Friday, May 3, 2013

Frontline Fridays: social media news for authors

Welcome to this week's social media news. 

This is criminal: as Cory Doctorow correctly points out in this article he wrote for the Bookseller, he who has the most data wins. Knowing who's bought your book, what other books they've bought, patterns and timing of purchases--business intelligence gold, people. Which means the publishers are losing if they can't get Amazon and Barnes&Noble to share their data.

More on Facebook's falling numbers, this time from the Guardian: active monthly users declined in the US, Europe and developed markets, but FB is still adding new users in South America, something to consider if you're growing your South American audience.  

Do you worry about online reviews? I do. This infographic from PeopleClaim will give you something to think about. Granted, their statistics apply to all consumer goods and services and not just books, but consider this: 70 percent of consumers say they consult online reviews before they make a purchase, and 10-15 percent of online reviews are fake (for some sites like Yelp, the percentage is believed to be higher). We know that fake online book reviews are a huge problem and yet consumers trust them implicitly (84 percent of consumers say they trust online reviews over those of a critic). (This NY Times article from last year on the business of selling fake book reviews is a must-read on the subject.)

Speaking of fakes: Lots of folks were interested in last week's article on buying fake Twitter followers. This article explains the science behind detecting a real follower from a fake one (sort of). Basically, it's hard for a machine to tell the difference between an inactive user and a fake one, and the majority of Twitter accounts are inactive.

Getting 15,000 followers on Pinterest: This user tries to figure out how he got thousands of new followers on Pinterest in a very short time--and fails. Like most things in life, the answer is 'it's a mystery'.

Speaking of Pinterest, even more ways to use Pinterest smartly.

Help for the pain of live events?: We all know that live events for authors have turned into nightmares. Unless you're EL James or JK Rowling, it's nearly impossible to get a good turn-out these days. I am intrigued by SpotOn. It's a new start up that says it scans your Google calendar and then comes back with recommendations for events for you. It could be a neat way to get word of your book events out to compete strangers but it depends on what sources the tool goes to in order to pull it's recommendations. The local Examiner or Patch, other newspapers? Intriguing, but there's not much information on the "about" page. It's active in Boston, New York, San Francisco, Austin and Chicago and if you live in one of those cities (I do not) I suggest you check it out.

Do you have a street team? How about a handful of really great superfans? Here's an article to help you get the most out of your staunchest supporters.

Improving your "call to action": If you're going to use social media to ask people to do something, you do so through what's known as the "call to action". If you have a hard time crafting your call to action so that people know what's expected of them, or how they're going to benefit--that's a problem. This article will help you sharp those calls to action.

Using social media to promote an event: Live tweeting, organizing in advance, selecting the right hashtag ... This advice is particularly useful if you're holding a large event, like a conference or workshop. But the principles can apply to anything.

You may know that in my other life, the one where I'm not a novelist, I'm an expert in emerging trends and technology for a major think tank. I spend a good deal of time scanning through technology news, particularly about emerging media. On a typical week, I probably see a handful of stories of interest to the novelist, stories about a new or interesting twist to what's going on in publishing and I'll publish them here every Friday.


  1. The world's best thinkers on social media, content marketing, social business, social media marketing, social customer service and blogging. manage instagram followers

  2. Great news.. It helps me a lot to learn new ideas..

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