Welcome to Kingston Publishing’s live blog of Jon Reed’s Masterclass, ‘Social Media Marketing for Publishers’.
We will be posting every 5 minutes from 18:00pm (UK Time) onwards, so make sure you refresh your browser to join us in this exciting opportunity.
You can also follow us live on our Twitter kingstonjourno using the hashtag #MAPubKingston.
What will be covered? Few overall concepts and approaches, as well as range of social media tools and ways to use, including how to use social media strategically.
Background – Jon was a publisher for 10 years, working for himself for 5/6 years as social media consultant, working with publishers and other clients also. Crossing over into authorship – ‘Get up to speed with online marketing’ came out about a year ago. PublishingTalk is currently read more by authors than publishers. Jon is starting self-publish eBooks on social media topics; authors are doing this more and more.
[Kingston Students: access all presentation slides afterwards on StudySpace. ]
Self-publishing becoming much more common – publishers need to find ways to stay relevant, for example by supporting authors with social media marketing.
How to support authors with social media?
Training – their tone of voice is important.
Technology – e.g. set up a Facebook page.
Guidelines – provide an information pack.
Ask about their use of social media on the Author Questionnaire. Some publishers don’t even know about their author’s own blogs, let alone link to them.
Using social media is a great way to promote reading pre-publishing deal; authors – start blogging early! It is a great way to start promoting and branding yourself.
One things publishers want to know before signing authors is the size of their online networks. If an author can show they have Twitter/blog followers, they are more likely to get a blog deal (this was the case with Jon’s book, for example).
Two billion people online; seven billion in the world of last week. Almost one billion on Facebook; astonishing numbers.
One in 12 minutes of online time is spent on email
One in 4 minutes is spent on social networks.
[All of the room are on Facebook and/or Twitter]
Facebook is the dominating social network worldwide; latest stats on Facebook website itself.
Facebook overtook Google last year as the no. 1 web destination by internet traffic.
Twitter is fastest growing social media tool – over 200 million users worldwide and ambitious growth plans. 1 billion by the end of 2013?
No longer sufficient to say your online presence is just a website.
‘Martini Marketing’ instead of ‘Megaphone marketing’ – 1970s ad campaign of Martini strapline was ‘Anytime, anyplace, anywhere’ – much more targeted approach is needed for marketing. People seek out information they are interested in; the Google generation need easy-to-find information.
Facebook is the no. 2 search engine after Google.
Difference between push and pull marketing – giving away content for free is a challenging idea for publishing, but a worthwhile one; the free content can be anything from a blog post to a sample chapter.
Social networks are the starting point for sales from a customer’s point of view.
The Sales Funnel/traditional marketing theory channels the mass market to a highly targeted one, moving from Social networks, through blogs, to email. (Awareness -> consideration -> purchase)
Email is still important in online marketing – you can have many followers on Twitter but you don’t own that data; getting your followers and friends to sign up to your email list is important, as email is a more appropriate sales medium – people expect to be sold to via email.
Give something away to get people to sign up to an email list.
Jon put together a Twitter cheat sheet and gave it away for free in exchange for an email address, in order to promote his book; this was a very effective means of driving sales.
He also put together a 5-day email course based on auto-response messages; the free content does not have to be huge, but it needs to be appealing. Rachel Elnaugh of Dragon’s Den has also used this method.
The incentives can then be broadcast via Twitter etc.
When it comes to choosing your social media tools, you need to have your product at the centre of it all – around that might be the company website or companion website for a book, as well as your email list. The first layer of social media after that should be something involving content, whether that is photos, video, a blog or a podcast. These are content tools.
You also need outreach tools, such as a Facebook page, a Twitter account, Myspace, iTunes etc. – these should come after the content tools.
The consumer therefore meets the company at the point of the outreach tools, and is channelled in through the layers toward the product.
Start off with a one page marketing plan – deciding which are your outreach tools, which are your content tools, what your call to actions are for the consumer etc.
10 benefits of Social Media marketing:
[Audience suggestions – lower marketing costs, control over your marketing message – a conversation can be created around your product, making yourself more ‘findable’, easy access, quick response]
Jon’s 10 benefits of Social Media:
1. Drive traffic to your site
2. reach people where they are – people buy books online!
3. Create and connect with communities, pre-existing and creating your own – Publishing Talk blog has been created first, with eBooks published for that community at a later date. It was originally started for publishers, but authors became interested, therefore content was tailored for them more.
4. Build a platform, build a following
5. Encourage ciral pass-on
6. Provide quick, up to date information
7. Be found by people who are already interested in you
8. Email list building
9. Market research
10. Low-cost, effective
Principles of Social media:
1. Authenticity, transparency – build social currency – don’t spam; engage with a community first
2. Don’t view it as just another marketing channel
3. Don’t treat it as a one-way broadcast medium
4. Social media is a conversation – not a lecture
5. Be patient – Social media needs a long term approach – PublishingTalk took a long time to build up.
6. Be clear about departmental (and author) responsibilities
How to use Social media
1. Start with your marketing objectives
2. Know your audience – find your community
3. Choose appropriate tools
4. Engage people with valuable content
5. Plan your media and resourcing
6. Be findable
7. Use calls to action
8. Measure your results
Blogging – Jon favours WordPress [audience likes Blogger]
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org – latter has more control; all of Jon’s sites are WordPress.org sites – they also all use commercially available themes e.g. WooThemes.
Start your own blog, [audience suggestions – comment on others’ blogs, link your blogs to existing sites of yours which have a following].
Link to GoodReads, especially if you are an author – there are many places you can import your blog feed such as LinkedIn and Amazon.com.
