Romance books are consistently one, if not the, bestselling genres in publishing. Why? Perhaps it’s because romance writers understand the importance of networking. They create writing groups, attend writing conferences, read each others books and share their love of reading at the drop of a hat. I had the honor of addressing this year’s Romance Writers of America Conference in San Antonio, Texas this week to speaking about social marketing strategy for authors and the complete slide deck of presentation is online and available to view or download on my SlideShare Account here.
With more than 1 billion people on Facebook, the sheer volume of potential clients and customers makes this platform worth your marketing efforts. But building a following and making sure they see what you post has become a bigger challenge as Facebook continues to tweak the algorithm in favor of advertising and big brands. But do not abandon the platform just yet.
Here are a few nifty, mostly free, tips and tricks to help your content attract, engage and retain a fan base so that when you have something to sell them, they’re still listening. For more ideas on the specific how-to aspects of content marketing on Facebook, you can employ most of the ideas in 8 Ways to Get Your Posts Seen in the News Stream easily.
Write a book. I’m begging you. I’m not going to mince words here. People are search, right now, for exactly what you offer. But they can’t find you. So they hire someone else. Want to be the one they find and hire? Then write a book.
If you know how to do something, write a book.
If the service you provide can be taught, write a book. If the concepts you impart during the consulting you do are replicable, write a book. Writing a book will stake your claim to leadership in your business and set you apart from the pack as a unique brand voice. But one cautionary word here. Make sure that if you are going to write a book, you pack that book with the kind of information and value you’d give to your clients in person.
A book is a more permanent reminder to potential customers of what you stand for. So if you write a book that does not deliver on the promise, you’ve created a negative digital connection to your brand or business. But if you write a book that surprises, inspires, solves a problem or teaches a new solution to your ideal client base, you’ll have a credible resource to point to in every business situation.
Everyone using social media needs a content image strategy, a plan for creating the large number of branded images needed to feed the content monster that is social media marketing. If you’re a regular reader, you’re already experimenting with these four free image creation tools. My prerequisite for recommending a tool is that it has to be easy, intuitive and free. And I give bonus kudos when a tool saves time by allowing you to post directly to Facebook or Twitter right from the tool.
I’ve just tried a brand new free tool I think you’ll enjoy because it’s not only super easy to use, but it allows you to post directly to Instagram.
Turning fans and followers into clients and customers is the next step in building a Maximum Visibility Platform that connects customers to your products. These three steps are easy to implement and often overlooked but can have an immediate impact on visibility, growth, sharing and conversion.
If you want fans and followers to becomes customers and clients, make sure they know exactly what you’re selling and how to purchase it.
How to Drive Social Sales
Design an environment that smoothly, comfortably and easily guides the fan or follower to your offering and makes a compelling case for making immediate purchase decision, and reward followers and fans with a special discount or added value. Then invite them to share their purchase and share that special offer with their friends thereby helping your biggest fans gain status in their friend’s eyes because they’ve discovered and shared something before everyone else. Here are three ways to increase social sales by creating a social media customer-centric experience.
Social media has entered the grammar school years and is no longer an infant. Businesses who’ve been using social media well are learning that the journey from friend and follower to loyal customer must be a skillfully curated one. The customer experience must be crafted, nurtured and adjusted to fit the tastes of the fan base if a purchase action is to be solicited at trail’s end.
In the infant years, it was enough to make an offer on Facebook or Twitter and provide a link to purchase. That still works, sometimes, for brands who have already established trust and have a history of delivering on their brand promises. If, however, you’re new to social media marketing or are an emerging new brand without a long track record and hundreds of reviews to do the selling for you, paying attention to the environment you create will decrease the time between “hello” and “yes, please” in turn fans into customers.
Blink and your social media marketing strategy will be out of date. The rapid-fire tweaks and updates to platforms can leave your brand’s marketing messages looking dated and, even worse, invisible unless you keep on top of what’s hot, what’s new, what’s trending and what works. Here are four important recent changes to help you stay on top of your social game.
Finding and learning to use the newest digital tools and techniques can be as simple as finding and following those early adopters who live to try new things. ~ Cindy Ratzlaff
Pinterest adds a New Rich Pin for Business Accounts
Pinterest business accounts already have access to a suite of free analytics and the ability to use Rich Pins to enhance the information appended to a pin. From a marketing perspective, this is huge. In addition to Recipe pins, Movie pins and Product Pins, Pinterest announced this week the newest Rich Pin tool called Articles Pin. Articles Pins will help you create boards for “Pin it Now, Read it Later” use and include headline, author, and story description, helping pinners find and save stories that matter to them. If you create something for sale or write something for general consumption, you should consider converting your Pinterest account to a Pinterest Business Account and enabling the Rich Pins tools. Details and information are available on Pinterest’s Business Hub.
Garnering a Share from fans, friends, subscribers and followers is the new top goal in social media. Like takes a back seat; you still want likes but your brand needs shares in order to create the kind of viral visibility that was once known as word of mouth promotion. Facebook values shares as a more reliable indicator of a deeper relationship with your followers than just a like.
Facebook rewards brands for posting pictures by giving those posts higher EdgeRank.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that social media users love inspirational or educational quotes. Your brand can benefit from the quote craze, garnering exponentially more likes and shares than the tip or quote alone simply by creating an attractive poster for the quote. By poster, I simply mean placing the quote on a nice background or block of color to create a pleasing that others will find desirable to share.
Ranking through search engines like Google, Bing, YouTube and others should be one of your goals. After all, if people don’t find what you’ve written, you’re a diarist, not a teacher, coach or business blogger. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re creating products, services and content as a business and want to increase your search ranking and help new clients discover you, there are a few visibility and ranking strategies to keep in mind.
A consulting client recently confessed to me that his Facebook news stream is overwhelming him and he’s ready to give up on the brand visibility strategy we’ve outlined for building his personal brand through social media. I asked him to make a list of the top 25 people he’d most like to do business with, be on stage with or have as a strategic partner. He was able to make that list in just minutes, of course, because when he focused on his business goal, it was easy to identify those people most likely to be a part of that goal. This social media strategy technique saves him time daily.
Strategic Influence Building
I showed him how to put each of those top 25 influencers into a Facebook Interest List, which we called A-List Influencers. Now he can filter his news stream each morning and quickly scan the posts of the people he most wants to connect with and add to their conversations, comment, compliment, create value and in general develop a relationship with these highly desirable contacts. Facebook will always revert back to the standard news feed view but any time he wants to check in on his A-List Influencers, he can do so with just a click.