Thursday, June 20, 2013

Social media news for writers: a million 'likes' on FB and more!

In this week's news: getting a million 'likes' on Facebook and a potentially very helpful new feature on Facebook for discoverability; the lengths one authors goes to for publicity; avoiding pitch fatigue; George Takei is outed for hiring a ghost writer for his social media.

Clickable hashtags on Facebook: This could be very helpful in getting your posts seen. This week, Facebook added clickable hashtags, enhancing the ability for users to do real-time search on the platform. It's taking a page from Twitter: by adding clickable hashtags, you can see what people are posting on particular subject or breaking event. Details are a little thin, but theoretically this should aid in discoverability, too, as your post with a hashtag could be seen by anyone who clicks on that hashtag. Ultimately, it will be used to push ads to people who are using or viewing a hashtag in a particular category--books, for instance. You might be able to target ads for your dystopian YA novel to someone who tags a post #HungerGames, for instance. And FB reminds us: they have a Superbowl-sized audience every night of 88-100 million Americans who log on. 

Trending hashtags will be coming, they promise. You can read a little more about in in this Mashable article.

Want a million 'likes' on Facebook?: A recent photo did just this, and data scientists at Facebook wrote a paper on their analysis of the event. The bottom line: a crazy cascade of reshares. (Via Mashable)

Don't count out YouTube: This infographic explains it all in figures: where the money is on YouTube, viewers, etc. All it takes is one great visual idea--just ask Psy!

The lengths we must go to: No doubt you've heard about the lengths author Jennifer Miller has been willing to go to in order to flog her debut novel, The Year of the Gadfly. I have lost count of how many times I have seen articles about Miller's attempt to talk to 100 book clubs in a single month, her attempt to garner publicity for the paperback release. She's using a variety of tools to get book clubs to sign up for her marathon effort. You can read more about her attitude toward book promotion in this Fast Co. article.

In the 'there must be a better way' department: Does it seem sometimes like your book publisher's marketing efforts don't seem to be a little, uhm, scattershot? In this article in Locus Magazine, Cory Doctorow, author and technology gadfly (and editor of blog Boing Boing) asks why book publishers, in order to make sense of publicity and marketing efforts,  don't use the customer relationship management (CRM) systems that other businesses use to keep track of interactions with customers.

Build It and They Will Come: If you're the do-it-yourself type and want to manage your own website, this article from the NY Times is pretty comprehensive and will give you the names of some good free services to try.

Pitch Fatigue: This article from Fast Co. was intended for entrepreneurs who have to pitch their idea for a new product or company over and over, but could apply to writers as well: how to keep the pitch sounding as enthusiastic the 50th time as the first.

Getting better traction on Twitter: Buffer is offering a new service: it's partnering with Moz to analyze your Twitter followers and make suggestions to help you get more retweets and a better click through rate on your tweets with links. Or so they claim (like a 200 percent increase in RTs. Believe it. When. I. See. It.)) This service is probably too expensive and requires one has a good number of followers to make it worthwhile, but perhaps your publisher will give it a spin.

Making reading social: Here on Endpapers Notes, we've mentioned efforts to make reading social before. Here comes Bookshelf, an app that looks to replicate the Goodreads experience (to an extent; let's hope it doesn't fall into any of Goodreads' bad habits).

You may have heard that George Takei, the former Star Trek actor who vaulted to internet fame in the past few years for his hilarious Facebook content, was just outed by one of his ghostwriters. That's right, Takei isn't solely responsible for his content. This will be an interesting test of the principle of authenticity. Folks frequently ask if they have be the one to write all those tweets, FB posts. etc--it's so time consuming, can't you just hire someone else to do it for you? And of course you can (I met Shaq's social media manager once! a busy woman) But you'd better be upfront about it or your followers can end up feeling cheated. It will be interesting to see if this revelation ends up damaging his relationship with followers.

Hey--thank you for reading this. I've gotten nice notes from authors and even people in marketing and public relations who read this blog for the tech info they can't find elsewhere. I'd really like to grow the readership of this blog, however, so if you find this helpful, please give it a shout out. Link to it on Twitter or Facebook or in any forum you frequent where writers congregate. Think of it as helping your friends as well as helping me.


  1. As always -- great job! I'll be clicking on all the useful links next!

  2. thanks so much for sharing your knowledge!

  3. Would you mind if I re-blogged this on my own website: ?

  4. Bill, I appreciate the exposure. Would you mind linking back to my blog somewhere in your post?

  5. Hi Alma!
    I tried commenting on Chrome but for some reason Chrome + Blogger = my comments get eaten by Internet monsters lol Anywho, it was great to be on the WHC Social Media panel with you and thanks again for bringing such excellent discussion to it! These links above are all so interesting, and I find the Facebook instituting of hashtags to be interesting--I wonder if it will take off :-)

    1. Anita, it was great to meet you in person and to get to be part of the panel at World Horror Con. I'm experimenting with the FB hashtags right now, using #trueblood for my regular sunday night discussion after the latest episode. Let's see if it pulls in any new commenters.

    2. I'm interested in the outcome. Did you have any new peeps comment?

  6. Thanks for sharing. I'm off to check out some of your links.

    1. Let me know if any prove to be especially helpful.

  7. I enjoyed your post. thank you for sharing your thoughts and time........

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