How to Achieve Authenticity on Facebook

4-14-14 authenticity

Last week I began to tackle the idea of authenticity in social media in general. If you did not see that post, you could read it here. This week I want to explore the idea of what constitutes authenticity on Facebook.

First, let’s discuss why it’s important to have a presence on Facebook. A Facebook page will:

  • Build your brand
  • Help you to engage with your readers
  • Give your readers an opportunity to express their appreciation for your books and share their own insights
  • Enable you to run contests and to advertise to increase engagement and Likes.

You probably already have a Facebook profile where you receive regular updates from your friends in your news feed. If you want to use Facebook to market your books, workshops, readings and other events, you need to have a Facebook page. (Facebook profiles are for people, and Facebook pages are for businesses, nonprofits, and products, such as books.)

Some search engine optimization experts recommend that you create a Facebook page for every book you publish. I do not agree. If you are a prolific writer, having multiple Facebook pages can become cumbersome at best to manage if not burdsome. I recommend that writers create one author page, and as they publish each book, they continue to grow their base of readers from that page.

The only time you would want to create more than one Facebook page would be if you published two very different books, such as a romance novel and a book on climate change. In that case, you would better serve your readers by creating a Facebook page specifically for your book on global warming because you will likely be attracting a different demographic to that topic.

What Is Authenticity on Facebook?

Let’s delve into the issue of authenticity on Facebook. When I review my news feeds for my profile, I see images of injured dogs, music videos, a picture of the Duchess of Cambridge shaking hands with a heavily tattooed and scantily clad wrestler, images of sandwiches for children, Memes, and political posts. That’s standard fare for Facebook, right?

When I review the posts from my Facebook page’s news feed, I see personal images, quotes, Memes, pictures of chocolate and food, sponsored posts from various brands, and fun or heartwarming videos. There is little difference.

On my Facebook profile, I’ve learned that images of books and posts about social media fall flat. What’s sad is that reading and writing books and helping others stay informed about social media is what I most enjoy. However, on my Facebook profile if I share that content my engagement drops.

I do not want to be overly personal on my profile because I’m not comfortable with that exposure. I also want to be true to my brand as a writer and social media strategist and manager. I try to remain authentic on my Facebook profile by posting quotes from authors that will speak to a range of people, uplifting Memes, and beautiful ocean or landscape images. On occasion, I’ll post information on dogs available for adoption because I volunteer for a rescue operation and last fall I did post a picture from my surprise wedding.

For the most part, however, I endeavor to keep a professional image.

Balancing Authenticity on Your Facebook Page

Facebook pages can be difficult. I like to say that on Facebook pages you need to balance the meaningful with the mundane. An example of a meaningful post would be a status update about a new blog post by Joel Friedlander or Jane Friedman and a link to their blogs. A mundane post would be a humorous quote from an author, a picture of chocolate cake, or a comic about the writing process.

Yes, images of chocolate and cute kittens perform well on Facebook but what do they say about my brand? The reality is that I’m allergic to cats, and I do not eat that much chocolate. So I try to maintain a balance by posting a link every morning to a blog post by either myself or an authoritative figure in social media or self-publishing. Then in the afternoons, I lighten up and add images that are meant to bring a smile to someone’s face.

A former Yahoo marketing executive once told me that marketing is all about entertainment. I believe that’s especially true for Facebook. But as an author, I do not want to just entertain my fans, I want to inform them as well.

How do you build your brand on Facebook while pursuing authenticity?

 

photo credit: aguscr via photopin cc

 

LinkedIn, Hashtags and How to Price Your eBooks

LinkedIn, Hashtags and How to Price Your eBooks

The biggest change to LinkedIn this year is the ability to add your blog posts to the platform. But is it worth your while? That’s the topic of the first article in this week’s roundup. The last article discusses hashtags on Twitter and other social media networks. If you’re wondering whether you should use them, where you should use them and which ones you should use, this article will help you address those questions. There are three other great posts: one on photo editing applications, another on content ideas for your social media editorial calendar and finally one more article on how you should price your eBooks. Enjoy!

