I recommend the utilization of social media technology to all of the authors I work with. Why? Because with so much competition for consumer attention you have to make it easier for people to find you. For whatever reason, authors seem to overlook this step. Maybe they’re focused on writing or something?
I don’t mean to belittle anyone, but a sound book marketing strategy needs more than traditional public relations, media advertising, events and mailing lists - it needs a social media strategy as well. Our new reality is that when people want to find information about a given topic, they often turn to search engines.
(And our author reality is that you can’t afford to have a public relations firm at your beck and call so you might as well focus on something that is free and demands only your time. Albeit your precious, little time.)
Think about your own behavior when you are looking for information using Google. Do you look beyond the first page or two of search results? Probably not. Are you ever unsatisfied with your Google results, leading you to try other search engines? Probably so.
My point then is twofold. Consumers have short attention spans and are using more than just the Google, MSN & Yahoo search engines to find the information they want. People use the Twitter search engine … they use Facebook … Tumblr … you name it. (The latter being a blog, Tumblr gives you the opportunity to start that blog you’ve always talked about but haven’t gotten around to.)
Just to drive the point a little more. Everyone knows it is important to have high search engine visibility on Google. But I’ll argue the same goes for other “independent” search engines like Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook - etc etc etc. The brilliant part about social media technology is that the more you work it (use keywords, generate likes, provide useful comments, use appropriate tags) the better your visibility becomes.
Going back to authors. To those whom this piece is directed to:
Updating your Facebook page (which is hopefully linked to your Twitter account) and leaving some comments only takes five to ten minutes a day a couple times a week.
Think of the long term strategy.
Build your audience over time.
Maybe set aside a few five-hour blitzkrieg blocks.
Isn’t that a Ramones song?
This past week I’ve been helping some older gentlemen to create marketing plans for their books for 2012. All seem to have a genuine interest in utilizing social media technologies to promote their books, but all desire to spend little-to-no time behind a computer as well. I admire and support those convictions!
Therefore, I came up with the following solution for them.
Firstly, I helped to create a separate Facebook book page for their book. Each had a personal page already, but really didn’t want strangers to have access to their personal information. Creating a separate book page was the perfect solution as it allows them to “brand” themselves, and to share information about their book without compromising privacy. In addition, Facebook provides many useful analytics for ‘brand’ pages that it doesn’t provide personal pages, allowing the user to gauge the effectiveness and reach of their postings.
Second, I created a Twitter account for each. While most of these gentleman had zero to no interest in spending any of their time using this platform (mostly because they had an erroneous understanding of its uses) I convinced them that if they linked their Facebook pages to their Twitter accounts, they could spend little to NO time using this technology while reaping some of the benefits. Mind you, this is an imperfect solution, but it allows them the ability to expose their message to new audiences.
Finally, as none of my clients had a personal webpage, I recommended the creation of a Tumblr blog for each. I then linked Tumblr to Facebook to Twitter - so now all they have to do is update their Tumblr account to update all three.
I believe this is a great solution for those looking to utilize social media technology, but don’t have much time or money to invest. I do think this is an imperfect solution, and cannot replace a hands-on approach - but it is something worth considering for low to no budget marketers and promoters.
Let’s face it - starting your own business is nuts! If you’re working alone, you’re doing everything yourself. This can mean that you delay working on personal projects (like building a website, doing your taxes, eating food) in order to focus on client projects. And when you’re juggling a lot, this can mean personal projects don’t get done.
It reminds me of an old painter I knew in Port Townsend. He was renowned for his experience with Victorian-era architecture, craft and style - yet he had the most dilapidated, un-painted house in town. One summer (probably before I was born) he must have had a slow year (during the 80’s recession?) and he troubled himself to scrape all of the old Victorian lead-based paint from his house. And that’s how it remained for the next 20+ years until he sold the place.
My backlog of personal work (excluding therapy) often reminds me of this painter. I run around doing all kinds of great things marketing books, bands, and brands - then at the end of the day I am so sick of looking at a computer screen that I don’t cover me own nuts and bolts - if you will.
However, today was my 80’s recession and I finally got my act together to create a Facebook page. That’s right - The Neo Com Group has a Facebook page. My hope is that I can stop spamming my personal Facebook friends with events and media clips - and that I can set up a separate business-related identity - right there on ye olde Facebook. Just like I tell my clients to do.
Now I can finally put my money where my mouth is. Now I can use the time to finally figure out what the hell Pinterest is …