Social Media Frenzy: Why Time Consuming Facebook, Twitter & Blogging Strategies May NOT Work for Your Business - Consider These Alternative Social Networking Initiatives
ATLANTA - How can businesses and individuals harness the power
of social media without expending excessive time and effort?
Author Steve Miller contends that in many, if not most cases,
the time consuming strategy of trying to build a social media
following will waste much time and result in few sales. He
supports this position with research and practical examples.
For more information, visit www.wisdomcreekpress.com .
"Steve Miller's concepts on the use of social media were intriguing. And the further I read the more thought provoking the book became..... His concepts on blogs, forums, and social media sites really cut to the chase on where time consuming efforts should be placed. Would I recommend this book? You bet. He does give a different perspective on the idea of a following and how it needs to relate to one's own goals. And I will be the first to admit that an Internet business owner (an Internet Marketer) may have different goals in mind from that of an author who only wants to sell books. And as an author of two books, which are part of my Internet businesses, I have now taken a different mindset toward some of my future plans for using blogs, forums and social media sites. And I thank Steve for this." (Dave Gieber, aerospace engineer and author of Vending Business Secrets)
"What a refreshing view of the social media publicity game. No...blogs, twitter and Facebook are not the perfect fit for every author. Sometimes other avenues of publicity - reviews, comments on other's blogs and giveaways can be more beneficial. This great book provides a simple look at what works for some and what does not work for others and why! Packed with insightful tips from his own attempts and tons of current references." (Sam Hendricks, author of Fantasy Football Guidebook)
"As someone who has found it hard keeping up with the recommended 2 or more blog post per week, this book was very insightful. The case studies discussed did a great job to show how marketing is really specific to the niche your product fits within." (Saundra Smith, M.D., author)
"The author's goal, he states on the back cover matter, is to help me narrow down which social media alternatives might work best for my products. My product is writing and reading-related material, so I'm eager to jump in and see how Steve can help me.... But what about that mythical 1000 - fan number on Facebook? Miller rightly asks: who are these people and what do you do with them? Why are you connecting and does it make a different to either of you or your sales? How many of these people are going to buy your book?.... To become highly trafficked (several thousands of visits a day) one normally must spend a lot of time on a blog; it seems that those who are legitimate experts in their field, friendly, consistent, and have years to devote to its growth do best....
Miller presents evidence for gathering good book reviews, even after the books are published. He offers readers blank note space for gathering our thoughts and writing down strategies of our own; he advises authors to go hang out in author forums and other online [venues] and asks for review and interview and guest exchanges, and to listen to what's happening in the industry. (Lisa Lickel, Wisconsin, award-winning author, editor in chief of Creative Wisconsin, the literary magazine of Wisconsin Writers Association, editor of OtherSheep Magazine, the sci-fi/fantasy/monster/outside-the-box stories of Written World Communications.)
"In Social Media Frenzy, Steve Miller explains why there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question and why the success of a social media campaign depends on the nature of your business and your specific marketing goals. Miller presents a set of questions every businessperson should ask herself when deciding how to use social media - such as "Are your prospective customers actually online?" and "Are you part of an industry that doesn't necessarily need to connect with the public?" Miller provides case studies and practical tips that will challenge you to look beyond the standard social media marketing advice and find unique methods of using social media that are ideally suited to your circumstances." (Joy Butler, attorney and author)
"It is a solid book, full of well-reasoned, sound - and sometimes counter-intuitive - advice. Some examples: he testifies to the power of user reviews on websites like Amazon. Your best bet to acquiring new customers is to engage your existing customers. Create an online press page with reviews of your product. Go where people already gather, rather than gather a crowd around yourself (he explains what he means). And lots more. This is an excellent book. His advice is particularly pertinent to authors, which is one reason I found it so valuable. But marketers of almost any product will certainly find much they can use." (Martin Roth, author)
Do you perpetually feel short of time? Does
the thought of launching Twitter and Facebook campaigns along
with maintaining a blog overwhelm you? Feel left out and uncool
because you're not at the forefront of social media marketing?
J. Steve Miller loves to write and sell his books. As founder and president of Legacy Educational Resources, he publishes resources that are used by educators in every state and over 30 countries. His book on contemporary church music was used as a text and translated into Dutch, German, Romanian, Spanish and Russian. His book on personal finance has won multiple awards. Steve has spoken from Atlanta to Moscow. Find him at www.jstevemiller.com or www.enjoyyourwriting.com.
