Optimizing SOCIAL Media
Guest post by Vannetta Chapman
Many times I see an article or blog on social media and I groan. Why read yet another piece about how I need to blog more, tweet more and start pinning? The truth is that if you’re not doing these things effectively now, doing it more won’t help. We all need to work smarter not work harder.
I was recently taking a teleconference marketing class with Bob Eager (startawildfire.com). He reminded us that social media was designed to be social, not commercial, and I had that AHA moment. The marketing tools that are working for me, the ones I’m using effectively, are the one I’m approaching from a social standpoint.
So why should you read the rest of this article? Let’s look at Facebook stats — though a relatively new author, I’ve had a 262% increase in “new likes” and a 52% increase in “post feedback” all in the last month. That wouldn’t mean much if I only had 50 “fans” on my Facebook page, but I have 2,443–respectable. I haven’t reached my goal, but I’m moving toward it. So back to our point, about OPTIMIZING the time you spend on social media, about working smarter instead of harder, longer hours.
1. Remember they’re people, not customers. Seriously, they are. I know there’s a temptation to sit back, watch our Amazon rankings rise, and rest . . . but those fans are more than a sale at a register. They’re people who are looking for a connection. When they take time out of their day to type something on your page, treat them as such. Have you ever been treated rudely at a check-out register? Worse yet, has a rude salesperson ever caused you to walk away without making a purchase? Don’t be that person. First impressions are sometimes the last. Realize these are people typing; you simply haven’t met them in person yet.
2. Tap into why they’ve sought out your page. You’ve probably heard the stats–Facebook has surpassed 250 million users. A quick Google search shows there are 37 million fan/business pages. Why did someone take the time to LIKE yours? I write Amish murder mysteries set in quilt shops. Fairly easy to determine my target audience–women, crafters, cozy mystery lovers. As I “talk” to these people, I’ve learned a lot of them also miss the close friendships of their childhood. Instead of a dating service, my page provides a sort of friendship service where people can meet. Often long strings of conversation go on without me. Awesome. Sometimes the topic even centers around one of my books–an added bonus.
3. Provide a little relief. I don’t watch much television. When I do, I worry I might throw a shoe through the flat screen if I have to see one more commercial. Yes, I dvr, but I still have to fast forward through all those commercials. Don’t be that thing that irritates people. The 20/80 rule is pretty good–20% marketing posts to 80% other types of posts. I imagine people on your facebook page, blog, twitter, and pinboard KNOW you’re an author. Ease up a little. Relax. Have a fav sports team? Talk about them. Take a great picture last weekend? Post it. Be a place that people want to go because it will cheer them up. They’re not going to stop over to hear a commercial.
4. Be Generous. My momma always taught me to share. Part of being social is sharing! When I invite people over to my house, I share food and drink with them. Likewise, you can share in the social media world–share what you write (post some of it), share what you publish (give some away), share about yourself (people are curious). Being generous in the social circles where people have already sought you out is extremely productive. These people will go tell other people, and you’ll see your numbers grow.
We approach this sales/social media thing as if it’s a huge puzzle. It’s not. It’s as simple as the basic rules we learned as a child. If you apply those things you already know to your marketing circles, you’ll optimize the results, and you’ll do so more quickly and with less effort because it’s a natural thing to do.