Posts Tagged ‘social media’
Susquehanna Writers Internet Marketing (SWIM) has been quiet the past two weeks as holidays kept us busy with other things. We’re getting back in the saddle this Wednesday, January 5. We’ll meet as usual at the Mondragon book store on Market Street in Lewisburg, PA (12:30 PM). In case you haven’t been there: once you’re inside the main entrance, go up the stairs to the first landing and turn right. Pass the hallway that heads back along the right side of the stairs and find the first door on your right—it’s across from a window.
More Social Media Marketing in Central Pennsylvania
I’m planning to start a new SWIM session in January and am checking in with area writers’ groups to find out when the most people would be interested in attending. The new group will meet on a weeknight or weekend so it doesn’t conflict with work schedules. I’ll post meeting times if there’s enough interest. Please spread the word and ask interested writers to contact me.
SWIM already draws writers from the Sunbury and Selinsgrove area, but it’s within easy reach from Williamsport, Mifflinburg, Danville, and even Bloomsburg when you consider the quality and quantity of material we cover. Please: if you’re a writer within 40 miles of Lewisburg, get in touch to learn whether SWIM makes sense for you.
Publishing, the Internet, and Writers
I’m sure I sound like a broken record to some of you (Remember what a “record” is?), but I want to emphasize: The emerging publishing model is very simple: As an author you will have a direct relationship with your readers. Publishing companies that figure this out and make changes soon enough will become marketing and marketing support engines, but they will rarely print books. On-demand printing will accommodate people who demand ink on paper.
We’re already seeing that publishers prefer an author who has an impressive online presence. Some publishers are cutting back the marketing support for their own titles, relying more and more on authors to do the work online and through traditional means.
Aspiring writers today need to look ahead two to three years and see that self-publishing is the new road to success: Amazon is giving authors 70% of the revenue for sales of eBooks for the Kindle. Good luck getting 15% from a traditional publisher. The writer who can complete a book, build a following online, and sell the book through Internet Marketing and electronic distribution will sell books as more and more publishing companies go under.
And the Kindle? What’s available today is going to be obsolete within a year (guessing, but confident). eReaders will be full-color tablet computers that deliver multimedia content. Click an illustration and you’ll be watching video or browsing a photo library. Traditional publishers will get this wrong again and again before the emergent Internet publishing industry delivers designs and production technology that makes sense for this new reading platform.
Sure, traditional publishing will be around for a while, but opportunity for new authors will continue to diminish and only the most amazing work will find its way onto paper. In the meantime, authors who promote themselves online and who deliver their work electronically will have a leg up. You can quickly gain an edge against well-established authors who are allied with traditional publishers that still struggle to figure out this whole Internet thingy.
If you’re incorporating Twitter into your social marketing strategies (you should), I encourage you to mind this list of Twitter “don’ts.” While many Twitter marketing “experts” tell you to do at least some of the things I believe you shouldn’t, for truly social Twitter users, these are complete turnoffs.
“Social Twitter users?” Well… it’s a social network, not an I’m here so you can sell me stuff network. When you offend the social members of the network, they’ll take action. They may share annoyance about you with their followers, or they may report you as a spammer. What they won’t do is read your sales pitches and buy your products or services.
Six Don’ts for Marketers on Twitter
- Don’t be obsessed with how many followers you have. Sure, having a lot of followers means you have a lot of marketing reach. However, having 700 followers who share your passion for your market space is better than having 12,000 who are followers just because.
- Don’t let your obsession with your follower count lead you to tweet about it. It’s so distasteful to read “I’m only two followers away from 1,000! Who else will follow me?” Tweet something like that and you sound needy and whiny; that’s an awkward position from which to start a meaningful relationship. A corollary to this problem: don’t boast when you hit some target number of followers; that’s so high school.
- Don’t use a “system.” Yes, Twitter offers a terrific opportunity for marketing… and I’d bet more Twitter users are in it to promote something than are in it for a pure social experience… but you don’t endear yourself to people by gaming them. If you or your company is already famous, followers will flock to you because they can. If you’re trying to become famous, do so by being interesting and interested… not by running a game.
- Don’t follow someone back just because they followed you first. People may judge you by your followers, but they’ll judge you far more by who you follow. When you follow every random “person” who follows you first, you end up following the number-obsessed crowd, people who are tweeting purely to sell stuff, people who hope you want to look at naked people, and automated accounts that magically build up followers for their owners. If you run with that kind of crowd, that’s the kind of crowd you can hope to attract.
