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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Teams, Tribes, Twitter, Oh My.

It's that time of the month again.

No, not THAT time. Sheesh.

Time to consider your social media platform.

Yes, all that time spent on Facebook and Twitter --- that's you, marketing yourself.  So, um, can it with the LOL Catz.

Or not, whatever.

But seriously, I read an amazing list of "stuff I oughtta be doing like right about now online to promote myself" and sort of got twitchy.
Facebook (check)
FAN page NOT profile (oh, um, okay)
Twitter (check)
"professional twitter account" (oh, um, okay)

Professional blog (Yeah yeah I got that, whew)
Professional website (under construction, but yeah)
tagline for your brand (Brewing Up Serious Passion--check)
Professional author headshot (I have WAY too many "fun" headshots that I like to use so I'm good there)
Google alerts (done)

Goodreads author page (yep)
Google+ account (did it--don't use it much though I thought "circles" were sort of "Dante-esque")
LinkedIn (yeah but wow it is annoying)
You Tube Channel (kinda--I'm of several minds about "cheesy book trailers" vs. "useful marketing tool")
Kindleboards something (oh, okay)
Amazon forums (huh?)
RWA stuff (nope, I'm a lowly e-pubbed author and hence do not feel welcome)


Good blog poster (religiously I love to hear myself talk)
Good blog commenter (I make a point to spend several hours a week on this BUT if I comment more than twice on yours and you never darken the door of mine? You're off my list)
Amazon Likes and Tags and other similar annoyances (yeah)
Myriad "pages" on endless author and review sites (sort of)
Tribrr (JUST JOINED)


and
my personal favorite today:
Assemble a Street Team.

Yeah....I rubbed my hands together. That sounded like something I could really sink my teeth into. I have one for the brewery, they get monthly Constant Contact email from me (Oh, I neglected the one about "have a professional newsletter"as I have grown up with the "professional newsletter" meme and have done and distributed zillions of them for various organizations and truly believe that they are going they way of the 8-track tape but I digress).

Why NOT do one for "Liz Crowe?"
I noodled around on some of my favorite writing craft and marketing blogs and discovered that many of us have already latched onto this device invented by small label recording company's to use their meager resources to rally viral fan groups around new bands. Yeah. Bloody Brilliant!

So, I hit the "start a group" button on Yahoo and I did it!
Wrote up the basics (yeah this is a "promote Liz" group BUT I do trades AND I'm giving out prizes EVERY MONTH to top tweeters/sharers/promoters AND every member gets some way cool swag from me PLUS I will reciprocate (within reason and time allowances) with your stuff too.
I uploaded all my book covers, all my author pages, blogs and what not, sent out a few initial invites and posted it in FB and Twitter.  We'll see where it takes me if anywhere.


My concern is that it NOT turn into yet another place to cut and paste the latest and greatest from a bunch of authors sorta promoting to each other but becomes a truly interactive way to learn more about great ways to promote ourselves (read: Liz but I share, remember?).

 I am trying to stay away from the EXTREME temptation to only use Facebook as a "here's my latest release/review/blogpost/interview/rant/rave/spew on writing so go read and comment and let me move on the the next one, thanks."

It's mighty tempting but every day I get on there and feel like EVERYBODY is using it that way and it gets all over my nerves. I'm trying to limit it in a sort of lame, back-to-facebook purity basics kind of way. Unless I have a KILLER blog post...or a release...nevermind.

So that said, My Next Big Step in My Social Networking Plan is to create that "fan page" on Facebook separate from my "profile" although the double work involved in it makes me twitchy all over again.

Tell us ONE THING you've done in the last year or so that made a huge difference to your marketing and promotions success.  And spare me the "oh I just write another book" one because we all KNOW we have to do that!
cheers
Liz

30 comments:

Harlie Reader said...

Not a writer but as a reviewer, I put up a tab up on my review blog saying Review Requests and I get a review request everyday. Now, I'm booked for the rest of the month.

Don't laugh...that's how the big girls play in the revewing world.

See you on the street.

Marika

Adele Dubois said...

Next to my personal blog, Facebook is the social networking tool I use and enjoy most. I've been published for over five years and have probably done it all in terms of promotion. The demands can be exhausting. Focusing on my blog and FB has helped me clear the promo clutter.

