Archive for Social Media Marketing
In this 3-part series, Lynn Serafinn shares a few strategies from her book Tweep-e-licious to help authors get the most out of Twitter when promoting their books. In Part 1 she discusses the importance of giving value to your audience by tweeting ideas FROM your book and how using quotes from your best reviews can be an effective strategy.
I’m an online marketing consultant for non-fiction authors who have a powerful message to share. As such, it’s my job to create marketing strategies that use social media to help build my clients’ reading audience and promote their books.
One of my favourite marketing tools is Twitter. However, most of my new clients tell me that they don’t understand how to use Twitter for marketing. They often feel daunted by it because there is so much information flying by them at a rapid rate. They also don’t know WHAT to Tweet, how to reach their ideal audience or how to interact with people to build relationships.
All of those questions (and more) are addressed in my book Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically. For those of you who may not have read it (or as a quick refresher course for those who have), I’d like to share 5 of the easiest and most fundamental strategies for using Twitter to promote your book. In today’s article, we’ll look at Twitter book marketing strategies 1 and 2.
Twitter Book Marketing Strategy 1: Tweet Ideas FROM Your Book
So many authors on Twitter shout ABOUT their book, saying things like “You can buy my book on Amazon”. A Tweet like this nearly always fails what I call the ‘Yeah…So What?’ Test. People read a Tweet like this and say to themselves (you guessed it), ‘Yeah…so what?!’
If people are saying ‘Yeah…so what?’ when they read your Tweets, it means you have failed to pique their interest or arouse their curiosity. Your Tweet is just the doorway to your book, and it’s your goal to inspire people to open the door. The best way for a non-fiction author to do this is not to Tweet about your book so much as to Tweet great ideas FROM the book. Share some lines of insight, quotes, etc. that stand up on their own. In other words, make the Tweets themselves interesting. Then, include a link either to your sales page or a blog post (I’ll talk more about blog posts in part 2).
Sharing great ideas from your book should be easy for a non-fiction author. Start by making a Tweet for each of your chapters, and then break these into sub-ideas. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself making hundreds of Tweets from a single book. Make sure the Tweets are short and only contain a single idea. That way, people will be more apt to absorb their meaning as they fly by on their Twitter stream.
Here are few examples of ‘Idea Tweets’ I have used:
#Tweepelicious Tip 58: Simplicity is King. http://bit.ly/RDhD0t
#Tweepelicious Tip 59: Always ask ‘Yeah…So What?’ before posting your Tweet. http://bit.ly/RDhD0t
Tip for authors: Don’t Tweet ABOUT your book; Tweet ideas FROM your book instead. http://bit.ly/RDhD0t #Tweepelicious
Twitter Tip 64: the best Tweets are those that arouse curiosity. http://bit.ly/RDhD0t #Tweepelicious
Note these details:
- You’ll notice I’m NOT taking people to an ordinary sales page for my book. If people don’t know you, they are not likely to buy your book the first time they visit your site. That’s why these Tweets take readers to landing page where they can download a free 90-minute audio class that gives them a taster of the tips and strategies they’ll learn in the book. This gives people a chance to know more about me before spending any money. It also helps grow my mailing list.
- For those who are motivated, they CAN also purchase the book from that page as well.
- I include the hashtag I’m using for the book, if there’s enough room. In this case, the hashtag is #Tweepelicious. The art of making good hashtags and using them for marketing is a subject I cover in detail in the chapter “Using Hashtags” in Tweep-e-licious.
- The Tweets THEMSELVES have value, even if people don’t click your link. When you write your Tweets, think about what your audience most wants to know, and put that into a Tweet. Allow them to get value from you without the ‘commitment’ of clicking your link. This builds the ‘relevance bridge’ between you and your Twitter followers. They start to see what you know, what you stand for and what you have to offer them. The stronger your relevance bridge, the more your ‘target audience’ can recognise you as someone of influence.
Twitter Book Marketing Strategy 2: Tweet Lines From Your Best Reviews
All authors know the value of a great review. However, I only recently discovered that making Tweets from some of my best reviews resulted in a lot of clicks and ReTweets. Frankly, I wouldn’t have suspected this, as I thought they would fail the ‘Yeah…So What?’ Test. But if you choose the content carefully and construct the Tweet correctly, it actually does work.
Here are a few examples of ‘Review Tweets’ I’ve used that usually get a good response:
“Don’t tuck this on your shelf of ‘just another how-to book about social media marketing’. It’s not.” http://amzn.to/10JVDw8 via @JacobNordby
“A smorgasbord of much needed information for today’s marketer.” http://amzn.to/10JXUHL via @intuneparenting #Tweepelicious
“This book helped me discover how using Twitter at its full potential can make a big impact.” http://amzn.to/10JZ3yU via @Argancel
“A technicolour ride around the Twitterverse in 158 Twips!” http://amzn.to/ZPhtwm via @KatieRoseWindow #Tweepelicious
Note these details:
- I include the reviewer’s Twitter ID (if I know it). This is so the reviewer will see it in their ‘mentions’, which encourages them to ReTweet it to their followers
- I link directly to the permalink of the review on Amazon. This way they see the review in context and they can buy the book right away if they wish.
