Harnessing Social Media’s Power
Without Wasting Your Time
Presented by J. Steve Miller at Socon 2013
Introductory Exercise: Help this Blogger – http://dannykofke.blogspot.com – Discuss: what authors are typically told.
When “Building a Following” on Social Networking Probably Won’t Work
(Answering “No” Indicates Challenges)
Yes/No 1. Are you selling high profit books, or products that people buy repeatedly? ( Whole Foods )
Yes/No 2. Do you (or your team) have all three of these characteristics: the necessary knowledge (a legitimate authority in your field) and skills (in social media and writing) and enjoy social networking?
Yes/No 3. Are you already a recognized authority? ( Michael Hyatt )
Yes/No 4. Are you willing and able to become a legitimate thought leader/expert on your subject?
Yes/No 5. Do you have the time necessary to research, write posts, study blogging, and market your blog? (Or, do you have the money to pay a competent person to do these tasks?) (CreateSpace , Lightning Source, www.character-education.info, Pet Peeves)
Yes/No 6. Does your industry/genre/topic lend itself to building a social media following?
a. Does your topic have few raving fans and many discontents? ( www.facebook.com – Search “Wachovia Sucks” vs. Pepsi’s Facebook page )
b. Do people in your target group want regular news and wisdom on your topic? ( Rubbermaid blog posts )
c. Does your topic lend itself to repeat customers (Peace, Love and Pizza)?
d. Is your target group too busy to follow you?
e. Does your target audience tend to follow blogs?
Yes/No 7. Do your books exhibit continuity? ( www.wisdomcreekpress.com )
Yes/No 8. Will most of your social media followers likely be your target group for book sales?
Yes/No 9. Have you found a unique niche within your genre/topic?
Yes/No 10. Is there enough relevant, interesting, practical information to write on your topic for years on end? (The puppy)
Yes/No 12. If time is limited, is blogging/tweeting likely to be more effective at selling your products/services than other marketing initiatives?
Relevant Research to Guide Our Social Media Marketing
1. Gallup found very few people responding positively to companies trying to sell their own products directly via social media. (http://gmj.gallup.com/content/148694/social-media-three-big-myths.aspx
2. The same study found people buying products based upon recommendations of people they either have a close relationship with or trust, like family, friends (real friends as opposed to Facebook “friends”), and experts.
3. The study further suggests that the most effective use of social media is to allow fans of our products to spread the word on their networks.
4. Malcomb Gladwell accumulated studies showing that harnessing the power of influencers such as connectors and mavens and salesmen is key to successful marketing. http://gmj.gallup.com/content/26770/Power-Social-Networks.aspx#2.)
5. Harnessing the power of influencers requires first locating these influencers. (Social Media Marketing for Dummies, p. 160)
6. Research by Razorfish found 61 percent of responders relying on user reviews, compared with 15.41 percent relying on editorial reviews.
7. A Nielson Online study found 81 percent of online shoppers reading online customer reviews.
8. According to the (above) Gallup survey, “Your best bet to acquire new customers is to engage your existing customers, then align your strategy with the wants and needs that encourage them to engage their social networks on your behalf.”
9. People should seek out marketing methods that maximize their unique strengths and interests. (See Marcus Buckingham in First, Break All the Rules and Now, Discover Your Strengths.)
10. 39% of people surveyed unfriend people on Facebook who try to sell them something. http://www.nmincite.com/?p=6051
Social Media Principles, Tips and Tricks beyond “Building a Following”
Social Media Principle #1: The Optimal Recommender Principle
“Let others praise you, rather than praise yourself.”
1. Use existing forums and listservs to get early input and to jumpstart product reviews. (My strategy and results for Near-Death Experiences launch – attractive product, findable title, great reviews, optimized Amazon landing page, strategically give away copies, price it right, pray or cross fingers – Random House - “Out of every eight books, one is very profitable, one is very unprofitable, and six either break even or lose money.” Why one of my eight is selling very well - http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/paperback-nonfiction/list.html .)
2. Continue to seek reviews after your product launch. ( Amazon page for Sell More Books )
3. Create an online press page to collect your reviews, interviews, etc. ( press page for Enjoy Your Money )
4. Keep finding reviewers on forums, listservs, and wherever your niche gathers. (Contra expert on Fox 5)
5. Monitor your Amazon pages and other places people buy. ( conversing with reviewers )
Social Media Principle #2: The Optimal Setting Principle
“Go where people already gather, rather than gather a crowd around yourself.”
1. Get reviews on top blogs. ( See list of reviews on bottom of press page. ) (On finding blogs)
2. Hang out at popular forums, rather than starting your own forum.
3. Help Journalists with HARO. (Note: The emphasis on HELPING rather than self promotion.)
Social Media Principle #3: The Optimal Recipients Principle
“Address the interested, rather than interrupt the disinterested.”
Note: Don’t bother people!
1. “Listen in on” conversations and news with Google Alerts.
2. There are ways to use Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., in legitimate ways. (Karen O’Tool’s Facebook Page)
3. Provide great content and optimize your landing pages with Search Engine Optimization. ( www.character-education.info )
4. Related to #3, on your blog, strive for occasional, quality “anchor posts” that people continue to comment on and find over time.
Social Media Principle #4: The Optimal Marketer Principle
“Consider your strengths and passions,
rather than assuming you can replicate any marketing scheme.”
Marguerita McManus’ YouTube videos on quilting. Tip: Your best marketing may NOT be social networking. Long arm….
Social Media Principle #5: Have a Place for People to Connect
Author Blog/Site, Facebook, a Blog, a Facebook “Page”, LinkedIn, A Press Kit
Connect with Us!
J. Steve Miller is president of Legacy Educational Resources ( www.character-education.info ) providing web based resources for those teaching character and life skills in public schools and through service agencies. He and his wife Cherie also write and market their books on various subjects, including their award-winning Sell More Books! Book Marketing and Publishing for Low Profile and Debut Authors, Rethinking Book Publicity after the Digital Revolutions , and Social Media Frenzy: Why Time Consuming Facebook, Twitter & Blogging Strategies May NOT Work for Your Business – Consider These Alternative Social Networking Initiatives Connect with Steve at www.enjoyyourwriting.com (leave a comment or question, even if it has nothing to do with the post), www.jstevemiller.com (author site), www.sellmorebooks.org , Facebook, LinkedIn, and various other blogs and sites and forums. If you have suggestions for updates and revisions, or need a speaker, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, February 8th, 2013, by J. Steve Miller and is filed under "Sell Your Books, authors, entrepreneurs, Social Media, SoCon 2013, writers ". You can leave a response here, or send a Trackback from your own site.