Blogger Outreach is important, engaging with other bloggers and giving away free content.
Do a Blog Tour (more popular in U.S. than U.K, it is an alternative to the book tour) or do Guest Postings. This can build a lot of buzz around a book when it launches, and pushes it up the Amazon rankings. Seth Godin included 60 bloggers in a blog tour and was very successful – even a few over a week can be effective however.
‘How to be Seth Godin’:
Get famous (!)
Build Relationships with bloggers
Allocate LOTS of time
Release several posts in short time frame
Use video as part of a blog tour – e.g. Adam Westbrook announced Jon’s book on his video blog via a talking head video. Make sure you include calls to action. Talking Heads approach works very well, and seems less sales-like; looks more journalistic.
Video can also work well for educational publications, tutorial books.
Keep the videos under 3 minutes, to keep with users’ attention spans.
The ‘book trailer’ is a good example of the use of video – for example Timothy Ferriss’s ‘the 4 Hour Body’
Think about what sort of video you want to do – podcast? Instructional? Talking Head? Always keep your market in mind.
Podcasts are just another place where people can find you – Jon often listens to business podcasts, e.g.:
Flying Startups, who promote their books for entrepreneurs through podcasts, and have built a community around their books in this way.
Nature podcast, who have been doing podcasts for some time – their podcasts come out every Thursday with Nature journal, with interviews with contributors; including monthly podcasts for their medicine journal.
It all comes down to knowing your audience and keeping videos and podcasts relevant, authentic, short and informal. Always include a call to action – usually one and usually at the end.
AudioBoo – Twitter meets podcasting?
New Facebook profiles over the next few months.
Facebook Pages are the place to start with promotion. Photographs across the top can be used as calls to action by including links and captions in the images. Also ‘Like’ your own pages to provide links. Be inventive.
One way Jon uses Facebook is to automatically pull in posts from PublishingTalk.
Bespoke Pages can be created using the side navigation tabs, for example inserting email sign-up forms etc.
Demographic stats about fans can also be accessed regarding your page.
Tim Ferriss takes advantage of his Page well – tapping into the viral nature of Social networks by giving away a sample chapter, and getting users to post it to their page; Tim uses NorthSocial for aspects such as this, using mainly Social media to promote his books.
By creating a Facebook group or sub-group, publishers can promote an imprint as well as specific books.
Multiple accounts can be set-up, which can be used effectively.
Jon’s post suggestions:
Useful information and links that your followers will be interested in.
Daily tips for your followers, which can be scheduled in advance.
Ensure you have at least one Tweet a day.
Also linking to daily news blogs and sites can be another way to maintain a presence.
Including links to Amazon places places extra content in the sidebar.
Offer free downloads to people in exchange for people Tweeting about it (such as with Tim Ferriss’s strategy on Facebook). ‘Pay with a Tweet’. People can amend the actual text they post, but cannot change the link that will go with it.
Other Twitter strategies:
Twitter Q & As are good promotions for books
Twinterviews e.g. Jon Ronson interview, who took over the Waterstones Twitter account recently to answer others’ questions – Waterstones do this reasonably often.
Organizational/product/personal accounts – but tweet accordingly
Provide a useful news service
Building your followers:
Follow more people! About half will follow you back
Use search, directories, hashtags etc.
Only follow people in your community of interest
Manage your workload – spread it between multiple admins and contributors
Link various tools together
Share links through bit.ly
tweetdeck.com is good managing multiple accounts
Measure your progress e.g. Google Analytics or Clicky, rankings via Technorati, WeFollow, Facebook metrics such as stats for Pages and Ads
Bean counting and Unique Landing pages/click-throughs are further ways to do this. Monitor calls to action and your conversational index (blogs).
Your Social Media Marketing Plan
Choose a journal, author, subject etc.
What are your organizational goals?
What is your community?
What are the tools?
What are your calls to action?
How will your measure it?
Future opportunities – bigger online communities, more targeted marketing, self marketing and self publishing for authors, value addition through branding, distribution, filtering for publishers.
Q + A
Can you get away with not using Social Media?
Jon’s Answer – Not really; you can have a website but you need outreach in order to promote it. You don’t always have to do a great deal though – quality over quantity. You need to have an awareness of the options available, and choose the best options for you.
I have a friend starting in publishing who has not background in web design and digital media but not in publishing – do you think there is a resistance to social media in traditional houses?
Answer from Jon – There has been some resistance, but most houses do have some kind of social media presence set up. However, they do not always use it strategically, or to its full potential. They need to impose sort sort of strategy or organisation to it.
Do you think social media marketing will take over almost entirely from traditional marketing?
Answer from Jon – It certainly has huge benefits, and is replacing traditional marketing already to an extent. The problem is that most consumers are ahead technologically of the publishers
Do you think that publishers don’t give sufficient support to authoprs in terms of social media marketing:
Answer from Jon: Publishers need authors more than authors need publishers at the moment, especially with the rise in self-publishing. Therefore publishers certainly need to work on marketing their authors via social media, yes. It’s not something publishers want to hear. Online media is disrupting traditional business modles, and creating other options for authors.
What are hashtags?
Answer from Jon: If you insert # with a phrase or word following it into your Tweet, it becomes a link which, if clicked, pulls up a timeline of everyone Tweeting with that hashtag. It is primarily a way of grouping Tweets together by topic.
Any examples of particularly successful hashtags?
Answer from Jon: There are a lot of hashtags that are relevant to writers and publishers in promotion; I came up with a list of these on PublishingTalk, and it ended up being the most popular post on the site. [see ’10 twitter hashtags for writers’].
Thanks from Kingston Publishing to everyone who tuned in. Signing off, have a good evening all.