- I include the hashtag I’m using for the book, if there’s enough room. In this case, the hashtag is #Tweepelicious.
- The Tweets are not just about the book, but they refer to subject matter of interest to the reader, i.e. marketing, social media, Twitter, etc. Make sure your Review Tweets speak to the interests of the audience, and are not just ‘bragging’ about your book.
Your Challenge for the Week
Get started using these two tips over the next week:
- Compose a selection of ‘Idea Tweets’ and ‘Review Tweets’.
- Send them out a few times a day. Vary them. Try not to send the same one out within the same week.
- Pay attention to which Tweets get attention. Watch your Twitter interactions to see which ones are marked as favourites, commented upon or ReTweeted.
- If you shorten your links with ow.ly, bit.ly or a similar service, monitor your clicks. See which ones get the most and least attention.
- See what’s working and what isn’t, and adjust your Tweets accordingly. Note that lack of attention doesn’t always mean the Tweet itself is ineffective. It could be that you don’t have the right kinds of followers, or you are Tweeting at the wrong time of day. Again, all these subtleties are covered in detail in Tweep-e-licious.
In Part 2, we’ll look at the next Twitter tip, where I tell you how to use Twitter to drive traffic to grow your reading audience through blogging. Be sure to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog so you’ll receive this article, as well as all our future author-focused information articles.
AND…if you want to dive deeply into Twitter and learn all my marketing strategies, I invite you to check out the book Tweep-e-licious at http://tweepelicious.com. You can also get free access to my 90-minute Twitter audio class from that page.
Please share your comments and questions below. I love reading your feedback.
8 May 2013
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BOOKS BY LYNN SERAFINN
Find out how traditional marketing negatively impacts our health, economy, communities and natural environment, and how to turn it around with a new paradigm called the 7 Graces of Marketing.
Brit Writers Awards Finalist
eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues
Learn how to create meaningful content and build powerful collaborations through Twitter and other social media ETHICALLY.
eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales
Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com
A metaphoric and poetic journey about finding your voice, receiving the blessings of life, overcoming trauma and becoming whole.
An Amazon spirituality bestseller 2009. Kindle version coming later in 2013.
Read excerpts and buy the book at http://give-receive-become-be.com/
LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She was also a eLit Book Awards Silver Medalist in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs and a Bronze Medalist in Business and Sales.
Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.
At long last we have reached that prophetic (if not hyped up) year of 2012 so many of us have been awaiting. According to many futurists, this year will mark the beginning of unparalleled expansion of awareness and global consciousness. And based upon the explosion of social media over the past few years — and most especially its evolution in 2011 — we do indeed seem to be ever-increasingly expanding our potential for awareness of our world. How many of our grandparents could possibly have imagined being “friends” with people from every corner of the planet, or having possibly tens of thousands of “followers” who know your name, what you do, and what you stand for?
But with our expanded capacity for connecting with others, we also find ourselves with an information overload. Sometimes there is just too much coming at us all at once, and we can get overwhelmed. We’ve all tried different ways to organise both our incoming and outgoing data. When it comes to organising our social media, integration and automation seemed like “the” solution, but we find ourselves yet again in an information overload situation. There are just so many different options on the market that we often find ourselves asking, “Isn’t there one RIGHT way of delivering and filtering through my social media information?”
In my work, I help business owners (primarily authors and holistic professionals) set up their social media integration and automation, and train them how to use it. But the induction process into the world of Twitter, Facebook and the like can often shake up many emotions and challenge many beliefs. Some people who are new to social media might have a pre-conceived idea that automation takes the “social” out of social media, and therefore eschew the convenience automation has to offer. These people end up working harder rather than smarter, and risk burning out on social media before they reap the rewards. Others, who don’t really like the idea of social media at all, but see it as a “necessary evil”, want to automate everything and don’t want to bother connecting with their audience. As a result, these kinds of people frequently become convinced that the lack of response they are receiving from their audience means, “Twitter (or whatever) is simply a waste of time!”
Yes, I’ve heard it all before.
Regardless of whether you recognise yourself as being similar to one of these two personality types, or you are already an enthusiastic social media devotee, let me assure you, social media can have a massive impact upon the success of your business. My own business was utterly built upon it! But in order to make it work “smart” for you, and to ensure you receive all the benefits it has to offer, you need to understand that BOTH automation AND interpersonal connection are EQUALLY important to running an efficient and effective social media platform because:
Automation is needed to deliver your content.
Interaction is needed to build relationships.
Learning the balance between these two can be a steep learning curve for many of my new clients. As demonstrated in the previous examples, those that depend upon one and fail to implement the other tend not to reap the results they seek.
But what makes the learning curve even more challenging is that to stay on top of things, you need to get used to changing your strategies all the time. This is because the social network platforms themselves (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, etc) are always in a state of evolution, and the plethora of third-party applications available to support these platforms are also always in a state of continual change.
