Thursday, June 30, 2011


How to build your brand using social media and the web – Jayne Ann Krentz, Stella Cameron Sheri Brooks (Purple Papaya), Cissy Hartley (WritersSpace)

Facebook changes in the last year – spam filter, option to convert a personal profile into a professional page, sponsored stories for advertising, streamlined promotion guidelines meant no more contests on Facebook pages.

Frequency of posting on Facebook and Twitter – not more than once a day so people see more from their friends than from you.

What to put on Facebook – share with your readers, but don’t over share. A little bit about yourself, but nothing about family kids, where you live, if you’ll be out of town. The key is getting the interaction.

Mailing list :: You have 50 characters in a subject line to grab attention and get readers to open your newsletter. Determine what you want to communicate, your goal, and build your newsletter around your subject line.

Contests have always been the best way to grow your mailing list. What you want to do is have all of your Facebook fans on your mailing list. The more you can do to cross link them, the better. You need to have those readers cataloged on your mailing list in case anything happens to Facebook.

Use a service or software to send the posting. Phpmail is software you can use if your host allows. Icontact, writerspace, they go up in price as your list grows.

Facebook contests :: Facebook never allowed contests, people just didn’t look for the rules until they were updated in May. People used to have people comment to win, but that is not allowed, and can compromise your status with Facebook. You can have an app created for you (upwards of $10K), or have a form created using a form service with an opt in and privacy policy

Basic legal issues :: Have your privacy policy, and know where your contest will be open – international, US, NA…every company has its own sweepstakes law. To offer a contest in Quebec you have to register with the government 30 days ahead and provide them 10% of the win. Post official rules.

Advertising options

• Facebook – advertise your page, your book…ads link directly back to your page. 30 words and a horizontal picture (vertical is too small)
• Website – banners and chatrooms
• Contests – big prize giveaways (Kindle) grow your mailing list faster, but keeping it to people who love your books make for a cleaner list.
• Goodreads :: growing in popularity, but it gets to the point where you need to decide if the time it takes to work it is worth it for the number of people you reach.

GooglePlus – another social network, will probably be more personal than facebook.

Utilities to customize your facebook page – ihtml – adds tabs to your page – used to make it so you can’t get to the entry form before you like the page.

Is there still any value to myspace? No, it’s the abandoned amusement park of the internet. Value for indie music types, but not really for writers.

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