LinkedIn’s Publisher Platform: Should You Use It? from Social Media Today: At the end of February, LinkedIn announced that they would be expanding their popular Influencer program by opening their publishing platform to all users.

10 image editing tools to make photos fit for social sharing from The Next Web: Creating images for social sharing has come a long way from when Hipstamatic started filtering early iPhone photos. We rounded up 10 apps and tools to help you create, edit, manage and share engaging images. Each tool gets a rating from 0 to 5 on three factors: function, ease-of-use, and shareability. Shareability measures integration with other social networks.

The Completely Backwards Way to Amazing Self-Publishing Success from Buffer Blog: Have you ever found yourself explaining hashtags to someone whose only connection with the word is as a telephone button? Internet language has evolved considerably over the past few years as social media has taken off. Hashtags are a huge part of this evolution. What once was a telephone button is now a social media phenomenon. No wonder people are curious. When they ask, I tell them that hashtags are a pound sign immediately followed by a keyword. They’re used for categorization on social media. Yes, they can be annoying if overused. And yes, I’ve seen the hashtag video of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. Hashtags also have the potential to be truly valuable. The stats and info below make a pretty clear case that we should be understanding, using, and appreciating hashtags.

26 Engaging Content Ideas for Social Media from Social Media Today: You just came up with the best Facebook post ever. You post it at an optimized time and wait. And wait. Why isn’t anyone liking it?! You’re not alone. Creating engaging content ideas is a daily battle for small businesses and their social media strategies in general.

The Great E-book Pricing Question from Let’s Get Visible: There’s more guff written about pricing than almost anything else, resulting in an extremely confusing situation for new self-publishers. I often see them pricing too low or too high, and the decision is rarely made the right way, i.e. ascertaining their goals and pricing accordingly. Keep reading to find out how you should price your eBooks.

 

Avoid Social Media Time SuckAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for theWomen’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and theBay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

Photo credit: Kejava via photopin cc

4 Sure-Fire Steps to Being Authentic on Social Media

4-7-14 eyeToday I’m going to tackle an issue I’ve never discussed on my blog: being authentic on social media. This issue has weighed on me in recent months.

As we all rush to social media to build our marketing platforms, spread the news about our books and, hopefully, sell books, are we proceeding in a direction that reflects us as authentically as possible or do we sometimes sacrifice authenticity to promulgate our messages and sell more books?

Discussions on social media occur at lightning speed. Today, a viral video spreads quicker than a winter flu virus. News about an earthquake breaks on Twitter before traditional media has a chance to report it. Would the Arab Spring – the revolutionary wave of protests that began on December 18, 2010 in Egypt – have happened without Twitter?

As social media tools become widespread – Facebook now has well over 1 billion users – they are increasingly being used to support revolutions, propose marriage, announce a pregnancy, share feelings about the death of a relative, express pride about promotions, and notify friends of an out-of-state move. Platforms such as Facebook are especially useful at helping former neighbors, high school pals or college classmates reunite, even if it’s a virtual connection.

Can you imagine life without social media?

Writers, Authenticity and Social Media

As writers, we use social media to announce the publication of new books and new blog posts as well as book readings, signings and workshops we plan. How well do we balance news about ourselves with news about other writers and even our readers?

Do we adhere to the 80/20 rule (80% of the time we promote others; 20% of the time we can promote ourselves and our books)? Should we be adhering instead to a 90/10 rule (90% of the time, we promote others; 10% of the time we promote ourselves and our books)? Guy Kawasaki thinks it’s time to start talking less, and he may be right.

As we plan our Facebook status updates, tweets, shares and posts, are we taking time to listen to what our readers say or our blog subscribers think? Do we survey our blog readers for their input? Or do we spend so much time “talking” on social media and on our blogs that we forget to stop and just listen?

In some ways, social media can fuel our own narcissism. There are times when we disseminate too many messages about ourselves and not enough messages about our colleagues, Tweeps, competitors, editors, and friends. Right? I know that I’m guilty of this. In an effort to sell more books, do we oversell ourselves?

How Authentic Are You on Social Media?

What is authenticity in social media and is it achievable? It can be difficult to define authenticity. The dictionary defines it as “the quality of being authentic.” Authentic is defined as being “of undisputed origin; genuine.”

