Social Media Marketing

Flicking around the web, I’ve come across two articles from Barnsley-based Social Media Agency, Bigfoot Digital explaining how a business (or indeed, a writer) can promote and market their products and blog content.

The first is looking at how you can make sure any Social Media accounts you have or want to open will have positive impact in increasing traffic to your blog and, for writers, gaining new fans. The article also includes tips on the sort of things you should be posting to your Social Media streams. Have at the check list by going to A Checklist for Every New Social Media Account You Open.

The second is looking at 4 ways you can create links to your content from promotion on various Social Media websites to the naturally made links when people find and like your stuff! Check it out by visiting 4 Types of Links: Why You Need Them and How To Get Them on the agency’s website.

I hope these links are helpful to people.

Some Other Social Media Sites

I can only comment about Google+, Tumblr, YouTube and LinkedIn as they are the only ones I use. I might get more views if I used FaceBook and Twitter granted but I have personal reasons for not using those.
Google+ can be somewhat quiet but I find that if I share my blog posts with the right circles and put the occasional hash tag to make sure it appears in searches, I can get quite a few views from it.
I agree that Tumblr tends to be very visual and it is why I will always try to put a picture on a post if possible. I find though that tagging posts with as many appropriate tags as I can really helps posts to be found and to encourage people to read them. Find the right fandom on Tumblr and it will generate a view or two every day.
I have a YouTube (well, I have to have one since I have a Google+ account!) and admittedly, I do not post many videos on there. Mostly because I just don’t have the skills necessary to make and edit them. I did do a couple of vlogs for Camp NaNoWriMo a few years ago but I just was not disciplined enough to continue with it. Maybe I should try to do more…
Lastly but by no means least is LinkedIn. Since I have so few connections on there, maybe it’s no wonder it generates the least amount of views possible. I keep posting my posts there to try and keep it alive in the hopes that it will help me towards getting a job. Could be wishful thinking. I have noticed however that LinkedIn does report that at least one of my connections is looking and reading my posts so there could be something happening there that I am not aware of.

Legends of Windemere

Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram Icons Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram Icons

There are many other social media sites.  I went into detail with the ones I use the most often.  Several I simply connect to my blog and leave it at that.  Here are a few more that you might want to play around with.

Pinterest

I do use Pinterest a lot more than the rest of this list, but I’ve never really done more than the basics.  It’s great for visual artists.  Authors can play around with it, but it’s really about the pictures.  You can ‘Pin’ books directly from their Amazon page, which makes the ‘Pin’ a doorway to the page.  It can help other authors to ‘Pin’ their books and make an album for eBooks.  Take some time to wander Pinterest and ‘Repin’ things that you like and build up a few boards.  The truth is that you can utilize this social media site…

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Blogging: Headquarters of the Indie Author

Excellent advice here for bloggers of all kinds.

Legends of Windemere

Yahoo Image Search Meme Yahoo Image Search Meme

I only know about WordPress, so people from other mediums can share their thoughts in the comments.

This is the heavy hitter of Social Media Marketing because it is your realm.  Facebook always has that sense of someone else being in charge.  Twitter is limited to 140 characters, which forces some ridiculous shorthand.  Tumblr, Pinterest, Linked In, Google +, and all of their ilk are rather limited in getting your word out when they’re compared to blogging.  It is here that you speak of your books, dreams, life, thoughts, and whatever you feel like chatting about.  When people visit or comment, it is them coming to your little corner of the Internet.

Aside from being in ultimate control of content and delivery here, there are two other big boons.  One is that you can connect to other authors an interact through blogging.  It’s easier than Twitter…

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Social Media for Writers

I’ve found this excellent web page to help writers to make the most of social media networks to promote themselves and their work, looking at each of the big websites and how writers can use them to their advantage. You can have a read of it here: http://www.publishingcrawl.com/2014/01/22/making-the-most-of-social-networks-as-a-writer/

It doesn’t include ALL the  different social media websites, like Google+, in the main article but have a look in the comments where  Google+ is discussed and all the websites are compared.

