Posted in marketing, social media

Getting Started with Twitter Marketing: Part 3

Ads on Twitter

Ad Types

Amerikaanse dollar Americk dolar AmerikanskThere are several different types of paid ads you can utilize on Twitter. Each one serves a specific purpose and should be chosen with a particular goal in mind.

  • Follow Ads: used to gain more followers. These ads show up in the “Who to Follow” suggestions. These are typically the most expensive type of ad, averaging $3 per follower added.
  • Awareness Ads: used to build brand awareness and get your content in front of more users. You will pay for every 1000 impressions rather than new followers. These tend to be more effective than Engagement ads.
  • Engagement Ads: used to get more likes, tweets, and retweets. You will pay for each action taken by a user. These can be helpful for getting a particular tweet noticed.
  • Clicks/Conversion Ads: used to get clicks on links that lead to conversations (email signup, purchase, etc.). You will pay for clicks, not impressions with these ads. These ads are optimized for clicks and have a specific/set bid.

Ad Campaign Tips

  • Target interests and keywords for the most effective results
  • DON’T use photos, links, or hashtags in Follow campaigns
  • DO use photos and links in Engagement campaigns – helps increase clicks
  • Trust the suggested bid from Twitter – they have detailed analytics the suggestions are based off
  • Follow ads should NOT be sales pitchy, but should instead describe your brand and tell people why they should follow

Twitter Analytics

Creating a Marketing PlanTwitter has in-depth analytics that can help you determine whether or not your everyday tweets and ad campaigns are effective. Studying the analytics can help you perfect what type of content works best for your followers and what types of ads will be most effective for your brand.

Using Analytics Effectively

Use Twitter Analytics to determine what content is performing the best and meeting your brand’s needs

  • Retweets show that followers value the content enough to share it
  • Likes show that they appreciate the content
  • Clicks show they are actively interested in the content and want to learn more

You can also use analytics to learn more about your followers and what they are interested in by reviewing the “Audience” section. This will tell you more about your organic audience.

  • Use demographic info of your organic followers to fine tune what types of new followers to target
  • Use information on your audience’s current interests to plan your content – check back often and adjust to any changes
  • Check out the Top Ten Interests of your followers and incorporate keywords and hashtags into your tweets

Marketing on Twitter starts with strong content curation and understanding your audience and their interests. Once you have a firm grasp on that, moving to paid advertising can help you improve brand awareness, grow your following, and increase engagement with customers.

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Posted in marketing, social media

Getting Started with Twitter Marketing: Part 2

Engaging on Twitter and Growing Your Following

Tweet BirdAs with other social media platforms, engaging with followers is key to growing your following and producing effective marketing campaigns. Hashtags and trending topics are a great starting point to engage with followers and potential followers, but you can’t stop there.

Twitter Chats

Twitter chats are organized via a specific hashtag. They are typically planned for a specific time, with a specific topic, and can be followed and joined by using the chat hashtag in a tweet. This is a great way to connect with followers and new users because it opens a dialogue and shows who and what your brand is about.

Ongoing Engagement

  • Follow conversations important to your brand or industry and join in regularly
  • Track “mentions” and comment or thank the person who engaged or shared your brand/name
  • Reply to retweets with a thank you or to continue the discussion
  • Follow industry authorities to learn from their examples and keep up on industry news
  • Comment often on tweets relevant to your brand or industry
  • Answer questions via mentions or tags in a timely manner – many users engage on Twitter to have questions answers or for customer service inquiries
  • Avoid Auto DMs as most Twitter users don’t like receiving them and often ignore them. Instead take the time to reach out to new followers with a quick thanks or welcome.

When to Engage

bb5f5-clock2balarm2bclockTwitter appears to be a nonstop, all-day conversation, but there are peak times to engage and tweet. Time plays an important role, and different times are better for different types of results. Results may be slightly different depending on your target audience, location, and industry, but in general many Twitter users tend to engage in the evening and late night/early morning.