I like that definition. So, are we always genuine when we post information on social media?

For example, let’s say that I do not read erotica or romance novels even though I believe they are worthwhile genres. Would it be inauthentic of me to follow erotica and romance novel writers? Would it be disingenuous of me to retweet writers of those genres, or would it be open-minded of me to do so?

I think some would say that I’m being open-minded by following writers of genres I haven’t yet read. Others might disagree. This is what I think: It would be inauthentic of me to not include genre authors precisely because I believe that genre fiction serves an important role in our reading culture.

Let’s say that a friend doesn’t like genre fiction, doesn’t support it, and refuses to follow authors of genre. If his feelings are that strong, then it would be inauthentic of him to follow genre authors just for the goal of increasing a fan or follower count.

And that’s the other piece of authenticity in social media. How many of us consciously decide which users on Twitter best match our interests? Do we blindly follow anyone because we’re trying to reach the holy grail of 40,000 followers? Or, are we more precise in who we follow?

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the Danish Lord Polonius said to his son, “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Are we true to ourselves? If our answer is yes, then it must also be true that we are being authentic in our approach to social media for how we can be true to ourselves without being authentic in every way we interact with others.

4 Sure-Fire Steps to Being Authentic

  1. Only say on social media what you would tell someone if she were sitting next to you.
  2. Review your posting schedule and determine if you are following the 80/20 rule. Is it time to adjust your posts to the 90/10 rule?
  3. Make a commitment to listen more to what others are saying.
  4. Review your process for following Twitter users.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

Photo Credit: PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE via photopin cc

Avoid Social Media Time SuckAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+. 

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

Blogging & Facebook Tips You Don’t Want to Miss

Blogging & Facebook Tips You Don't Want to Miss

I’m a regular reader of Social Media Examiner’s blog and if you’d like to keep up with the changes in social media you may want to subscribe to it as well. A recent post with 39 blogging tips was rich with content and tips for anyone who blogs, whether you are just starting out or you have been blogging for years. I’ve also included posts about how increasingly difficult it is for the posts on your Facebook page to actually reach your fans’ news feeds. Although the information is a tad depressing, I think it’s more important that we stay informed. Finally, I include a link to All Twitter, which posted a fantastic infographic explaining when you should publish on each social media channel. So there you have it. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

39 Blogging Tips From the Pros from Social Media Examiner: Are you looking for the latest blogging tactics? Do you want to know what the blogging pros are doing today? Keeping up with the latest social media changes is not always easy, and your blogging tactics may need to be refreshed. We asked 39 blogging pros to share the best blogging tips and tactics worth doing today. Here’s what they have to say.

Your Facebook Page’s Organic Reach Is About to Plummet from Social Media Today: Your Facebook page’s organic reach is about to plummet — even more so than it has in the past six months, down to a lowly 1-2%, actually. That means if you have 1,000 Facebook likes on your page, only about 10-20 of those fans will even see your posts! While organic reach has long been declining, it has significantly declined since the fall of 2013.

5 Ways To Ease The Facebook Page Organic Reach Blues from Marketing Lane: It’s hard out there for a Facebook marketer. Anyone who manages a Facebook Page feels it. It might be anecdotal, but the anecdotes are piling up and the conclusion is undeniable: Organic reach is down and fewer people who have liked your page are seeing your posts.

4 Ways to Serious ROCK Your Next Facebook Contest from Post Planner: Facebook contests are a great way to increase exposure of your page — and doing them right can bring huge numbers of Likes and shares. – See more at: http://www.postplanner.com/how-to-seriously-rock-your-next-facebook-contest/#sthash.JbHh5EZ9.dpuf

What, When And How To Share On Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC] from All Twitter: While social media is as much of an art as it is a science, experimenting with different timings for your posts, as well as the content itself, can pay dividends. And while your mileage will inevitably vary, the suggested times and ideas in this visual from Keystone Click are as good a place to start as any.

