As you may know, your website is your hub. All your social media pages should be accessible from your website. This might mean that you provide links to your social media pages on your website or this might mean that you embed the social media content onto your website. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, but remember that having dynamic content on your website (such as the ever-changing content of your blog, Facebook page, Twitter stream, YouTube channel, or podcast) gives you better SEO.
Link: You can put a logo on your website with the Facebook logo and have it link to your fan page’s URL (i.e. http://fb.com/halleonardbooks/). You can also create a badge. After customizing your badge, you will be given some HTML code, which you can simply paste onto your website in the area that you want the badge to appear.
Embed: Facebook allows you to create an “Activity Feed,” which is a little box that you can put on your website and it will automatically update with the most recent things that you posted on your Facebook page. Just like with a badge, you can customize the feed and then paste the HTML code that it gives you on your website wherever you would like the feed to appear.
Link: You can put a logo on your website with the Twitter logo and have it link to your twitter URL (i.e.http://twitter.com/halleonardbooks/). Do note that Twitter has a policy against using any kind of Twitter logo except for the official one, which is the one you can see displayed to the left.
Embed: Just like with Facebook, you can customize a widget that will allow you to post a box on your website where it will display your most recent tweets. Again, copy-paste the HTML code onto your website.
Link: You can put a logo on your website with the YouTube logo and have it link to your YouTube channel (i.e. http://youtube.com/user/plainketchup/). It is better you have the “/user” in there because it will give you better SEO. However, the link will still work without it (i.e. http://youtube.com/plainketchup/).
Embed: Just like with FB and Twitter, you can embed a little box on your website that shows your most recent video posts to your channel. Again, copy-paste the HTML code onto your website. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, who have widget-makers right on their sites, you will have to go to another source, such as WidgetBox, to create your widget for YouTube. It’s the same premise: customize your widget and copy-paste the HTML code onto your webpage.
Link: You can put a logo on your website that links to your podcast. The thing about podcasts is there are many ways to listen to them and you should let your audience choose their preferences. I like to link to all the ways my podcast is available: iTunes, libsyn, Facebook, MP3 download, and Stitcher.
Embed: Both Libsyn and Podomatic have widgets to embed into your website. Podomatic has a small audio-only one for individual episodes and also a large audio-with-photo one that allows you to scroll through different episodes and listen to them one after the other. Libsyn also has one for playing all episodes and one for individual episodes. You can choose between audio-only or audio-with-photo. The Libsyn widget for playing all episodes can be found on your Libsyn dashboard by clicking on the widget icon. The individual episode widgets can be found by going to the list of your episodes and clicking “embed” underneath the episode you want. Just like the other widgets, it’s just a matter of copy-and-pasting the HTML code onto your website. Do note that I don’t think there is a way to embed this widget in free WordPress blogs.
Link: You can put the logo of your blogging host (such as Blogger or WordPress) on your website and link to your blog.
Embed: This could be tricky unless your blogging host has a built-in widget maker. If it doesn’t, you can go to WidgetBox or Feedburner. Feedburner is a Google-powered site that allows you to turn your blog or podcast into a feed. So, type in your blog’s URL into this first box and then follow all the other prompts until you are done. Eventually, you will get to a dashboard where it will give you tons of options on how to customize your feed by adding all sorts of buttons and features. I like to use the BuzzBoost feed under the Publicize tab. Just customize the feed and copy-paste that HTML code onto your website. You can also use the XML code that you see under the Optimize tab.
There is no mathmatical equation to getting Twitter followers, having influence, getting click-throughs, but there’s still right ways to do things and wrong ways to do things on Twitter when you’re marketing your book. Let’s go through some now:
Post a link with no explanation of what it is
Post boring things that happen in your day that even your closest friends don’t care about
Merely retweet what everyone else says. RT-ing is important, but it can’t be all you do.
Show off your personality
Be relevant. Use hashtags and follow trending topics
There are so many different things you can do with Twitter! Invent something new, see what inovators are doing, or look through this brainstormed list and see what works for you.
- Give followers a glimpse into the writing process, or the publishing process. You’re listening to Brahms as you write chapter 3 but to Radiohead as you write chapter 4, and you’re beginning to wonder if it has an effect on the style. Or you just got the first proof of the book and it looks gorgeous!
- Hold a competition: The first person to tell you why they love romance novels in 140 characters or less will get a character named after them. Or the first three people to RT this message will get an autographed book. Or put RT-ers into a drawing and once you get to 500 followers, pull a name and they’ll win a prize.
- Ask questions. What are people’s favorite book blogs? Who’s their favorite author and why? Start conversations. Ask for opinions. Ask for advice.
- Tell a joke.
- Ask trivia questions.
- Link to specific features on your blog, website, interviews with you, excerpts from your work, etc.
- Use yFrog or Twitpic to post photos. It doesn’t have to be of you. Is there a stack of author copies fresh from the printer in your living room? Is there a bookstore full of people waiting for you to sign their books? Take a picture!
- Be creative!
The front page of Twitter will always tell you what’s trending now. There are also various free tools to help you track the trends. Anything you see that applies to your work, make a mention of it. Don’t forget to use a hashtag to help people follow you. For example, if the hot topic of the day seems to be the hurricane, you would include #hurricane somewhere in your tweet about the hurricane. When people search for #hurricane, they will get all the tweets that have included #hurricane in them. It’s a nifty way to get noticed.
You can also use hashtags to get involved in chats. Sometimes people will schedule a live chat or interview on Twitter. Everyone who wants to participate just has to do a Twitter search for that hashtag and make sure they use that hashtag in all their posts. For example, there is a weekly #musicedchat hashtag chat. You’d search for #musicedchat on Twitter and then participate live by writing your responses in your What’s Happening box up top.
155 Ways to Tweet (Book Market)
Twitter 101 (eHow)
14 Cool Things People Do On Twitter (Penn Olson)
What Motivates People to Participate in Social Media? (Ami’s Space)