Yesterday I discussed how social media is losing its social — turning back into the traditional one-way conversation from the more rewarding two-way conversation that made social media so valuable. One of the things people hate about traditional media is being talked at. Social media gave people a chance to talk back. Suddenly, it seems everyone is talking and no one is listening.
In that post, I pointed you toward several media experts I felt were doing a good job. Well, true to form, Chris Brogan posted some very valuable tips of using social media to promote a book. Chris draws a roadmap of activities an author should use to help promote their book. While framed in terms of marketing a book, I think its tips are valuable for anyone interested in profiting from social media.
I’d like to make some comments that underscore why Chris’s strategy will be successful.
Very “you” centered rather than “me” centered
Chris focused on what you, the reader, need rather than the author’s need to sell his/her book. What content would you find most valuable? What form would you like that content in? Video? Audio? Where would you like to see this content (where would you find it most easily)? Don’t just sell your book, engage your readers in a conversation about the topic of your book.
Chris also suggested a focus on other people doing social media. Comment on their blog pages, not just to promote yourself, but to contribute to their conversations. And thank people who comment on your efforts.
Provide useful content not selling
This fits with the comments above. You need to give your readers something to keep them coming back. Too much of the advice I read about attracting website visitors sounds like the days of transaction marketing — get them in by any means possible — rather than relationship marketing — focus on providing customer value and visitors will return time and time again.
If possible, not only should your content be valuable, but unique and interesting. And remember, this is the Sesame Street generation, for the most part. They want their content fast and easily digestible. If you do this, you’re more likely to go viral, as well.
Also, resist efforts to do affiliate marketing just to bring in a few bucks — this isn’t Chris’ advice, its mine. Don’t dilute your valuable content with too many sales efforts.
Consistent hard work, not overnight miracle
Social media offers many benefits, but its not easy and its not fast. Looking at Chris’ recommendations, you see his strategy relies on consistent messaging across channels — both yours and those owned by other bloggers. It takes time. It could be six months or more before you start seeing significant rewards.
But, measure everything and do it consistently. By measuring visits to your blog via tools such as Google Analytics, mentions on Twitter, and comments about you in other web spaces, you can evaluate how well your strategy is working with your target market. As you add new channels of communication or try new messages, what happens to your analytics? Make changes based on these results.
It’s part of an overall strategy
Social media has to be part of an overall strategy. Who is your audience? Where do they live online and how do they think? What do they value? Which media? What message? How do you leverage with traditional media? Who is your competition? What tools are they using and how can you set yourself apart as different from them? These are questions that lead to a successful media strategy, regardless of the medium.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of Hausman Marketing Letter, is a full service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media.