Social Media

If Don Draper Tweeted

25 January 2015

From The Muse:

You’ve heard it said that storytelling is an essential element to drawing the reader into your content and driving more engagement.

So how can you add this element to the blogposts you write?

Can you fit a captivating story into a social media update, even one that’s 140 characters long?

Here’s the great news: There’s a formula for that.

. . . .

Why might you trot out a copywriting formula each time you need compelling copy?

I think one of my favorite perspectives on it, from someone who knows copywriting better than anyone, comes from Copyblogger’s Demian Farnworth. His take: Copywriting is the most productive way to get your writing done.

This is what it means to be an efficient writer: keeping your tools handy. You don’t have to recreate the wheel every time.

Finding a great formula that works for you—whether it’s a storytelling formula, a headline formula, or any other—can be a big-time productivity boost.

. . . .

1. Before – After – Bridge

Before – Here’s your world …

After – Imagine what it’d be like, having Problem A solved …

Bridge – Here’s how to get there.

This is our current go-to formula for the Buffer blog. Describe a problem, describe a world where that problem doesn’t exist, then explain how to get there. It’s a super simple setup, and it can work for blogpost intros, social media updates, email, and anywhere else that you write (or speak, for that matter).

a1

. . . .

2. Problem – Agitate – Solve

Identify a problem

Agitate the problem

Solve the problem

You’re looking at one of the most popular copywriting formulas out there. Copyblogger calls this formula the key to dominating social media. It’s ever-present in copywriting lists and tips.

Compared to the first copywriting formula in our list, it’s nearly an identical match with only one difference: Instead of describing a life without the problem (the “After” part), PAS describes life if the problem were to persist (the “Agitate” part).

a2

Link to the rest at The Muse

Facebook Offers Authors A Call To Action Button

24 January 2015

From author Donna Fasano:

Lately, Facebook hasn’t done much to enamor me as a user. However, they are offering authors a new feature on author fan pages that I think is fabulous and I couldn’t wait to tell everyone about it. It’s a Call To Action (CTA) button. It’s easy to set up, easy for visitors to use, and a great thing about the button is that Facebook tracks how many CTA clicks your button receives.

. . . .

To find out how many CTA clicks your button has received, simply look on the right hand side of your author page (marked on the image below with red arrow #2).

As annoyed as I have been with Facebook recently, I have to give the company a standing ovation for this new feature.

Link to the rest at Author Donna Fasano, In All Directions

Here’s a link to Donna Fasano’s books

‘Twitter Rage’ Study Correlates Social Stress With Fatal Heart Disease

23 January 2015

From the Huffington Post UK:

Twitter rage could be bad for your health.

Researchers say there is a correlation between people who are often angry on the social media site and incidence of heart disease in the United States.

The study analysed language from public Tweets sent between 2009 and 2010, and compared it to existing public data on where heart disease is most prevalent across the country.

It found that communities who frequently used ‘negative’ language had a greater rate of death from heart disease – indicating wider problems with stress in those areas, which could contribute to cardiological problems.

The opposite correlation was found in communities which used positive words like ‘wonderful’ more frequently.

. . . .

The Twitter rage study looked at Tweets sent from 1,300 US counties, and compared an automatic ‘sentiment’ analysis with heart disease data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

. . . .

“These people are the canaries of the psychological profile of their communities,” Johannes Eichstaedt, the study’s lead order, told WaPo.

Link to the rest at the Huffington Post UK and thanks to Jan for the tip.

Comment Moderation Problems

19 January 2015

A few visitors to TPV are having their comments held for moderation because of some sort of bug in WordPress.

To help avoid spam comments, the blog is set to hold the first comment by a new commenter for moderation so PG can see if the commenter is trying to sell male (or female) enhancement products. Once the first comment is approved, all subsequent comments are supposed to appear without being held for moderation.

The only exception should be if a comment contains three or more links – multiple links are a common indicator of spam.

A few visitors, including some long-term visitors, are having all their comments held for moderation. Understandably, this is very irritating for them.

PG made some settings changes earlier today and will probably be experimenting with some WordPress plugins to find a solution to the comment moderation problem. This may change the appearance of the comments section.

One thing PG has learned from his research is that if you post a comment directly from Facebook (instead of from TPV), the WordPress moderation system may not recognize you as an already-approved commenter.

If anyone has had a comment approved, but additional comments are still being moderated, let PG know through the Contact page.

PG apologizes for the frustration.

Social Media Is Overrated

16 January 2015

From Digital Book World:

Most publishers consider social media an essential part of their marketing toolkits, but author and squidoo.com founder Seth Godin joined Digital Book World 2015 in New York City this morning to turn that idea on its head.

“Not all of your authors want to be good at social media. Not all of them have something to say when they’re not writing their book,” he told publishers.

In Godin’s view, the emphasis on building author platforms has gone too far. If so many authors now approach social media as a part of their jobs in the digital era, it’s at least partly thanks to their publishers, who have assiduously told them it is. But the problem is that it often looks that way to readers.

