Tag | social media marketing
Squidoo is an excellent and free way to promote yourself as an author, as well as the books that you’ve written. Create by Seth Godin in 2005, Squidoo is a social community that allows users to build lenses, or single online pages, to showcase a particular subject. Squidoo is like having a one-page website that will share images, links and other details on just about anything that you can think that’s worth promoting.
Getting started is easy. Sign-up for a free account and you’re off to the races. Squidoo recognizes that the majority of its audience aren’t tech-savvy and a simple content management system has been implemented to walk you through the ‘lens’ set-up process. If you’re new to the community, it might be in your best interest to take a look at other lenses to get a sense on how they’re used and built. This will make it easier to determine how to create our own.
So, what’s the point of having a Squidoo lens? First, Google loves Squidoo and values it as a highly credible source of content and information. This means that even if your personal website is buried somewhere on page 25 of the Google search engine results pages, you still have an opportunity to nab a piece of the limelight via Squidoo. Most lenses appear in the top 10 of Google searches and that’s a great thing for those of us who are just starting out.
You can build a Squidoo lens for each one of your books and even for yourself and then link them altogether for a collection of lenses that are all about your body of work and expertise. Pretty snazzy. Many authors feature downloadable ebooks, upcoming book signings, future speaking events and other details about where they’ll be and what they’re doing. You can even use your lens to help drive traffic back to your blog and website.
There are plenty of Squidoo resources available to help you get things going. The best sources tend to be from the Squidoo lensmasters themselves. Explore and enjoy.
Knowing what your ROI is on the efforts that you put forth is important because it helps you gauge what’s working and what’s failing. Making subtle adjustments allows you to focus your energy in the right direction and it can produce amazing results. Measurement as it relates to social media is a tricky thing because there isn’t necessarily a direct relationship between a gaining a new fan or follower and a specific monetary value that impacts a brand’s bottom line. So, instead of trying to equate each brand loyalist to a dollar sign, let’s look at measuring your degree of social media influence by examining other areas.
Twitter users know that retweet (RTs) are one of the most powerful methods of extending their social reach. When you create a tweet that has sticking and sharing power, other tweeps are more likely to pass it along to others in their own networks and those people will pass it on to theirs and so on and so on. In this manner, a RT has the power to exponentially to spread your message and drive traffic back to your profile and your site or blog if you’ve tweeted a link.
Speaking of links, they are an integral part of your social media presence. Links are easy to shorten and share with others and they’re very easy to look at the type of traffic they’re producing. If you use a link shortener like Bit.ly you review how many clicks a particular link has received. You can also set-up Google Analytics for a particular page via link to get a better understanding of bounce rates, visitor habits and a slew of other data.
If you actively participate in leaving blog comments you can include a link, as long as it’s relevant to your comment, back to your site or blog post. External links carry more weight and influence in the eyes of Google and therefore will help boost your site’s exposure on the search engine’s results page. The more links you have, the more easily you can be found because you’re viewed as a credible resource.
Without getting to technical, pings are essentially communication methods that are used by computer networks that send out alerts when something new occurs. Pings are an effective way to promote your site/blog and you measure site traffic related to a ping to estimate your the level of influence that you have.
The biggest challenge that many social media beginners face is having a clear understanding on what a campaign actually is. Your campaign should understand exactly what your audience wants and needs, as well as where they gather. Dissemination of good, free material and monitoring results with measurable goals is also part of what a campaign is. A campaign should be wrapped with good messaging, a clear call-to-action and feature a simple way to share with others.
If you’ve read the above and feel like you’re read to take the next step into the social media spotlight, you’ll want to make sure that preserve the integrity of your campaign by avoiding some of these common mistakes.
1. Dormant accounts. Opening social media accounts all over the place isn’t going to win you a ton of fans and followers. Each account that you have should be one that connects to your audience (i.e. where they frequent, where they like to connect). For each account that you have you’ll need to play an active role. If you haven’t sent a tweet in six months or posted fresh content, people will wonder where you’ve gone to and eventually move on.
2. Self promotion. Although it’s exciting to start a campaign, it’s also important to remember that it’s not all about you. Tone down the ‘me-me-me’ and focus more on what you can do for others. People will appreciate that you’re using your expertise and skills to point them in the right direction instead of just shoving a sales message in their face. First build your flock and then share information and update about your brand.
3. Tuning out. The whole point behind a social media campaign is to engage yourself in conversations with other people. Discuss what they think, what they want and what they know. The worst thing you can do is not listen to what’s being said. Don’t let conversations and exchanges fall on deaf ears. Take the time to reply and respond quickly. You’ll be amazed by the results you’ll get from such a simple action.
