Online Social Networking Finding and fitting in to online communities Full presentation with links can be found at http://fiona.veitchsmith.com
The big picture Aim: to promote your products and services Method: by finding then building relationships with potential customers Strategy: joining conversations; providing interesting (informative / educational / inspirational / controversial / humorous) reading material.
The 5 keys to online networking Key 1: Understand the ‘culture’ and rules of each community. Key 2: your posts / comments should not always be about your product / service! Key 3: I scratch your back, you scratch mine: promoting other people. Blog tours.
Key 4: your network should always point back to your blog and / or point of sale. http://fiona.veitchsmith.com and www.craftypublishing.com Key 5: Understand sales funnels. Your blog visitors should be encouraged to join a mailing list on your blog.
Aim: to build your ‘friend’ list Challenges: how to tactfully bring ‘business’ into the conversation About info: what does this say about you? Contact details. Website / blog details! How to set up a Facebook account Fiona Veitch Smith on Facebook
Personal vs author pages You can have lots of different pages. Personal page – you may want a separate page for family and close friends. I keep mine together. Inviting people into my personal life makes them feel valued. But I’m careful how much I share. Real friends have access to my private email and phone number and genuinely personal stuff is discussed ‘offline’.
Author & book pages Author page – some authors have a ‘professional’ author page catering to their fans but not including their personal lives Eg Ruso and Tilla the author page of RS Downie. Book page - You can have a separate page for each book eg The Da Vinci Code. This is a good way to launch a book but not so good for sustained interaction with fans / readers.
Other pages Business pages – eg Crafty Publishing if you run a publishing house or a bookshop. Special interest groups – eg Book Clubs / review and discussion groups. These are a good place to connect with potential readers / customers. The key is to make ‘friends’ with them and draw them into your funnel. Industry networking groups – eg ACW and Christian Booksellers.
Aim: to gather ‘followers’ and have your tweets re-tweeted to followers’ followers. Challenges: to find something interesting to say in 140 characters that isn’t always about your product. About info: always link back to your website / blog to draw into sales funnel. Fiona Veitch Smith on Twitter How to set up a Twitter account
The art of tweeting Knowing your #s from your @s eg @FionaVeitchSmit Hash tagging eg #picturebooks The 40-character limit Using www.tinyurl.com Know what’s ‘trending’ Business vs ‘personal’ accounts Finding common interest groups Doing your 5-a-day Understanding time zone peak times
Aim: to connect with readers, join book group discussions and encourage book reviews. Challenges: Amazon readers don’t like publishers / authors gatecrashing their discussions. Author pages: Fiona Veitch Smith on Amazon
Surviving the Amazon Set up account with Author Central Should be done sep on US & UK sites. Encourage readers to post reviews UK & US separately. Ethics of phantom reviewing. Operating under an avatar. Joining discussion groups. Eg children’s book forum on Amazon.
Aim: to connect with readers, join book group discussions and encourage book reviews. Challenges: Goodreads won’t allow you to join under a pen name. Setting up a Goodreads account Reader Page. Setting up an Author page eg Fiona Veitch Smith on Goodreads.
Getting off the shelf Building a friend base. Linking to FB and Twitter. Keeping your reading bookshelf up to date Uploading and ‘associating’ your books Hosting book giveaways and competitions Joining discussion groups ‘How to’ at links on previous page.
Other communities Linked In Yahoo groups Indie communities eg Inked In
Managing your network Tailoring ‘personas’ to communities. Pros and cons of avatars. Managing time. Streamlining the avalanche of email notifications. Refining your strategy. Which networks are working? Which not? Why? Culling networks. Culling ‘friends’. Linking networks – eg blog on Goodreads; tweets on Linked In; Twitter on FB etc.
Ethics of online networking Keeping balance between business and personal ‘Using’ people Evangelism Always talking shop Gate crashing ‘parties’ Spam Adding to mailing lists without permission. Remember you’re representing the King!