Happy New Year! Goals instead of Resolutions Anyone?

Big Ben’s bongs say goodbye to 2013 (Picture: AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL)

Big Ben’s bongs say goodbye to 2013 (Picture: AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL)

I hope the year has been kind to you already, wherever you are in the world.

Lots of people make New Years Resolutions at this time of year and you often find, on UK newspaper websites anyway, articles on fitness regimes or “proceed with caution” stories about resolutions gone bad. I never make resolutions as I struggle dreadfully to keep them so why bother make them?It might sound negative or defeatist but that’s just my attitude. Maybe I could learn something from Virgin boss, Richard BransonWhere are you going in 2014?

This year has been the first year I have  found myself without any deadlines, term/semester start dates or anything. It feels weird and, in that respect, I guess I should make up my own goals, rather than resolutions, and try to find a way to make them rigid so I have to stick to them. For me, the goals will have to be centred around the novella that was my dissertation for university and possibly even this blog. They are the only things that I really have any control over.

I can’t control the job market or job creation. Job hunting is the only other thing I have available to me to do that has to be done. It is such a soul-destroying trudge I find that I will need something else to focus on that will keep me from stressing and going insane.

So what are some possible goals for me to focus on?

1) Try to post on this blog at least once a week. Even if it’s just a little something that will keep this blog alive and kicking, it will at least be something for me to do that will rebuild my soul a little. It could also help me find a job by doing articles and reviews.

2) Rewrite, edit and try to find a reliable beta reader to get my novella turned around into something that is of novel length and, hopefully, publishable. The deadline I have tried to impose on myself to force me to work on it is September of this year, 2014. In September, I hopefully will be working on my summary, checking the up to date submission policies of literary agents and agencies to start sending it off.

3) Keep up to date and listen to the Welcome to Night Vale podcast when the new episode is released. Since I have subscribed to it on my iTunes, that should be a case of opening iTunes and letting it download the latest episodes instead of having to catch up and listen to half a dozen episodes all at once to keep up.

4) Keep in touch with friends. I have done a dreadful job so far trying to keep in contact with friends from high school and sixth form so I should at least attempt to keep up with friends from university and other places. Not too easy since I do not like FaceBook (due to stuff from sixth form) and everyone seems to be on there and no one seems to like e-mailing or using sites like Google+.

5.i) This and the next one are related, that’s why I am doing them in two parts. Find ways to network with people and keep in contact with them. This could easily help me find the elusive job that has been out of my reach so far.

5.ii) Keep an ear open and an eye out for any opportunities that arise at the National Trust to get wider and more varied experience. In particular, if a writing opportunity comes up, enquire and, if offered, grab it with both hands.

Not sure about any others but hopefully, these will help me keep sane and keep busy whilst trying to find a job. Well, that’s the theory anyway should I keep to them.

Related articles

Are bloggers the new journalists?

I was going to post about this after I had finished reading Sirens by Tom Reynolds (leading off from my last review A Paramedic’s Diary) but something he said about bloggers in relation to the London 7/7 attacks got me thinking and I could not wait until I had finished the book and posted the review to create a new post to talk about this. Sorry, I do ramble a bit in this post.

What he said was : “Once more the blogsphere provided up-to-date news as well as reporting on what the mainstream media was saying” (Reynolds, T. (2011). Sirens. London: The Friday Project. P. 197). And it got me thinking about the future of media, how media is consumed and, more specifically, about how we will receive the media and news in the future.

Media is already consumed through many channels, whether it’s through the TV, DVD‘s, video games and on laptops and computers through the internet but as the world and technology evolves, some of these methods may become obsolete. In the past ten or twenty years, the world has moved from buying videos and video players, to being able to crate their own videos through camcorders, to moving onto DVD’s, DVD players and DVD camcorders and now even the DVD is nearly had its day as the world moves to the blu-ray format.

The development of technology in recent years is considerable and for this reason, I think now is a good time to think about just where we will be in 5 and ten years time.

