Guest Expert: Phyllis Zimbler Miller
The professional social networking site LinkedIn.com is currently considered by many, including me, as one of the big three of social media sites (the other two being Twitter and Facebook).
Yes, there are other sites appropriate for various social networking connections, and particularly YouTube can also be very important. But for making connections with your targeted audiences, these are the big three.
First a little background on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the oldest of these three sites, and I personally believe this accounts for LinkedIn’s software often being less user friendly than the software of Twitter and Facebook.
Each of these three social media sites provides a different method (note that I am actually talking about Facebook Pages – formerly called Fan Pages – and not Facebook profiles) for getting in front of your target markets.
What is becoming more and more interesting is how these three sites are starting to adapt (some would say “cannibalize”) features of one or the other or both sites.
At this writing, LinkedIn is still in beta for its company pages. In addition, product and service tabs for these company pages have just been rolled out.
Most important to remember, LinkedIn profiles appear on outside search results, such as on Google.
How can professional LinkedIn profiles help book authors promote their books?
The number one thing that book authors can do to effectively use LinkedIn to attract attention for their books is to ensure that their LinkedIn professional profile is as detailed as possible.
First, a good headshot is essential. If you have an author photo for your book, you may use the head part of that photo for your LinkedIn profile.
Second, when given the choice of how you want your name displayed, choose your entire name and not your first name with the first initial of your last name.
Third, spend time writing the “headline” that appears under your name. You have 120 characters (characters, not words) in which to make yourself and your book attractive to your target markets.
It is important to use keywords in this “headline.” For example, instead of saying your book deals with “teenage eating habits,” say something such as it deals with “teen anorexia and teen bulimia.” This is a significant distinction because it is much more likely for people to search on Google for “teen bulimia” or “teen anorexia” than for “teenage eating habits.”
In the “websites” section you can have three links. If you have a website for your book, this should be one of the links. If you have a separate blog, this could be a good choice for the second link. And you can use your Facebook Page link or another appropriate link for your third link. (Your Twitter link is a separate option so no need to include that link in this section.)
And, please, please, if you want to send people to get your book on Amazon, give the exact link to your book’s page on Amazon and NOT the link to www.amazon.com because people can get distracted by everything on Amazon’s home page and never get to your book’s page.
Job information is important for fiction as well as nonfiction authors
If you are a nonfiction author, the information about current and past jobs is probably quite important, especially if it helps create credibility about your book’s topic. And even for a fiction author this job information can help inspire trust in your writing ability or in the topic of a novel, for example.
Then you want to get recommendations to display on your page. These recommendations should fall into two categories: recommendations for your book and recommendations for your jobs, especially the jobs relevant to your writing or book topic.
The Amazon feature on LinkedIn can be used to display your book covers
If you go to my LinkedIn Profile and then click on “View Full Profile” and scroll down under the summary – you will find an example of the Amazon application available to everyone.
Instead of using this application to show the books I am currently reading, I show the covers of my three books on Amazon. (You have to click on “See all books …” to actually see all three books.)
In conclusion, the above recommendations are only some of the important considerations for optimizing a LinkedIn profile to attract the target markets for your books. And do note that these recommendations are all part of the free LinkedIn account option. (I do not use the paid option.)
And realizing the power of LinkedIn, my business partner Yael K. Miller and I now offer a two-hour LinkedIn Professional Setup service to help people optimize their LinkedIn profile. You can read about this LinkedIn service Here.
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and co-author of FOUR COMEDY SCREENPLAYS and the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. Her social media marketing company coaches clients on how to effectively use the power of social media to attract their targeted audiences.
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