Social Media for Authors Podcast: How to Conquer Google+

Social Media for Authors Podcast  by Frances CaballoBelow are the show notes from Episode 16 of the Social Media for Authors Podcast. To read the show notes from previous episodes,  please refer to my earlier Friday blog posts.


[smart_track_player url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/socialmediaforauthorspodcast/Episode16_Final.mp3″ color=”d8570b” title=”How to Conquer Google+” artist=”Frances Caballo” ]

This week’s episode includes summaries of four blog posts with awesome tips that will help you get more out of Google+, and, of course, I have your tip of the week.

Let’s start with your weekly tip.

Before I officially launched this podcast in January, I sponsored a survey, and I asked all of my followers to tell me what they (you) wanted to learn about in this podcast.

Well, Google+ ranked high so here I am fulfilling my promise and giving you information you’re going to love, and that will help you better learn how to make use of this powerful, great social media network.

When Google+ first appeared on June 28, 2011, everyone wondered whether it would destroy Facebook’s popularity the way Facebook tossed a lance into MySpace.

Some social media experts expounded on Facebook’s vulnerability and even publicly said adios to Facebook while proclaiming their allegiance to Google’s new social media product.

[Read more…]

Chasing the Elusive Shareable Content

6-23-14 Frances Caballo Social Media Just for WritersI was listening to a webinar featuring Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzgerald, who now work with Canva, and Guy offered his definition of what constitutes shareable content.

Creating shareable content is the holy Grail of social media. If our friends and fans do share what we post, then there is little hope that we will succeed in our social media marketing efforts.

Before posting content on Facebook or Google+, Guy recommends that you place your content through the “re-share test.” Ask yourself whether your content is valuable, bold, informative or entertaining. Does it provide a useful analysis or does it assist people in some manner? If it accomplishes any of these goals, your content should be shareable.

Guy also asserted that controversy will make your content more shareable. I’ve always shied away from stating my positions on gun control, presidential elections, or hot-button issues such as abortion. Instead, I keep to my niche, which is very safe ground.

Finally, Guy recommends that you follow this template for your posts:

 •    keep your headline to 50 characters

•    keep the body of your post to three sentence

•    use active verbs

•    brevity is vital

When I wrote my blog post about Canva recently, I shared some pretty amazing statistics on how much faster our brains can process images versus text. Our eyes gravitate to images and increasingly tend to shun large blocks of black letters. This fact explains why increasingly we need to include images and video if we want our content to be “shareable.”

Does Controversy Trigger More Engagement, Really?

This week I decided to run an experiment on my Facebook profile. I shared an image on Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency and another image about gun control. Guy told us during the webinar that when he takes a stand on gun control, hundreds of people jump in with their opinion. He loves that.

Let’s look at my post on Hillary Clinton. No one Liked it, commented on it or shared it. So, I thought it would experiment with another issue. I posted an image of Richard Martinez, whose son was murdered in the recent shooting in Isla Vista in Santa Barbara, with his arms around Peter Roger, the father of the killer. The image represented their stand on tougher gun-control laws. This content generated eight Likes.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 3.36.44 PM

Compare those results with a quote I created using Canva. This content received two shares, one long comment, and seven Likes.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 3.38.04 PM

In my experience, questions that elicit personal or fun responses trigger the most engagement on my profile. For example, this simple post about what I did on a Saturday morning followed by a question generated 14 Likes, and four comments.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 3.39.46 PM

Finding Shareable Content for Facebook Page Posts

I haven’t and won’t steer into political stands on my Facebook page. It would be hard for anyone, including Guy, to talk me out of sticking to my main topics: social media, publishing and writing.

Even on this page it can be difficult to predict what will trigger engagement. This very simple quote by William Faulkner reached nearly 1400 people and generated 153 Likes, comments and shares.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 3.43.29 PM

This quote by Maya Angelou, posted right after she died, reached 173 people and generated 26 Likes, comments and shares.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 3.45.48 PM

I thought this image was amusing and had hoped it would generate some shares, but it didn’t. It reached 152 people and generated just six Likes.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 3.48.41 PM

I also share what I consider to be valuable content. For example, I include links to my new blog posts, inspiring TED talks and other bloggers such as Joel Friedlander and Jane Friedman. These posts typically reach about 50 – 200 or fewer people and rarely generate a Like even though the information is informative, helpful and in some cases entertaining.

How Do We Really Know What’s Shareable?

Let’s return to Guy’s criteria for shareable content. He said the content needs to be valuable, informative, helpful, are entertaining. But isn’t it difficult to predict whether others will find information as valuable as I do or as entertaining as I do? The “re-share test” that Guy discussed can be elusive.