- Don’t chum for followers. By this I mean don’t start following someone with the sole intent that it will get them to follow you back… and then dump them because they don’t follow you back. This is really crass behavior. There are at least 50 tweets I’d be following today had they simply continued to follow me after they first started. I generally review new followers and decide who I’ll follow back every two-to-three weeks. In that time, chummers who start following usually stop. When I see this, I assume the followers were never interested in me or my twitter stream; they started following only so I’d follow them back.
I’ve seen “people” follow me four times in a three week period. This means they followed, dumped me, followed again, and so on. If it was so important to them for me to follow back, why didn’t they just tweet me about it?
- Don’t expect anything from your followers. If you choose followers because they tweet about things that interest you, let that be enough until you get to know each other. If they really do interest you, you’ll follow them even when they don’t follow you back. If being followed back is so important to you, don’t chum. Rather, follow and engage: tweet a few replies to their tweets; re-tweet something they tweet; tweet an introduction that explains why you’re following… when they see how interesting you are—and how interested you are in them—they’ll probably follow you back.
Here are links to articles that explain my approach to engaging followers on Twitter. The first, Before I Follow You, reveals the work I do before deciding to follow anyone on Twitter. My goal is to meet people who will be interested in what I have to say… and those are most likely people who say things that interest me. The second article, Why I Didn’t Follow You Back, lists the things people do on Twitter that guarantee I won’t be following them.
Pennsylvania Brain Drain has been in the news for over a decade. In that time, I’ve participated with government and nonprofit organizations that advocate for technology and explore factors contributing to Brain Drain. I believe one factor is a tendency of Pennsylvania companies to react slowly to new trends, and a critical trend companies overlook today is the emergence of social media on the Internet.
The use of social media is growing exponentially. Companies that incorporate social media into their marketing programs have a dramatic advantage over competitors. Many companies in central Pennsylvania choose to block access to social media even for employees who can benefit from it the most. Worse: managers and policy-makers often dismiss social media as frivolous; they don’t see themselves using it, so they don’t see how important these new technologies are to business.
Before Social Marketing Strategies comes Understanding
I do a presentation that stuns listeners with insights into the growing Internet-based economy, and that explains fundamentals of social media and the advantages it brings to a business. I’m offering this presentation at no charge to Pennsylvania companies wanting to learn more about social media. My hope is that PA companies will adopt social media to reduce costs by streamlining market research, marketing, customer support, and collaboration.
Companies that don’t adopt social media lose against their competitors. More disturbing: they lose attractiveness to a technology-savvy workforce that has never known a time without personal computers and cell phones. These are the young college graduates who leave Pennsylvania for jobs in companies that keep abreast of trends that are changing the way people do business.
Please help me get the word out about social media. If your Pennsylvania company is ready to learn about social media, drop me a note at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you know a company that might be ready to explore social media, please send them a link to this post. Until further notice I charge nothing to present this seminar within Pennsylvania, but for travel beyond 75 miles from Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, I request a stipend to cover my travel expenses.
I’m pleased to offer this seminar as well to non-Pennsylvania companies at my standard training rate.
In central Pennsylvania, I’ve seen IT professionals, government representatives, and technology policy-makers express disinterest in social media. This troubles me because these leaders of local business and industry are the people who should be encouraging businesses to employ social marketing strategies.
Social media are very rapidly transforming the business world. To appreciate why this matters, consider one dramatic difference between business today and business ten years ago: Google.
Some Useful Information about Google
Ten years ago, when you lacked information on a subject of import, how did you acquire the information? Well… you might have checked Google, but chances are you didn’t find what you wanted; the Internet wasn’t particularly evolved ten year ago. It’s more likely you assigned someone the task of getting the information for you, and they made phone calls or visited the library to consult reference materials.
Today (and by today I mean on the day you read this), Google answered more than 300 million requests for information (I know this because I Googled it). Google has become the default starting point for finding information, and with a little practice nearly anyone can solve problems quickly if they have access to the Internet.
What Google has to do With Social Marketing Strategies
Of the 300 million Google searches requested today, how many of the results led to your company’s name or web site? Here’s where social marketing strategies enter the picture.
A Google search is not a social activity and it does not exploit social media. However, if you leverage social media properly, you’ll increase the frequency that Google searches lead to your company. That alone should matter to anyone wanting to succeed in business.
When you employ social media in a coordinated and responsible fashion, you extend your company’s representation throughout the Internet. Your company emerges as an industry expert, it develops a reputation as a problem-solver, and it encourages customers and prospective customers to become involved with your company’s products and services: to participate in your company’s mission.
Participating in social media may not be enough in itself to increase your visibility on Google. However, when you coordinate your social marketing strategies properly, you encourage Google to boost the ranking of your company web site. If you’re going to compete effectively in a world where Google fields 300 million questions a day, you need to make sure Google knows your company is the answer to some of those questions.