Personal Branding: The Social Media Revolution

Personal branding as an author is a tough thing to comprehend, so I’m making it easy and explaining it all here. In the first week, I talked about what it was and why personal branding was important. Last week, we talked about blogging, a topic I could have talked about all day. This week is all about the social media revolution.

I’m not sure if the video is embedding right. It’s not showing up for me. Here’s the link to the video on the social revolution if it doesn’t show. It’ll open up a new window.

Marketing with Social Media

I think people get the wrong idea about social media as a marketing tool. It’s a very effective, when it’s done right and balanced with other things. You need to keep it social. THis doesn’t mean sharing what you had for lunch, but giving little insights into your life make your followers feel like they’re close to you.

Twitter and Facebook

These two networks are the largest in the world right now. As the video said above, they’re also banned in China. But that’s a whole other topic that we’re not going into here. If you’re going to do any social media, it should be one or both of these.

I like Twitter, because it’s easy. Imagine a cocktail party, millions of people talking and the conversation ebbs and flows. People who don’t even know each other step into conversations and put in their opinion. That’s Twitter. People will tell you that you have to promo promo promo to get your name out there. I don’t believe that’s true. People promo every day on Twitter. But those that balance it with the social aspect of it will be more successful.

WHy is that? Because people want to be entertained and follow interesting people. And before you say that you’re too boring (I know a lot of you are probably saying that) you never know what’s going to interest other people. I’ve followed a few people because they are knitters, or writers, or designers, or hockey players. If they talk about something I’m interested in, then I’ll follow them. Now, my numbers fluctuate because I’m always following or unfollowing people. If I don’t find someone interesting, I’m going to unfollow them. That’s just how it’s going to be. And if someone does, don’t guilt them because they unfollowed you.

Anyway, that turned into more of a rant than anything. Let’s talk about Facebook.

This beast has a much farther reach than Facebook, but the culture is different there. If Twitter is a cocktail party, then Facebook is a bit like a gallery showing. You post your links, your pictures, and you can talk with the people who stop by and leave a comment. I’m not a fan of Facebook, but I do recognize that it’s important and a lot of people DO like Facebook. So I have one. In fact, Novelists at Work has a page there. I haven’t done much to promote it, because I barely update it. This is an example of an unsuccessful medium for me, because I dislike Facebook.

You can’t fake it

People will know if you hate the social media platform you’re using. They can smell it and they will gravitate away from you. People use social media to be social. SOme do it to keep up with friends. Some do it because it’s fun. Some do it to meet like-minded people.

There are hundreds of social media platforms out there, each with the audience that enjoys it.

Tumblr lets you share cool pictures, links, or write a small blog post. I use mine for Harry Potter and Dr. Who stuff, really. Or I did. It’s really kind of tapered off as I consolidated my social media work.

Instagram is a photo sharing service for mobile users. People can like or comment on your photos. It’s a fun tool to play with. What I like about it is that I can share that photo I post there on Twitter, Facebook, or I can email it, or I can Tumbl it.

I just started using StumbleUpon, so I couldn’t tell you how well that works. It’s basically just a link sharing service. You jump from page to page as you want. Not sure of the social aspect, yet.

There are many more, but to count them all here would make for a really long post.

My point here is to find something you enjoy. If you’re into photography, Flickr might be the place for you. I like Ravelry, because it’s a site for knitters and crocheters. But I do that more for me than for books or this site, because that’s not what those people are interested in.

But the trick is… There are also a LOT of writers on Ravelry, which is my main target audience for this site. I have a website in my profile, and they can click-through if they want. And they have. I’ve seen the referrals for the site, and I’ve gotten a few from there. I’m social there, so I get people who are interested in what I have to say. I’ve even helped a couple of them by editing their patterns for grammar or spelling mistakes.

The Revolution is about you

Gone are the days in which the writer holes up in the house. Social media is part of our lives. People want to see our smiling faces on our avatars. I can’t tell you how loud I squealed the first time a favorite author replied to my tweet. Actually I still squeal every time, even though now, I’m talking regularly with her and I’ve even gone to dinner with her. Seriously. Yeah, I still pinch myself and fangirl just a little.

What kinds of social media do you do? How do you feel about the social media revolution? Is it scary? Is it fun? Leave a comment and tell me all about it! I love to hear from you!

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