7 Tips to Networking on the Social Web (Part 1)

3-10-14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t you get tired of broadcast media? I unplugged my Comcast cable four years ago, and I’ve never regretted it. Television programming would interrupt my favorite shows with annoying commercials and cancel the few programs I really liked. The worst part is that I had to conform my schedule to my favorite program’s schedule. In comparison, social media is perfect. There are no interruptions, and I can visit the networks whenever I have time. And it allows me to interact with colleagues and friends across the country and around the world. Most importantly, social media enables me to nurture relationships with readers and friends. Petty cool, huh? Four-Step Cure to Social Media Time Suck Just as a reminder, setting aside time to be social is the third step in my four-step cure to social media suck. Here are the four steps:

  1. Curate information in your niche every morning.
  2. Select an application and schedule your tweets, posts and updates.
  3. Make time to be social every day.
  4. Check your analytics to determine which messaging works best with your audience.

Make Time to be Social Social media is all about nurturing relationships. Did someone retweet one of your messages? Find a tweet they wrote that you like and return the favor. While you’re at it, consider sending a note of thanks to everyone who retweeted you.  Do you have new followers? Spend some time getting acquainted with them by reviewing their profiles or visiting their websites. (It only takes a second or two.) Is there an agent or editor on LinkedIn with whom you’d like to connect, but can’t because they are a third degree connection? Ask a friend to introduce you. Did a col- league just publish a new book? Help her promote it by informing your friends and connections about it. Socializing on social media involves these three steps: meet, connect, and repeat. You are constantly meeting new people, connecting with them, and then repeating the process with someone new. Remember to be positive and open-minded and stick to neutral topics. If you have an iPad, iPhone, Android, or another device, you can socialize online whenever you have some idle time. (If you don’t have idle time, then it’s important to schedule some in.) For example, you can use your mobile device while watching a movie at home, waiting at your doctor’s office, letting the color set on your hair at your stylist’s salon, waiting for a friend to arrive at a coffee shop, or while standing in line at Costco. If you’re someone who needs to schedule virtual socialization into your day, then set an alarm to sound at four or four thirty in the afternoon and do it then. Force yourself to take a break from your regular work, go online, and interact with your readers and colleagues. In other words, keep the social in social media. 7 Dos and Don’ts to Being Social Here you’ll find my 7 tips to networking on the social web.

  1. Don’t engage with people who send you negative messages. Take a deep breath, move on to another task, and forget about them.
  2. You will inevitably receive invitations to play Farmville, Scrabble, and other online games. Unless you find these games relaxing, you may not want to use these diversions because they tend to consume time that you could instead use connecting with your Facebook friends or writing your next book.
  3. Do you feel pressured to use every social media network available to you? Don’t fall for that trap. If you don’t have the time to manage LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and RebelMouse, determine which platforms best enable you to connect with your audience and best fit your audience and marketing style and goals.
  4. In order not to become lost in the vortex of social media time suck, you will need to learn how to manage your time. For example, perhaps you need to use LinkedIn for only five minutes three times a week. That’s okay. Maybe you don’t have the time to schedule more than four tweets daily. Don’t worry. You don’t need to maximize your efforts on every social media network. Use the ones that most appeal to you, are helping you to build relationships, and in turn are connecting you with your readership.
  5. Don’t use your book jacket as your avatar (profile picture). People want to see the face behind the book, so put on some blush or go to the barber, brush your hair, and smile for the camera.
  6. Set your Facebook notifications to receive an e-mail whenever you are mentioned or you are tagged in a photo. On Twitter, you’ll want to know when you have a new follower.
  7.  If you use SocialOomph, sign up for alerts notifying you of when you were retweeted or mentioned and when your hashtag was used.

How do you make time to be social? This post is an excerpt from my new book Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write. photo credit: shareski via photopin cc About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

4 Tips for Managing Your Author Platform in 30 Minutes a Day

Social Media Time Suck Final 380I am excited to announce that my newest book, Avoid Social Media Time Suck, is available for purchase on Kindle. In a few weeks, it will also be available in paperback form. I wrote this book to address writers’  dilemma of  time management when using social media.

Authors tell me that they find social media marketing so time-consuming that it leaves them less time to do what they love most: write. In response to this complaint, I wrote this book.

This is what you’ll learn from this book: my four-step formula that will reduce the time you’ll need to spend when using your preferred social media networks, information on numerous applications that will make you more efficient when engaging on the social web, applications that will turn off your social media networks when it’s time to sit and write, blogging tips, and suggestions for introverted marketers.

Frances Caballo’s Avoid Social Media Time Suck provides an indispensable resource for every serious writer who knows they must spend time online to achieve publishing success. This book covers a huge range of topics including how to create a brand, build author platform and solve a variety of common social media issues. Most important, it provides a cure to the black hole social media can become in an author’s schedule: four steps to make time online effective and efficient. This book is a must-have for any writer who wants to sell books to a worldwide audience and still have time to write. ~~ Nina Amir, blogger, editor, book and author coach, and author of How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual

     ______________________________________________

He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.

