, to travel to the places where your characters go. As you learn about your audience (through interaction, data, trends for your specific genre and readers) create content for experiences your audience will appreciate.
Consider these guidelines to work with our online-savvy audience:
- Visuals should be compelling and attractive
- Pay attention to social trends and use hashtags, songs, colors, ideas that connect with your readers.
- Get personal and let the audience see a little from behind the curtain of the writer life.
- Ensure the reader/consumer has the easiest experience. No one wants to figure out how to buy your book. They won’t invest in your new book if the process is too difficult. Minimize log ins, and the checkout process to keep it simple and seamless in the age of the “Now consumer”
- Include User Generated Content into your strategies as a way to connect with your readers. “Whether it’s improving how reviews are accessed or collaborating with happy customers, UGC is a great way to sell on social as it generates trust while increasing engagement.” – Hubspot report
5. Be social – and have your voice heard.
Literally. Use your voice and personality to let your audience get to know you. There are many resources available with a simple search on how to share audio with your audience. According to one study, podcasts and audio listening are still on the rise. Consider these statistics:
- ➽ 41% of the total U.S. population over the age of twelve, or an estimated 116 million Americans, can now be considered monthly podcast listeners, up from 37% the year before.
- ➽ 28% of the total U.S. population, or an estimated 80 million Americans, can now be considered habitual weekly podcast listeners, up from 24% the year before.
- ➽ Meanwhile, podcast familiarity — that is, the extent to which Americans are aware of the medium — continued to grow, present among 78% of the total U.S. population, or an estimated 222 million Americans, up from 75% the year before.
Ways to Use your voice to build audience engagement
- Become a podcast guest
- Record a short audio book or content for your readers.
- Have a few moments of author talks in bite-sized audio clips and then use the audio with a photo or picture related to your book. These can be uploaded on YouTube, as an example, and shared throughout your media platforms.
- Try Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces. These offer live radio style spaces for authors to show up. Celebrities host or show up to talk directly with audiences.
IF you are working with an established podcast or show, they will help you prepare for working in this medium. These audio platforms do not require a lot of fancy cameras, but a proper mic and good acoustics can make a difference. This is one way to interact with your audience in a personalized way.
Top Trends summarized
- Personalized Content – readers want to connect in relevant to them ways
- Faster Service/ Better User Experience – how and when your readers get your work is important and potentially a deal-breaker. Consider how to streamline your process. Your website. Etc
- Less content, but higher quality.
- Readers have higher expectations of how that content will be delivered and when.
- The Now Generation - That says it all. If we can deliver. There is potential for a book hungry audience to gobble up the wonderful stories you craft. Connect in meaningful ways and create long term reader-author bonds that will make your career a more satisfying success.
After reading about social media predictions for 2022, which stand out as the most interesting? Which trends (mentioned here or ones you notice today) would you like to find out more about? Which are you most likely to try? Please share with us in the comments below!
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Kris Maze has worked in education for 26 years and writes for various publications including Practical Advice for Teachers of Heritage Learners of Spanish and award-winning blog Writers in the Storm, where she is also a host. She published a YA dystopian novel by a small press in the summer of 2020. Lately, she has been entering and placing in writing competitions, such as NYC Midnight’s Short Story and Microfiction contests. You can find her YA horror stories and keep up with her author events at her website.
Here is her little passion project. Fascinated with strong female characters, she writes about capable and inventive protagonists, like Ellie. Nova Star Tracker, Ellie, takes one last trip to scavenge space minerals ignoring the imminent aging risks. Can a girl and her Tardis driving goldfish pull off one more heist?