book marketing

Hootsuite is an online social media management tool.

#ThrowbackThursday Hootsuite

Today’s #ThrowbackThursday post is brought to you by Hootsuite, a social media scheduling tool.

Disclaimer: Hootsuite has changed its terms of use since this article first appeared. In fall 2017, the FREE plan is limited to 30 prescheduled posts at one time across three social media platforms. For up to 10 social platforms, unlimited scheduling (1 user), their fee is now $25.00 per month. For more expanded programs, go here for pricing.

I now use a combination of Hootsuite and Buffer for pre-scheduling my social media posts.

#ThrowbackThursday starts here:

For today’s AtoZ Challenge, a month long, alphabetical blogging challenge, the letter “H” is for Hootsuite

Hootsuite is an online social media management tool.

Hootsuite is an online social media management tool.

Here’s a little secret—I post to both of my Facebook accounts and Twitter from six to ten times a day. Every day. Whether I’m on vacation, shopping, sleeping or watching the Detroit Red Wings not make the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in twenty-five years. (bitter? who, me?) I’m all over these social media outlets like dandelions on a spring lawn.

How do I do it?

With the social media tool known as Hootsuite.

Like BoardBooster, a Pinterest tool, which I blogged about here, I pre-schedule my Facebook and Twitter posts days, sometimes months in advance. Realize Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s birthday is May 22nd, but it’s now September? Pre-schedule a Happy Birthday message eight months ahead. Want a certain Tweet to be seen at a certain time to have the maximum impact on your audience? Use Hootsuite.

You can use Hootsuite to post to the following social media platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest

The caveat is, you will have to pay for a monthly plan if you want to manage more than three social media profiles. Plans start at $9.99 a month. But if you’re looking to save time on two or three platforms, choose the one that’s free. No brainer, right?

Three options to send posts

After signing up, from your dashboard, go to publisher (paper airplane icon) and compose your message. Set up and choose which profiles you want to use (Hootsuite will keep track of your character count, so you won’t go over Twitter’s 140 character limit). Use the add a link box to truncate any URLs (they will have an ow.ly prefix like this:  http://ow.ly/szBo309XaUu), and attach media if wanted.

From the calendar icon, you can choose to send now, autoschedule or schedule manually schedule. With autoscheduling, Hootsuite will determine the best times to send out the message for optimal impact. I like to manually schedule my messages, spreading them evenly throughout the day.

What else can Hootsuite do?

  • Reports. The free version offers limited reports, but from Hootsuite’s analytics I can get a profile of my followers and what they’re clicking on. This information helps me tailor future messages.
  • Campaigns. From Hootsuite, I can run:
    • Sweepstakes
    • Photo contests
    • Video contests
    • Instagram contests
    • Twitter contests
    • Create a signup sheet
    • Capture images from Instagram to create a new message
    • Use text, images and video from Twitter to create new messages
  • See who’s following me on each of the profiles I’ve selected as well as who I follow. This is great information if you want to follow the influencers, cull your list, or narrow it to your ideal audience.
  • Set up a social media stream. If you want to follow who’s posting/Tweeting about a certain subject, say, writing, you can set up a stream, using keywords. Hootsuite will scour your platforms and display a constantly updated stream of posts and tweets about the subject. See who’s retweeting you, or who has a question in your field you can answer.

How I use Hootsuite

I love efficiency when it comes to staying on top of social media. I’m a writer. It follows that my time should be spent on writing. The internet is a time-sucking vampire.

The internet is a time-sucking vampire. Save time by using Hootsuite to schedule social media posts. www.cherylsterlingbooks.com

The internet is a time-sucking vampire.

How can I most efficiently do both?