Best of luck!
~Adele

Adele Dubois said...

Next to my personal blog, Facebook is the social networking tool I use and enjoy most. I've been published for over five years and have probably done it all in terms of promotion. The demands can be exhausting. Focusing on my blog and FB has helped me clear the promo clutter.

Best of luck!
~Adele

Anonymous said...

As a reader and Facebook user, I'm happy to Like my author pages, and also to Friend some authors, and I'm on a couple of groups on FB as well. I understand that authors need to promote themselves, but seeing the same promo post four times on my FB feed just gets on my nerves. I don't know what to do about that, because the content doesn't always get duplicated. Just one of those things, I guess. :-)

Kimberly

Lia Davis said...

My first book is set to tentatively release in May and don't have a date for my second yet. So author pages - other than FB - is on hold. But I do have FB, Twitter, Goodreads (although I have to wait until book 1 is released before switching to an author page), a website and blog. I'm starting to promote more and more. I just signed up for Triberr yesterday. This is still new to me and I'm learning new things everyday.

Romance Reader Enthusiast said...

I'm a recent blogger/reviewer. I love all the network sites because this is the way I'm finding out about all the authors I've missed over the years. I'm also making lots of new friends. I'm having a great time.

Lynn

R. Ann Siracusa said...

Liz, loved your article and the cartoons spice it up. I can never tell which media efforts actually result in sales, but I like Facebook.

Cara Marsi said...

Liz, I'm tired just reading your blog. Everything you said is correct. There's so much Social Media. I've just started using Twitter. Can't say it's helped. I try to talk about other subjects and not use Twitter strictly for promos. My rule is 10 Tweets on other subjects to one promo Tweet. I've been on FB a few years and like it. Find it easy to use. I don't have a fan page. I use FB more for personal stuff than promo.

I don't have a blog but guest blog whenever I can, and I have a regular monthly blog here on RBRU. All of the Social Media and promo boggles my mind.

Cara Marsi said...

Liz, I'm tired just reading your blog. Everything you said is correct. There's so much Social Media. I've just started using Twitter. Can't say it's helped. I try to talk about other subjects and not use Twitter strictly for promos. My rule is 10 Tweets on other subjects to one promo Tweet. I've been on FB a few years and like it. Find it easy to use. I don't have a fan page. I use FB more for personal stuff than promo.

I don't have a blog but guest blog whenever I can, and I have a regular monthly blog here on RBRU. All of the Social Media and promo boggles my mind.

Kenzie Michaels said...

I spend entirely too much time on Face Book and am trying to wean myself from it...having said that, I also decided to finally create a Kenzie page, and will soon have a Molly page there also. I really need to get back to writing!

And I've been neglecting the blogs (hangs head). Plus, need to update my website, since I've passed out a bunch of cards the past week!

Sandy said...

I got a laugh out of your blog, Liz. It's a tiring process this social media. I don't know if it helps or not. I just wish I didn't have to do any of it. lol

Liz said...

@Harlie I have no doubt you are a big girl reviewer. I'm just grateful you are also a "liz crowe fan!"
@Adele I also use the crap out of my blog plus others, (like this one)
@kimberly, yeah, the over use of FB for ONLY promotion is all over my nerves right now. Tell me about your day, THEN try and shove your book down my throat 10 times.
@Lia let me know about your experience on TRibrr
@Lynn I also have loved making new friends networking this way, it is revolutionary without a doubt
@R. Ann yeah I wish we could somehow measure it. makes me crazy as an "old school marketer" this not measuring thing
@Cara I thought for a minute you were TIRED of reading my blog! ;-) yeah, I'm still not convinced of the whole "author fan page" thing on FB yet. I'm not that important perhaps, even in my own mind.
@Kenzie--get back to work!
@SAndy-glad you enjoyed it. yes, it a LOT of work but in a different way than "marketing used to be"

jean hart stewart said...

Whew, you're more energetic than a whirlwind. Seems to me I promo a lot but can't compare to all you do. And I get damned tired of the necessity to promote so much.

DragonLady said...

Now I need a lie-down. And some Vitamin-E. Crikey, woman.

Liz said...

@Jean yeah, I know I'm an energizer bunny. My problem (or strength depending on how you look at it) is my 150% commitment to everything I do. I hate half-assing anything.

