Continuity of branding across all your social media platforms is essential
For the next 9 days, we’ll be taking a little detour from the traditional marketing posts you’ve come to know and love on the Marcie Brock blog as I lead by example and follow my own writing prompts for the Author Blog Challenge.
Day 20 writing prompt:
How are you using social media to promote your book? What aspect of social media would you like to learn more about? What are your next steps?
When you’re writing the prompts for a first-time blog challenge, you go with your instinct. That’s why there tends to be some overlap on a few of the questions, like the one about platform and the one about social media.
Interestingly, there’s been some pushback from a few authors that the prompts are too focused on marketing, but I stand by my claim that without marketing, your chances of selling books to anyone other than those in your immediate circle is greatly diminished. Authors “get tired of thinking about marketing” at their own peril. Sure, we want to do our creative thing and write our books – but let’s put at least equal energy to marketing creativity, shall we?
Social media, while not a marketing strategy in and of itself, is a component of marketing that smart authors are using to their own best advantage. According to Jay Baer of Convince & Convert, “Social is foremost a philosophy, not a set of behaviors.” In a recent podcast on Marketing Profs, Baer went on to explain that companies (or authors) miss the mark when they try to “do” social. What they need to focus on instead is being social. “The more personal, visceral, and human the story, the harder it is to outsource [content creation]. … Taking your product brochure (or book) and turning it into a series of blog posts isn’t going to be effective. Content is fire, and social media is gasoline. The easiest way to be successful in social is to be social about content,” Baer said in the podcast.
What does that mean to us, as authors? Just what it sounds like. We need to get busy being social.
SOCIAL [soh-shuhl] adjective
(1) pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations; (2) seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable; gregarious; (3) of, pertaining to, connected with, or suited to polite or fashionable society; (4) living or disposed to live in companionship with others or in a community, rather than in isolation; (5) of or pertaining to human society, especially as a body divided into classes according to status.
MEDIA [mee-dee-uh] noun
(1) plural of medium; (2) the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, and magazines, that reach or influence people widely. Usually used with a plural verb.
SOCIAL MEDIA is content created by its consumers. Copy, images, video, music … whatever the form the content takes, it is created by the users, as opposed to traditional media in which the entire purpose of the organization (i.e., company) was the creation and distribution of content to an audience.
One of the most important things about an author’s social media promotion is continuity of branding. It is essential that authors take full advantage of all the personalization available and use the same branding across every platform.
When it comes to employing social media to promote 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women, I am doing a few things. The first is my blog. The goal is to post a new question from the book two or three times a week. On the blog, I discuss the topic of the question in general terms. For instance, take Question #559: Have you ever refinished/restored something you found at a yard sale/flea market? I did research on refinishing furniture and quoted some good sources on the subject. I partner this with the 1001RLQFW Ning network.
Ning allows its users to create specific social networks geared around the topics of their choosing. On Ning, I address the same question I post on the blog, but I give my personal answer to the post. No – I probably won’t post every question on the blog – though some people are willing to bare it ALL, I’ve always thought there are some things better left offline. I see great promise in eventually growing Ning into a membership site, but for now, it receives miscellaneous attention here and there by people who stumble onto it.
Twitter gets a little more attention simply because Hootsuite makes it easier to manage all my various Twitter accounts at one time. I’ve loved Twitter since I first started using it because it’s so interactive. Of course, I spent a LOT of time building my personal following (which now numbers 6,024 Tweets; 3,660 Following; and 3,296 Followers). On my 1001RLQFW account, I do a few things:
- I do the relationship management thing, responding to and retweeting other posts.
- I also post short question-related quotes with some regularity: “You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer ‘yes’ without having asked any clear question,” by Albert Camus.
- And of course, I post actual questions from the book, along with a photo that illustrates the topic of the question: #255. How many jobs have you had in your life? What was your favorite? Least favorite? Longest time? Shortest?
Other things I’ve done include a couple Animoto videos from two teleconferences I did in advance of my book launch. One was with Dr. Ramani Durvasula on the power of journaling. The second was with life coach Amy Kessel on the power of asking and answering questions. These are good people to tap for book blurbs – now that I’ve got a clear head to reflect back on it!
Future plans include a Facebook group and a Pinterest board, as well as some SlideShare presentations that illustrate two or three questions at a time.
As I suggest that my clients do, I believe it’s essential to first establish a solid presence on one platform before beginning to layer the others in. Once you’ve got several social networks working, you can leverage them to your greatest advantage by linking them to each other and cross-promoting them. For instance, you can Tweet your new Pinterest pictures and blog posts. Remember, however, that although many people are on multiple platforms, the users of each one have a unique flavor, feel, and collective personality. For that reason, you’ve got to address each audience in the way that best suits them.
Make the most out of the relationships you’re taking so much care and effort to groom and grow by personalizing your Tweets and posts!
We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.
In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out!