Wednesday, October 9, 2013

#WWoW!: How to Use Social Media To Build Your Brand Without Making Yourself a Nuisance #MyWANA

Hello fellow authors! Welcome to Tammy's Tidbits here at Writer's Words of Wisdom. Each week I try to share the information I've learned along my journey to become published. It's been two years since my first erotic romance was published. Now with three pen names, five books published, and the launch of my own publishing house I can honestly say...whew! What a wild ride! 

Some may say I must have found the secret to succeed in this author eat author world, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I'm still learning the ropes and feeling my way around to find the best methods to connect with fellow authors, readers, publishers and everyone else in between.  I've gone from having zero social media accounts to having six different blogs, two separate websites, five Twitter accounts, multiple Facebook accounts and pages,LinkedIn, Tumbler, StumbledUpon, Pinterest, two Goodreads author accounts, and all the email accounts to go along with the pen names and my publishing house. 

Can it get anymore complicated?  Yep, but let's Not. Go. There.  LOL!

Recently I looked back through all of my Facebook and Twitter feeds and noticed way too many promotions. Hashtags seemed to be sprouting out of everywhere. It was just too much. Sort of like this video. 

While this skit made me laugh, it also made me reevaluate my own use of those things. I'm involved in a few different author support groups and the use of hashtags is encouraged by all of them.  Trust me, you'll know those of us in those groups by the sheer number of tags in our posts. 

What does it do? Ultimately instead of helping get the post noticed by new connections, it ends up only being used by those in the same group. Sure it's nice to have so many folks retweeting all of your posts to their followers, but eventually the venues get saturated with the same tweets over and over again. Readers just skim through and ignore these tag loaded entries.  

Social media is supposed to be SOCIAL. You're supposed to interact and connect with people who genuinely want to know about you and your work. They want to know you're a real person even if you do have multiple pen names. They want to know you have something in common with THEM. 

Kristen Lamb's book Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World shows you how to be social and make connections with people in and out of the publishing world. She shows how you in turn can be someone who connects others to each other and thereby broadening your influence and building up your brand...YOU. 

You'll learn what NOT to do too such as 
  • Never immediately send someone a private or direct message thanking them for the connection and asking them to "like" your pages or buy your book. 
  • Never expect someone to "like" your pages simply because you just liked theirs.
  • Never expect an automatic follow back 
  • Never post your own book promotion on another author's Facebook Page or Wall without their permission.
  • Never set up automatic tweets or status updates throughout the day and think that will fool others into thinking you're actually online.
Those are just a few of my pet peeves when dealing with other authors and their street teams. That sort of behavior doesn't build up your brand, but makes you and your brand #1 on the "unfriend, unfollow and block" list.

I can hear you all now. "But authors are supposed to support each other. What's wrong with asking them to help out?"

It's ANNOYING. When you don't even bother to take the time to socialize with people before you hit them with the commercials to buy your new book, you really tick them off. It appears to them, all you want is a book sale.  

If you really want these folks to help promote you, then you have to share a bit about yourself. Comment on their posts and get personable. This makes people WANT to check you and your work out. If they like it, they'll promote you all over the place using "word of mouth" advertising at it's best.  If you choose to be the annoying infomercial all the time, folks will be turned off and tune you out. They'll also tell others about your rude behavior. "Word of mouth" at it's worst—for you and your brand that is.

I'm going to try to revamp all of my social media sites to be less promo and more interaction. Why don't you give it a try too? Pick up Kristen's book and see if you've been doing more on the "don't" list than on the "do."  Use her advice, and connect with folks all around the world. You'll be surprised at how your book sales will just fall into place. Mine are starting to pick up and it's only been a week since I started making changes. 

Go on, give it a try. You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain here. 


Learn More About Tammy

Tammy Dennings Maggy is a best selling, multi-published poet and erotic romance author with Siren and Sassy Vixen Publishing. Her writing explores many facets of romance from ultimate betrayal to finding your soul mate. Her poetry serves as a companion to her novels and has inspired entire series all on their own. Tammy and her alter egos Lia Michaels and Stephanie Ryan make up the core authors at Sassy Vixen Publishing and together they've created the shared world series Temptations Resort. Look for the first books in that series to come out later this year.

Now happily married to her own Muse and soul mate, she continues to live her dream and act as secretary to all her characters demanding to have their stories told.

Check out:

Tammy's Website
Tammy's Blog
Tammy's Books on BookstrandAmazonBarnes and NobleSmashwords,  and iTunes 
Sassy Vixen Publishing
Friend Tammy on Facebook
Like Tammy's Facebook Author Page
Friend Tammy on Goodreads
Friend Tammy on Pinterest
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Find Tammy's Videos on Youtube

If you'd like to share your experiences in the publishing world, please contact us about setting up a guest appearance. We'd love to hear from you!