 

About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to WriteSocial Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for WritersPresently, she is the Social Media Manager for theWomen’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and theBay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestand Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

9 Twitter Apps You Need to Know

3-31-14 400I am a Twitterholic. There, I admitted it. I love Twitter and I pour far more time into this microblogging platform than I do Facebook or even Pinterest. (Confession: I’ve been neglecting Pinterest of late even but I promise to return to you real soon.) I’m always checking out lists of Twitter applications to see what’s new, which ones are worth trying and which ones are worth recommending.

Here are my recommendations of some twitter apps I’ve discovered recently as well as the tools I rely on to manage my Twitter account.

8 Really Cool Twitter Apps

Hibari

This app is for Mac users only (sorry PC users). Once you download this tool, you can block tweets from users based on keywords, mute Tweeps you need to follow but whose tweets may be annoying (such as those from coworkers, relatives, etc.), and highlight the type of information you want to find. As its slogan says, this program “blocks annoyances and reveals gems.”

TweetCaster, A GooglePlay App

This app has many features so I’ll just highlight my favorites. You can use it to add captions that you upload to Twitter and filter your tweets so you’ll quickly find the nuggets you’re looking for. Its “zip” feature deletes annoying tweets from your timeline.

Tweetings

You’ll find this tool for your iPhone at iTunes for $1.99. This app will create a map that shows where your Tweeps are from and it will let you update both your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Themeleon

Every Twitter account needs professional background themes and header images. If you aren’t using your book cover, you’ll want to use this application to create a theme that matches your brand.

ArTweet

If all you want is a simplified background theme that includes your picture, information about you and your book, then try this application.

Nutshell Mail

I’ve used this application for at least two years. Once you sign up for it, you will determine whether you want to receive an update once or twice daily and at what time. It will keep track of new follows and unfollows, mentions, and tweets from your favorite lists in your Twitter summary. You can even tweet, reply, retweet, and send a direct message without leaving your in-box.

Twubs

Once you sign up with Twubs, you can join chats, and the application will automatically add the hashtag to your tweets. You can even join Twitter chats right on the Twubs website. It’s convenient and fast and keeps you updated about the latest addition to the conversation.

ManageFlitter

Use this application to find new followers, unfollow spammers you hadn’t suspected, and unfollow those users who simply aren’t following you back or never started tweeting. You can also use this application to send Power Posts and track your keywords.

My Favorite New Twitter App

TweetBeep

Did you know that your Tweets carry a sound? According to the developers of this application they do. TweetBeep is designed to keep track of conversations that mention you and your books with hourly updates. My tweets had a techno sound to them. Find out what your mentions and retweets sound like and let me know.

About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

Social Media, Blogging and the Backward Way to Publishing

I’m a huge fan of Picasso so when I saw this photoshopped image of one of Picasso’s subjects with a laptop, well, it had to end up on my blog. Besides, it is a metaphor for how we live our lives. The social web enters our lives in many ways, including when we are sort of relaxing on the couch but also check our Facebook news feeds, checking in with our Tweeps, or pinning images on Pinterest. To help you with your social media, I’ve chosen four great posts from the past week. Be sure to read Joel Friedlander’s post, The Completely Backwards Way to Amazing Self-Publishing Success. It’s one of his best and it will force you to rethink how your market and publish your books.

Why You Have Been Thinking of Social All Wrong from Social Media Today: We must begin viewing social media as a long term investment. Companies need to see the value of customer sentiment and brand loyalty by way of regular interaction and genuine humility. And so many companies overlook the value of social media as they pertain to search engine optimization.

How to Write a Great Headline: The Top Words Used in Viral Headlines from Buffer Blog: So many different variables go into a viral post—timing, emotion, engagement, and so many others that you cannot control. There is no viral blueprint. The greatest chance we have to understand viral content is to study the posts and places that do it best, figure out what worked for them, and try it for ourselves.

The Completely Backwards Way to Amazing Self-Publishing Success from The Book Designer: I had a daydream the other day. I was working on a mindmap. (Do you know what a mindmap is? Until quite recently I was woefully ignorant of this incredible organizing tool. More to come.)