The plain truth about social media:
Sometimes clients come to me expecting to learn the definitive system for social media. And while I tend to do things in a systematic way for myself, the truth is: there is NO magic “one size fits all” way to “do” social media. Your situation is not the same as mine. Your business is not the same. Your communication style is not the same. Your audience is not the same. Sure, there will be many similarities, but if ANYONE out their claims to be a guru, and tells you they have “the” one-stop solution for your needs, you’d be pretty safe to bet it’s a scam. Don’t spend your money on such claims (I’ve lost more than a few quid on such false promises back when I was a newbie).
But the fact that there are so many variables is not the only reason why there is no end-all magic bullet for social media. It is also because all the social media tools out there are all continuously changing, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. And as they change they create a butterfly effect upon each other. So you really have resign yourself to the fact that social media is a fluid system, and that there will be a continual process of learning involved. Even a Rubic Cube is easier to figure out, because the cube is a stable system that doesn’t change.
But the good news is, the more you know, the easier it is to adapt to this ever-flowing sea of change. For that reason, I thought it would be a good idea to write an eBook, going through some of the currently most popular social media tools for distributing your content:
A FEW CUSTOMER REVIEWS ON AMAZON
5.0 out of 5 stars
Personal Insights from an Expert
“This is a must read for anyone who wants to simplify the technology of building a platform and creating “raving fans” and supportive friends. Not only is this ebook comprehensive, it is personal—you feel like you are getting the inside scoop from a best friend. Lynn knows her stuff and I especially enjoyed reading the history of her personal experience from using each of the tools.
~ Michelle Lynn Casto, soul coach, author
San Antonio, TX
5.0 out of 5 stars
Must read for anyone trying to create a Social Platform
“Lynn’s knowledge of social media is astounding. This book will help me reach my 2012 goals of building my platform to over 50,000 on FB, Twitter, and YouTube. Not only is her approach straightforward and easy to read, she shares the pitfalls as well as the highlights of several popular platforms. I never knew it could be this easy to reach so many people providing a consistent stream of useful content.”
~ “Desert Networker” (aka Renee Baribeau) author, healer
5.0 out of 5 stars
Social Media Tools – Which are best for me?
“I am certainly no computer geek or guru and have not utilized social media fully because I didn’t know how. Lynn Serafinn has given us non-geeks some “tool tips.” She has rated five of the most popular social media tools and given us tips on how to utilize them effectively to increase our presence on the Internet. If you have a magnificent web site and the best possible product but no one sees it, what good does it do you? “Social Media on AutoPilot” will help you make good choices on programs and make these programs work for you. It is a clear, concise, honest and very helpful book which details the strengths and weaknesses of each tool – Ping, TweetDeck, Twaitter, HootSuite and TweetAdder. Yes, she uses some “computer speak” but you can handle it and it will definitely be to your advantage. Anyone who wants to be found on the Internet and/or increase their Internet presence can benefit from ‘Social Media on Autopilot’.”
~ Irene Conlan, radio host, writer, blogger
5.0 out of 5 stars
How to Handle Social Media Auto-Apps — Demystified & Humanized
“Like many bookish, word-centric types, I am not naturally attracted to social media’s many techno-centric, third-party apps that allow you to speed up your Twitter management process, and bulk-feed useful information to your followers. I tend to prefer the simpler, slower approach: going directly to each SM site and responding to followers from there. But Lynn Serafinn’s new book changed my mind. Not only does it demystify five of the main automating apps, it includes many not-so-problem-free experiences that the author has had with most (thereby winning my complete confidence — because of her complete honesty).
Brilliantly, I think, Serafinn ensured excellent balance in reviewing these auto-apps by creating a three-part evaluation process — listing the “Nice” qualities, the “Necessary” qualities, and the “Nightmarish” . . . results. So you, as a result, learn exactly what to avoid, what aspects of each to circumvent with a judicious SM two-step, and what to more or less wholeheartedly embrace…one of the most useful aspects of this book, for me at least, is a smattering of social-media-app stories (both Serafinn’s own stories and those of her clients) that help to illustrate how SM apps can be used successfully with quite astonishing results.
For someone who, like me, would prefer to just go ahead and use techno tools without having to investigate their many complex innards first, this book is a terrific timesaving guide that will help you leap over the techno chasm and get to the good stuff: connecting with people who matter to you and your business.”
~ Laurel Marshfield, developmental editor, ghostwriter
‘As a business mentor and a serial entrepreneur, it is important that I stay on top of the latest marketing tools and strategies. I also believe in simplifying and streamlining your life as much as possible. What Lynn Serafinn has done with her new book, Social Media on Autopilot, is truly genius. Not only has she saved me hours of time to learn all of these great social media tools, but she clearly explains how to keep an authentic connection with your followers and potential clients, which is very important to me. And, in Lynn’s great writing style and entertaining sense of humor, she gives us the Nice and Nightmare insights so we know what to expect.
