Sharon Buck, owner of SocialMediaCounts.com is our guest today. Sharon, like many of us, is also a writer. Her passion for helping writers and businesses of all sizes to realize their potential and grab their fair share of the lucrative pie of success, makes her light up when she talks about a new project. Sharon, thanks so much for joining us today.
Can you tell us a little about how you discovered the importance of social media for business growth?
Thanks, Nancy, for inviting me! I discovered how important social
media was about a year to a year and a half ago. I had been making money from several different websites I own and I kept thinking there had to be a better, faster way of getting the word out about my services and products AND driving traffic to my website without spending hours and hours on the computer. I
started researching Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, and Facebook. First, let me say that all of those mediums have changed dramatically in the past year. I tried Twitter, but that’s more for adults with Attention Deficit Disorder who drink too much caffeine. Way too fast for me.
Once I hooked up with Twitter and Facebook, my sales started doing MUCH better and I realized that social media was, and is, the future. You can literally watch your sales explode in less than a week with social media. You no longer have to wait months
and years for things to happen.
You develop social media sites and coach people in using social media so they can get the word out about their products and services. What’s considered SOCIAL MEDIA and do you
have a favorite? If so, what makes it your favorite?
Social media is really about relationship marketing. It’s not about hard core advertising messages, though you can buy advertising at a reasonable rate. Fanpages are still advertising to a certain extent but it’s truly more about creating a feeling and relationship with the person or company. People like doing business with people they like. Period. The more someone likes you and feels like they can trust you, the more sales you can make.
I started off in Twitter and found I really didn’t like it so much. Then I tried Facebook and BAM! It just really clicked for me. It’s really like just a big community.
First, I was doing it just for me and then I discovered so many people had personal pages but didn’t have a clue as to what they needed to do for a fan page. So, one thing led to another and I started creating and designing fan and welcome pages for other authors, artists, and then companies. I absolutely love helping others out!
Although networking, or netgiving, as you and I call it, is important to long term growth and success, is there an etiquette around the social media sites that we should be aware of?
Facebook is absolutely, without a doubt, the fastest and, in my opinion, best way to increase your visibility and presence on the web with a minimal amount of money and time spent.
Obviously, you can spend as much time as you want but, realistically, you can spend 10 minutes a day on Facebook and blast your sales and presence upward!
If Facebook were a country, it would be the 3rd largest country in the world. Also, Facebook, while sometimes frustrating with the constant changes, is actively seeking ways to improve its site and to make it a better experience for the viewers/users.
The basic etiquette is to be a giver, i.e., to help others out and also just post information about yourself and/or your book. You want to engage your viewers so they feel that they know you and can trust you. At the same time, they are learning something
from you and at the same time maybe they are helping you out, too.
A great example is Janet Evanovich. Although she started asking for readers input prior to Facebook, just think about HOW she names her books. She asks for input from her readers and then chooses a title. Hummm, how can YOU engage your readers more?
Remember, readers BUY your books. How can you make
your posts and information appealing to them? How will they know that you value them, not just for their spending dollars, but for their opinions and intellect?
Would an author or artist have a different type of promotion than those of us who offer services, for instance? What would you suggest is most important to be included in their marketing
and publicity plan?
Well, Nancy, this is a great question and really segues nicely with the question above it. How can you make your book more appealing to the buying public? You can run contests
to name a minor character. Raffle or auction off a major character’s name and then donate that money to
charity. Get the reader involved…how can it help you/your book and how can it involve them even more? When you give freely, you receive freely. That’s a universal truth.
Services, such as what you offer, are targeted a little differently. You become the authority, the expert on how to help the writer or business person. Most writers just want to write. They’re not interested in or, in a lot of cases, don’t know how to edit, they don’t understand the importance of a media press kit (you should NEVER write your own), and, most of the time, don’t have a clue on how to market themselves and their books to make money.
One of the key things for publicity and marketing is to actually create a plan on HOW you are going to make sales. It could be that writing the book is the EASY part. Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield decided early on they would take 5 actions a day to promote Chicken Soup for the Soul. Here it is many years later and, guess what, they’re STILL taking 5 actions a day to sell their books. They actively search for opportunities to make a difference and that authentic generosity pays them back in financial success, among other things.
The key is to have a plan and then to actually follow-through on the plan. Is it time-consuming? Is it a pain sometimes? Yes, of course, but are you interested in selling your books?
Websites are still important aren’t they? Can someone have say, a Facebook site or fanpage, and not have a website and still attract business?
Websites are still very important. They’re a great way to expound upon and provide information in addition to Facebook fan pages.
Keep in mind, a Facebook Fanpage is like a little mini-website in and of itself. A fan page is basic information about yourself/your book/product/services. What will really set you apart from the thundering herd of people out there is: a Welcome page with terrific graphics and/or video along with, and this is the biggest secret out there, taa-daa, an auto-responder. What is the
point of getting people to your fan/welcome page if you have no way to capture their information so you can stay in constant communication with them? To me, literally, it is almost a complete waste of time and money. You get someone there, have them “Like” your page, and then let them leave?