7 Vital LinkedIn Statistics to Take Your Marketing From Good to Great from Buffer Blog: We at the Buffer blog can vouch for LinkedIn’s growth as our blog has experienced a swell in LinkedIn referral traffic over the past year, up 4,000 percent from last year at this time. Part of that has to do with our emphasis on updates and sharing at LinkedIn, another part has to do with the popularity of LinkedIn contributing a larger audience and more eyes to our content. Together, these factors have made LinkedIn a great source of visitors for our blog, and I’d imagine you might see a similar impact on your own site.

12 Most Obvious Reasons Your Blog Sucks and How to Fix it from Positively Peg: I’ve been to many blogs lately with easily fixable problems that the blogger must not know about and if I missed anything, please share with me in the comments so that others can learn your tricks too! Pick one or two things to update and build. Blogs can be a huge time suck. Be realistic and smart with your commitments and if you are unsure how to do these things, find some one to work on your blog. Nothing wrong with a little delegation from time to time.

 

socialmediaforwritersAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via photopin cc

Tips for Writing Nonfiction (Really) Fast!

 

Social Media Just for Writers by Frances Caballo

I recently joined Nina Amir’s Nonfiction Writers’ University. If you haven’t heard about it and you write nonfiction, consider the following questions:

  1. Do you want to pursue a career as a freelance nonfiction writer?
  2. Would you like to be more successful in your freelance writing career?
  3. Are you interested in becoming known for the nonfiction books you write?
  4. Would you like to turn your books into a full-time business and become a successful “authorpreneur”?

If you answered the above questions with an unqualified “you bet,” then joining the Nonfiction Writers’ University will undoubtedly help you steer the course of your publishing pursuits and your writing career.

Does it sound expensive? It isn’t. Membership is $9.99/month, or as Nina likes to say, the cost of two Lattes a month.

Conversation with the Ultimate Book Coach, Kristen Eckstein

Every month, Nina hosts a teleseminar with an expert in the field. Nina’s guest for the March teleseminar was Kristen Eckstein, a book coach (her business is I am Published!) who is famous for writing 18 books in 18 weeks.

This is how Eckstein accomplished that feat. Instead of waiting to publish a comprehensive book, Eckstein wrote and then immediately published the chapters of what would eventually constitute a showcase book.

Each e-book she wrote was between 4,000 and 7,000 words, and she divided each e-book into chapters. As soon as she completed a chapter for her larger book, she immediately published it as an e-book. (I checked her e-books on Amazon and she priced them between $0.99 and $2.99.)

Eckstein says that writing 18 books in 18 weeks catapulted her business and her book sales. The writing marathon also provided her with marketing traction on Amazon, money to finance future books, and chapters for her bigger book.

In addition, she created a lot of content that she could immediately repurpose into blog posts, webinars, PowerPoint (and SlideShare) presentations, and speaking engagements. If you’re familiar with Nina Amir’s How to Blog a Book, the process is similar.

In the end, all that writing didn’t turn into one showcase book; it turned into three books.

3-24-14 bHow to Fuel a Writing Marathon

What kept Eckstein going throughout those 18 weeks of writing madly? She hired a business coach who kept Eckstein accountable to her stated goals. She also says that she didn’t sleep very much, and she confessed to eating quite a bit of chocolate.

The reason she embarked on this ambitious goal was so that she could call herself an expert, despite the fact that she has been working in the publishing field for some time.

Before deciding to write 18 books in 18 weeks – or three books in three months – Eckstein advises writers to make a decision about their niche. Do you write about how to survive cancer,  manage Little League teams, or travel on $50/day? Whatever your niche is, nurture it, write about it and brand it.

There are four crucial questions that Eckstein recommends you consider:

  1. What is your passion? What makes you excited about life?
  2. What topics have you studied the most?
  3. What is your experience on your preferred topic?
  4. Do you have substantive knowledge to share?

She described a simple exercise she completes. On a sheet of paper, she writes Topics in the left column and Passion in the right column. She then assigns a point value (1 – 5) to each topic according to how passionate she feels about it. Her rule is that she can’t use any one number more than once. Completing this exercise enables her to identify which topics she’s truly passionate about and which book she should write first.

Eckstein has several tips for writing nonfiction. First, once you’ve selected a topic to write about, establish a goal. If you plan to write a book in one month, Eckstein recommends that you sequester yourself in a hotel, retreat center, or at the library whenever you can so that you can have uninterrupted time to write. When you write from home, put a sign on the door that informs your family that you’re writing, and unless there’s an emergency, you can’t be disturbed.