  • Friday is the best day to post (9-10 a.m. specifically)
  • Everyday 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. is a good time to post
  • Sunday morning has the least engagement
  • Most clicks are seen in the 2-4 a.m. time frame (except Mondays)
  • After 5 p.m. are when the most retweets happen

Engagement is one of the most important factors in building a community and dedicated followers. Take the time to make followers feel like they are a part of the community.

Posted in marketing, social media

Getting Started with Twitter Marketing: Part 1

Curating Strong Content

Specific Content

DeathtoStock_CreativeSpace3 11.45.06 AMBefore promoting a tweet on Twitter, it’s important to have strong content that will be effective to promote. Every social media platform is different and specific types of content work well on each platform. For Twitter, great content should:

  • Be informative and useful
  • Comment on trending news
  • Be related to highly searched keywords
  • Retweet other user’s useful content
  • Lead or begin a discussion on trending topics

Pinned Tweets

DeathtoStock_Desk5On Twitter, you have the opportunity to highlight your content with a pinned tweet. It’s important to choose a pinned tweet that shows followers who your company is, what your brand is about, and what is going on in your company’s world. Pinned tweets are great for:

  • Upcoming events
  • Announcements
  • Summarizing your company’s brand or mission
  • A tweet with a strong call to action that will further your goals (i.e. email signup, purchases)

Images and Video

Film ReelEnhancing your content with images and video is very effective on Twitter. Tweets with images or video are, on average, retweeted 150% more often than tweets that are text or links. Another benefit or images and videos are that they take up more space in the feed and grab the viewers attention.

  • Ideal image/video size for Twitter is 1024×512 pixels

Hashtags and Trends

Hashtags are a great way to increase the visibility of your content on Twitter. Hashtags operate as search keywords for users trying to find specific topics. Twitter tracks trending hashtags. These are important to pay attention to and incorporate into your tweets when they are relevant. Using trending hashtags will help your content get noticed more.

Trends are important topics being discussed on Twitter. Trends are also tracked on an ongoing basis. When trending topics are relevant to your brand or mission, join the conversation and lead a discussion.

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Posted in marketing, social media

Creating a Marketing Plan: Part 3

To get started on creating your marketing plan, check out Part 1 and Part 2 first. For specific release day ideas…keep reading!

Facebook Release Party

TGH FB PartyCreate an “Event” on FB, then add details of where/when, who’s participating, prizes, games, etc.

Invite Friends and Readers and encourage them to invite more people.

  • “Who invited you?” giveaway can be a great way to encourage more invites.

Invite other authors

  • Share the burden and fans: Invite authors to participate or “takeover” during the party with their own games/giveaways/etc.
  • More games and prizes means more fun.
  • Other authors bring in their fans to learn about your books and your fans learn about other authors as well.

Games

  • “Caption this!” – Find a funny or strange picture and ask for captions. All captions earn an entry and you can either pick the best as the winner or pick at random.
  • Book themed i.e. Bad Date Stories for my Date Shark series, or favorite myth for my Twin Souls series
  • “Like My Page,” “Signup for my newsletter,” “Follow me on…” are great ways to build followers and are an easy giveaway entry form
  • Costume Party (post pic of costume to enter giveway)
  • Task oriented games, i.e. go to my website and find all the pink letters and unscramble the word.

Prizes

  • Ebooks, signed books, bookmarks, postcards, swag, name a character, etc. Be creative and personalize as much as you can.

Teasers

  • Guests may have been invited by someone else and don’t know about your book. Interest them with teasers/excerpts in the form of images and/or quotes.

Time Limit

  • 2-3 hours is common. If you want to include more authors and cover more time zones, a longer All Day event can work well.
  • May want to leave games open 24 hours for international guests

Twitter Chat/Party

Tweet BirdCreate your own Hashtag #DelShereesReleaseParty

  • This is how people follow the discussion

Play Question and Picture based games

  • Replies enter them in giveaway

Retweet chain

  • RT enters giveaway. Use this to have a lot of people retweet information about your book.