@dragon lady, well I do drink a lot of alcohol. that helps.

Anne Holly said...

I have both a regular FB and an author page - the latter is light on posts (only the important stuff) and the regular one is where I talk about real life stuff. I never duplicate info on both on the same day.

I did Triberr for a while, but I felt like a spambot so I fell out of love with it really fast. It's also choking my Twitter stream.

My author Yahoo group... You can hear crickets. Seriously.

And I hear you on RWA - I completely agree.

Liz said...

what exactly DO you do on Tribrr Anne?
I can't figure it out.

Anne Holly said...

You enter your blog feed and join a tribe or two, and your blog posts can get RT'd by all your Tribe, and you RT all their's. It's meant to amplify your blogging, so instead of just you Tweeting your post link, 25 other people do, as well.

I was on it back when it was automatic (my Twitter just spit out every blog post anyone in my Tribe produced), but now you have to go there and do it manually - which I confess I really don't have the time for, either.

They have blocked all posts with "giveaway", "free," "promo," and other words - "blog hop", too, I think. But, I must admit I am less than keen on how large a deluge of blog post links are now in my Twitter stream - especially when you follow 20+ people in the same Tribe and get the same link every damn time. oy.

However, I found belonging to a Tribe was a nice, cozy experience, and they were very nice ladies. So, that was a plus.

Sessha Batto said...

It does seem like a never-ending list of places you need to promote - Twitter, in particular, can easily suck away half my day if I'm not careful ;) Walking the fine line between under- and over-promoting doesn't help, either - there is no middle ground, no matter what you do it will be wrong to someone! Then again, I'm probably not happy without something to worry about ;)

Liz said...

@anne I've been invited to join a writing tribe and am seeking some craft beer ones as well.
@sessha--YES! That is it! I am not complete with something fret about.

Anne Holly said...

Re: Amazon forums... I know some people who like them, but they skeeer me. It can be a pretty harsh place, from what I have seen. Or maybe I just go there when there's a dust-up, which has given me that impression. :/

Lee Brazil said...

I think that for me, there are two essentials to promo- the blog and the FB.

I do some of the rest of it, but I don't enjoy it much, so...

I think that makes a difference.

Jessica Subject said...

I read the same list. Amazing! But I don't know if I will do them all. I find my blog tours, visiting blog that I don't normally frequent has really helped to get my name out there. And participating in the blog hops as well.

All the best, Liz! :)

Paris said...

In the past year I'd have to say that Twitter has been my social media of choice. I blog once a month at RBRU and send out the occasional newsletter but lately I'm all about cutting down on the clutter and concentrating on my writing.

Marianne Stephens said...

Promo my blogs on yahoo loops...I get more hits. Having catchy titles to snag reader interest helps.
Social media...and all the ways to do it...can get overwhelming if you let it.
Street teams? Yeah, heard that one but unless I'm a really prolific/big author, not gonna happen.

Tina Donahue said...

I get dizzy just thinking of all this stuff. Kudos to anyone who has 12 hours a day to jump from one social media platform to another. :)

Naomi Bellina said...

Love this post, love the comments, love beer! Thanks Liz, it's nice to know you and so many others feel a teeny bit OVERWHELMED by social media and marketing.

I set up my FB so it posts in my author page and social page, and you can set Goodreads up to pick up from your blog, so it will automatically get sent there. I hired a local social media expert for an hour and a half to review my FB and other marketing stategies, and it was time and money well spent.

Don't know how much the other things work since I'm just getting started, but my business plan is to cut down a bit on other people's blogs and spend more time writing.

Thanks for the great post!

Janice Seagraves said...

Liz,

I've done all of that too.

Good luck with your social networking.

Janice~

Katalina said...

I got to this party a little late, but I'm always in awe of how much you can juggle! You've got a good foamy head on your shoulders beer wench! I'm definitely a fan.
XXOO Kat

Nina Pierce said...

There are more social media "thingies" than there are hours in the day. I stepped back from Yahoo loops (cutting down on hundreds of emails a day) and have avoided Google+ and activity on LinkedIn (though I do have a profile). And I haven't gotten into a newsletter yet either as I did it for my chapter for 3 years and it was such a time suck. I'm leery of starting my own.

I saw your announcement about a street team and wish you luck with that. I'll be curious to know how it goes for you.

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