It is only fair that the time you have invested in writing your book should lead to some level of success.

So what is the key to marketing a book online?
 
The problem is that it is not the best books that gain the most readers, it is the best-marketed books. But marketing is hard and for many writers, it is a skill that doesn’t come naturally.
 
Therefore, you need to grasp hold of any advantage you can get and LinkedIn might give you that edge.
 
In this article, you will discover how LinkedIn for Authors is essential nowadays. Why you can no longer afford to ignore LinkedIn as a way of marketing a book online. You will find out how to make the most of LinkedIn and learn the key tactics you need to start seeing an impact immediately. Ultimately you will learn how to use LinkedIn as a way of marketing a book online. As well as how to become a LinkedIn pro.
 

What is the Purpose of LinkedIn?

So, what is the purpose of LinkedIn?

A little as five years ago, LinkedIn was a tool used purposely by people within the business world to connect and ‘do’ business. Many people saw it as nothing more than a collection of virtual CVs. Most of the interaction was purely professional, with members looking to either garner new customers, develop business contents, or find employment.
 
Things have changed.
 
In 2020, Microsoft reported that LinkedIn had shown 'record levels of engagement' over the last three months of 2019 and boasted having 675 million members
 
 
People have started to realize that LinkedIn can’t be ignored and in recent years the site has developed into a full-blown social network with members using it to grow their brand and to market their services.
 
We’ve seen the growth of LinkedIn ‘superstars’ with several individuals using the platform to kickstart their careers. Famous examples include Richard Branson and Bill Gates but many other people are finding LinkedIn to be increasingly important.
 
However, LinkedIn is not only for the super famous, and like any other social media platform, it can act as a springboard for writers to grow and develop their brand.
 
One common worry for authors, thinking about using LinkedIn, is that the platform is business focussed and that there may be no immediate audience for their books.
 
This mindset is wrong.

What is the Purpose of LInkedIn for Authors?
At this moment in time, this is an advantage, not a disadvantage.
 
Indeed, users are often hidden behind a business persona, but they are still people and they still read. So why not market to them? After all, if it is putting off other writers, that means there’s less competition. LinkedIn is for Authors. 
 

LinkedIn Strategy for Authors

Authors can become be overwhelmed when developing a new social media platform and LinkedIn is no different.

Marketing a book online involves expanding out of your comfort zone to make the most of the interent.
 
Its layout may initially seem a little counter-intuitive and unlike platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, it is not immediately obvious what you should be doing to create engagement (and engagement is critical, but more of that later).
 
The best way to think about LinkedIn is as a platform that you can use to post content that will attract potential readers; this is normally medium to long-form posts. Think of LinkedIn is a halfway house between Facebook and a blog.
 
Before we delve into the nitty-gritty, you must first consider the pros and cons of book marketing with LinkedIn.
 
The biggest pro of using the platform (aside from the fact that it is an untapped resource for writers) is that it's free, effective, and proven. The platform is not currently saturated in the way you see in other social media spaces (such as Twitter) and this makes it easier to be heard. There is not many other platforms of marketing a book online with so little competition.
 
The biggest con is that developing an effective voice requires both consistency and time. You must be posting high-quality content regularly. However, if you can do this, then potential rewards are huge.
 

Importance of Engagement for Authors

Engagement is a critical concept for understanding LinkedIn, perhaps more than any other platform.
 
In the context of LinkedIn, they consider engagement to be one or all of the following three actions:
 
  • Liking a post.
  • Commenting on a post.
  • Sharing a post.
 
The more engagement a post gets, the better it will perform on LinkedIn.
 

Creating Posts 

LinkedIn for Authors should be based on creating posts that contain information that is directly focused on your readership. For this to be successful, it is critical that you have a target brand identity and you have a deep understanding of your readership’s mindset.
 
If you have these in place, you can begin creating effective content.
 
This will be achieved by creating what LinkedIn calls ‘posts’. This is content that is created by filling in the post section at the top of your LinkedIn home page (feed). This is easy to find, and the form field contains the text ‘Start a post’. It is possible to create text only posts but also add images and even videos.
 
Please note, these are not the same as ‘articles’. These are different from posts and not relevant to early-stage users trying to build a platform.
 
In order to understand what kinds of posts will be most effective, you must first understand how LinkedIn views their ecosystem. 
 
They have two clear goals:
 
  1. They want to keep people on the platform as long as possible.
  2. They do this by showing users content that is directly related to them.
 
This is critical to understand. LinkedIn wants users to stay on the site. This means the more you can help them achieve this goal, the more successful you will become.

Marketing a book online requires you to understand your platform expertly. 
 
LinkedIn has developed an algorithm that decides which posts to show which users, when, and for how long. They have never publicly discussed this algorithm but over time users have developed a set of ‘best practices’ based on the results they are seeing from their content.
 