—Victor Hugo, French poet, novelist, dramatist

People often ask me, “How much time do you spend on social media every day?” I tell them the truth, 30 to 45 minutes. There are days when it takes me five minutes to curate and schedule my tweets, shares, and posts for the day. Other times, it may take me twenty minutes but on average I don’t spend more than fifteen minutes in the mornings.

I never vary my schedule. Starting at 5 am, I scan my Twitter lists, review stories on Alltop.com, and navigate over to my Twylah Brand Builder assessment. These are all the sources I need to discover the newest, hottest content in my niche, social media for writers.

At every step, I’m aware of my brand, and I endeavor to represent it as best I can through my content. Then I turn to my marketing platform to disseminate information that others will not only want to read, but need to read.

What is an Author Platform?

Michael Hyatt answers this question best with this quote from his book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World:

The means by which you connect with your existing and potential readers.

Think of an author marketing platform as a means by which you can more easily be seen and heard, and can converse with your readers. Think of it as a stage that allows you to see and talk with your audience. A platform, like a stage, makes you more visible to the demographic you are trying to reach.

There is confusion about what an author brand is. Here’s an easy answer: You are your brand. Everything your write, post, tweet and share should further your brand, which can also be defined as a lasting impression you want to leave with your writers.

Four-Step Cure to Social Media Time Suck

You may think that you don’t have time to maintain a social media marketing platform, but you do provided you follow this formula.

1.    Curate every morning.

2.    Schedule every morning.

3.    Socialize every afternoon.

4.    Analyze every week.

What is Curation?

Each day you need to search for great content that is relevant to your readers. Use the websites and applications noted below.

Schedule

Scheduling your content is your next step. You will need to find an application that fits your budget and has the features you want, for example, HootSuite and SocialOomph are solid applications to use.

Socialize

To be successful on social media, you will need to allocate time in the day to be social. You can fit this into your schedule in a variety of ways: while waiting for a friend at a café, sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, or browsing your social networks on your smartphone or mobile device while relaxing on the couch at night.

Analyze

You can tackle the final step—analyzing your metrics—on a weekly or monthly basis. This step is the crux for how you will continue to develop your social media marketing strategy. Every once in a while you will need to clear a few minutes to check your Insights (Facebook’s free analytics tool) to determine what content resonates the most with your fans. Are your fans sharing your content? Was there a post that didn’t generate a single Like? On Twitter, take a look at your retweets and mentions. Are they dropping or climbing? Compare the content you tweet against the metrics.

Applications to Ease Your Social Media Marketing

Curation Applications

Alltop

Created by social media megastar and venture capitalist Guy Kawa- saki, this is the mother of all curation websites. You’ll find the day’s top articles here in every possible niche.

Scoop.it

Have you ever wanted to publish your own magazine? Now you can with Scoop.it. In addition to scouring the web to find the best articles it can on the topics you select, Scoop.it enables you to publish regularly an online magazine featuring the top articles you found. You can also use this application to find great content to post.

Google Trends

Type in any topic and Google Trends will let you know whether it is trending up, or down—and provide you with great statistics on the topics you write about for your next blog post.

Check your Twitter news feed too.

Scheduling Applications

SocialOomph

SocialOomph is a scheduler on steroids. It will allow you to schedule your social media posts, set up recurring tweets and LinkedIn posts, find new followers, and track your click-through rates and keywords. It also provides limited analytics and will find new friends for you to follow.

PostPlanner

An application designed just for Facebook, PostPlanner enables you to schedule your status updates. It has additional features that are tempting on its $19/month plan: this application will show you the newest content trending in your niche, help you target your readers, and provide you with real-time analytics. It also has a cache of thousands of updates that you can select from on those days when you can’t think of anything to say.

Pluggio and Tweetdeck are great tools, but you can only use it for Twitter.

Analyze Your Metrics

LikeAlyzer

All you need to do is type in the web address of your Facebook page (not your profile) and this free program will analyze your engagement. Your score will be somewhere between 1 and 100. The higher your score, the better your page is performing. This application will rate your growth in page Likes, rank your score against similar pages, measure your response time to comments left by fans, determine whether you are asking questions often enough, and remind you to denote more milestones. Basically, it provides an at-a-glance look at the areas you excel in and the areas that need improvement. Every-one with a Facebook page should take advantage of this free analytics program.

SocialNumbers

To discover how your page fares compared to similar pages, type in your Facebook URL. If you want to know which pages are trending on Facebook, you can also find that information on this free informational site.

SproutSocial

For $39/month, SproutSocial will analyze your Facebook and Twitter accounts. The analytics are comprehensive, and in addition to a PDF report, you can download an Excel spreadsheet that examines your click-through rates on a day-by-day basis. It provides in-depth demographics and measures tweets, retweets, follows, mentions, re- plies, and direct messages. It will also measure how social you are and determine your influence. You can also use this application to schedule your posts, unfollow users, and, at the premium level, it will determine your best posting times.

What’s the most difficult part of maintaining your social media marketing strategy?

 

Social Media Time Suck Final 200About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web