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Using Social Media for Sales Success


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Which social network should I use? How do I start building a fan base? Do I need to use social media every day? Join Laura Reeth, publicist to international bestselling author Nora Roberts, and social media specialist Leigh-Anne Lawrence as they discuss how to successfully promote your work and yourself in the complex, ever-changing world of social media.

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Using Social Media for Sales Success

  1. 1. Using Social Media for Sales Success HOW TO BUILD YOUR PERSONAL BRAND ONLINE Laura Reeth & Leigh-Anne Lawrence 2014 Nora Roberts Writing Institute |
  2. 2. As a new author, should you be using social media? Yes. 2 LR
  3. 3. 3 Do you have to be on every social media network? No. LL
  4. 4. Finding Your Comfort Zone  Choose one social media platform to start with. Just one.  Decide on what “voice” you will use: Funny and wise-cracking? Playful, but professional? Serious and scholarly?  Decide on a consistent posting schedule for your account. Stick to that schedule.  Remember: Don’t spread yourself too thin—especially in the beginning. Writing your book is your number one job. 4 LR
  5. 5. Pros & Cons of Different Platforms 5 LR
  6. 6. Facebook Current Stats - 829 million daily active users - 1.28 billion monthly active users - 1.01 billion mobile monthly active users - 72% of online adults visit Facebook at least once a month - There are more than 50 million Facebook pages 6 Pros - Well-established network with a wide range of users in all age groups - Most popular social media network with largest number of users - Posts can be pre-scheduled either through Facebook itself or through online scheduling sites like Hootsuite or Buffer Cons -Younger users are moving to Twitter, Instagram, etc. - Users have to be following you to see your content - Frequent changes to the News Feed make it harder for your content to be seen LR Source:
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  9. 9. Twitter Current Stats - 255 million monthly active users -1 billion total users - 500 million tweets are sent each day - 46% of Twitter users tweet at least once a day -44% of users have never sent a Tweet (consider them inactive) 9 Pros - New fans can find you easily through the use of commonly or universally used hash tags - You can reach a wider range of users - Younger users prefer Twitter to Facebook - You can pre-schedule posts using online management sites like Hootsuite or Buffer Cons - Requires more maintenance (i.e., you should be posting daily or even multiple times a day) - Older or less tech savvy users sometimes have more difficulty with this platform LL Source:
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  11. 11. Twitter Hash Tags for Writers What is a hash tag? A hash tag is a word preceded by the pound sign: #writing It allows you to tag your content so that other users can find and follow you, and, most importantly, to share your content far and wide. Writing Hash Tags  #writing  #writetip  #amwriting  #amediting or #amrevising  #writegoal  #writerslife 11 Publishing Hash Tags  #mswl is used by agents/editors looking for submissions (it’s a great way to find agents looking for work in specific genres)  #askagent and #askeditor are used to ask agents/editors questions LL Get more writing hash tags at
  12. 12. Google+ Current Stats - 540 million monthly active users -1.6 billion total users - 22% of online adults visit Google+ once a month - Average time spent on Google+ is seven minutes per month 12 Pros - Having a Google+ page will put you higher in Google search results (posts are indexed almost immediately by Google) - You can pre-schedule posts through online scheduling sites like Hootsuite or Buffer - Google Hangouts allow you to videochat with users live Cons - Very young platform that is growing due to Google packaging it with other services more so than on its own merit - On average, less investment/ engagement than Facebook and Twitter for many users LL Source:
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  14. 14. Instagram Current Stats - 200 million monthly active users - 20 billion + photos have been shared on Instagram - 50 million users signed up for Instagram in a six-month period in 2014 14 Pros - Highly visual, which leads to higher engagement - Can be updated from your smart phone - Users can easily find your content through commonly or universally used hash tags Cons - Big time investment: unless you are part of a communal project, you will need to spend time finding other accounts to follow and/or content to share LR Source:
  15. 15. 15  Posts book teasers  Post photos of hangouts with other authors  Post photos from his life (drawings, his pet Pug, etc.) LR
  16. 16. 16 LR  Posts photos of things that tweak her interest and photos from her life
  17. 17. Pinterest Current Stats - 40 million monthly active users - 70 million total users - 84% of women and 50% of men stay active on Pinterest - 23% of pinners use it at least once a day - Majority of pinners are female (80%) 17 Pros - The fastest growing social media network - Highly visual, which leads to higher engagement - Great for world-building and character development; many authors create boards of story content to share with their readers - Users don’t have to be following you to find your content Cons - Requires a large time investment to maintain - No way to pre-schedule posts - Little ROI for growing an actual fan base LL Source:
