Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Social networking means business

by Stacey

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!


  1. You are right on with your post, Stacy. I just took on the role of social media coordinator for my news organization (I'm AME/Features and Niche). I totaly love social media so it's a great fit. I juggle multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts for my news company and I can tell you that engagement is extremely important. Part of my job is to expand or digital footprint. We are no longer just a newspaper. A newspaper is one of the many things that we do. We are a media company that delivers news and information to our readers across multiple platforms (in whatever way they want to receive it, whether that's print, mobile, e-reader, etc.). Anyway, great advice here.

  2. I also like the suggestion "Don't spray and pray. Listen, reply and engage." >>

    Uh, let's say I did that on facebook, twitter and a blog... When would I possibly write?

    Listening alone would take all day. If social networking after a book is released is so critical, publishers might/maybe/consider hiring people to listen, reply, and engage.

    Or, I notice you have a blog here. Cool. But can you do an effective, listen, reply & engage blog as one person and still be an effective agent? How many people are posting blogs for your ONE social network outlet here?

    I'm just one person. Speaking of which, I don't see so much reply and engage on this blog as might otherwise be taking your own advice on social networking at the same time you pass it out to others.

    Anyone here?

  3. You are right, walkinhistory. Engaging does take a lot of time. No doubt about it. I could spend all day engaging via multiple platforms. In the end, I do the best I can do. I also contract with someone to help me with some of these tasks (especially on weekends) and I have the support of my staff. But, yeah, it does take a lot of time. In the end, you need to decide if the benefit is worth the cost. With my personal accounts, I try to find a balance I can live with. Yes, I could be doing more. But, like you said, when do I have time to write? Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Great article. It's all about relationship building and creating a feeling of community on your site or with your posts.

  5. Thanks for your comments, and wanted to respond to some of the good points walkinhistory makes. Like everything else in life, social networking is a balancing act and it's up to each of us to figure out what works best to allow for maximum impact while managing a vast array of priorities. As agents, we work very hard to manage our authors' careers, and having a public profile isn't as critical to what we do as it is to an author trying to sell books. We do, however, want to support our community and engage in conversations with aspiring and published authors. So I would like to do a better job at responding to our readers often wise and astute comments. I will take my own advice and listen, reply, and engage (despite a host of technical difficulties including my initial response being deleted!)!

  6. Been thinking about this post for a few days and finally able to pinpoint my discomfort- not with your post or the piece you link to of course! I'm wondering if we're just creating a signal to noise problem. With every last aspiring writer and published author, tweeting, blogging, youtubing, facebooking, sometimes I find it quite refreshing to find a fabulous author who-- shock of shocks-- doesn't do much online. Of course, nonfiction writers need platform and a built in audience (I totally get that), but sometimes I feel like we're all over-communicating a little with our public- and when a thousand trees are falling, you may have trouble hearing one or two?