Sunday, March 25, 2012

Does Social Media Help Your Sales?

I was thinking about this the other day and am up in the air about it. I think it does help to at least get the word out, but I mean there are so many tweets and posts out there that it is difficult to find your target audience—or for them to find you. I started a twitter account last July 4th and it has steamrolled much faster than I would have imagined. I am pushing for 5k followers by this July (just a minor goal of mine). I am on Facebook and Goodreads and even joined Pinterest, which I am not quite sure about yet.

Goodreads I very much enjoy because it is about readers sharing info, reviews, opinions, etc on…well: books! Kind of cool. I did a giveaway there for my first novel and gave two books away, and it was a smashing success I believe. I would like to give more kindle versions away of my short stories, but Goodreads only allows hard copies to be given away. *sad face*

So, I joined these sites to connect with people of like mind, to share back and forth our products, services and to share stories. It is working for the most part…except for the sales, which I assume will come over time.

I have met some amazing people on social media and enjoy the company, too. With a full time job and writing as a second job, social media kind of falls by the wayside. I would love to personally interact with people one on one more than I do, but there are just not enough hours in the day, so I hope no one is offended. I see this happen especially when followers grow so quickly.

I think that the blog is one superb tool for that, where I can interact with people as they respond to posts. Twitter feed is especially tough, because the tweets go by so fast! I try to respond personally at least a few times a day when my 'tweeps' talk to me. The new interface seems easier to manage as well.

I also find myself on Facebook less and less. I liken the site to MTV. When MTV came out, they played music videos…now it is all about reality TV shows and whatnot and they have gotten away from playing music. Facebook was like this in that it was a social media site for people to share events and fun things…now it is more of a game site with all of the apps and games with occasional chatting. These are just my opinions, mind you, from my own perspective. I still maintain a presence, but find myself there maybe once a day, to wish people happy birthday and to share a site or article that I find.

Does anyone have any different opinions about social media? Do you feel that promoting your material works? Have you met any people with which you have connected? I’d love to hear everyone’s opinions, so have at it!

See you in Wothlondia! Cheers!

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  1. I'm with you on wanting to spend more time on social media, but not being able to. I do very little Facebooking these days, although I know it's very popular. I prefer Twitter and blogging. I have a Pinterest site too but am not entirely sure what to do with it either! Is any of it helping sales? Hmm. I launch my non-fiction book soon so time will tell! But a self-published author has to be out there on these platforms to make contacts and to be seen. I think it's a matter of building up a presence slowly.

  2. When twittering I found out using hash marks with a keyword helps direct your tweet to a specific trend. I have a difficult time self promoting myself, many times I forget to do that when I'm in twitter or Facebook.

  3. Step and Darlene, thank you both for stopping by to comment and share your thoughts with us here.

    Step, I obviously echo your social media preferences as stated in my post. Please let me know how you make out with it and keep me informed; I'd love to know the results!

    Darlene, hashtags are a powerful twitter tool and the more you get to know them, the more people will find you. Not sure if they matter as much for Facebook at all unless you have the two accounts linked.

    Thanks for stopping and please do so again in the near future! Cheers!

  4. I agree, trying to get your work out on social networks is like a part time job where the hours are whenever you have a free moment. If nothing else though, searching out authors on twitter, goodreads, facebook, ect has opened a door to a whole library of books that I probably never would have heard about if I had just stuck with going to my local bookstore to find something new to read. Its a two-edged sword.

  5. It certainly is! I was just speaking to my wife last evening about something relevant and she asked me 'why don't you seek out an agent'? I really think that with social media the way it is, readers are certainly the beneficiaries of some really good works on the cheap. Now granted, there is probably a lot of garbage out there too, (not my words, but a friend's who reads a good deal of indie horror)but if you find work you like, it is a win-win. Thanks for the comment, James! Cheers!

  6. Anyone in sales today needs to understand social media and how to use it. It stands to reason that sales, the most social of business activities, would make use of social media. Platforms for online collaboration are rapidly changing the way we work, offering new ways to engage with customers, colleagues, and industry. Sales reps now have the ability to participate in global conversations about their products, their field, and their expertise. But some companies are so worried about potential mistakes or loss of control that they don't allow participation. That's a bad idea.

    Choosing not to be present in social networks puts a company and salespeople at a competitive disadvantage. Instead, acknowledge the risks and mitigate them. Maybe a social media policy and procedures.

  7. This is such a tough call and I grapple with it daily - how many social platforms do we go on? As for FB - I find I'm not on it the way I used to be on it - now I'm on it for the groups and areas to announce and discuss my books. Just like for Twitter, Google+ and some others. I wish I had an answer - my goal is 5K twitter followers too, getting there, but is it what we NEED? Not sure.

  8. I have just recently started branching out on Twitter, trying to find people who share similar interests and what not. Although I am slowly, very slowly, going about it, I have found that the conversational side is easier when people are saying more that "buy my stuff" on my feed.

    I am in no way affiliated with this person but I recently purchased a Twitter for Authors guide by Jonathan Gunson, and I have found it to be very helpful. Like I said I haven't followed his guide exactly yet, but the advice and whatnot appears to be solid. (Sorry if I am not supposed to link things here.)

    I think the key, which the guide also suggests, is connecting with people, having things to say beyond, "Hey I wrote a book, you should buy it," and offering people interesting and entertaining information. Personally, if I follow someone on Twitter, and over half of what they say is, "Check out my book," I unfollow. They aren't anything more than a commercial in my Twitter feed. Finding people who would be genuinely interested in my book(s), conversing with them, sharing things that they find interesting, funny, entertaining, and valuable seems to be the next step in actually turning social media into viable marketing which produces real sales. There are far too many people on these things now screaming about their stuff. In order to stand out you need to connect with people beyond your work, be someone of interest to them, then and only then will the sales come. At least in my opinion.