Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Are You “In” BranchOut?

Posted: April 27, 2012 in Social Media

On Fridays I try to spend a little time understanding Facebook and how it works to expand my reach and build my “brand” as an author and freelance writer.

Today as I was creating groups to make it easier to filter posts from friends, family and acquaintances, I noticed that at some point I apparently accepted a request to join an app called BranchOut.  Not knowing what the heck it even is, I did a little Googling and found several articles including the one below.

Bottom line, it sounds like it is Facebook’s version of LinkedIn, though there are differences, as noted in the article.  Now I am a huge fan of LinkedIn.  It is largely due to the groups I’ve joined there that I have been able to participate in so many interviews and guest posts.  So I’m thinking if BranchOut can do more of the same, I should participate more actively.

My main concern is how my participation will impact my Facebook friends,  As I started building my BranchOut network, is it going to start pestering them to join also, increasing their spam posts and cause them to block me on their news feeds?  I’m gonna risk that, I guess, but if you already have experience with this app, I would welcome any comments telling me what you think of BranchOut.   And after I’ve played around with it for awhile, I’ll come back on here and tell you how my experiment went.

That being said, does BranchOut really compete with LinkedIn? In social media marketing, I teach my clients that everyone has their own preferred social network, and they use it in their own particular way. For that reason, while these communities don’t really compete with each other (unless you look at ad revenue competition from their owners), I believe BranchOut is a natural complement for those who want to use social media for professional networking:

via Why Branch Out on Facebook for Networking Instead of Linking In?.


Murdering Twitter

Posted: April 24, 2012 in Social Media

Oops, I suspect I may be one of the people mentioned below who are cutting their own throats by abuse and misuse of their Twitter accounts.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not cruel, it’s only that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.  There are almost as many articles out there about how to use Twitter as there are tweets by all the twits who use the social medium.

Can anyone tame the Twitter monster, or should we just steer clear of its mouth?

Twitter, much like all of social media, requires time, patience and focus. Doing Twitter halfway is worse than not doing it at all. Name your favorite company. Now, imagine you go to that company’s Twitter page and its most recent tweet is from last summer. Obviously, that’s not a company that cares enough about feedback from its customers to be bothered with paying attention to Twitter. You don’t want to gain that reputation. The first thing you have to do is make a commitment to spending time every single day monitoring your Twitter page, your followers and some other things we’ll point out a little later. Twitter success is not found by doing the bare minimum.

via How to Best Use Twitter in the Market Place | Smedio.

Facebook Timelines

Posted: April 20, 2012 in Social Media

Social Media Examiner has proven to be a fun and informative site.  Check out the link below for samples of how companies are using Facebook’s new Timeline view.  Even though the examples are of commercial companies, they can be good tips for authors as well.  This article highlights 5 specific things you can do:

  1. Adding Interesting Milestones
  2. Incorporating the Profile Picture Into Your Cover Photo
  3. Telling a Story With Photos
  4. Branding With Apps
  5. Using the About Section to Give a Call to Action

#4 Apps is one that I was trying to figure out the other day, and lo and behold, Social Media Examiner has a post about that, too.  Really, you should check these guys out and share with me what you find.

Are you wondering how businesses are creatively using Facebook’s Timeline features?  Business timelines are blooming all over Facebook.

via 5 Ways Businesses Are Using Facebook Timelines | Social Media Examiner.

The changes Facebook Timeline has made to Pages might be a mixed bag, but I am liking the detailed view you get of who has been looking at what on your page.  I plan to keep on eye on this in future to hopefully improve my content and give people what they seem to want.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This was supposed to post tomorrow, March 30, which is actually the day the change takes place.  I had my posting scheduling off by one day, though, so you’re actually getting this a day early.  😦 )

Changing your Facebook Page to the new timeline view is no longer a choice.  As of today, all pages should be using the new view.  Some features have gone bye bye and some new ones are now available. 

I switched over my page for Painted Black a while ago and so far my only complaint is that when someone besides me posts to the page, it gets condensed into a little window with everyone else’s and does not display prominently at all.  See the image to the right which I copied from New Libri’s site.

I posted to the help line as did several others asking if there is any way to fix this but so far I’ve not seen a response.

Here are a few links to tell you more about what to expect.

Here is Facebook’s official Help page about the new view.  I would start here if you’re trying to understand how to make the most of your new page.


Here’s an article about how the new changes might affect how you use it for promotion.

If you use your Facebook page to track how much traffic you’re getting, here is a cautionary article about how the new view might affect your numbers.


Here are some links to articles on what the changes mean to you specifically as an author.


There’s even a Facebook Page set up as a place to vent your complaints about the Facebook Page.

Twit That Tweet

Posted: March 27, 2012 in Social Media
Tags: ,

Did you know you could do this?

Just paste a link of any length into the Tweet box on After you’ve composed your Tweet and you hit the “Tweet” button, we’ll shorten the link so that it only takes up 19 characters.

via Twitter Blog: Link sharing made simple.

I’m reinstating Twitter Tuesdays–here’s the first installment for your edutainment.

A few weeks ago Chris Brogan published a list of the 100 blog topics that he wished people would cover. One of them was, “How Twitter Improved My Blog,” and I accepted the challenge to write something along these lines. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with Twitter, you can read “The Tao of Twitter,” “Newbies Guide to Twitter,” or “Ode to Twitter.”) Here is my answer to Chris’s request.

