We often hear marketing gurus extoll the virtues of social media and building an email list as the key for creating success for authors and publishers. Working the internet can be a fantastic tool. However, there is a caveat: being “liked” is not the answer; it’s how we treat our contacts that makes a difference. Selby ink assists independent publishers through the constantly evolving world of social media. Until they are a known quantity, an independent publisher’s list of followers and email contacts is their “buying public.” Creating that list takes time and effort, as well as being human in our approach and follow-through. Are we really connecting with our list? Do we know their likes and dislikes? Are the people on our list truly our readers, buyers and fans?
One author we worked with a few years ago initially and impressively stated, “I have over 5,000 followers on Facebook and at least that many on Twitter.” She also was pleased with the fact that she had a Facebook page. I asked “How many of her 10,000 people had followed her to her Facebook page?” She replied, “About 100.” I then asked how many of her followers on her page consistently respond to her posts? She said “Around 10 people.” She was also proud of writing her blog daily and of the radio show she was hosting. My next question was, “How many posts do you place on your Facebook page in one day?” She admitted she posted about ten times a day. My last question was, “Aren’t you tired? Working so hard with so little results?”
She had all the “right” pieces in place for her platform. She was familiar with Facebook, Twitter, wrote a blog, and hosted a radio show. However, she had no clue as to who were the other 9,990 people on her list or what they were interested in. She had developed the numbers without developing the CONNECTION. Here are some tips for developing the connection:
- When someone requests friendship on FB, or Twitter don’t assume that they will be an active participant on your list.
- Too many people assume that if someone connects with you that they want to be added to every list you have. They may have simply “liked” a post you shared.
- Using Facebook for marketing is like cooking with really good cumin. If you use too much of it, you’re going to ruin the dish. Hammering your list with multiple repetitive posts just causes people to not “like” you anymore.
- Facebook supports compelling content. The administration keeps track of how many people respond to a trend or a post. The more people who comment on your posts the more likely your news will be included in their “Top Stories.”
- Find out what your followers are interested in. Offer specials, discounts, or share a great story. See how they respond. Follow their posts and review what they share. In other words, do your research and then create interesting news.
- Repeated posts on your blog or on Facebook without a response makes you seem like a robot. Be a human being when you post, create a conversation.
- Accept when it’s time to part ways from your followers. Facebook makes it easy to leave, with one click. Spring cleaning of your list is always a good idea.
One advantage major publishers have is that they have lists; lists of reviewers and of interviewers, and lists of people who want to be on their social networking and email lists. However, even their lists aren’t magically created. Their reputation and experience is established, they have done their market research, and they have also done footwork necessary to build their business. An independent publisher starting at the beginning is an unknown factor; they must build their reputation first and then do the footwork. The main advantage that an independent publisher has is their unique humanity. Caring for their followers sets them apart and makes them more attractive to their audience. Another advantage the independent publisher may have is that they are a fresh face; most of us applaud the little guy over the goliaths.
What are your favorite tips for expanding your social media lists? How do you use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Goodreads, or Pinterest in your marketing efforts? Here at Selby ink we are always open to learning new ways to accomplish our goal of helping our clients maximize their success.
Mari Selby founded Selby ink in 1998 after working for a small publisher where she was successful in improving their sales from 20,000 books to over 100,000 books in one year. Prior to being a publicist Mari was a family therapist in private practice for almost 20 years. All of us at Selby ink are passionate about healing and transformation, we prefer to work with books that make a difference in people’s lives, their relationships, our society or the planet. Our passion for books, drive to make your work well-known, and international contacts will provide just the edge you need to create a successful promotional campaign. Selby ink covers all the publicity and promotional bases, from book-shepherding to traditional book tours to online services to viral campaigns. Contact Selby ink today for a free short consultation about your book and you! firstname.lastname@example.org or www.selbyink.com.