Lynn Serafinn was the master mind behind the launch of my book, Blast Off! The Surefire Success Plan to Launch Your Dreamsinto Reality to No. 1 in the US and Canada. She has a very unique talent of combining her uncanny tech savvy capabilities with her ability to incorporate it all into the big picture plan of a marketing campaign. Not only will this book help you demystify the social media maze, but also teach you how to utilize it to grow your business. I plan on recommending it to all of my clients.’
~ Allison Maslan, president Blast Off Business and Life Mentoring,
#1 Bestselling Author and Online Television Show Host
Don’t own a Kindle? You can download a FREE Kindle Reader App for PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry or Android (and new ones being added regularly) from Amazon:
Amazon US/Canada: http://amzn.to/FreeReadingAppsUS
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/FreeReadingAppsUK
In Social Media on Autopilot: Nice, Necessary or Nightmare? [Kindle edition], I bring you 5 details product reviews intended for business owners on five of today’s most popular social media applications: Ping, TweetDeck, Twaitter, HootSuite and Tweet Adder. Each product is evaluated on virtually every feature it offers, and ranked in terms of its usefulness, reliability, automation capabilities, interaction capability and mobility.
Accessible reading even for the “newbie”, this report and help you find out how the pros use Twitter, Facebook and other social networks without selling their souls or spending every waking hour at their computer. At the end of this report, you will also find some useful bonus materials covering options for integrating your media, and some ideas for using social media apps on your mobile phone.
I have helped dozens of authors and online business owners reach the top of their field through social media. Nearly all my learning has come the “hard way” by spending countless hours at my desk, trying to find products and figure out what was best. For a mere $2.99, this detailed report (at 15,770 words, it would have been about 50 pages if I had printed it in paperback format) you save yourself months of research and trial and error.
There are even a few free gifts for you at the back of the eBook.
I hope you find this booklet useful. If you do, please do come back and leave a comment below (or better yet, post it on Amazon!). Also, if you have any suggestions for eBooks you would like me to write, please let me know that too in the comments below. That would be REALLY helpful to me!
And do please subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for more info and insight into the world of writing, publishing and book promotions.
Enjoy going on autopilot!
Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach and teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and bestselling author. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. She is also the creator of Spirit Authors, which offers training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. Passionate about re-establishing our connection with the Earth, she supports the work of the Transition Town network in her hometown of Bedford, England.
Lynn’s other books:
International #1 Bestseller in Business Ethics, Marketing and Communication (Dec 2011)
- The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell (PAPERBACK)
- The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell (KINDLE)
Spirituality Bestseller (2009):
To contact Lynn for coaching, campaign management or media appearances, please fill in the form at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.
Author, book promotion coach Lynn Serafinn shares her tips on building your list by giving away great audio to your social media network.
Authors are always looking for ways to promote their books online. However, many are under the mistaken impression that promoting your book means you need to put excerpts on your blog or give away free chapters for download. And while giving away parts of your book might seem to make a lot of sense, it’s not necessarily the most effective way to promote your book online. The Internet is flooded with information. Even free content has got to kick some serious butt to make an impression on readers these days, who probably have a backlog of things on their “to read” list.
So instead of running the risk of becoming yet another unread masterpiece, I’d like to suggest authors put down the pen (or their keyboard) for a little while and start recording their voice instead.
Yes, I’m talking about giving away audio instead of all your precious writing. Why audio? Well, for one thing, if you follow some of the tips below, you don’t have to do much to produce the content. Secondly, audio has a higher perceived value than simple text. And lastly, audio get your audience closer to you. Speaking to your audience directly, and letting them get to know the sound of your voice, is both powerful and intimate.
What kind of audio can authors give to their readers?
Here are some ideas:
- Get yourself booked on some Internet radio shows and then give away the recordings of some of your interviews (ask the host if it’s ok first, of course). Make sure the interviews are content-rich and interesting to the listener. If they are just “pitches” about your book, no one will be interested in them. In a future article, I’ll give you some tips about getting booked on shows.
- If you don’t have any interviews in the coffers, set up a webinar on your topic (or a series of them), use the recordings of those. Not only will it be a good promotional activity on the day, but you can reuse the audio as an ongoing give-away gift.
- You can also do a live reading of the most powerful part of your book in front of a small audience and record that, or record it directly into your PC if you don’t happen to have an audience on hand.
Use your imagination, but make sure you give away at least 15 minutes of audio as your free gift. Some of my giveaways have as many as 8 hours of audio, depending upon the subject matter.
How good must the quality be?
If you are recording at home, be sure your audio is recorded and mixed down to MP3 format at a sample rate of 44.1kHz at 16 bits. If your recording is from an Internet broadcast, it will be compressed and the audio quality will be much lower resolution, but for a free gift, that is usually acceptable. Some conference line recordings, however, are at set to such a low fidelity they are really not usable. Do a test run first and listen back to it. If there’s a lot of noise (indicating low bit rate) or it sounds like you have a lisp every time you say the letter “s” (indicating the sample rate it too low), it might not be a wise choice.
HOW do you deliver your free audio gift?