(Listen up, I’m about to give away the social media bank) When I find a link I want to share, I first post it to a Pinterest secret board. Once or twice a week, in batches, I’ll reopen the link and:

  • Stumble the page on StumbleUpon (more about this in my post of the 23rd)
  • Pre-schedule a message on Hootsuite to my social media platforms, Twitter more than Facebook. Often, I’ll create a second or third message, scheduled several weeks out and at a different time than the original message.
  • Pin the link to a secret Pinterest board (more on Pinterest on the 19th), checking the Twitter box so Twitter is hit again when BoardBooster schedules the pin.

By going through these steps, my post will be seen on social media 10-12 times. Not bad for a one time deal, eh? I usually batch the posts at night, while watching television (like the Detroit Red Wings not make the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in twenty-five years. Who’s bitter? There’s always the playoffs, which last until June.)

Similar programs like Buffer and CoSchedule, will perform the same tricks, but this is my AtoZChallenge, and I’m reporting on what works for me.

 

If you’d like to continue to receive my blog posts, please use the entry form to the right. Also sign up for my newsletter, and you’ll receive a FREE copy of my short story, Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, Mr. Alien.

If you know of someone who would enjoy learning more about Hootsuite, use the buttons on the left to share this post. Thank you.

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Use Goodreads to market your book and connect with passionate readers. Goodreads is a great book marketing tool.

It’s #ThrowbackThursday. Join me as we look back at a blog post from April, 2017:

Goodreads is a great book marketing tool

Goodreads is a great book marketing tool.

Use Goodreads to market your book and connect with passionate readers.

Goodreads is a great book marketing tool for writers. Who would you rather target? Someone on Twitter or Facebook who might be interested in reading your book, or an avid reader? An avid reader, of course. Fifty-five million of them. Bing, bing, bing, we have a winner!

Goodreads is the largest site for readers and book recommendations in the world. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of this FREE site to market your books?

Connect with passionate, influential readers who can discuss, share, and promote your books. Join groups, find new authors to read, conduct a poll and host a giveaway—it’s a virtual party!

How to get started:

  • Go to Goodreads.com and create an account. If you have an existing reader account, search for one of your published books and click on your author name, listed below the title of your book.
  • You will be redirected to your basic author profile page. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Is this you? Let us know” to send a request to join the Goodreads Author Program.
  • You will receive an email confirmation in a few days. The Goodreads librarians will merge your member page with your author page.

What you can do on your author page

  • Fill out your bio, including a call to action to visit your website. Your bios should be consistent across all social media platforms.
  • Add a current photo. This should be a photo of you, so your readers can make a connection.
  • Add your website and blog URL.
  • Link your blog to Goodreads. Once linked, Goodreads will automatically import your newest post.
  • Pose a few questions to yourself and answer them in the “Ask the Author” section. This is a great way to get a head start on connecting to your readers.
  • Embed a video. Add book trailers or a video from your YouTube channel.
  • Add an event. Do you have a booksigning or talk scheduled? Add it to the events calendar.
  • Post quotes from your books.
  • Add your books! Rate them. Review them. Get the party started!
  • Add at least 20 other books to your bookshelf. Don’t worry, Amazon (owner of Goodreads) can help. Every time you purchase a book on Amazon, it will appear in your To-Be-Read section of your bookshelf.
  • List a giveaway to get free exposure to your book.
  • Conduct a poll.
  • Connect the Goodreads app to your Facebook page.
  • Add a free book excerpt (.pdf)

How can you promote your books?

  • Be active
  • Join a group or groups and participate
  • Write a review
  • Comment on existing reviews
  • Respond to friend requests
  • Host a giveaway
  • Conduct a poll
  • Update your writing progress on a book you’re reading
  • Vote on a list
  • Click “want to read” on a book
  • Run a Goodreads ad to promote more readers
  • Add an excerpt of one of your books

Goodreads is a great book marketing tool

Do you have your Goodreads Author Page set up? What’s stopping you?

Did I miss a tip? What’s been your experience with the Goodreads Author Program?

Why not use it to promote your books?

Blessings,

Cheryl

If you’d like to receive my blog posts, please use the entry form to the right. Also sign up for my newsletter, and you’ll receive a FREE copy of my short story, Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, Mr. Alien.