Link to the rest at Digital Book World

Do Twitter Ads Sell eBooks?

15 January 2015

From author Donna Fasano:

According to Business Insider, Twitter says 232 million people are “monthly active users” on their platform. After searching Google for some information on how effective Twitter ads are, I decided to conduct a little experiment of my own. I like to see how things work with my own eyes. Here are my results:

I prepared my ad content according to Twitter’s instructions. Their ad dashboard makes it very easy to set up an ad. Because I was promoting one of my iBooks, I targeted readers, and more specifically, romance readers. I also targeted #iBooks. On the final day of my ad, I asked some author friends to RT my ad to see if that helped my ad’s visibility. I’m certain that’s why the graph (below) shows more views on the final day. I spent $10 a day for 5 days.

Total spent: $50

Total views: 21,934

Engagements: 252

Engagement rate: 1.15%

Cost per engagement: $0.20

The most important piece of the puzzle:

Number of iBook sales: 0

Link to the rest at Donna Fasano

Here’s a link to Donna Fasano’s books

5 Self-Publishing Truths Few Authors Talk About

14 January 2015

From Suffolk Scribblings:

One of the hardest thing to watch on social media is an author, usually a debut author, getting excited about their upcoming book launch and knowing they are about to get hit around the head with a hard dose of reality.

They’ve done the right things, built up a twitter or Facebook following, blogged about the book, sent copies out for review, told all their friends about the upcoming launch, pulled together a promo video and graphic, maybe taken out some adverts. The first few days after launch are filled with excited tweets, mentions of early positive reviews and chart rankings. Then, after a few days, maybe a few weeks, the positive tweets stop and an air of desperation sets in as the reality of life as an indie author hits home.

. . . .

1 You need talent to succeed but it’s no guarantee

The days of being able to publish an average story with an OK cover and finding success are over. There are many, many talented writers out there producing fantastic books who are struggling to find an audience. I know so many brilliant authors struggling to get themselves heard. An excellent story, professionally edited, well presented and with an enticing blurb is the bare minimum entry criteria, and just because you meet it, it doesn’t mean you will be successful.

. . . .

3 You are unlikely to sell thousands of books in your first year

I’ve yet to find the source of this statistic but it’s said the average ebook sells 100 copies. Not at launch, not in the first year, but over its whole lifetime. Now within that total sample you will get million sellers and zero sellers and your book could be anywhere on this spectrum but the reality is, despite excellent reviews and lots of promotion, your book will probably just tick along at best. Unless you manage to gain a promotion slot on a service like BookBub – especially difficult these days since the big publishing houses have started using their service – or you manage to generate great word of mouth – even more difficult, your sales won’t return to that initial launch peak for a long time, if at all.

4 Even giving your book away is hard work

In the past you used to be able to boost your profile by running a free or cut price promotion, but three things have changed since those heady days. Firstly, free books are not included in the overall charts, and although you do get a boost in ‘popularity’ rating, it’s not as big as it once was. Secondly, people’s kindles are full. Many have more books on them than they’ll ever read, so it’s now hard to even give away a book, let alone get anyone to read it. Thirdly, with Kindle Unlimited, Scribd, Oyster and the like, the big spending readers of the past now have access to unlimited books for a few pounds per month, lessening the allure of free books.

Link to the rest at Suffolk Scribblings and thanks to Scath for the tip.

Book Visibility and the Single Author

11 January 2015

From the QueryTracker Blog:

Every once in a while, I’ll look up from my keyboard, stare out the window, and daydream about having a PR team.

. . . .

When my first book came out in 2012, I had only one burning plan. It was THE PLAN. I was gonna have myself a blog tour. I figured it would be a great way to get my new book in front of the audiences I wanted to woo.

Visibility. That was the target.

I researched book blogs and review sites and other authors in my genre and I emailed each one, announcing my soon-to-be released book and asking if they’d be interested in hosting me. I had review copies. I had graphics. I had blurbs and links. And I had a mountain of hope in my soul.

And nearly had a coronary as the responses came in. The huge majority were happy to help. Would I like to do an interview or send in a guest post? I responded enthusiastically. Of course I would—I’d love to! I ended up booking a full month of blog stops… and I could not wait to get started.

Looking back, I wonder how I survived it all. I learned very quickly the tremendous amount of work that goes into a blog tour. The emails. The organizing. The scheduling. The writing of guest posts and original material. The visits to each stop, several times a day, to thank and engage and respond. The reminders to my socials to invite my readers and friends and family and the strangers who friended me on Facebook and everybody within shouting distance to visit that day’s stop.

Work, work, work, work, work.

Was it effective? Sure. The book got a ton of exposure, and I met readers and bloggers along that tour who have stuck by me since. Most of all, I attained the main objective: visibility. I even learned loads of new stuff, including the most important lesson of all—you can never do too much promotion.

. . . .