Be sure you have created a way for people to DOWNLOAD the audio, rather than use an online player (such as Audio Acrobat). Remember that people like to play MP3s on their iPod or other portable player while driving in their car or commuting on the train to and from work.
Secondly, don’t deliver your audios all at once. Spread them out over a few days or send one audio per week. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is to allow your audience to take their time “consuming” your content. People might be speed readers, but there is no such thing as a “speed listener.” An hour of audio takes an hour to listen to it. When you deliver too much audio all at once, people are LESS likely to listen to any of it (I still have a couple of my offers set up like this, and keep meaning to change them). But the other reason why it is a good idea to spread out your delivery of audios is this: when you deliver four audios over a period of four weeks, it allows you to build a stronger relationship with your audience.
Make your “squeeze page” (the page where they enter their name and email to get your audio) as MINIMAL as possible. Don’t confuse the reader with other offers or links on your page. Make the audio the-one-and-only offer on the page, and resist the urge to link out to other pages of your website.
On your download page (the page people go to after they sign up for your audio) make sure you have a “call to action”, which should comprise of a picture of your book, a quote from a great endorsement, and a link to buy your book online (don’t forget to use your affiliate link if you have one!). Also put this same call to action at the end of any follow-up emails you might send them. If you are delivering a new audio every week, your readers will see this call to action every time they go to retrieve their new audio.
WHERE do you offer these free audios?
Ok, so here’s where the magic comes in. Here are some of my favourite uses. And the nice thing about them is that once you have them set up, you just walk away from them and let them do their magic:
- As a ‘thank you’ gift when they subscribe to your ezine/ newsletter (this is probably the most common way people use them)
- As a ‘welcome gift’ when they “like” your fan page on Facebook
- As a ‘bonus gift’ on a JV campaign for another author’s book launch
- As a ‘Thanks for Following Me’ gift to new Twitter followers using Social Oomph
- As a ‘random gift’ on Twitter or Facebook. Every now and then when you tweet, just tell people you’ve got a free audio for them. You can use Twaitter to schedule them to go out 1x a day, 1x week, or whatever you like.
And here’s a Bonus Tip:
*** Give your audio as a totally ‘unexpected gift’ in your bio at the end of an article… like the one you see below. 😉
I myself have numerous audio offers going out on a regular basis throughout the year, which add hundreds of new names to my list without my even trying. I hope these ideas spark your creative juices and help you build your own list and social media following with lots and lots of wonderful new people.
I love to know whether or not you found this article to be helpful. Please DO leave a comment below to let me know, or to write to me at http://spiritauthors.com/contact ask any questions you may have about this information.
Did you know that a lot of nice people hate marketing?
Artists, authors and holistic business owners are some of the most common. Maybe YOU are one of these people? Find out about the relationship between marketing, business owners, and the future of our planet in this 10-page eBook and 18 minute audio book “Why Nice People HATE Marketing” at http://spiritauthors.com/pages/bonus/why-nice-people-hate-marketing-request.html which is a sneak peek at just a handful of the cutting-edge ideas presented in the upcoming book The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell by Lynn Serafinn coming at September 2011. You can pre-order the book now on Amazon.
Lynn Serafinn, book marketer, coach, campaign manager for #1 bestselling authors, explains all about Virtual Blog Tours, their many benefits and how to run one.
When I organise a book launch campaign for my author clients, I always include a Virtual Blog Tour. Every time I start a new campaign I am invariably asked, both by my clients and by their Joint Venture Partners (JVPs), “What exactly is a Virtual Blog Tour?” I thought it would be a good idea to write an article explaining what it is, and why it is a great promotional tool when properly organised.
What is a VBT?
A Virtual Blog Tour (VBT) is an online “event” wherein an author “visits” a different blog each day during a specified period of time, generally 2-4 weeks in duration. For instance, if your VBT were 2 weeks long, there would be 14 blogs, and each blogger would be assigned a specific day on the tour. In selecting blogs on which to appear, the author would seek out bloggers who have good traffic aimed at specific target audience(s) congruent with the topic of the book.
Technically, the author doesn’t “visit” these blogs. Rather, on the assigned tour day, the blogger would post a blog about the author’s book. Some blog platforms (such as WordPress) allow you to schedule a post in advance, making it more convenient for the blogger by automating the process.
The content of the blog could be an article about the author, a book review or an interview. When I organise a VBT, I generally prefer to use interviews, which are organised in advance between the blogger and author.
Organising a VBT
The way I organise the interview is to provide a good selection (10-20) of sample topics or story angles on which the author could answer questions. Then, each blogger provides (well in advance) 3 original questions he/she would like to ask the author, aimed at their particular reading audience.
Recently I designed a VBT for a book on the topic of OCD. Here are some of the sample topics I provided my bloggers:
- What OCD is and what it is not
- What doctors know or don’t know about OCD
- What parents need to know about OCD
- What teachers need to know about OCD
- Being a parent with OCD
- OCD in personal relationships
- Having OCD in a work environment
- OCD and health issues…
And so on.