I think there will always be a place in the world for traditional media, whether it’s physical hard copies of books or newspapers, or listening to the radio or watching films at the cinema. The format may change but I think people will always consume it in traditional ways. DAB radios have been around for a few years now for listening to the radio digitally and as well as digital radio channels but in the future, maybe radio will be listened to more often through TV‘s via Sky or FreeView, and possibly, TV and films will be watched where it is possible to smell the fields of lush open countryside or the city and taste the culinary delights created by TV chefs. Possibly, the media, in whatever format, will be interactive. Kids will be able to interact with their heroes and adults will be able to join sleuths as they investigate the crime and track down the criminal.

Of course, we now have e-book readers, like Kindles and Kobos, touch screen tablet computers and even the ability to pause, rewind and watch live TV as it suits us. Maybe people read the news and newspapers on the internet, which is often more up to date than even on channels like BBC News 24 and this leads into what Reynolds was saying. News websites are up to date and frequently updated through the day however with the technology available, people now post and blog their own eyewitness accounts and the most up to date news on website like FaceBook, Twitter and blog sites like WordPress and Tumblr.

Now, I will grant websites such as these will have their fair share of trolls and people wanting to cause trouble and spread misinformation.

The London Riots were organised through Social Media platforms like Facebook and BlackBerry’s BBM messaging service. Rioters and looters posted pictures of themselves with their ill-gotten gains. By reading and seeing these images, it provided a more up to date view and provided more information than what could be seen on newspaper websites and even when news channels like BBC News and Sky News were reporting live from the riots themselves, such as in Manchester.

The very same social media platforms were used to help with the clean up after the riots each day.

During the Boston Marathon Bombings, on Tumblr, there were posts and messages flying around about what had happened and a real sense of community as American bloggers relayed and posted the latest information and public service updates from Boston PD. This information would have been from mainstream services however that information was being pushed and sent further around using Social Media.

On the 4th June, 2013, BBC News posted a report to their website saying that the Turkey riots were organised through social media. The Arab Uprisings were also reported to have been organised through social media. Recent sit in at universities and at St Paul’s Cathedral in the UK were also organised through social media and people were actually blogging and reporting live from within these sit ins through the very same networks.

In this sense, providing information as and when it happens, using the technology we have available to us to be able to post and blog in real-time actually makes bloggers and  social media users the new journalists. We are in the middle of a social media revolution. I believe that this could be the future and, arguably, government attempts to rein in and police the internet wilderness using media law is partly proof that this is the way the world is going.

Lord Leveson, off the back of the phone hacking scandal, recently reported back his findings. In regards to blogs in his report, Leveson said:

“it is noteworthy that although the blogs cited here [Popbitch, HuffPo, Guido] are read by very large numbers of people, it should not detract from the fact that most blogs are read by very few people. Indeed, most blogs are rarely read as news or factual, but as opinion and must be considered as such” (O’Niell, E. (2012). Leveson Report– What are the implications for Social Media. [Online] Available at http://wallblog.co.uk/2012/11/29/leveson-report-any-implications-for-social-media/#ixzz2VXf8b3js [Accessed 7/6/2013]).

In general though, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and it’s users have become centres of libel cases. A very recent case in fact is the tweet from Sally Bercow regard Lord McAlpine, following a News Night programme by the BBC regarding child sexual abuse in care homes. She tweeted: “Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *innocent face*”. A judge has found this libelous and even though Bercow has denied it was meant in a libellous way, she has accepted the ruling.

Slightly off-topic (as it’s not actually about news or the way we consume media) is the case of a Robin Hood Airport employee who made a joking tweet on Twitter about blowing up the airport. He was arrested, charged, convicted then had the conviction overturned when he proved it was not meant as a terrorist threat.

So if bloggers are to become the new journalists (as I feel it is almost inevitable that this will become the case), then maybe teaching of the law in regards to social media and blogging is needed. We will increasingly continue to garner news and information through digital means, with some traditional formats dying out, so there may become an increasing need for bloggers to be journalists and journalists to be bloggers.