Social media takes time and it’s not for those lacking in patience. Slow and steady wins the race in this realm.
Social media is a powerful tool that can quickly generate brand awareness and increase overall exposure to large market segments. For instance, if you’re an author that is beginning a social media campaign to promote your newest hardcover release connecting with your online community is only part of the process. Beyond numbers of fans and followers, you need to know what people are saying about your brand, what’s the depth of conversation regarding you as an author, how engaged are readers with your books and more.
There are quite a few ways that you can measure how your readers are interacting with you in the social media sphere. Some are costly, but they deliver robust data that can be used to adjust your campaign as needed. On the other hand, there are some fantastic free tools available that do a fair job delivering snapshots of your fans and their sentiment toward your book, or brand. Do some digging to find the tools that will work best to meet your needs and fit your budget.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the data that you start pulling. If you’re a writer, words come easily, whereas numbers may seem more challenging. Focus on identifying trends in your data and ignore information that isn’t relevant. Spot increases and decreases over time to give yourself a benchmark to help gauge whether your social media efforts are succeeding or failing.
Make sure to overlay sales numbers with your social media data. If you’re using Google Analytics to measure conversions on your book’s landing page, check for spikes and dips and then compare how specific social media efforts may have effected those outcomes. Watching sales and measuring the ROI through social media will be determined by the set of metrics that you define. For example, if you are more concerned about sales instead of site registration then you’ll need to shift your measurement and focus accordingly.
However you choose to evaluate your book’s or brand’s social media investment just remember to be open-minded about the numbers. They can be your friend and help you find opportunities, identify mistakes and tell you what to continue or abandon.
One of the more popular social media trends to surface are location-based websites like FourSquare, Gowalla and Loopt, among others. These social media sites have incorporated GPS technology with a layer of gaming businesses are quickly discovering that they’re able to leverage their presence in unique and exciting ways. If these names sound foreign and location-based social media is virgin territory for you, this explanation might help.
FourSquare is a website that really used for letting your friends, co-workers, family or whomever, know where you are. Using your smartphone, you login to FourSquare every time you arrive at a destination. You can ‘check-in’ to a grocery store, the Starbuck’s on the corner of Broadway and 5th Avenue, your favorite French restaurant and even a fun clothing boutique. The gaming aspect happens via check-ins by assigning points that allow you to earn ‘badges’ that can be used toward just about anything a particular merchant can think of.
The more you check-in and interact with a location or business, the more points you earn. Points can earn you the position of “mayor” of a specific location. Eventually, you can become ‘mayor’ and most companies will offer special discounts and offers to the mayor. So there really is a payoff to “hanging out all day”.
In terms of promoting your business, these new sites are a marketing dream with unlimited potential. Some of the more notable ways that companies and individuals are utilizing these social media sites to drive traffic include:
Starbucks. For all FourSquare participants, each store has extended a local offer to the mayor of each location. Starbucks provides a $1 off frappuccino coupon to mayors nationwide.
Kentucky Derby and Courier Journal. This famous sporting event and largest local newspaper united forces to develop a city tour and bar crawl on Gowalla. Users could check-in to specified locations to earn points and even a badge for successful completion of the tour. This was a great revenue generator for the businesses and bars who were involved.
St. Edward’s University. This is a great example that shows you don’t have to be a retail location in order to benefit from location-based social media. The university used Whrrl to have more than 180 students, parents, staff and faculty to check-in and exchange photos and experiences during a graduation ceremony. Instead of having individual Facebook and Twitter updates, people collectively contributed and connected through Whrrl that created a sense of community on a very special day.
Put on your creative caps and try using these social media platforms to build some buzz for yourself. Lots of possibilities with nothing to lose. How can you use this to market your business or book?
Blog commenting is super way to build links back to your book’s website and to promote yourself as an author. Furthermore, reading blogs and engaging in feedback is an easy and effective way to generate traffic without needing an expensive advertising campaign. As an author, you’re no doubt proud of the book that you’ve written and in a perfect world you’d love to shout about it in the comment section of each and every blog that you can find. Unfortunately, blog commenting requires some consideration so that you don’t end up causing more harm to you and your book than good.
When you visit someone’s blog, take the time to read it and get to know what the blogger’s content and focus is about. Familiarity will give you better insight when it comes to leaving a more profound comment rather than commenting just for the sake of it. Avoid ambiguous comments like, “This is a great post. Thank you for writing it.” Try to leave something of value. If readers of your book simply stated that your book was a “nice read” it would be frustrating to you as an author. The same thing goes for blog comments. Make each one count.