Once you complete your goal, go see a movie or take a drive to the beach. It’s important to reward yourself for the mini-goals you assign for yourself and complete.

If you’ve written nonfiction, how long does it normally take you to write a book?

Also see:

7 Tips for Marketing on the Social Web (Part 1)

7 Tips for Marketing on the Social Web Plus Apps and Plugins (Part 2)

About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+. 

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

Twitter, Blogging and Why Authors Must Have a Marketing Platform

Twitter, Blogging and Why Authors Must Have a Marketing Platform

If you dread marketing your books, these blog posts will get you started. The below topics include blogging tips, how to use Twitter if you’re a newbie, and how to start building your marketingn platform. I hope you enjoy the selections.

16 Blogging Resources to Improve Your Blog from Social Media Examiner: Do you blog regularly? Are you looking for tools to make the process easier? Blogging is hard work and it takes a lot of time to do it well. Wouldn’t it be great if you could streamline parts of that process? In this article, you’ll find a list of tools, apps and advice you can use to find your groove and take care of blogging business.

10 Twitter Tips for Nonfiction Writers from Write Nonfiction Now!: Twitter is the most important social media network for writers. This microblogging platform is perfect for disseminating your newest blog posts, asking questions, and conversing with your readers.

Twitter Tips for Beginners: Everything I Wish I Knew About Twitter When I Started from Buffer Blog: Until three weeks ago, I barely had a Twitter account. It existed by its lonesome for a few years as a placeholder for the day when my work allowed me to tweet freely. That day came three weeks ago, and I dove right in, applying all the Twitter knowledge I had stowed away. And still, even with a running start, I had so much to learn.

How To Build A Writer Platform With No Time, No Credentials And No Book from Write to Done: Are you a writer who is overwhelmed by the rapidly changing industry? The more adventurous among you are ready for the challenge of building a writer platform and growing your community – but have absolutely no idea where to start.

Should Authors Have to “Market Themselves”? from Kristen Lamb Blog: All right, don’t stone me, but I feel some of the marketing “buzz words” range from terrifying to annoying to outright offensive. For instance, every time I read “target your demographic” or “target your readers” I wonder if this comes with a Predator Drone or at least a laser sight.

 

socialmediaforwritersAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

7 Tips to Networking on the Social Web Plus Apps & Plugins (Part 2)

7 Tips to Networking on the Social Web Plus Apps & Plugins (Part 2) by Frances Caballo

Last week I shared my 7 tips to networking on the social web. In case you missed those tips you can see them here again, in brief.

  1. Don’t engage with people who send you negative messages.
  2. If you don’t want to accept or receive invitations to play Farmville, Scrabble, and other online games, block them in your security settings on Facebook.
  3. Don’t join every social media network at once. Sign up for one, master it, and then move on to another one.
  4. Learn to manage your time on social media by using an online timer.
  5. Don’t use your book jacket as your avatar (profile picture).
  6. Set your Facebook notifications to receive an e-mail whenever you are mentioned or you are tagged in a photo. On Twitter, you’ll want to know when you have a new follower.
  7. If you use SocialOomph, sign up for alerts notifying you of when you were retweeted or mentioned and when your hashtag was used.

This week I’m going to share with you a number of applications that are designed to encourage social sharing while reducing the amount of time you spend on social media.

Streams of incoming messages accumulating in your news fees are some of the biggest hindrances to being social. If you use TweetDeck, it can be mesmerizing to see endless influx of tweets pouring in. When you’re new to Twitter, for example, your news feed can be fertile ground for finding content to share. But if you have 1,000 or more Twitter followers, it can be difficult to cut through the slush and find the gems that you’ll find worth retweeting.

Four Apps for Twitter Chats

One way you can cut through the plethora of messages is to find and join Twitter chats that focus on specific areas of interest. Nothing can replace the feeling of immediacy that interacting with a wide number of people on Twitter will provide. They are interesting, fun, and, depending on the topic, very entertaining. Use these applications to find a Twitter chat that you might enjoy.

