What’s Haunting Your Marketing Plan?
I’ll admit it. Marketing is hard for me. I’ve never been a salesperson. I don’t like to brag, but I do love to share. Recently, while examining my own marketing plan, I began to look at what others in the writing industry have been doing. I delved a little deeper into what makes me click on a promotional link and what doesn’t. Why do I choose to unfollow some folks on Twitter and not others? What makes me want to visit an author’s Facebook page? What can I do to mimic what works and exorcise what doesn’t?
Here’s a little of what I learned:
- I’m turned off by people who constantly promote self. You find them all over social media. On Facebook, they have the audacity to advertise on your page without asking and every post on a personal page or a business page is self-promotion. I don’t believe anything can annoy someone on Facebook more than the hijacking of their page or a direct message sent to a thousand people at once. Those direct messages are the unwanted gift that keeps on giving. On Twitter, a self-absorbed person is easy to spot. Scroll down their page and see post after post after post about nothing but their product. Follow a self-absorbed person on Twitter and immediately get a direct message offering something to you. The only reason I use any direct message is to contact a person for sincere and personal reasons. On the other hand, when I’m looking at an Author’s Facebook page, and I see that the author, while also promoting self also posts for others, I become a willing participant in that page. On Twitter, I share with authors and other businesses that retweet for others as well. I also love the Facebook groups that are all about sharing. Christian Book Tweets, Authors 4 Authors and many others are great groups to join. However, don’t be so self-absorbed that you don’t read and/or bypass the rules.
- Foul language is an immediate red flag for me. I’ve seen the decay of classic advertisement on television. Make no mistake about it. I don’t use those products who aid in the degradation of society. So why do so many seemingly professional individuals feel that it is okay to drop the “F” word when tweeting or posting? If an individual walked into a store of any kind and the owner was cursing and carrying on, how many of us would stay in that store? Twitter is both a store and a social media outlet. I consider Twitter more of a professional tool than I do Facebook. My personal page is where people meet me. I welcome the friendships there, but be assured, you are meeting the social me and not the business me. My Author Page, that’s where I share and hope to connect readers with my work and with the work of others. I’ve been known to discuss politics on my personal page, although for reasons not to do with marketing, I’ve bowed out of that arena. While I might retweet a political post on Twitter, they are few and far between. In fact, I don’t follow others who are solely on Twitter for political reasons. And my author page? It’s a political-free zone. I’m also very careful on social media as to whom I follow and friend. If I follow someone who seems appropriate at first glance, and I later see inappropriate material, I unfollow and unfriend. Those who follow me learn that my page is rated “GG.” What does that mean? I try to glorify God. I believe we can be political, we can be funny, we can share things, but I believe if anything is not safe for a child to read, it should not be a part of anything that I allow on any of my social media pages.
- I’ve just discovered newsletters. I find them interesting, but in line with the “all-about-me” mentality of social media promotions, I did not want my newsletter to be “all about me.” I’m not that interesting. I couldn’t write self-promotion weekly newsletters because I wouldn’t have enough material to fill even one newsletter. So, I waited and I gave some thought as to how I could make my newsletter profitable. I’m an editor and an author. I love to connect readers and writers to great stories. The answer to my newsletter dilemma came with that thought. Readers are important, but they are very rarely spotlighted. The idea came to me to share an author and an editor spotlight each week. Now, that doesn’t mean that a newsletter isn’t going to have a little information about what I’ve been up to or what I have to promote, but in sharing information outside of my promotion, I feel as if I’m giving to the readers of the newsletter rather than taking of their time. The key to an appropriate newsletter is permission to send, so I’ll share that even though I was part of a promotion where people who partook of the contest were advised that they were providing their e-mail for the use of several authors who write from the publisher who sponsored the contest, there was a bit of confusion and at least one person took exception to receipt of my newsletter. My problem was that I was learning the ins and outs on how to create, and I honestly thought I’d sent an introduction explaining how I’d received the names of the recipients. Epic fail. That e-mail didn’t go out. I recommend highly that you know how the newsletter system works before sending forth your precious e-mails. And in case you’re interested in meeting some writers and readers, you can subscribe to my newsletter from my Facebook Author page. Just scroll down to Join My List.
- I love memes. Appropriately hilarious memes, quote memes, memes with Scripture, advertising memes. I’m still learning memes, and many of my author friends are far ahead of me in this regard. I go for simple. They go for daring. Someday, I may dare to be as daring as my friends. A meme that promotes ugliness will turn me away every time. My biggest complaint about memes on Pinterest is that so many funny memes are destroyed by the use of foul language. Nothing foul is funny to me. I enjoy Pinterest. I even have my own Pinterest page, but I’m not as active there as I’d like. I plan to add some more material soon. I do believe it is a good social medium, but I also believe that, as it is with all media, we have to be careful of the persona we present.
I’d love to hear from those of you who have discovered a niche in your promotions. What works for you? What doesn’t work for you? I’m still learning, and I know a few who could use some advice. Feel free to share your comments.
Fay Lamb writes emotionally charged stories with a Romans 8:28 attitude, reminding readers that God is always in the details. Fay donates 100% of her royalties to Christian charities. Fay is the author of the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series, which includes Stalking Willow, Better than Revenge, Everybody’s Broken, and Frozen Notes. Fay’s The Ties that Bind romantic series includes Charisse, Libby, and Hope. The fourth story in the series, Delilah, is coming soon as is her first novel in her Serenity Key series, Storms in Serenity. Fay’s adventurous spirit has also taken her into the realm of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast. Fay loves to meet readers, and you can find her on her personal Facebook page, her Facebook Author page, and at The Tactical Editor on Facebook and on Goodreads. She’s also active on Twitter. Then there are her blogs: On the Ledge, Inner Source, and the Tactical Editor.
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