When I send the sample topics to the VBT bloggers, I ask them to formulate 3 questions based upon a topic (or topics) they feel would be of greatest interest to their readers. The questions are sent to the author several weeks in advance of the tour. The author provides written answers to the bloggers’ questions, and together we assemble the “virtual interview” into a structured format, so the bloggers can more or less copy and paste it into their blogs (of course, they can edit it as they choose).
The format we provide the bloggers goes something like this:
“Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 4 of the Virtual Blog Tour for The Super Duper Book by author Mary Jones. Yesterday, Mary visited John Smith’s blog at [link to John’s blog]. Below is the great interview I did with Mary about how to be super-duper.
I hope you enjoyed this interview with Mary Jones and that you’ll check out The Super Duper Book by Mary Jones coming to Amazon on [date]. You can receive a collection of great gifts when you buy her book on the day of her launch, including one from me: [name of blogger’s gift]. To find out how to buy Mary’s book and receive these gifts, go to [link to author’s sales page].
Be sure to follow Mary tomorrow when the next stop on her Virtual Blog Tour is Charlie Brown’s blog at [link to Charlie’s blog].”
Promoting a VBT
When I organise a VBT, I create a “Tweet” for every stop on the tour, and give them to all bloggers and JVPs well in advance, asking them to post at least one update per blogger. That means, on their designated day on the tour, dozens of people would be sending out updates with a link to Mary’s blog post to potentially hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. (depending upon the size of your campaign team).
Additionally, the author would post the tour calendar, with all the links, on his/her own blog.
Being a blogger on a VBT has many benefits:
- It provides bloggers with easy, original content for their readers.
- Because an organised team of networkers is sending out updates for each stop on the tour, it has the potential to drive 1000s of new readers to each blog.
- It helps increase search engine rankings for the blogs, as the blog is linked to, both forwards and backwards, the other blogs on the tour.
- Bloggers on the tour get to connect with new bloggers who share common interests and speak to similar audiences.
Of course, for authors, a VBT is wonderful because:
- There is a diversity of content going out about their book during a concentrated period of time.
- The content is easy to create.
- It expands their network.
- They get their book promoted to 1000s of people every day for the duration of the tour.
- The content you have created could be reused for other purposes.
And don’t forget, if a blog post is particularly interesting, both the author and the blogger can “reTweet” about it every now and then after the tour.
I hope you found this information useful. Please do feel free to leave your questions or comments below. And if you would like to discuss setting up a book launch or VBT for your book, feel free to contact me via the contact form at http://spiritauthors.com/contact and tell me about your book project.
About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors
LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.
Spiritual author and book promotion coach Lynn Serafinn from Spirit Authors gives top tips on how, when and why to tag people, fan pages and groups on Facebook. As always, your comments and feedback are most welcome below!
I get some of the best ideas for blog posts from questions friends ask me on Facebook. Tonight, my one of my friends asked me how you “tag” people in Facebook. I realised in my written explanation to her that there was actually a lot of detail and subtlety involved, so I thought it would make a great blog post to share with other authors, and people who want to know more about developing their online platform.
“Tagging” is one of the most powerful tools on Facebook. A “tag” is basically a link you create to a person, page or group on Facebook that you place within your wall posts, photos or notes. When you “tag” a person in a wall post Facebook, your post will automatically appear on their wall as well as on your own. If you tag them in a photo or note, it will appear in their updates.
Here are some guidelines of HOW you put tags in a Facebook post:
- When you type an “@” sign into a wall post, Facebook recognises that as a signal you want to tag someone. Let’s say you wanted to tag me in your post. My first name is Lynn, so you would type “@Ly” (important: do not put a space after the @ sign) and then WAIT a second or two. Facebook will open up a window with everyone in your friends list whose names have “Ly” in them. When you see my name, CLICK on my picture, and I will be tagged. You will know the tag is activated because my name will turn blue, and it will turn into a link that takes you to my profile page.
- You can tag a maximum of 6 names in a single wall post.
- You can also tag PAGES or GROUPS. Just follow exactly the same steps as above.
- As mentioned above, when you tag a person, page or group in a post, your post will appear on THEIR wall automatically. This is a great way to spread messages virally and it also means that the parties you are talking to or about will see your message without checking their updates.
- The other advantage to tagging is that NEW people will see you who might not have seen you before, especially if you are tagging to a page or a group. Anyone who checks out the group or fan page will see your post.
- You can also tag people in a note or a photo. There is a section on the right side of the note that lets you create tags exactly the same way as above. You can tag more people in a note or photo than in a wall post (the current limit is 30).
- NOTE: You cannot put a tag in a comment. You can, however, put a web link in a comment.
Now here’s the obvious question: WHY would you want to tag someone?
One way to use tagging is to tag people, groups or fan pages to say something nice about them or to help spread some news that would be of interest to the people (or members of the page/group) being tagged. Here are a couple of examples of when you might use tagging to a page or group:
- If you want to share some news about the page or group to you profile page (such as a new blog post, event, book, video, radio show or other news item THEY have posted). In this case, you might post the news to your personal Facebook profile, but tag the page/group in the post. That way, it will appear on their wall, and they will see you are helping to spread the word about their good work.