Hel-loooo, you are letting money and sales slip through your fingers!
A quick story, I have an out-of-state client who spent $500 in a week using Facebook advertising (and, yes, you can
advertise for $30 for a week). At the end of the first week and a half she had over 1,000 fans. That’s terrific, right? Through her Welcome page, she had directed them to her website where she is selling her book. How many sales has she had after 3 weeks….Zero! She spent $500 and has had zero sales. What went wrong?
Several things: (1) she didn’t have a compelling offer to capture their names and email addresses, (2) she didn’t have an auto-responder to get their names and emails so she could stay in touch
with them, (3) once they got to her website, still no auto-responder, she then re-directed them to Amazon to purchase the book, and (4) she simply made it too difficult for people to purchase her book.
I want ALL of my clients toachieve their goals. I had strongly suggested and then encouraged her to add an auto-responder to her Welcome page. I had also strongly suggested she give away the first chapter of the book as the compelling offer to capture the names and email addresses of people visiting. She decided not to do this.
Again, this goes back to giving people a reason to like you, trust you, and want to buy your book. If you get them to your page and
then don’t have a method on following up with them, you have wasted your time, effort, and money.
You don’t have to have a website, that’s true. The way Facebook is set up, you can create a sales page with a Paypal account on your Welcome page along with your auto-responder. Make Facebook work for you. For next to no cost (there are fees associated with auto-responders and Paypal) you can sell your books or services with little effort on your part. Make it simple for people to buy and they will. Make it difficult and they won’t.
So, I have my website. I have a Facebook fan page, a regular Facebook page and I blog. Is there a way I can tie them altogether? There’s only so much time in a day. Do I need to be
a techno-savvy person to do that? Are they all important or is one more important than another if I really want a lot of growth with my business/sales?
Absolutely, Nancy! Facebook and WordPress now have a plugin that can link one to all of the others in addition to posting on Twitter. This means if you post on your blog, it will also post on Twitter and Facebook automatically. Piece of cake!
Two great ways to gain growth quickly is to start a group on Facebook which is free, and to post twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, on your Facebook and Twitter pages. This is a terrific free way to start gaining new fans – and will cost you about twenty minutes a day at the most!
One of the print media tools you and I both still support is the business card. We’re both proponents of a good business card and plenty of them in our possession at all time. What else should we never leave home without to be sure we can optimize opportunities that might cross out paths?
I love, love, LOVE business cards! Nicely designed business cards with all of your contact information on it is, dollar-for-dollar, the cheapest form of advertising out there. I ALWAYS hand out 2 business cards when I first meet someone. “Here’s one for you
and would you be kind enough to give my card to someone I can help?” Smile and gently nod your head up and down. You’d be amazed at how much business I get from doing this.
Leave your business card EVERYWHERE you go. I hand them out to the bank tellers when I make a deposit. I leave two on the table along with my tip in a restaurant. I give my mechanic two.
I’ve met people who say, “My card is so expensive. I don’t want to give it out to just anyone.” Umm, do you want business or book sales? You never know where your card will end up and what will come from it. Hand them out like a drunk sailor spends money when he’s home on leave!
At SocialMediaCounts.com, you offer service packages to those of us who aren’t inclined to tackle Facebook, websites, blogs, and/or Tweeting accounts on our own. And you teach self-reliance, too. Please give us a sample of what you offer and tell readers how they can reach you for more information.
Thanks for the plug, Nancy! In a nutshell, we specialize in Facebook Fan and Welcome pages designed specifically to get you more sales. We are very results-oriented. We increase your visibility and presence on the web in an affordable way.
We stay in touch with you, we offer suggestions on how to maximize your visibility and presence with a minimum of effort…heck, if you have 10 minutes a day, we can show you how to explode your sales…we help you with technical aspects and, no, we don’t charge an arm and a leg.
I can be reached at (386) 328-3743 or via email Sharon@SocialMediaCounts.com and, of course, visit the website www.SocialMediaCounts.com to receive a free report on “How to Become an Expert in your Niche on Facebook and Get Raving Fans!”
Also, check out our Facebook Fan and Welcome page at
www.Facebook.com/socialmediacounts. Nancy, because we’re
friends, I’ll be happy to give a complimentary 15-minute consultation with your readers on anything pertaining to social media and social media marketing. Just have them mention Faith, Hope and Grace Offer in the subject line and the offer is good!
WOW!! Thank you for that special offer and thank you so much for your time and your stand in the world that we can be passionate, honest, and successful in our businesses. I valueI
hope you’ll come back from time to time and help us stay up to speed with the changes in social media.
Would love to! Have any incredibly awesome day!