Marcy’s Twitter blitz was so popular that we’ve been asked to do a series about using Facebook. Before you jump in the Twitter Ocean with Marcy, or on the Facebook Freeway with me, there are a few things about social media you should know.
Doing social media willy nilly will not garner the results you’re looking for. Like any other entrepreneur, you need a strategic marketing plan. It’s a world of free, so if you want people to buy what you’re selling, give them something free in return. Offer insider tips, free information, make them laugh – be creative. If you’re not sure what your social media options are, check out my post on Social Media For Tech Idiots.
Your web presence is like a house and you want everyone in the living room because that’s where you’ve set up your book display – where they can buy what you’re selling. You want as many people as possible to come into your living room, so you leave all the doors to the house wide open. But how will they see your living room from the curb? You need to get them in the door first.
The front door is maybe your website where you offer things like a bio, news, e-books, newsletters, etc. There are web designers who cater specifically to authors and writers such as Umstattd Media.
Your blog is the back door. You’re going to offer different kinds of content there.
Facebook becomes the back patio entrance. People may find you through Facebook when they wouldn’t have found you any other way.
Twitter is the garage door entrance. People on Twitter are looking for different content than on Facebook or a blog.
Youtube is the balcony entrance.
Comment/Like/Tweet on likeminded sites – this is like a street sign pointing to your house. Your chances of a successful yardsale multiply when you put signs out at the nearby busy intersections – but it won’t do you any good to put up signs across town. Be selective.
You get the idea. The more entrances offering unique content into your ‘house’, the more likely you are to appeal to a larger number of people.
The Living Room
Your living room needs a goal. What do you want people to do when they are in your living room? That goal must be very clear. Whatever it is you want people to do, make that the point of your living room wherever you base that – is it to buy books, sign up for a newsletter, buy a CD or video tutorial, take a writing course, hire you as a freelancer? Whatever. Every entrance to your house has a sign (a hyperlink) that leads visitors to the living room. They may only stick around that entrance, but they might click through. This is the goal.
Build A Brand
As an author your product isn’t your book (though that’s the tangible). As an author you’re selling yourself. You need to brand yourself, and keep your brand consistent across all your social media platforms. Brandilyn Collin’s brand is Seatbelt Suspense – this is what she’s known for, what fans expect when they pick up one of her books. On Twitter, Facebook, her website, Youtube – they all market Seatbelt Suspense. What’s your brand? Maybe it’s just your name? Your platform is built on your brand. If you aren’t sure what a platform is, or why you need one, check out our post on Building Author Platform.
A final word…
Nothing is worse than arriving at someone’s door and finding nothing or no one home. It’s a huge time commitment to maintain and provide fresh content for all the social media outlets available. Instead of doing several poorly and leaving people with a bad impression, focus on one or two and do them well. If you know you don’t have the time to write new content on your blog twice a week, then focus on Facebook or Twitter or a website that require your time in smaller chunks? Begin small and work up – not the other way around. Don’t point people to a Twitter account or Facebook page that you never use.
For the rest of the week I’ll be posting about Facebook. For other posts in this series, see Top 5 Reasons Authors Should Be On Facebook, Pimp Out Your Facebook Page, Get Liked – Facebook Marketing Tips For Authors, Carpooling With Book Fans on the Facebook Freeway. Also watch our Facebook Page for Facebook Friday tips on how to improve your Fan Page.
Have a question about Facebook? Leave us a comment.