Are preemptory re-share tests necessary? On Facebook, I look to Insights, Facebook’s free analytics feature that shows me what works and what doesn’t. By returning to the metrics I can, over time, predict what content my audience prefers.

For example, even though my emphasis is on social media for writers, my audience prefers quotes from writers about writing. Even though Guy Kawasaki can trigger hundreds of comments by taking a stand on gun control, my friends are unwilling to do so.

Before you wade through all the potential sources for content and try to decide what to use, review your timelines, retweets, and Google+ shares. Even without using a metrics program, you can get a sense of what does and doesn’t work with your particular audience. In the end, that is the only re-share test that is infallible.

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

 Photo Credit: www.Pixabay.com

Don’t Miss This Year’s San Francisco Writers Conference

2-3-14 Golden GateLast year I was an exhibitor at the San Francisco Writers Conference and it was quite an experience. I met and briefly spoke with a number of presenters including Guy Kawasaki, Nina Amir and Susanne Lakin. I didn’t have time to attend any of the sessions but friends who did said they were wonderful.

If you haven’t signed up for the West Coast’s premiere writing conference, don’t delay. Literary agent Michael Larsen, one of the founders of this event with his wife (and literary agent) Elizabeth Pomada, promises that this year’s conference will be the best one yet.

I’ll be exhibiting again and I’ll be a presenter and panelist. I’m excited about that! Even if you don’t sign up for the entire conference, you can still attend the pre- and post-conference workshops. Here’s a list of them.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

9 am to noon

  1. WRITING IN THE ZONE: 5 Steps to Inspired Flow. Lisa Tener.  $99
  2. WHAT’S THE BIG—OR LITTLE IDEA? Creating a Concept that Will Succeed. Matthew Frederick. $99
  3. 3 STEPS TO A WINNING PROPOSAL: What You Need to Know to Sell or Publish a Nonfiction Book. Mike Larsen, Jody Rein. $99
  4. PITCHCRAFT: How to Make The Perfect Pitch. Katharine Sands. $125
  5. BEING AN AUTHOR FOR THE LONG HAUL: How to Balance Marketing & Writing. Anne Hill. $99

 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

  1. BLOOD MONEY: The Essential Elements of Bestselling Crime Fiction. Sheldon Siegel. $125
  2. THE TRUTH ABOUT FICTION: Finding Your Story and Understanding How to Tell It. Chuck Adams. $12
  3. PLOTTING FOR MIDDLE GRADE AND YOUNG ADULT STORIES. Martha Alderson. $99  
  4. SUCCESS IN THE AGE OF MICROMEDIA: How to Think Like a Media Outlet to Grow Your Platform and Get More Publicity. Rusty Shelton. $125
  5. PREPPING YOUR IDEA AND YOURSELF FOR SUCCESS: 9 Steps for Developing a Winning Business Plan for Your Book. Nina Amir. $99

Monday, February 17, 2014 

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  1. SELF-PUBLISHING BOOT CAMP:  Going Step-by-Step to Publish, Promote, and Sell Your Books in Print and Every Popular E-book Format. This day-long boot camp with a team of experts is packed with how-to information on formatting, publishing, promoting, and selling your book in print and every popular e-book format. You will leave with the print version of the Self-Publishing Boot Camp Guide for Authors, freebies, discounts, and a clear vision of how to publishing your book. Carla King. $198

 9 a.m. to noon

  1. HOW TO GET PUBLISHED SUCCESSFULLY. Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry. $125
  2. HOW TO SELL ALMOST 100% OF YOUR NONFICTION WRITING. Gordon Burgett. $99
  3. UNLOCKING THE KEY TO YOUR MEMOIR: Finding Your Voice. Adair Lara. $125

 2 to 5 p.m.

  1. TERSE, TENSE & TIGHT: Taming Books into Screenplays and Teleplays. Marilyn R. Atlas. $125
  2. PUBLISH YOUR BOOK FREE IN MINUTES, MARKET IT WORLDWIDE IN DAYS. Gordon Burgett. $99
  3. HOW TO MANAGE SOCIAL MEDIA IN 30 MINUTES A DAY: 4 Steps for Saving Time While Meeting Your Goals. Frances Caballo. $99
  4. WORDPRESS BLOGS FOR NON-TECHIES: Bring Your Laptop, Leave with a Blog. Linda Lee. $99

Everyone who attends my conference will receive a free copy of my book Social Media Just for Writers: The best online marketing tips for selling your books. I’ll also have my new book available for sale, Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers Who Want to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write. Join us. This conference has something to offer every writer in every genre!

photo credit for the Golden Gate Bridge image: Christian Arballo via photopin cc 

 

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+. 

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web