Facebook and Twitter, The Gateway To Thousands Of Readers Interested In You!
It’s a surprise that we haven’t all turned into light hating golems after spending so much time on the internet. 1.9 billion of us online and over half of us perched on the edge of our seats throwing virtual cows at friends and poking random strangers. Social media is a phenomenon that has gripped an entire planet across an amazing breadth of ages and interests. If you haven’t yet seen the statistics on how many people are using social media, check out one of my previous posts with this great YouTube video. Social media is how you connect with people, who think the same way you do, across the globe within milliseconds. It is the most powerful tool to connect with people on the other side of the world who would normally never get the chance to read what you have written.
Many people um and ah about whether or not they should use Twitter or use Facebook or either. But in the time that you take to research and have an in depth conversation with other writers, you could have just set up a Twitter or Facebook account and road tested it. Social media is not something to be afraid of; we are not connecting with Martians in space. It is also going to be how we communicate in the future. If e-books are a digitisation of reading, then social media is a digitisation of communication. They both go hand in hand and if you want to be successful online you are going to have to brave one or the other. You can sit on the fence all you want, but while you do, the rest of the world is powering ahead. Let’s go through some great ways to get started on Twitter and Facebook, and how you can target the right audience.
TWITTER: Setting Twitter up is as easy as typing in your name, email, and creating a user name and password. You can set up your profile with a little bio and picture and also add your website URL into the mix. Even publishers have discovered the opportunities provided by Twitter, for a video of their discussion at the 140 Characters Conference click here. On Twitter you send out what is known as a Tweet, which is a text based post or comment of up to 140 characters in length (links to websites are included in the 140 characters). The principle is similar to a blog except here you need to be more precise and entertaining; building up curiosity is the key. As I noted before, it is important that only 30-40% of your tweets are for promotion, the rest needs to be building up credibility, connecting with followers, sending people to interesting sites and being an entertainer. However, with this sort of entertaining you don’t have to contend with stage fright!
While you can have great fun on Twitter, chatting between friends, being on top of the news and trends, or just swapping ideas with people, you must make sure that you target who you are following. There is no point connecting with a brass band lover in New Orleans, or an exotic dancer in Russia, if you are trying to sell an e-book on scuba diving around the world and they are in no way interested. Here is where the leg work kicks in. While social media is fantastic for connecting, you cannot wait for your readers to discover you, you need to seek out your readers and interest group and show an interest in them first. You want to follow people who will, a) follow you back (so that they see your Tweets and hence your promotions) and b) who have an interest in the genre of your e-book. The best way to do this is to Google experts or popular authors in your niche to see if they have a Twitter account. The people who are following them are most likely fans of the expert/author or of their work. If you then follow the people following this expert or author, the majority of the time they will follow you back. Another avenue is to go to search.twitter.com and type in the keywords that relate to your target audience and niche (as harped upon countless times in my previous posts!). The search will then come up with hundreds of users who are typing those words into their tweets. You can then contact them through what is called a Direct Message, and request that they connect with you on Twitter, and perhaps check out your new e-book. If the people who are following you are not interest in your genre, they are about as much use as a tutu without a ballerina.
FACEBOOK: The set up process for Facebook is exactly the same, the only difference being that you have to provide both an email and a phone number to verify you are a real person and not a faceless automaton. Facebook, however, allows you to do a whole host of extra things such as add interests (or your keywords) to your profile page, your philosophy, your bio. These are not restricted to 140 characters like they would be in Twitter. Be careful with your personal information, I wouldn’t recommend sharing things such as address or phone number. However, you should make sure that you have all your websites listed and an email, separate from your personal one, where people can contact you. Being aloft will not get you the following and sales you desire, you must connect with people and give them every opportunity to connect with you.
As with Twitter, you use the search function at the top of the page to search for groups or ‘pages’ that are based around your keywords and the interests of your users. There may be several groups and pages with the same name or phrase but each one will vary in the number of people who like a page, or have joined a group. Join the groups or pages with the highest number of users so you can reach more people, make your presence known by posting on the ‘wall’ of these pages. Think of them as just another forum board. The people who participate in these pages will have an interest in your niche and hopefully your e-book. The more you participate on these pages, the better known you become. Start inviting people to be your friends, who interact with you on posts. You can search out the fan pages of authors who write in similar genres to yours, or the pages of experts in your field and make friend requests to people who also like those pages. You can also create fan pages around your novel; on these fan pages you can provide people with you carefully written synopsis and discussions about your novel, or tips on a topic that interests them.
It is amazing how social media absorbs peoples’ lives, and if you can find a way to contact those who care about what you write, on a platform with almost 200million users, you will be laughing so hard relatives may just have to call for the straight jacket.
TOMORROW: The Media Machine: How YouTube can be used to promote your e-book virally and increase your Google ranking.
SUCCESS?? Have you started to apply the tips in this blog yet? If you have had success, I would love to hear about it! Please feel free to tell us in the comments section below.