On social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. you get asked to create a handle, page name, account name… If you are going to use a different account for each book or series use the same handle and page name and relate it to your books. For our book series we use 42Rules for our social media accounts. Make sure you keep track of your handles and passwords because it’s easy to get confused!
The SlideRocket blog has a fantastic freebie that is great for authors. They are giving away a free, customizable social media marketing plan template. If you don’t have a social media plan for your book you need one. This template will help you get off on the right foot AND keep you there!
Mashable is sharing their presentation “Top 10 Tips for Social Media Engagement” on Slideshare. If you already know Mashable skip the introductory slides and go right into the meat of the presentation. Our favorite slide is “10 Commandments Of Twitter Etiquette”. We wish the world would read and follow this list! You can see the presentation, and that slide, here.
Salesforce/Radian 6 has a nifty presentation on Slideshare called “30 Ideas For Your Social Media Plan”. Salesforce went through their most popular posts from 2011 and came up with 30 ideas that you can use for your author social media campaign. This not to be missed presentation is here.
Dorie Clark recently attended the New Media Expo in Las Vegas and got an earful of advice on social media. While many people at the event tweet while they are walking down the hallway or carrying a second battery for their phone so they will never be out of touch others spoke quietly about cutting back on social media. This isn’t about abandoning a platform or technique but about choosing the right platform for you and focusing on that platform. This is excellent advice for authors and we recommend you read the entire article “It’s Time To Cut Back On Social Media.”
Most of us have a love/hate relationship with social media because we really don’t understand the how and why of using it. Social media isn’t for everyone. It can take some time to get started, but if your readers use social media, then you should too.
Social media marketing includes the top three social media sites LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and blogs, podcasts, webcasts, teleseminars and video sharing sites like YouTube. Any place where people gather to talk and socialize is considered a social media site.
We can’t get into all the aspects of using social media to market your book here but you can check out the FREE webcasts I’ve created on the topic and there are quite a few. Click the link to visit 42Rules to check them out.
A popular phrase in marketing is “Return On Investment” or ROI. We always want to know the ROI of the marketing tactics we use and this is sometimes easy to determine. Where it gets murky is when it comes to social media. There isn’t a way to monitor social media impact at present because social media is not meant to be a marketing or sales channel. Social media is the opportunity to build relationships with present and future customers, build your brand and create a positive reputation. Most of this can’t be quantified.
In my opinion the best practices in social media include:
1. Build relationships. Tweeting a couple of times a week or posting to your Facebook profile or Fan Page once in a while isn’t going to build relationships. You need to monitor your accounts for visitor response at least twice a week if you’re just starting out and more often when you become more experienced. Answer questions, “like” responses and thank people for commenting. If you have the time check out the profile of your most vocal fans and follow them as well.
2. Don’t start a flame war. Build your reputation by responding positively and constructively to criticism. Show enthusiasm for suggestions even if they aren’t spot on. Move potentially destructive conversations off social media and on to e-mail or telephone. Do feel free to remove comments that are spammy or inappropriate and report people who continuously spam you. Building your reputation doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat and you have the right to protect your brand.
3. Monitor conversations about you or your book. People may be talking about you in a positive or negative manner on their own social media accounts so it’s important that you search for mentions of your book title and respond appropriately. You can setup Google Alerts to monitor some of this but you must also manually search social media sites proactively. You’ll be surprised at what you learn and much of it will be positive.
4. Use social media to promote but not sell. No one wants to follow someone on Twitter just to hear over and over again “Buy my book. Buy my book. Buy my book.” It is permissible, however, to mention a product discreetly.
If you get frustrated with the time you spend on social media remind yourself that you are building relationships and no one can put a price on that!