Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Right Way for Authors to Use Social Media

I'm hearing all kinds of messages concerning how authors should use social media. Some say very dogmatically that all authors should try to build a platform with social media to ultimately sell their books. If you start a blog and start Tweeting, but don't see any results, they'll chide you that you're not posting enough comments. "You need to Tweet every 30 minutes and post something on your blog 7x per day," they'll say.

Yet, saner voices are saying what many of us intuitively felt all along - that social media shouldn't be about me sending out lots of messages and trying to sell my stuff. Instead, it should be more...well... SOCIAL. Social implies listening as well as talking, commenting on other people's comments rather than just spouting off my thoughts. My wife, Cherie, found these wonderful tips on social media from Chris Brogan, a true thought leader in social media. You'll note that his tips are diametrically opposed to much of the "here's how to sell your product with social media" hype.

19 Presence Management Chores You COULD Do Every Day

June 29, 2009

If you’re looking to establish your online presence, and build relationships, it’s not the kind of project where you show up, build your profiles, friend a few people, and call it good. It’s a lot like tending the farm. Here are seven particular “chores” you could do every day that should prove beneficial to your online interests.


1. Find seven things worth retweeting in your general feed and share.
2. Reply to at least five things with full responses (not just “thanks”).
3. Point out a few people that you admire. It shows your mindset, too.
4. Follow back at least 10 folks. (I use an automated tool, but this is a personal preference. If you want such, I use SocialToo.)
5. 10 minutes of just polite two-way chit chat goes far.


6. Check in on birthdays on the home page. (Want a secret? Send the birthday wish via Twitter or email. Feels even more deliberate.)
7. Respond to any comments on your wall.
8. Post a status message daily, something engaging or interesting.
9. Comment on at least seven people’s status messages or updates.
10. Share at least 3 interesting updates that you find.
11. If you belong to groups or fan pages, leave a new comment or two.


11. Accept any invitations that make sense for you to accept.
12. Enter any recent business cards to invite them to LinkedIn (if you’re growing your network).
13. Drop into Q&A and see if you can volunteer 2-3 answers.
14. Provide 1 recommendation every few days for people you can honestly and fully recommend.
15. Add any relevant slide decks to the Slideshare app there, or books to the Amazon bookshelf.


16. Visit your blog’s comments section and comment back on at least 5 replies.
17. If you have a few extra minutes, click through to the blogs of the commenters, and read a post or two and comment back.
18. While on those sites, use a tool like StumbleUpon and promote their good work.
19. Write the occasional post promoting the good work of a blog in your community.

It’s Not Easy

Maintaining your online presence takes time. If you look at all I’ve listed above, that’s easily more than an hour of work. But it depends what the value of that presence is to you, if you’re doing this as an individual, or to your organization, if you’re doing this on behalf of a brand or product.

We’ve traded dollars for time, in lots of these equations, as we see the return on our advertising spend diminish. It’s your choice whether you want to maintain an active online presence, or if you want to get away with a bit less.

This is the end of Chris' comments. His blog is a great example of what he's preaching above. You can find his blog at:

No comments:

Post a Comment