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Your “Social Funnel”

This is the third article in this series. Here are article 1 (Introduction), article 2 (Why Some People Think SoMe Doesn’t Work, and article 4 (Setting SoMe Goals).

funnelYou want people to use your social media to get to your site and/or blog, but, how? And what will people find when they land on your website? How does this convert to sales? Basically, you start with a lot of different tools, and funnel those users to your site, the one place you have total control over.

Here are a few steps you can take to make the most of your SoMe:

  • Step 1 – Set your goal: Figure out what you really want out of this. You don’t want traffic for the sake of having traffic, unless all you’re looking for is ego-stroking. That’s okay, of course, but eventually, you’re going to have to get serious. So what do you want to achieve? Most of you are going to answer, “Book sales!”
  • Step 2 – Set your website up to achieve your goal: Most websites should focus on getting sign ups to an email list. That was a big must do in the class I just took. You ought to focus on relationship building and giving the reader what they want. Let them get to know you and relate to you as a person, not just a name on a book (or product). I personally don’t have a newsletter or email list, though I do have a robust blog following. A newsletter is on my to-do list now and I’ll be working on that in 2015. While it’s a little daunting to start something up like that from scratch, I think it’ll be worthwhile.
  • Step 3 – Set your SoMe profiles up: These should all reflect your website, books, and online persona. Make sure you keep your branding consistent across all profiles. You may have already done this, and if so, don’t stop there.
  • Step 4 – Tailor your plan to the specific network you’re using: The major social networks each have their own “personality” and there is a way to use each. So, for example, for Twitter, you probably want to be pithy, and for Facebook, you probably want to be warm and fuzzy, and for Pinterest you’ll want to be graphic-intensive.
  • Step 5 – Build relationships and make sales: Build relationships through social media, on your website, and through your list and make more sales. By “building relationships,” I mean give and take between you and your customer. You give them something special and they are entertained. People pay for entertainment, folks. If they think they’ll get more from you, they’ll gladly pony up their $2.99. (More on relationships in article five.)

The beautiful thing about the shotgun approach is that if Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest ever go belly up (and even if they all do) your business is safe. You’re using these social media sites as a means to an end. Getting all the traffic to your own email list will set you up for success forever, because that newsletter/email list is as good as gold.

In article four, I’ll talk about social media goals because your personal goals might be something other than book (or product) sales. You might want fame instead of fortune.

4 Comments

  1. How do you shoose which social media (and how many) you should use? I use Facebook and Twitter almost every day and though i am registered on Pinterest, Google +, and Linked In, I do very little with them at all. I want to get into Pinterest, but my time is stretched too far as it is. And yes, I know I need to put out a newsletter. *sigh* I guess that will be one of my New Year’s resolutions. More great info, Trish. Thanks so much!

    • I’ve been thinking about the newsletter ever since the class, and I think what I’m going to do is look for blog sign-ups instead. Every person who signs up will get my blog posts, and some of those will contain special offers and value added material. If I keep 2 lists — one for a newsletter and one for the blog posts — something will have to give. People who publish fewer books than I do can probably manage 2 lists (unless they’re swamped like you are, Jenna), but I don’t think I can do it.

  2. I know some authors have given up on their blogs because either they don’t have the time to write them or don’t feel they are effective, but I’m a big proponent of blogging. It’s the one medium where you can totally control the message. And it can be interactive–unlike a website. Twitter limits message length and if someone doesn’t happen to be on at the time your tweet zooms by, they miss your message all together. FB is a little longer, but your audience is limited to your friends, and there are certain things FB won’t allow you to post. Pinterest is graphics-focused and you can run afoul of the censors. Your blog can be whatever you want it to be.

    Thinking of it as a funnel is a good approach.

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