Book Marketing Group News | LinkedIn.

Facebook for Authors

Posted: March 16, 2012 in Marketing, Social Media

Here’s an informative article to read on Facebook Friday.

Facebook dominates the social networking world. But how can authors use the Facebook platform to promote their books and find new readers? Naturally, you should be talking about your writing on your personal profile just as you talk about other aspects of your life, but there are some good reasons why you should make the leap and take the focused promotion efforts off of your personal Facebook profile and create a Facebook page dedicated to your literary pursuits.

via Facebook for Authors: Setting up an author page, Pt. 1 | BookBaby Blog.

More and more there are articles and blogs and posts being written pointing to social media as an important tool to marketing yourself and your book.  Enough to be convincing, I think, that it must be true.

The article linked below gives you a detailed explanation of 31 ways to increase the popularity of your Facebook Page.

1 – Put your Facebook page URL in your email signature.

2 – Write a blog post about your new Facebook page.

3 – Tag other people’s high-traffic Facebook pages in your updates.

4 – Ask your Twitter followers to like your Facebook page.

5 – Invest in Facebook ads.

6 – Put a Facebook social plugin on your blog or website.

7 – Implement Facebook comments on your website or blog.

8 – Customize your Facebook page URL.

9 – Put your Facebook page URL on your business cards.

10 – Put a link on your personal Facebook profile.

11 – Get your team involved.

12 – Ask your fans to post a link.

13 – Tag your YouTube videos.

14 – Put your Facebook page URL on your Twitter profile background.

15 – Create a QR code for your Facebook page.

16 – Tell your fans.

17 – Add a Facebook Like box.

18 – Use targeted keywords in a Google AdWords ad.

19 – Redirect webinar guests to your Facebook page.

20 – Feature your Facebook page in your presentation slides.

21 – Run a contest.

22. Connect your Facebook page to your Twitter profile.

23. Encourage your contacts to ask questions on your Facebook wall.

24. Put your Facebook page URL on other social media pages.

25. Feature your Facebook page in offline ads.

26. Rely on word of mouth and word of mouse.

27. Invite your ezine subscribers.

28. Get Fans to join via mobile SMS.

29. Comment on other people’s Facebook posts.

30. Do a blog tour promoting your Facebook page.

31. Invite your friends.

If you want your Facebook fan page to be effective and stand out, you have to get people to find and like your page. Here are a few ways to do that (inspired by a recent post by Justin Wise on Social Media Examiner).

A prominent Facebook page can be crucial to your book marketing and book promotion campaigns.

via 31 Ways to Promote Your Facebook Page | Ask John Kremer.

Author Branding

Posted: August 20, 2011 in Marketing, Social Media

If you’re not a cowboy, when you hear the word “branding” you probably think of logos and letterhead and tag lines used by companies to make themselves stand out in a crowd.  But authors are their own LLC and need to think the same way major corporations do to get their name out there.  How else will you draw attention to the books you’ve written that deserve to be read?

The article below makes some good points, and offers a checklist of things you can do to to promote yourself (and by association, your work).  Most of them are relatively painless.  How many things have you done so far, and which ones will you work on next?

When people know your name and have an interest in who you are and what you do, they will easily find you . Perhaps even be interested enough to buy one of your books. A good example is Amanda Hocking. I know her name well, but I can’t recall a single title she has written. But if I want to read one of her books I could find them in no time on Amazon.

So where do you start?

  • Re-write your bio on every site where you are registered and concentrate on building on your personality and interests. Your a writer, so write creatively.
  • If you’re not using your own name as your username, open a new account with your name and add ‘author’ or ‘writer’ so it’s clear who you are and what you do.
  • Check your blog to make sure your name is the real centre of attention and have a well written ‘About Me’ page and an easy way for readers to contact you along with a clear RSS feed and subscribe button.
  • Use Social Media wisely and participate. Don’t just post about you, you, you and your book. Remember, forget the books for a while. I have mentioned before that you need to ‘make friends, make fans, make buyers’. Aggressive advertising is for the sides of bus stops, not Social Media.
  • Search for your name on Google at least once a week and check your progression. This is the best way to see if others are linking to your blog or mentioning you in other areas of the Internet.
  • Twitter has become a must for authors. If you’re not on Twitter, get on and start following readers and book reviewers. Don’t get carried away with following only other authors. Then participate in the conversation and make friends.
  • Groups on Facebook are becoming irrelevant because they aren’t crawled by Search Engines anymore, so don’t waste time there. Build on your personal Facebook profile, and add a Facebook Page.
  • Register on a good number of Social sites and add a post or two. You don’t have to use them all that much as the important part has been achieved by setting up your profile. Your bio will now get listings on search engines. Make sure you have a Google account and a well written bio there as this will come up first in web searches using your name.
  • Pick your social sites to concentrate on and use them daily to build your brand. Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads is an effective threesome for an author. Ten minutes spent on each per day will really help your promotion.
  • Automate and schedule your blog posts and keep posting. Your blog is the key to your success.
  • Register with Stumbleupon and build your followers first, then use it sparingly from time to time to share your own blog posts.

via Branding for Authors | The Vandal.