Everyone talks about how important social networking is for marketing and promoting your book, both before you're published (especially for nonfiction, where without a sizable platform you're dead in the water before you even begin) and after. That it's important is not new news, but I found this piece in Publisher's Weekly about a recent webcast about digital marketing interesting because it goes into detail on just how social networking influences consumer buying habits. This offers a small way to quantify its impact on selling books. And the numbers are pretty powerful -- "consumers are 67% more likely to buy from the brands they follow on Twitter, 51% more likely to buy from a brand they fan on Facebook, and 79% more likely to recommend brands and products they follow on social media." I also like the suggestion "Don't spray and pray. Listen, reply and engage."
To me this piece serves as yet another reminder that whatever your goals as a writer might be, it's important to find those important connections to others both inside and outside the community. It all starts with talent, and sending out a message or a piece of writing that your audience can connect with in a meaningful way. The broader your reach, the easier time you will have finding agents and publishers to pay attention to you and the work you're doing. The numbers prove it!