WCP: Why this book?
JSM: My wife (Cherie) and I want to spend our fourth quarter of life writing and publishing, so we've put a lot of time and research into not only developing our craft, but understanding the business side of writing. With very limited time, we set out to narrow down, out of the thousands of ways to market books, which would be the most effective for our books, considering our own unique passions and strengths.
WCP: There's lots of advice out there for marketing. What are you offering that's unique?
JSM: The standard social media advice is to blog several times a week, tweet several times a day, interact daily on Facebook so that you build a following who will eventually purchase your products and tell everyone else (go viral). Publishers and literary agents go so far as to tell first time authors to come back when they have 1000 Facebook followers.
The problem is, I don't see any evidence - none at all - that this strategy is more effective for the average business than other publicity strategies. Sure, I see some people in some industries with a particular set of strengths making it big with large blog followings, but can everyone in every industry accomplish this? I don't think so, and list about 12 situations where people will likely not be able to gather a large following and sell lots of products to and through that following.
WCP: Give me an example.
JSM: I know a local fast food restaurant manager who does more business than any other restaurant in the large chain. That's quite an achievement! The manager's secret? He spends considerable time out in the community connecting with factories and businesses and schools that may want to purchase his catering services. Now let's imagine that he has two hours a day to devote to his marketing. Can I legitimately tell him that he should spend that two hours blogging and tweeting rather than building relationships for catering? Because of limited time and resources, we can't do everything. I think this manager has chosen well and I'd hesitate from distracting him from a strategy that's proven so lucrative. I certainly could offer no proof that diving into social media would bring him more business than his face-to-face relationship building in the community.
WCP: So you're down on Blogging and Twitter and Facebook?
JSM: Not at all! I have three blogs, two Twitter accounts, and interact on Facebook. But I use them casually rather than feverishly. When I have something important to say, I'll put up a blog post. If I'm obsessing on writing my next book, I may not post for months, but I don't feel any pressure to post because I'm not trying to build and maintain a social media following. I use Facebook to keep up with real friends that I actually care about - and I hope they care about me! If I tried to sell them stuff, some would question the sincerity of my friendship. A study found that one of the main reasons people unfriend people on Facebook is that they tried to sell them something.
WCP: So how do you use social media for marketing?
I suggest that this will differ from
person to person and product to product. Building a following
will work for some, but not others. I use four principles that
I've gleaned from studies on social media and marketing. (I list
ten key studies in the book.) Here are my principles:
#1 - Let others praise you,
rather than praise yourself.
There's much evidence that both customer reviews and expert
reviews are effective for sales. In the book I describe how I
use social networking to get reviews through forums, listservs,
and manage your reviews on points of sale such as Amazon.
#2 - Go where people already gather, rather than
gather a crowd around yourself. For my personal finance
book, I contacted the top 200 personal finance blogs, offering
free copies for review and giveaway. I tripled my sales in a way
that was both cost and time effective. I detail how I went about
this in the book.
#3 - Address the interested, rather than interrupt
the disinterested. Trying to sell to a diverse Facebook
following means that we annoy people who aren't interested in
our products. By setting Google Alerts for phrases like "college
personal finance," I can find conversations where people are
asking questions in my area of expertise. By providing expert
advice to journalists through HARO (Help
a Reporter Out),
I again reach people who are already searching for my
#4 - Consider your strengths and passions, rather than assuming you can replicate any marketing scheme. I love writing and helping people, so that my my marketing forte includes answering people's questions and writing guest posts on popular blogs. People who hate writing and don't have strong social skills might flounder with such initiatives.
WCP: What other books do you offer for similar audiences?
JSM: While Social Media Frenzy targets businesses in general, Cherie and I particularly love helping fellow authors with their writing and marketing. Here are some of our books that authors can benefit from:
WCP: Thanks Steve!
JSM: Always glad to chat
about my books!
July 13, 2012, guest post at Write Fiction Now.
May 25, 2012, Mary Weaver Clarke is scheduled to post a Steve Miller interview.
May 4, The Creative Penn scheduled this week for my guest post.
April, 2012, Reflections in Hindsight book review.