I had written an article on Social Media Marketing on my blog some time ago.
I find the topic endlessly fascinating. Unlike those subjects I learned at school and college, Social Media is something I am learning on the job – a job that doesn’t make any money for me, at least nothing that I can count and tell in terms of cash. Many people believe it’s a waste of time – anything that does not make money. I have had people laugh at me behind my back when they got to know that I blog voraciously.
“You mean you don’t get paid for writing 100s of articles? But that doesn’t make sense.” I have heard that dialogue thrown at me many times. Those who haven’t blogged don’t understand the meaning of “Freedom” of expression. We all have an opinion, maybe two, about everything. Instead of gossiping about it, some of us choose to write blogs.
Blogs act as a catharsis for one. More importantly, it creates a presence for the blogger on the internet. Without realizing the impact of what I was doing, I just wrote on my blog to please myself, on a variety of subjects. Over the years, I have a powerful presence on Google search.
Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and more followed soon. While I heard people of my generation grumbling about the waste of time, I couldn’t stop being fascinated by making connections with strangers, especially people who do something similar to what I do – Bloggers and authors.
It gave me great joy when I shared other people’s work – when I found them fascinating. I never think twice about sharing people’s posts if I like them. This creates a win-win situation. This automatically encouraged people to share what I said on my blogs and other social media posts.
Think about old world marketing. People were trained, impressed upon and told to sell things whether they believed in them or not. While, of course, there are people who genuinely enjoy marketing stuff, I am not one of those.
In social media, the situation is very different. I work from my heart. When I like something, I post a comment and share. Over a period of time, it slowly dawned on me that I am creating a mega marketing base, effortlessly – or so it appears. That’s because I don’t do it as work, but as fun.
Next comes the question: How to get the attention of people to your posts?
Imagine the Home Page of a well-constructed website. It has every single element of the whole website. At least, that’s how it should be. You have just that one chance to impress your client.
This is amplified many times over on social media. It’s a challenge to get at least a small percentage of 1000s of friends to notice what I say; the attention span is extremely fleeting. I have only a few seconds to say it all.
1. My post has to catch one’s eye. A picture speaks a thousand words works here. You want to say something that needs to be heard, post a picture.
2. Avoid being repetitive. People will stop visiting your page. Variety is the spice of life.
3. I always go for vibrant hues when I create a poster. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ - check everywhere, the background is white. If you use a pastel poster, it has less chance of grabbing eyeballs. It will just fade away into the background, literally. The rainbow has seven brilliant colours with so many shades in between. Use them all.
4. I cram a lot of pictures and information on my poster. The poster should not grate for sure. But imagine someone scrolling through facebook at high speed. What will make them stop? A colourful picture. Okay, they have stopped for 5 seconds to scan my poster. I want them to see the cover of my book first so that it’s branded under their eyelids. My book name and my name go next. If another person has 5 more seconds, they can read a few words of a review or blurb. A buying link along with it is an absolute must. If someone likes the picture and information, they are not going to Amazon or Google search to look for a place to buy my books. I had better make it available right there.
5. Another person told me, “Sundari, it’s quite useless to promote on so many forums. I have done it. It doesn’t sell copies.” I beg to differ. I also believe in the saying, “Rome was not built in a day.” Patience does it. You keep posting your news, but never forget to stop and check out what others have to say. They can tell if you are commenting after reading or just saying something is great. Be genuine. We meet so many strangers and it’s as easy to leave a bad impression as leaving a good one. Sharing is caring, as that person’s post reaches an entirely different set of audience when you share it. People always remember.
Whenever I market myself, or market someone else on social media, my books sell. What had begun as a fun exercise, has become a huge marketing effort, done effortlessly.
Social Media is where you grow as you contribute - that is the only key.