Because promotion is still a key element in the success of my books. I’m an indie writer. I’ve published novels with small presses, self-produced several ebook anthologies of my shorter work, and am preparing to enter the final stages of production on my first self-produced novel. (And, because I have so much free time *snort* I’m developing a poetry chap book.)

However, I don’t get to just sit and write and plan and produce…I have a backlist to promote. I will always have a backlist to promote. Difference between 2012 and today is that now I have a handful of irons in the fire, and I simply don’t have the time to run an exhaustive blog tour.

. . . .

THUNDERCLAP and HEADTALKER are another no-cost way to make a big noise with a single message. These crowd speaking platforms allow you to create a message, enlist the help of fellow social media addicts, and launch a campaign that, if successful, will get your announcement sent out on a particular day and time by everyone. People can “donate” a Tweet or a Facebook status to promote your message. Hit it just right, get enough help, and you just might start to trend. I created a Thunderclap and a simultaneous Headtalker campaign to promote free Kindle days for my last release, along with a slew of other promotional efforts. The bulk of my downloads came shortly after those campaigns went live. Never underestimate the power of a crowd.

Remember that great philosopher, who said it best: “What is the sound of one Tweet tweeting?” That’s deep thinking there.

. . . .

I query Bookbub for each of my promotions but have yet to get my golden ticket from them. (Kind of like the good old days, when I’d send out submission after hopeful submission, only to get yet another form rejection. Ah. Good times…)

Entire lists of websites like these can be found with a simple search for “free sites to promote ebook”. Some of my favorites include Fussy Librarian, Awesome Gang, Ebook Soda, Ebook Lister, and Book Gorilla.

Link to the rest at QueryTracker Blog and thanks to Deb for the tip.

Books have long been my refuge from the crazy, ugly real…

30 December 2014

From Dear Author:

Books have long been my refuge from the crazy, ugly real world. Now parts of the online reading community are eroding that safe place.  2014 was not a very good  year for the reader. Readers were stalked and the stalking was celebrated in a major newspaper. There were dozens of smaller skirmishes  and many vocal rallying cries for uncritical support of books and authors. There was a drumbeat, particularly from self-published authors, that readers exist to support the author.

It was also a year in which women were under attack. From being referred to as “binders full of women” to the horrific display of misogyny toward female gamers and gaming developers, the online community seemed especially vile. And it spilled over into the book community with regular ad hominem attacks being lobbed at readers for their reading choices, which had little to do with the books themselves for many times the critics hadn’t even read the books in question. Instead the ad hominem attacks had more to do with the fact that the online discussion wasn’t about the books they felt were stronger, better, worthier than these lesser ones being elevated and praised. Or it was authors who felt that readers didn’t appreciate or understand their work OR worse, assumed that the reader who didn’t like their work had a secret, evil agenda to bring that author down.

. . . .

Dear Author is coming up on nine years of existence. It was established in April 2006 by Jayne and I, because we wanted to talk about books, and specifically we wanted to talk about books with other readers. That it has grown into what it is now pretty much astounds the both of us. Over the years I’ve made mistakes, mostly because I felt like I was still talking to my five friends about books.

And as Dear Author has grown, so have the headaches (and I’m not even talking about the lawsuit), to the extent that I’ve privately told individuals that I’m ready to throw in the towel and walk away from the blog. I’m not going to but I have those feelings. I’m sure many of you have those feelings, because you’ve shared with me your frustration and discontent with the online community, with social media, with the constant negativity in countless emails.

Internally, DA has had discussions about making a safe place for readers where we can talk without fear of reprisal. After weeks of thinking about this, I’ve come to the conclusion that we shouldn’t be afraid to speak about books. It’s books. How did discussions about books become so fraught and dangerous that we have to hide away? I mean, that’s a bit ridiculous and a lot tragic, right?

Ultimately I understand that we want to talk about the books we love and those we don’t without judgment of us as people. From what I hear from others, we want to be able to share our feelings–both love and hate–without pissing people off. And I guess the question is whether that’s a reasonable expectation.

. . . .

There are authors who write books that I do not like. I really need to work hard separating the book from the author and understand that even if the author should choose to write something that I find personally offensive, it does not mean the author is personally offensive. Similarly, because the reader doesn’t like the book doesn’t mean that she is dumb or offensive or doesn’t get it.

Link to the rest at Dear Author

Instagram Blows Away Twitter on Brand Engagement

19 December 2014

From SocialBakers:

Twitter is great for news and real-time buzz. But Instagram is now bigger, and according to our newest data, it’s the definitive place to be for brands who want to engage with their communities.

. . . .

Instagram is making waves – it now has more than 300 million users, 70% of whom are from outside the United States, and best-performing brands garner nearly 50× more engagement with organic content. This engagement is defined as the sum of all retweets, replies, and favorites on Twitter.

Instagram gives brands an outlet for creative storytelling and engagement with tight communities of people who share a passion for the the brands’ values. From the stunning photography of National Geographic and Magnum Photos, to the latest fashion from Zara and H&M – ‘Grammers love their brands.

Link to the rest at SocialBakers

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