Time Limit

  • 1-2 hours, close giveaways at the end so it easier to track entries.

For more information on contacting media, come back next week.

WPR Header ImageTo listen to the full podcast on Creating A Marketing Plan That’s Actually Doable, check out the Write. Publish. Repeat. Podcast Part 1 and Part 2.

Posted in marketing, publishing, social media, writing, writing thoughts

Marketing…???

Do you ever feel like you’re running a marathon that has no ending? That’s marketing, and that’s why…I’ll just say it…Marketing is really, really hard!

There are some authors out there who love marketing and are really good at it. I’m not one of those. I was that kid who never raised their hand in class or spoke if they could help it. I write my thoughts more often than speak them. I like it that way. It’s familiar and comfortable and, let’s face it, a lot easier. For the past few years, I’ve had the excuse of being up to my eyeballs in dental hygiene school to get out of marketing. It honestly consumed 90% of my waking hours and tormented my sleep regularly right up to graduation day. I could hide behind excuses as an Indie author.
Not so anymore.
I’m thrilled to have two really fabulous publishers now, Clean Teen Publishing and Limitless Publishing. With that comes a heavier responsibility to do marketing. I’m not the only one with a stake in my books’ success anymore. In fact, it was part of one of my publishing contracts that I heavily market my books for the first year. So, no more safe and comfortable. No more relying on my books to sell themselves.
As soon as you start looking into how to market seriously, your To-Do list starts looking like this! –>
No joke.
There are blog tours and cover reveals to set up, an even if someone else is doing the setup for you, you still need to answer interview questions, write guest posts, stop by every tour stop and say thank you, and share links to all the posts on every social media outlet you can find.
Then there is daily promoting on Twitter or Facebook, but not too much promoting because nobody likes social media spammer. Along with social media comes interacting with readers and other authors, because if you’re not interacting with the people who might buy your books, or the authors who can help you promote, you’re wasting your time on social media.
Promoting takes money, as well, and even if you have money to put toward that, trying to figure out which ones are actually worth it is hard, really hard! There are no guarantees in marketing. It’s a lot of trial and error. A simple tactic may pay off big, while a lengthy and time consuming effort produces absolutely nothing.
One of the toughest parts of marketing is convincing readers your book is worth the risk. If you’re not an author everyone knows, it’s a risk. Even if the cover looks amazing and your blurb is stellar, it’s still a risk. How do you give readers confidence that your book is indeed as awesome as you’re telling them it is?
Reviews.
How do you get reviews? I heard a statistic that said only 1 in 10 people who buy your book will come back and review it on Amazon. That seems pretty good, but I’m not sure that was a scientific study. I haven’t seen that with my books. I’d have way more reviews if that were true!
So what do you have to do? Find readers willing to accept a free copy in exchange for a review. Sounds easy, right? FREE BOOKS!!!
Not exactly. Spamming the book world for reviews doesn’t work very well. You need to build relationships with book bloggers and other authors. The types of readers who review regularly and have good reviewer rankings already have tons of books to read. You have to convince them yours is worth the time.
So when I sit down to do marketing, where do I start? Well, after staring at my computer for a while…I ask someone who knows more about it than me. Other authors.
I’ve learned about the many Facebook groups for promoting books from Holly Kelly (author of Rising), about tours and cover reveals from Angela Fristoe (author of The Touched Trilogy) through her awesome blog Turning the Pages, about giving presentations to local schools from Gail Wagner (author of Donegal Sidhe), from great articles on Huffington Post from authors like Kelly Anne Blount (author of The Necoh Saga), and Rachel Thompson (author of Broken Pieces) who also founded Bad Redhead Media and is in general just awesome at marketing and interacting with her readers. Apryl Baker is the queen of Wattpad, and she helped me figure out what the heck I was doing there, as well.