TweetGrid

With this application, you can keep track of multiple keywords, including multiple Twitter chats. You can even join more than one chat, and the website will create grids with live updates within each. In essence, it creates real-time chat rooms based on the Twitter hashtags in use.

Wiki Page

Go to this wiki page to find lists of chats organized by the day of the week. There are chats on book marketing (#bookmarket), writing (#writechat), blogging (#blogchat), screenwriting (#scriptchat), social media (#socialchat), connecting readers to writers (#litchat), ebook discussions (#epubchat), and more. The list is exhaustive.

InkyGirl

Inky Girl lists Twitter chats just for writers. Check out this wiki page and find chats for your genre or areas of interest.

Twubs Once you sign up with Twubs, you can join chats, and the application will automatically add the hashtag to your tweets as long as you remain on Twubs’ website. It’s convenient and fast, and the app will keep you updated about the latest addition to the conversation.

Applications to Help You Find Newsy Nuggets

People post about everything on social media. They show pictures of gluten-free lasagna, a son’s graduation, and trending videos on YouTube. If you would like to view and comment on these posts, then do so. But if you want to find the real news, join conversations with more substance, and create content that others will want to share, there are a variety of applications that can help you.

Nutshell Mail

Once you sign up for Nutshell Mail you can determine whether you want to receive an update once or twice daily and at what time. When an e-mail arrives, it will keep track of Likes, posts, comments, and Facebook’s analytics (Insights) on your Facebook page. On your profile, it will update you about birthdays, friend requests, wall posts, event and group invites, and messages. On Twitter, it will keep track of new follows and unfollows. You can even tweet, reply, retweet, and send a direct message without leaving your in-box. On LinkedIn, you can keep up on social profile updates and even monitor your discussion groups.

Newsle Newsle will send you e-mail alerts when people you follow are mentioned in articles online. It’s always a friendly gesture to send the person an e-mail or tweet congratulating them on the mention or a great post they wrote. According to the application’s creators, “Newsle tracks real news. Every story in your Newsle news feed is a real news article from a newspaper, news website, or blog that mentions or quotes your friend.” To set it up, simply connect to Twitter, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn. Review the settings to select how often you want to receive an e-mail notification.

CommunitCommun.it

This app will analyze your relationships and help you to engage with them better. The basic service is free and keeps track of your followers and interactions. With a single glance, you’ll know which users you should follow and which of your Tweeps you need to thank or send a reply to. This application allows users to manage their Twitter lists.

Cloze

Cloze is a free application that combines your social media and e- mail in one place. It promises to reduce the clutter by learning which people are important to you and moving those individuals to the top of your in-box. You can see your friends’ activity, respond to them, retweet their posts, or move on to the next item. The creators say this about it: “Cloze analyzes your e-mail and social history to learn who matters to you, giving everyone a Cloze Score. With the Cloze Score as our guide, we sort your mail and social messages into different lists, organized by importance.”

When you check your LinkedIn page, the application can show you the influencers within your skill set, and it will indicate how you are connected to them. If they are a first-degree connection, you can contact them directly. Note: You’ll need to ask for introductions to second- and third-degree connections. This is a productive way to connect with your current connections and make new ones.

If you are using the skills feature on LinkedIn—and after all, why wouldn’t you?—LinkedIn will show you users who share similar skills and note their names, pictures, and titles. If they are considered first-degree connections, you can send them a message and ask to be connected. While you’re on LinkedIn, take a few minutes to endorse the skills of some of your contacts, request recommendations, and send recommendations to your colleagues. You can also check in on one or two of your groups and determine whether you have information to add to the conversation.

Facebook Messenger

This nifty tool will help you to keep in touch with friends who are messaging you. You can use it on your PC, iPhone, or Android—and it’s free.

WordPress Plugins to Help You Build Your Community

These plugins won’t help you find blog posts to share, but they will help you to nurture your readership. By adding one or more of the WordPress plugins below, you will be able to promote community and build engagement. Here are a few:

Gravity Forms

For $39, you can purchase this plugin and enjoy an unlimited amount of forms, auto-responders, spam protection, updates, and support. This plugin integrates with iContact and aWeber e-mail newsletter programs.