Don’t shamelessly self-promote you or your book right out of the gate. Instead of appearing as a resource, it looks pretentious and arrogant. Add value to the blog and the conversation of others. Consider sharing other resources that are relevant to the topic of the post versus linking to your book’s website just for the sake of slapping a link into the comment.
Be considerate when you comment. If a blog post is focuses on an opinion or perspective that isn’t in tune with your own you don’t have carte blanche to verbally berate the blogger. It reflects poorly on you and it can generate a whopping size of bad publicity that will make it difficult to recover from as an author. Be a gentleman and a lady and politely agree to disagree or avoid commenting at all. In cyberspace, biting your tongue is more aligned with taking the high road than not.
Blog commenting isn’t an art, it just takes some common sense. Think before you post your comment. Once it’s out, it’s out for good.
Earlier this year, Erik Qualmann’s book Socialnomics created international buzz when its video book trailer went viral. The book offers a fascinating look at the impact of social media on businesses and consumers, but the video does it even better. Hence its viral accomplishment. The questions are how did this video go viral and what has it achieved in doing so.
Understanding the transformation can provide you with some insight on how to take your own video trailer to the masses successfully. First off, the video wasn’t exorbitantly long, just more than four minutes. Although most video attention spans rank at one to two minutes, Socialnomics has a fast paced format that keeps the visuals coming quickly and creatively.
The content is condensed into eye-raising statistics that leave viewers feeling surprised and mesmerized at the same time. Each fact relates back to the book and a specific social media reference. Regardless of whether you’re a social media novice or a guru, the content that Socialnomics shares is exceptional. Plus, it’s set to a trend Fat Boy Slim song that creates a sense of urgency and movement.
So how does this factor into going viral and what can you do to tap into its power? Truth be known, most people want to be entertained. There’s a time and place for being conservative, but if you want to grab someone and shake them into a response, you’re more likely to get it done with something amusing.
Think about compiling tidbits and pieces in a unique way so that viewers will want to discover more. If that seems challenging, consider adding a bit of controversy by taking an opposing view point through your video. Anything clever is sure to get noticed and that’s what can bring you epic numbers of viewers.
Once you’ve accomplished what you want with your video, don’t rest on your laurels. Take a cue from Qualmann. Instead of deciding ‘mission accomplished’, he has created a reloaded version of the video to continue driving and building its momentum. Guess what? It’s working. Once you’re satisfied with your own video trailer, test it out and don’t be afraid to make adjustments and release fresh versions. There’s no right or wrong way.
Use Qualmann’s video as inspiration to craft your own and see where it will take you. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results.
You’ve written your eBook. You’re ready to share it with readers. What is your next step? Promoting your ebook requires some marketing creativity and tenacity. Roll up your sleeves and put on your marketing cap. These marketing basics will get things moving in the right direction. You can always customize and build on them once they’re in place.
Start with an ebook mini-marketing plan. It doesn’t have to be fancy or deeply detailed to start. Just a nice, tidy outline that answers some key questions and lists some of your primary objectives with your ebook. For instance, who is your audience? Where is your audience? How many downloads are you aiming for per month? You can easily outline this in a simple one-sheet, but make sure to put some thought and consideration into your questions and answers, as well as realistic and attainable objectives.
Use what you’ve got. Take the resources and tools that are already available to you and use them to your advantage. For instance, if you have a blog, use it as a vehicle to build a marketing campaign for your ebook. Create an editorial calendar and start planning your blog posts around themes directly related to your ebook. Tie in a link to your ebook and a call-to-action for ebook downloads in each and every post. Make sense?
Here’s where your social media profiles come in handy. Update your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts with ebook mentions and links. Get the word out that your ebook has arrived and that you’re ready to share it. Consider putting together a download contest and challenge fans and followers to try and be the 100th person to download. Award the winner with a prize like an iPod that includes an audio version of your ebook.
Make your ebook front and center on your website. Feature it prominently on your homepage and use starbursts and call-outs on subsequent pages to remind visitors to download a copy of the ebook. You’ll also need to drive traffic to your website. Write articles and press releases announcing the launch of your ebook and start posting and distributing them on ezine sites.
With a little effort, you can create momentum and generate buzz about your ebook and do it all with out breaking your bank.