If you know of someone who would enjoy learning more about Goodreads, use the buttons on the left to share this post. Thank you.

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How to use Facebook Groups to connect with customers

How to use Facebook Groups for Book Marketing

Today’s #ThrowbackThursday post looks at how to use Facebook Groups

How to use Facebook Groups to connect with customersIf you’ve selected Facebook as one of your social mediums to connect with your customers (whether they are a reader, a music lover, or someone who buys the widgets you produce), think about how to use Facebook Groups as part of your marketing plan.

“But I already belong to Facebook, I have my own page, and I post every day,” you say. Yes, this will help spread your message, but if you find the right group, you’re sharing with people who have the same passion for your product. Who is more likely to buy—your Aunt Edna, or someone as madly obsessed with books, music, or widgets as you?

Networking with fans and fellow fanatics adds another layer of connecting to your core audience. And connecting is what puts the “social” in social media.

What can a Facebook group do for me?

(Channeling a little JFK here)–>Ask not what a Facebook group can do for you, ask what you can do for a Facebook group:

    • Ask questions to discover their pain (problem) and have a solution (sale)
    • Be an expert in your field. They will come to you for solutions (see above)
    • Drive traffic to your website
    • Get email subscribers, and put them on your email list
    • Ask advice
    • Give advice
    • Become a part of a community where everyone understands what you’re going through
    • Get feedback
    • Share sales
    • Share posts
    • Request to be or to host a guest post
    • Brainstorm
    • Offer exclusive content
    • Add value

Where do I find a Facebook group that meets my needs?

The obvious place is to do a Facebook search. Or a Google search. Or ask your existing social media if they have any suggestions. People are more than willing to share what they’ve found beneficial to them.

Once you’ve found a group, determine if their purpose aligns with yours and your business. Are they open and generous, or is their mission to collect names for their own email list? Do they share tips and tricks, or is every post an introduction to yet another member? (I belong to one such group and wonder what their purpose is outside of introductions. I never see any concrete suggestions or sharing and wonder why I joined).

On the other hand, I belong to another, fantastic group that is very active. They ask for feedback on book covers, share links to helpful sites, and spread knowledge without thought of reward. They’re generous, supportive and committed to their craft.

What not to do

  • Avoid Spamming. If you’re always selling, no one will read your posts. You want engagement, not scorn.
  • Don’t be a lurker. The point of joining is to belong, and you can’t belong if no one sees you.
  • Get political. Please, in today’s environment, avoid a virtual fight. Unless, of course, the purpose of the group is political
  • Troll or abuse another member
  • Break the rules. BTW, read the rules when you join. If there is a no promotion clause, don’t push your widget. Just don’t.
  • Vulgarity, profanity, etc.

What if I can’t find a Facebook group?

In the very rare case no Facebook group exists, consider creating your own. A lot of work will be involved. After all, Facebook is a 24/7 entity. Do you want to moderate all posts? Are you willing to kick off troubling members? Google the subject and decide if you’re willing to tackle the task. If so, I wish you luck. Send me an invitation.

The purpose of Facebook groups is to share

No one with a passion for a subject wants to exist in a vacuum. We want support, we want to engage, we want to belong to a community that understands the voices in our heads (writers only) or the love we have for our widgets.

Find and join a Facebook group. Contribute. Post a link to something you’re all interested in. Answer a question. And, using the 80/20 rule, occasionally point them in the direction of your product, whether it’s books or widgets.

Bee a part of a colony (couldn’t resist the pun)

Blessings,

Cheryl

p.s. I don’t own a Facebook group, but I do have a Facebook page. Consider following me.

To receive my blog posts, please use the entry form to the right. Also sign up for my newsletter, and you’ll receive a FREE copy of my short story, Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, Mr. Alien.

If you know of someone who would enjoy learning more about Facebook groups, use the buttons on the left to share this post. Thank you.

 

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