Digg Digg

Have you noticed the ribbon of social media icons that appear alongside the blogs you read? You can install this plugin to encourage social sharing right from your website. Social sharing buttons include Twitter, Buffer, Facebook Share, Facebook Like, Digg, LinkedIn, Google+1, and many more.

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 6.25.13 PM

Social Stickers 

If the floating ribbon of Digg Digg seems too assertive, you can try this plugin, which will also point your readers to a variety of social networks.

Facebook Like Box

No website is complete without a Facebook Like box. Use this app to encourage more Likes on your Facebook page.

Follow on Twitter button

You’ll find a number of different formats for your Twitter button, including “tweet” and “follow on Twitter.” Select the button you pre- fer, and copy the html code onto your website.

Yoast for SEO Optimization

Are you confused about search engine optimization? This plugin breaks down the elements and makes it easy for your blog post to rise higher in Google’s rankings so that your future readers will be able to find and connect with you.

Facebook subscribe plugin Including the Follow button on your website enables people to follow your profile without sending you a friend request. In turn, they are able to see all your public posts.

LinkWithin

This is another plug-in that needs to be on your must-have list. The widget will automatically appear at the end of each new post and refer your readers to previous posts that are similarly relevant.

Final Comment

Don’t forget to schedule fifteen minutes every day to socialize with your virtual connections. Like some posts, leave a few comments, retweet interesting blog posts, find new people to follow, and endorse the skills of your connections on LinkedIn. Check in on your LinkedIn groups and join the conversation. Read a blog post by someone you admire and leave a comment. This is the best part of social media, so have fun with it.

This post is an excerpt from my new book Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write.

Also See:

10 Twitter Tips for Nonfiction Writers 

7 Tips to Networking on the Social Web (Part 1)

 

Social Media Time Suck Final for WritersAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+. 

Social Media, Websites, and How to Build an Author Platform

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There is always more we can learn about social media, improving our websites and building our author platform. The posts you’ll find below have great advice. I hope you have a chance to read each one.

The Business Rusch: Social Media Part 2 from Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Boy, there are a lot of misconceptions among writers about social media and a few of those misconceptions cropped up in last week’s post. If you haven’t read last week’s post, please do so now, because I’m not going to recap in this post. I’m just going to continue forward.

24 Things to Consider When Designing and Developing a Website from Social Media Today: From functionality and appearance to navigation and coding integrity, a lot goes into creating an eye-catching, user-friendly website. It doesn’t end there, either. Web developers and designers must work together to produce websites that will be located by search engines, engage customers, and stimulate conversions. Whew! That’s a lot of pressure. Fortunately, the following 24 tips will guide you through the process of creating a unique user experience that inspires viewers to become loyal brand advocates.

Enhancing Your LinkedIn Profile (Part 2): 7 More Tasks and 23+ Tips from Social Media Today: Recently I updated and republished 7 Simple To Dos for Rookies to Enhance Their LinkedIn Profile, the first in a three-part series that offers a “crawl-walk-run” approach to helping folks upgrade their LinkedIn profiles from anemic to impressive and effective. The first post focused on a handful of basic things people should do to make sure they have created a respectable presence on LinkedIn that also lays a solid foundation to build on. Its ongoing popularity underscores the fact that even though LinkedIn is over ten years old, many professionals have barely begun to establish themselves properly on this professional network. If you haven’t read that post yet, I encourage you to check it out before proceeding with this one.

5 Hashtag Tracking Tools for Twitter, Facebook and Beyond from Social Media Examiner: Hashtags make it easier for people to find and follow discussions about brands, events and promotions. They also let brands track the performance of promotions across social media.

Are You Ignoring This Simple Platform-Building Tool? How to Comment on a Blog from The Passive Voice: Whether you’re planning to self-publish or go the traditional route, every writer needs an author platform these days. Some authors obsess too much about platform and waste time on pointless overkill. (More about how to skip the time-wasting stuff in my post, 7 Ways Authors Waste Time Building Platform.) But others ignore it entirely, often because they’re not quite clear on what it means.

 

socialmediaforwritersAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

photo credit: mkhmarketing via photopin cc