- If you see or create a news item, tip, video, event, etc., you think would be of interest to the members of the group or fans of the page, but you also want your own friends to see it, you might post the news to your wall, and then tag the page or group. For instance, if I wanted to bring a post to the attention of Spirit Authors, I might say, “Spirit Authors, you might find this useful” (Spirit Authors would be tagged).
Below is an example of a post I made on Facebook recently about a new page I had found by one of my networking friends. I “shared” the page use the “share” link, and then I wrote this tagged post to accompany it:
Just discovered my good friend Dana Lynn Smith‘s new page The Savvy Book Marketer. She is a wealth of information. Spirit Authors and Next Top Author folks, check her out and “Like” her page for great tips. Dana is also a member of the Virtual Faculty at the Spirit Authors membership site, btw. :-))
Note there are four tags in the post: 1) Dana Lynn Smith’s personal page, 2) Dana’s business page “The Savvy Book Marketer”, 3) the “Spirit Authors” business page and 4) the “Next Top Author” group. That means that, altogether, this single post was (on the day I posted it) visible to over 5000 people, just about all of them authors. I noticed that within a few minutes of posting this, Dana’s fan page increased by 5 members, and if people start “liking” or commenting on the post, it is likely to generate more interest. Not bad for a post that took a few seconds to compose.
In this post, I am not only helping Dana Lynn by sharing her page and saying something nice about her, but I am also helping the people I have tagged in the post (Spirit Authors page and Next Top Author group), because they are a targeted group of authors, all hungry for new information about book promotion. Furthermore, as I “shared” The Savvy Book Marketer page, people will see the logo and description of the page, which makes the post far more visible and attractive, and makes people far more likely to check it out than if it were a simple link.
But the beauty of this is that I am also gaining from this. How?
Because I am being seen as someone who likes to give value to others. And because of this, people enjoy staying connected to me. Furthermore, because the tags make the post appear on Dana’s pages, new people might see me on either Dana’s personal page or on her business page. If they perceive me as being someone who can offer good value to them, they are likely to seek me out as a connection. They also might see the Spirit Authors link and check that out too. Believe, me, I have more Facebook invitations these days than I can keep up with.
IMPORTANT TAGGING NETIQUETTE:
- NEVER abuse tagging to SPAM your Facebook friends or Facebook pages. Spamming means that you just tag people for the sake of them paying attention to a promotion you are doing. Do NOT do this. If you want to invite people to a promotion, create an event, business page or group and invite them to join voluntarily. If you are running a promotion, go ahead and post it in your updates, but don’t tag people in the updates unless they have something to do with the promotion OR you know them very well personally, and they would wish to know what’s happening (e.g., if you are launching your book, and close friends and family would like to be informed).
- Don’t be a Facebook “squatter” or “poacher” on other people’s pages. By “squatter” I mean someone who uses tags or hangs out on someone else’s business page ONLY to promote themselves. By “poacher” I mean someone who joins pages solely to find people to invite to their own pages. For instance, if I had gone to Dana Lynn’s page and said, “Hey all you Savvy Book Marketers! I’m the best thing since sliced bread. Come on over to my page,” that would be pretty tacky. Now, if DANA said such a thing about me to her own group, that would be completely different.
What I am showing you here are some of the fundamentals of social networking, and indeed what I call “spirit-based” marketing. Social networking is the cornerstone of my business and of all the promotional platforms I help authors create for their books. But even though it is a powerful tool for your book promotion, always remember that the key to spirit-based social networking is to help others, and to gain a reputation as someone who willingly and joyfully helps others, trusting that there is enough business and prosperity in the world for all of us.
Tags in Facebook are very powerful if you use them correctly. Use them with sincerity, creativity and generosity, and over time you will see your network grow and your business flourish. Besides… I think they’re FUN.
About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors
Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self. She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced two #1-selling book campaigns, and another #2-selling campaign, in just the past 4 months. She created Spirit Authors to offer training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring.
Be sure to subscribe to this blog for regular book writing and promotion tips (just fill in form at right of your screen).
Sign up for Lynn’s bi-monthly newsletter Creative Spirit (fill in form below) packed with inspirational articles, broadcast guide to her radio show, and news about upcoming spiritual author book releases.
Throughout the year, Lynn also hosts large-scale telesummits with world-class speakers on a range of mind-body-spirit topics. Coming up over the next few months:
- 3-day summit on Evolution of Consciousness
- 3-day summit on Cellular Memory Release
- 4-day summit on Healing the Corporate World
- Your subscription to Creative Spirit will ensure you’ll be the first to know how to attend these free events.
Twitter changed my life. Let me tell you how.
AND I am going to attempt to tell this story in lines of 140 characters or less.
It all started when I launched my book “The Garden of the Soul” in April 2009.
After a year of mastering this “thing” called social networking, I created an Amazon book campaign.