What Happens When You Post?

When you create a post on LinkedIn four things happened behind the scenes:
 
  1. The LinkedIn algorithm scores your post and decides on its quality, either high or low.
  2. High-quality content is placed in the feeds of the people in your network and LinkedIn monitors the engagement (likes, comments or shares) with your post. Low-quality posts are demoted and die.
  3. If the post gains enough engagement, then it is promoted by LinkedIn and pushed into the feeds of more people. This brings further engagement.
  4. If the post continues to gain engagement, then a real person at LinkedIn will check the post to ensure that it meets their standards and rules. If happy, it will be further promoted.
 
This all happens within about sixty minutes. If all goes well, your post will remain prominent for about forty-eight hours.

LinkedIn algorithm
 

When to Post on LinkedIn?

Since LinkedIn is an international platform, the best time to post may not be immediately obvious.
 
According to research by Hootsuite (https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-the-linkedin-algorithm-works-hacks/), the best time to post is:
 
7:45 a.m. EST (11:45 GMT).
10:45 a.m. EST (14:45 GMT).
12:45 p.m. EST (16:45 GMT).
5:45 p.m. EST (21:45 GMT).
 
The best days to post are Wednesday or Monday.
 

What Should You Include in Your Posts on LinkedIn?

Before we delve into the details, one little tip for marketing a book online
 
If at all possible, never include a link (URL) in your posts. This is frowned upon by LinkedIn since it breaks their first rule by pulling a reader away from the platform and onto a different site.
 
Remember, LinkedIn is looking for engagement (likes, comments, and sharing) and you should be creating content that encourages these three behaviors, whilst still speaking to your target readership. This is a good practice for any social media platform.
 
Creating Content for LinkedIn


Use a conversational tone
Your instinct might be to write in ‘business language’, after all, LinkedIn is a business network. However, this is a mistake. The goal of your post is engagement. You want people to interact. The best way to do this is to speak directly to your reader.
 
Write in first person, use slang and contractions. Don’t be scared to throw in a little humor.
 
Try to make use of shorter paragraphs. These will suck the reader into your post and help with engagement.
 
The image below, created by Gary Provost, is a great starting point for your writing.
Gary Provost


Also, try to use simple words, don’t over complicate or show off with ‘big words’. You need to be as approachable as possible.
 
So, never indicate when you can show.
 
Or obtain when you can get.
 
Or eliminate when you can get rid of.
 
Format Your Posts
This is a technique learned from blog posts and emails.
 
Try not to write in large blocks of text.
 
Instead, break down your text into smaller chunks with lots of white space.
 
This makes it much easier for your reader to read and engage with your post.
 
However, this is a balance. You also need to have at least one long paragraph. These longer paragraphs will indicate to the reader that you have provided some information that is worthy of their attention. The longer paragraphs give them a chance to delve more deeply into your post and show them that they are not wasting their time reading your information.
 
Think About Your Opener
LinkedIn for Authors is no different from the rest. The opening line to your post is important. This is your one chance to capture the reader’s attention.
 
The key is to create a single sentence that will either tap into the reader's wants and needs or create some dissidence. These two techniques are both equally effective.
 
An example of a ‘want or need’ sentence might be something such as: ‘In this article, I’ll show you have to increase your book sales using LinkedIn’ or ‘I am going to show you how I used LinkedIn to become a best seller.’
 
If possible, try to tap into the pain of a reader and show them how you can help them remove that pain.
 
A dissidence sentence is a little more difficult. This is when you say something that is the opposite of what the reader will think. For example, you might say, ‘I always thought FaceBook ads where the key to success, I was wrong’ or ‘My book was doomed to fail, then I found LinkedIn’.
 
Here you are creating surprise and curiosity.
 
Use Hashtags
You should carefully choose hashtags that fit the content you are creating and target the readership you desire. Do your research and know your community.
 
If you pick these carefully then you will gain two benefits.
 
The first is that your content is more easily shared. It will appear under that hashtag and attract readers that are not part of your ecosystem.
 
The second is that if your post is successful and it is promoted by the LinkedIn algorithm, then LinkedIn will send the article to people within the hashtag and push it into their feed, This means you will be getting your content in front of people that are interested but not one of your followers.
 

Final Thoughts

Overall, LinkedIn for Authors provides a great oppurtunity. Though the site is established, it is only recently that users have started to use the site as a social network.
 
Gaining engagement for your posts is critical and this is best achieved by creating content that matches the mindset of your readers. In doing this, you will not only gain new readers but also match LinkedIn engagement goals in the process.
 
Creating success on LinkedIn will require an investment of time to produce constant results, but the potential rewards are huge and there has been no better time to commit to the platform. Marketing a book online is made simple by LinkedIn.