The professional networking site LinkedIn connects members together and is primarily used as a business and relationship building tool. Through LinkedIn’s profile screen, users can customize information about their current and past business accomplishments. It’s very similar to an organized version of an online resume.
Beyond profiles LinkedIn offers quite a few handy applications that allow its members to integrate into their profiles. This enables members to use their LinkedIn accounts in a variety of ways and it takes the profile for a static page to an interactive hub for professionals. Take a peek below to learn about some of the applications available and how they can elevate your LinkedIn profile.
From the name of the application you can probably guess what it does. Use it on LinkedIn to incorporate your existing blog feed into your profile. It’s fuss free. Install and done. The application automatically pulls new posts from your blog and populates them to your profile. It gives your blog added exposure and shares blog details with your LinkedIn connections.
If you’ve ever wondered what professional happenings are scheduled in your local area or region, you need to install Events. Conferences and seminars are recommended based on your industry and job function, plus you can see what events your friends are attending too.
If you’re a road warrior then this is the app for you. Track your travel and find out when your connections will be in the same city or location as you. Great way to meet-up and catch-up with out friends and it’s great for organizing travel details.
Sometimes words from a profile need the support of images and pictures. Using visuals makes it easier to convey thoughts, ideas and showcase achievements. With Google Presentation you can upload a portfolio or show off projects. Upload a Powerpoint file and you’re finished.
Everyone knows that sending attachments via email can be challenging. Depending on the size of the attachment, servers can kick-back and make it difficult to share. With Huddle, you’re able to collaborate online through a private workspace. Documents are safe, secure and best of all, you can choose who gets to see what.
Visit LinkedIn for more great applications to add to your profile and make it stand out from the pack.
Last week we featured the first 10 out of 20 social media thought leaders that are movers and shakers within the industry. Today, we’re continuing with the second half of that list. Each individual featured has a hyperlink their blog site for easy following.
Pete Cashmore. The founder of Mashable at age 19, and also dubbed the Brad Pitt of social media, this Scottish entrepreneur was chosen as one of Inc Magazine’s 30 Under 30, Forbes’ Top 25 Web Celebs and the Huffington Posts’ Top 10 Game Changers 2009. He has a weekly column on CNN and his blog has been selected as a must-ready by Fast Company and PC Magazine. BusinessWeek has featured his site as one of the world’s most profitable blogs.
Liz Strauss. A highly influential blogger, Liz created SOBCon, a conference that combines the best minds and talent from the Internet together to present models, discuss insights and determine best practices – in essence, where virtual meets concrete.
Biz Stone. This co-founder of Twitter (and creative director too) has also helped launch Xanga, Blogger, Odeo and Obvious. He’s published two books about blogging: Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content and Who Let the Blogs Out? These days it’s easier to follow Biz on Twitter. He currently has more than 1.6 million tweeps.
Brian Solis. As Principal of the award-winning new media marketing and branding agency, Future Works in Silicon Valley, Brian has paved the way for social media and PR 2.0. He is among the top 1.5% of all blogs tracked by Technorati and is ranked by AdAge Power 150 index of worldwide bloggers. His book, Engage, includes a forward from Ashton Kutcher.
Clay Shirky. Clay is an associate professor at New York University’s (NYU) graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). Not only is he one of the most requested speakers on social media in the world, but he’s a writer and consultant on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. His columns and writings have appeared in: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Wired and the Harvard Business Review.
Brian Halligan. Author of the best selling book, Inbound Marketing, Brian co-founded the online marketing and analytics company, Hubspot. Brian is a Sloan Fellow from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a thought leader on the social media scene.
Dave Morin. In 2009, Fast Company named Dave one of the ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’. Until recently, Dave was a senior platform manager at Facebook. He is partnering with Napster creator, Shawn Fanning, to create a new startup.
Paul Chaney. Author of The Digital Handshake: Seven Proven Strategies to Grow Your Business Using Social Media, Paul understands at a granular level how social media tools can be used for marketing purposes. Paul serves as president of the International Blogging and New Media Association, an organization dedicated to advancing the growth of blogging, podcasting and social media as an industry.
Mitch Joel. Author of the book, Six Pixels of Separation, Mitch has been called by Marketing Magazine the ‘Rock Star of Digital Marketing’. He is also known as one of North America’s leading digital visionaries.
Lee Odden. In Michael Miller’s book, Online Marketing Heroes, Lee was chosen as one of 25 online marketing experts to be featured. His experience and background in social media has been cited by The Economist, U.S. News & World Reprot and Fortune Magazine. Lee is the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing.