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Berrett-Koehler Social Networking Best Practices


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This was a handout at the IBPA Publishing University Conference in San Francisco on 3-10-12 as part of David Marshall's presentation: Positioning Your Digital Strategy for Maximum Profits. #ibpau12

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Berrett-Koehler Social Networking Best Practices

  1. 1. Social Networking for Book Industry Best Practices and Top SitesGeneral Tips• Pick your favorite 1-3 sites to concentrate on, since you won’t be able to manage ten sites well.• Be genuine – don’t say anything you don’t, in some way, believe.• Use your own voice – maintain consistency with your online personality by posting/commenting/etc. in your natural speaking voice.• Suggestion: Create two personas – one BK and one your own – if you want to keep your personal posts separate from your work-related self.• Share only what you feel is truly interesting or helpful. This will keep you from being annoying or sales-y. Give, and you shall receive.• Whenever possible, engage and/or start conversation. Include a “What do you think?” at the end of any appropriate statement.• Speak to what you know – if you are not familiar with a book but have done lots of work with the author, buzz the title that way. As staff, we are in a unique position to speak to the knowledge, professionalism, and personality of our authors. If not, express your feelings on the book’s ‘Big Idea’, which we’re all pretty familiar with.• Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – nearly everything is delete-able.• Use your real name or your initials for your user name, so people can find you easily, as well as recognize it by the short URL link you distribute.• Use your e-signature to invite people to join your social networks.• Once you open an account, visit the sites of BK and other staff members to view their friends, followers, and connections. If you see BK Stakeholders you recognize, ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ them to start your own network. This will help you build a community much faster and more effectively than if you wait to be approached.• Use TinyURL or other short-form sites to reduce long URLs for more effective links.• Be kind and inclusive, rather than ornery, polarizing, or too snarky. Unless people are familiar with that sense of humor, new friends are likely to be turned off.• Identify yourself and be transparent. There is no need to hide your status as a BK employee. Once you ID your professional and company in your profile, there is no need to further ID yourself in every post. Using terms like ‘our’ and ‘Berrett-Koehler’ will help people remember who you are/represent.• Use keywords (i.e. search terms) so it is easy for people to find your posts. For example, if you are buzzing a particular book, make sure to include both the titles and the author’s name, to cover all of your bases.
  2. 2. Berrett-Koehler Publishers Digital Community Building • Use the social networking search functions to see what people are (or aren’t) saying about your theme, author, or book, and use this to more effectively join the conversation. • Join or create groups around themes you truly care about. • Don’t say anything about someone else on your page that you would not want them to see…because they surely will.Best Practices on Top Sites: Join BK’s Digital Community Building EffortsFacebook - • Create account/profile • Become a BK fan (Berrett-Koehler Publishers) • Check out our fans and the pages we are fans of and follow suit where appropriate • Wall Posts: Can easily post on the BK Page’s wall. Ideas include: o Links to relevant news o Simple ‘hello’ or comment on any title o If you are eager to identify yourself as BK Staff, you could give a quick shout-out to a project that you’re excited to be working on • Photos: Can post your own (of yourself, a fave BK Book, any favorite book, whatever) or COMMENT on those already posted. Comments can be made on any title in our most recent catalogs and are capable of hyperlinks (to BK Book pages, articles, etc.) • Videos: Same as photos. Can post a fan video (getting higher tech), but can also comment on any/all author videos. • Discussion: Join in on any pre-existing topics, or feel free to start one of your own. Whatever you’d like! Could be a good way to get customer info. (Recommended: If you do this, also post a link to the discussion on the wall). • SHARE/Like: Anything BK-related or relevant on Facebook can easily be posted to your profile (for all of your ‘friends’ to see) via the ‘Share’ button. Exciting demo to follow.YouTube - • Sign up is necessary for commenting, but profile is much less important than on other networks. • ‘Subscribe’ to BK channel and check out what we have up (author videos, etc.) • Comment on BK Videos: On idea, on actual book, on author, cover…anything! • More advanced: Can comment on other videos that relate to something of ours, then link back to book page. Exciting demo to follow.
  3. 3. Berrett-Koehler Publishers Digital Community Building • Super easy: Social Networking options below each video allow you to ‘share’, ‘favorite’, sendScribd - • Sign up is necessary for commenting, but profile is much less important than on other networks. • Become a friend, join ‘Free Book Excerpts’ group • Comments: Can comment on any document we have up, which adds to a document’s popularity • Super easy: Social Networking tab above each document allows you to ‘share’, ‘send’, ‘favorite’, ‘like’ (demo to follow) • BK authors open own accounts and post public domain articles with links back to bookTwitter – Officially a “micro-blogging” site, but unlike other blogging site, theTwitter community is provided as part of the overall service. Each post, called aTweet, is 140 Characters or less, or one sentence. People in your network arecalled “Followers.” People follow you and you follow people, but it need not bereciprocal. Followers are not necessarily friends, but are usually interested inwhat you have to say. There are no groups as with Facebook and LinkedIn. • You can use a “handle” as your user name if you want, but enter your real name in your profile so people can find you. For example, David’s user name is dpmars (initials plus first few letters of last name). Bonnie’s user id is BonnieBKoehler but you can find her with the Find People search under Bonnie Kaufman. • You will start out with zero followers. Go to David and Bonnie’s individual Twitter address as well as the BK Twitter page to view our followers. If you see names you recognize, then start following them, and ask them to follow you. Start here: David: Bonnie: BK Twitter: • Participation strategy – Two schools of thought 1) Personal Communication Approach: Only accept as many followers as you can keep up with daily assuming each of them posts at least once per day. For example, if you have 100 followers, then be prepared to read 100 posts and maybe comment on at least 10 of them. 2) Viral Approach: Grow your follower base aggressively in order to use them to broadcast out to their respective networks. Using this strategy, don’t try to keep up with thousands of posts coming into your inbox per day if you have
  4. 4. Berrett-Koehler Publishers Digital Community Building thousands of followers. Instead, use the search function to find topics you want to discuss and re-tweet those topics to your large base, hoping they will send them to their respective follower bases as well, in order to spread the word far and wide. Spend 10 minutes a day “snacking” on your incoming posts, but don’t try to keep up with all of them. • Use a photo or something distinguishing as your background picture. • Twitter is open season for commercial enterprise. You may have people following you that only want to sell you something or offer questionable services. You can remove them, or continue to let them follow you but block them as a follower yourself (so you don’t see their Tweets anymore). • Many people tweet multiple times a day, but you can post as much or little as feels comfortable for you. A recent Twitter researcher cited 23 tweets per day as the optimal frequency for maximum power, authority, and reach. The average is 1 tweet per day among active users. • In the Settings function you can stipulate whether you want to be notified by email when new tweets arrive, or whether you want to only view them when you log in. David uses his account to field incoming social networking notifications so it doesn’t gum up his BK inbox. You may want to open or use a free Gmail or Yahoo account as well. • Get creative about abbreviations to pack in the most into your 140- character limitation. A woman from Canada has become popular providing complete recipes by using creative abbreviations. If you expect lots of re-tweets, leave charter room since ach tweet adds the new account name. • If you are buzzing a BK book, link to it using TinyURL or other shortening URL service. Some apps such as Tweetdeck include auto-shortening features. • In buzzing the BK book, mention the main title and author, but don’t worry about the subtitle; there’s usually not enough room. That way people searching on the title and book will see your tweet. • You can also link directly to a BK book excerpt by saving the URL link from the book on We’ll show you how. • If you like someone’s post and decide to share it, save the whole thing, then click Reply and then add “RT” in front of their @name. You may have to abbreviate their tweet to accommodate the acknowledgement. • Use the Twitter Search function (also advanced search) on the bottom of the page to search by BK author, subject, or book title, to see what is currently being discussed about this item, and then reply to tweets you think are relevant. New BK author Deanna Zandt recommends creating an RSS feed (click on RSS feed button in top right corner of search results) and then bookmarking it on your Internet browser in order to keep track of what people are saying about topics, book titles, and authors. • The star function represents your Favorite Tweets, or likes. Twitter keeps track of the most popular real-time discussion items and displays them on the right-hand side bar, partially based on people clicking the star button.