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  20. 20. Tumblr Current Stats -194.6 million Tumblr blogs - 83.1 billion Tumblr posts - 113.6 Tumblr posts per day -199.1 million Tumblr visitors each month (Global) 20 Pros - Platform hybrid: Blog-like with strong visuals and graphics like Instagram and Pinterest - Can schedule posts for a later date (through Tumblr) - Excellent way to rebroadcast blog content - Easy to customize Cons - Young community of users - Not good for longer content (short posts are more popular) - Requires a large time investment to maintain LR Source:
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  22. 22. Social Media 101 22 LL
  23. 23. The “To-Do” List 23  Spend some time getting to know a platform before you start posting. Find users you like or want to emulate and follow them.  Learn the network “lingo.” Make sure you know what is considered proper etiquette on each platform.  Fill out your profile completely (that includes adding a nice photo and providing a link back to your website or blog if you have one).  If you share content by others (which you should), make sure to give them credit. Doing so builds reciprocity and good will.  Use proper spelling and grammar in your posts.  Share yourself as well as your work: let your audience know when you are excited, when you’re working on a new project, or have read an amazing book that really touched you. Share what interests you outside of writing. LL
  24. 24. The “Don’t Do It!” List 24  Don’t rant. Rants can be dangerous and can make you look unprofessional and petty.  Don’t get defensive if someone questions or disagrees with you (or your work).  Don’t get in arguments with fans and followers.  Don’t just talk about yourself.  Don’t ignore questions or requests.  Don’t disappear for months at a time. Static accounts become dead accounts.  Don’t mix and match your professional and personal views: keep them separate. Think of your professional writer persona as your business persona: what you would say to friends and family you might not say to co-workers. LR
  25. 25. Bad Behavior: Amy’s Baking Company 25 What Happened: Arizona-based restaurant Amy’s Baking Company was featured on “Kitchen Nightmares” in May 2013. The show revealed that the owners: - Resold cakes made by other bakeries at higher prices - Treated their employees terribly - Cursed out customers who complained about their food Social Media Firestorm: A public shaming campaign began on sites like Yelp, as well as the bakery’s Facebook and Twitter pages. The owners did not handle it well. One of their early Facebook posts read: “I AM NOT STUPID ALL OF YOU ARE. YOU JUST DO NOT KNOW GOOD FOOD. IT IS NOT UNCOMMON TO RESELL THINGS WALMART DOES NOT MAKE THEIR ELECTRONICS OR TOYS SO LAY OFF!!!!” Sources: International Business Times ( LL
  26. 26. Warning: Author Faux Pas Alert 26 Lynn Shepherd (a.k.a. the author who told J.K. Rowling she should stop writing adult fiction for the sake of other writers) What Happened: In February 2014, Shepherd wrote an article for the Huffington Post stating that Rowling should stop writing for adults because her book “sucked the oxygen from the entire publishing and reading atmosphere” and that she should “keep writing for kids, or for [her] personal pleasure – I would never deny anyone that - but when it comes to the adult market [she’s] had [her] turn.” The Result: She was publically shamed on social media and on literary and writing blogs. People also took to Amazon where they began leaving negative reviews for Shepherd’s work, effectively lowering her star ratings, damaging her personal brand, and diminishing her potential fan base. Sources: stop-writing_b_4829648.html
  27. 27. 27 Back to Basics: Social Media for Authors LR
  28. 28. Finding Your Balance: Writing vs. Marketing 28 LR 1. Set priorities. Your first priority needs to be your writing. If you’re not writing, there’s nothing to market 2. Create a schedule. Schedule time to work on social media. This includes not only posting your own content, but finding other users to follow, commenting, sharing content by others, etc. Don’t forget: Schedule time to walk away and return to your writing. 3. Be consistent. Stick to your schedule and don’t let your social media (or your writing) lapse.
  29. 29. Author-Specific Social Media New Authors  Share what you’ve learned about writing  Share what you’re reading when you’re not writing to encourage conversation  Share your non-writing interests like cooking or arts in your city  Talk about your creative process including your struggles and challenges Established Authors  Offer sneak peeks of your writing  Hold contests for fans/followers  Offer giveaways (bookmarks, etc.)  Continue doing everything in the left-hand column (make sure readers continue to see the “real” you) 29 LR
  30. 30. Social Media & Writer Resources Social Media News & Updates  Business 2 Community  Grow  Jeff Bullas  Mashable  Media Bistro  The Next Web  Social Media Examiner  Social Media Today Marketing/Branding Resources for Writers  The Book Designer  CopyBlogger  Galley Cat  Jane Friedman  Where Writers Win  The Write Life 30 LL
  31. 31. Final Takeaways: Building Your Personal Brand  Be yourself. Be real and authentic. Your voice is your brand.  Be professional and respectful of others.  Focus on the positive instead of the negative.  Think before you post. Once something is online, it lives forever.  Be gracious. Thank followers who mention you or compliment your work.  Share content by others. Don’t just promote yourself.  Create community. Schedule time to browse sites, read things that capture your interest, comment, and participate in online conversations.  Be consistent. Post content on a weekly or daily basis.  Treat social media like email. Check your accounts every day and respond to fan questions in a timely manner.  Remember: Social media is about engagement. If you don’t engage, your fan base won’t grow. 31 LL
  32. 32. Questions? 32 Laura Reeth Follow: @lmreeth Leigh-Anne Lawrence Follow: @writenowsocial