Now that you’ve learned a little bit about marketing your book, you actually have to put it to use. Some people are planners, some people are not. I’d love to be a planner, I haven’t had time to come up with a plan just yet.

According to Guy Kawasaki, for four weeks after the release of a book, you’re allowed to go crazy sharing links on social media. After that, keep “buy links” to less than 10% of your posts on social media. The rest should be quality content and interacting with readers, which I know Rachel Thompson will agree with. So, you have four weeks to really pimp out your book. Ready…go!

Jump in with both feet. Marketing should really start months before your book ever hits bookstores or Amazon (some say 9 months), but better late than never right?

Here’s what I have been doing (what’s worked and what hasn’t):

 

I share links and fun promo pics on Facebook when I have five minutes to sit down. Results still pending 🙂

I’m not really sure what I’m doing on Twitter. I post links about my books, but more often, I post links about other people’s books and and interviews and reviews on my blog. Somehow I ended up with 2K followers and I’m trying to keep them interested.

I scout out blogs and websites who are willing to share news about my book releases. GoodKindles shares free and non-free titles. I found this GallyCat article that shared a bunch of sites to promote on (some paid, some free), and I’ve been testing a few out. I’ll share which worked and which didn’t as soon as I figure it out!

Free Booksy has so far gotten the best results when posting about a free book and having readers come back to buy the rest of the series. One promo with them several months ago is still showing results.

I’ve done several Goodreads Giveaways, but I can’t say I’ve noticed a significant change in sales by doing them. I’ve gotten a few reviews from these, but not many, even though Goodreads winners are encouraged to write a review.

I tested out the KDP Select program with two of my titles. I know some authors say they have had phenomenal results through this program, but I haven’t seen it. I get only a few borrows per month and the free book promotions don’t seem to drive further sales.

I’ve done several blog tours with various companies, and so far the only one that has produced noticeable increases in my sales has been with Turning The Page YA Blog Tours. I’ll continue to do blog tours with Angela, but I’m on the fence about trying anyone else.

Reviews are always a great way to promote. I’m all for using big and small blogs for reviews. I don’t think ignoring little blogs and only going after big bloggers is a good idea, because many of the smaller bloggers will not only review faster, if they like your book, they’ll continue to share your book in the long term.

Promote locally. Gail Wagner, Amanda Strong, and I have teamed up and spent some time giving presentations to the local schools. We’ve had a blast doing it, but we’ve also sold books! The teachers, librarians, and students want to read the books we tell them about, and it gets them excited about reading and writing, which is an even bigger bonus!

Wattpad. There is good and bad that comes with Wattpad. You’ll get nasty comments from teen readers with no manners, but you’ll also find some of your most loyal fans there who will tell everyone they know (literally) about your books. One way Wattpad has been a big help to me, aside from being a great place to connect with readers personally, is gaining reviews. Even when readers read your book for free on Wattpad, they still love having an “official copy” to keep and show off to their friends. When I finish posting a book (either permanent or temporary) I’ll offer to send ebooks to the first ten readers who write a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Also, I have several perma-free books posted on Wattpad, and if the readers want to continue the series, I’m happy to send them a free copy AFTER they write a review for the previous book. It’s really helped me boost my review numbers.

Connecting with other writers is probably one of the most beneficial things an author can do. We all know how hard it is to get our names out there and most are willing to help each other spread the word. Share their links and pins and posts, and they’ll share yours.

So…the point?

Marketing sucks. It’s hard, and half the time you have no idea if what you’re doing is working until much later, but it’s a necessary part of being an author. Don’t hide behind not knowing how or being afraid to mess up. A lot of what we try probably has little to no effect, but when we do find something that works, it’s like being handed one of these…

I’m not sure what these are, but they look yummy and fun to eat 🙂

So, hang in there, keep marketing even if you feel like you haven’t got a clue. Most of us feel the exact same way. Eventually, you’ll find what works for you and your brand will start to take shape. What has worked or not worked for you? Feel free to share in the comments!