  5. 5. Berrett-Koehler Publishers Digital Community Building • You may want to use an application to send your Twitter feeds automatically to Facebook or vice versa. The one David and Johanna use is Tweetdeck (a Twitter application), which orders posts from Twitter and Facebook in columns and allows you to specify by post whether it should go to Twitter, Facebook, or both. It also automatically shortens long URLs so you don’t have to go to TinyURL or another service while you are composing your tweet, which is a big time saver. • If you want people to find you by a certain them or keyword, put it at the end of your Tweet, starting with a pound side ‘#’ – this is called a hashtag. For example, if you buzz The Accidental American, you can end your tweet with “#immigration.” Chelsea Green uses the “#books” hashtag consistently in its tweets so that people searching on books sees the Chelsea Green posts. Launch books with one-day hashtag campaigns. • Don’t mention exactly where you live or say when you are going on vacation or on a business trip or anything that people may use to rob your house. • Applications (Twitter apps) – There are hundreds of interesting applications, ranging from extremely useful to just plain silly, that you may want to incorporate within your page or use to make your Twitter experience more efficient or enjoyable. The auto updates to Facebook and other social networks are examples of Twitter apps. To see a partial list, click on “Apps” at the bottom of your Twitter account page. Twitter Apps to consider: Tweetdeck (sent posts to Twitter and Facebook is same submission, filter posts, shows replies and direct messages, auto URL shortening, group followers): Twellow (yellow pages, extended bio, cross-links to your other social networking sites, follower prospecting): TweetLater (auto follow, schedule tweets for future posting, auto reply message with link, keyword email updates): TweetBeep (up to 10 free keyword alerts by email): TwittterGrader (rates your account from 0-100 based on power, authority, and reach, with suggestions for improvement): Splitweet (to manage multiple twitter accounts and track brands from one web based window): Tweetchat (for forum chats, hashtag auto added, create new room by simply typing it in and entering):
  6. 6. Berrett-Koehler Publishers Digital Community Building Twitpic (share photos of company events, authors, book covers or whatever tickles your fancy): TBuzz (button on Internet bookmark browser to easily recommend webpages to your Twitter followers, and then track the discussion): Tweetbrain (Ask and answer questions on Twitter and gain followers based on activity and popular answer): TwiveAway (giveaway app to automate Twitter contests based on re- tweets of contest sponsor content): • Book publisher best practices and followers – Chelsea Green runs a contest every Wednesday at 3 PM Eastern whereby the nth person (number changes every week) who re-tweets about a Chelsea Green book from its website receives that book for free. See contest rules: weekly-twitter-contest/ • Book publisher scorecard by number of followers according to Publishers Weekly: Since the BK Twitter page has just gone live and we still have less than 100 followers, please help us spread the word through your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites that we are open for business.Linked In – No BK company pageDescription: LinkedIn has about 40 million members and started as a business-networking site to help people get jobs or develop partnerships. More recently, ithas developed social networking characteristics such as affinity-based groups(ASTD, Book Publishing, UC Berkeley Alumni, etc.) and applications (instantsurveys, book recommendations, etc.). People in your network are called“Connections.” There are more groups aligning to BK Business books than maybe found on the more friendship sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and LiveJournal. • Start by linking to David’s account and view his connections, and ask them to join your network. Start here: • Use the Search People function to find people and network with them. LinkedIn will let you know if you are connected to your intended person by one or more degrees of separation. You may ask someone in your existing network, or various degrees away, to introduce you to others you wish to reach directly.
  7. 7. Berrett-Koehler Publishers Digital Community Building • As with Twitter and Facebook, use a free Gmail, MSN, or Yahoo account to field you LinkedIn notifications if you don’ t want them arriving into your BK inbox. • Search the Groups by subject and join two or three to get started. Comment on existing discussions and start your own. For example, David just commented on an existing thread about procrastination on the ASTD National group, which boasts over 6,000 members. • Use the “What Are You Working On Now?” status function at the top of your home page to let others in your network know what’s important to you today. This is a good place to mention a new BK book. • Check out the applications and pick one that appeals to you. David has been experimenting with mini-surveys and the Amazon book recommendation apps. • You can communicate with your network by sending a email whereby you enter them name by name, or simple join groups and email to the entire group. • Similar to Twitter and Facebook, don’t mention exactly where you live or say when you are going on vacation or on a business trip or anything that people may use to rob your house.Draft 6/11/09 – Continual updates (thanks to Karen Swim @karenswim, WayneMarshall @waynemarshall, and Deanna Zandt @randomdeanna for Twitter tipsand apps recommendations).Note: See Social Networking Buckets exhibit on next page and noticeStumbleUpon, the buzz service that helped us attract 375,000 visitors to this viralFlash on our bestselling BK Life book, The Five Secrets You Must DiscoverBefore You Die: on StubmbleUpon later…David MarshallDirector for Digital Communitiesdmarshall@bkpub.comBonnie KaufmanDigital Community Builderbkaufman@bkpub.comBerrett-Koehler Publishers235 Montgomery Street, Suite 650San Francisco, CA 94104-2916 USA
  8. 8. Berrett-Koehler Publishers Digital Community Building Exhibit