I found many JVPs (joint venture partners), mainly from Twitter.
Also ran a Twitter contest. @JulieAnnTurner won a signed copy of my book.
Long story short, my self-published book became an Amazon bestseller in #spirituality #mind-body-spirit and #self-help.
When “The Garden of the Soul” made bestseller, Tweets and RTs went viral. #gots
I think it was June when @SouthsideBroadc contacted me to be on their radio show. I soon became a regular guest.
Same month @AllisonMaslan (whom I didn’t know) read that article. Sent me DM asking me to coach her 4 Amazon launch.
I put together Amazon campaign for @AllisonMaslan ‘s new #book #BlastOff!
Nov 2009: I asked @writersinthesky (whom I had met on Ning) to come and help us put the campaign together.
We put together another great team of JVPs.
If I named all the Tweeple who helped us on #BlastOff! I think I’d need another day to write this.
Meanwhile lots of people were asking me for book advice. I decided to start a new site called Spirit Authors. http://spiritauthors.com
Started Twitter/FB campaign to drive people to fan page. By Christmas day there were 100 fans.
Jan 2010: Did another campaign to get 500 fans by my 55th birthday end of Jan. I got 600+
Jan 19, 2010: Allison’s book launched. Twitter & FB went viral. “Blast Off” reached #1 in US/Canada. http://bit.ly/RXpQu
As an author, I am now represented by @wgtwelve.
More and more #mind-body-spirit #authors come to me to create campaigns for them.
From Twitter contacts, I quickly assembled team of 18 VIP experts for Spirit Authors Grand Opening http://bit.ly/9pfpJV
Nearly 500 people registered 4 the #Spirit #Authors Grand Opening http://bit.ly/9pfpJV
My good friend @SpiritusShelagh was my co-host for the event. What a source of strength she is.
Oz Tweep @charlyjl was a wellspring of technical support in getting the site ready. Couldn’t have done it without her.
1000+ peeps on Facebook page. http://facebook.com/SpiritAuthors
NOW: @SpiritAuthors open and I have long waiting list of #book campaign clients. On #Spirit #Authors I teach new authors how to set use #Twitter to build a promotional platform and #Amazon launch… as well as many other things (Oops! That’s more than 140 characters!)
Ok… enough with the Twitterspeak!!!
I am quite serious when I say Twitter has changed my life. Yes, my own book would never have become a bestseller without Twitter. Yes, I could never have helped Allison become a number-1 seller. Yes, I would not have gotten some fab new clients and an amazing literary agent. And yes, I would never have thought to create Spirit Authors and now have a blossoming new business as a result.
But it isn’t REALLY about business at all.
Have a look at all the Twitter links above. These are not just links. These are all REAL people whom I have come to know, respect and care about over the past year. Even though some of us are separated by tens of thousands of miles, we have all shared many a heart-felt conversation over the phone, and have been there for each other through the highs and lows.
And really, there are just so many other wonderful people I have met from Twitter (as well as Facebook, Ning and LinkedIn, in that order), I cannot count them.
When many people first come to Twitter, they don’t “get it”. How can you possibly communicate in 140 characters? How can you possibly make friends with people? How can you possibly build a business from it? WHY would you WANT to do this????
And I’m telling you now—it’s because of the PEOPLE!
I have made more close friends from networking on Twitter than any other form of networking I have ever tried… even more than “live” networks in my home town! While I do love Facebook as well, there is nothing (yet) that can beat Twitter for ideas going viral, and for meeting lots of people who share your interests within a very short period of time.
But as I said, it’s not just about the business. The friends I have met through Twitter are some of the most inspiring, supportive, positive and powerful light-workers I have ever met. That is why I have linked to EVERY one of them above.
So, if you are on Twitter, you should follow them. These are wonderful, beautiful people—get to KNOW them.
As always, your comments below are MOST welcome!
P. S.: This article was inspired by a Twitter conversation I had a new friend on Twitter @WendyMWarden. Many thanks, Wendy. This was fun to write!
P. P. S.: Knowing HOW to make Twitter (and social networking in general) work for you, both on a business level and on a deeply fulfilling personal level, is something of an art form. This is why I teach it on the Spirit Authors course:
- In Module 2, I teach the fundamental principles of spirit-based promotion so you can create a fertile promotional platform for selling your book online using social networking.
- In Module 4, I teach the “how to’s” of creating an Amazon Book Launch.
- And, of course, there are 3 other modules on starting and writing your book, preparing for publication, and creating a brand and sustainable business from your book.
It’s my hope that by teaching authors (and authors-to-be) the techno-art of Twitter, they will not only find professional fulfilment, but they will also expand their world by connecting to others who understand them and wish to help them grow.
If this sounds like something you would like to explore, I offer a 7-day “Test Drive” on any Spirit Authors learning module for only $1. Visit the site at http://spiritauthors.com and check out the introductory audios and module overviews to see if there is something at Spirit Authors that can help you achieve your writing goals. And if you have any questions, please just fill out a contact form on the site and I promise I will reply personally.