Posts Tagged ‘PR’

Twitter Tweet Anatomy

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

by Ken Ishii

For authors, Twitter is an incredible platform for promoting not only your book(s), but publicizing you – as an author, as an expert, as a person.  Twitter gets compared to Facebook and texting when, really, it’s a social networking platform unlike anything out there.

There are millions of people on Facebook and it’s the top social networking service for good reason.  Using Facebook is a great way to connect with friends, family, and people that have decided to “like” you.  But if you’re looking for new users to introduce your book to, it can take a great deal of time and effort to get outsiders to visit and interact on your page.

Using Facebook is arguably becoming one of the most time consuming activities in the US that many simply can’t afford.  Some would rather email or text each other.  A bit too direct for most marketing campaigns to be successful.

Twitter combines the economy of texting with the networking power of Facebook to create something too fast and far reaching to ignore.  Getting started is as easy as signing up on the Twitter website.  Enhancing your experience and finding marketing success, however, is a whole other game.  We collected several resources that will help you get engaged with the millions of people that are having just as many conversations every second of the day.  Fauzia Burke has an article, Twitter 101: Tips to Get You Started, on The Huffington Post that will get you up and running so you don’t end up spending time wondering what retweets or hashtags are.  What the heck is a Bit.ly anyway?  You’ll find out soon enough.

One of the difficulties I notice people having even after reading a tutorial is getting used to the endless streams of confusing text racing back and forth between users.  To that, I say there’s nothing like hands-on experience.  But for now, I’ve put the brakes on a few tweets for you to examine at your own pace.  Bonus!  Click on the messages with links to go to the articles that are mentioned in the tweets below!

Twitter’s 140 character limit may be the very reason for its success.  It forces conversations to get straight to the point.  With this limitation, though, you’ll find users getting creative with their tweets using abbreviations and compressing text.  While an entire list is hardly practical, it is good to know some of the basics and we have them listed below to help decode the tweet-speak.

Going forward you’ll probably be interested in employing Twitter to help promote your book.  Twitter Power by Joel Comm will show you how to use Twitter for marketing purposes which will help build awareness for your book and strengthen your personal brand.  See the video below for more information.

Looking for Balance in a 24/7 World

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

By Fauzia Burke

It is not uncommon for me to get business e-mails at 6:30 a.m. or 12:00 midnight. Until recently, it was also not uncommon for me to answer them. However, this year for my birthday I’ve decided to give myself the gift of balance.

We live in a culture of 24/7 work and it has become normal to many of us. We have raised the expectation of availability to a point that is unhealthy. Recently, a potential client wrote to me on a Saturday, then wrote back on Sunday wondering why I had not e-mailed him back. Another prospective client emailed me at 10:30 on a weeknight and by 8:30 the next morning had written again, a little frustrated, asking for a response. Another person asked to talk to me on a Saturday, and when I informed her that I don’t work on the weekends, she was irritated.

I realized that by trying to always play catch up and accommodate the 24/7 expectations, I was feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and unbalanced. To get some solutions, I turned to an author who has written a book on the challenges we face at work today. I asked Tony Schwartz, author of “The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working,” how to handle the 24/7 expectations. He said, “We can’t control the expectations of others, but we can seek to manage them. Above all, it makes sense to try to invest your energy in what you have the power to influence.”

What I am discovering is that living on this crazy cycle is a choice, being “open” 24/7 is a choice. We ourselves have set up these expectations. Everyone I know seems to be tired and overwhelmed because we are trying to stay ahead of the information overload.

And we are not alone. According to Daniel Patrick Forrester, a client and author of “Consider: Harnessing the Power of Reflective Thinking In Your Organization,” “25 percent of our workdays are spent immersed in information overload.” I asked him for some advice on how to tackle all of the information coming at us.

Information abounds and will forever compound as the world further connects. What we all can do is to force time into our habits and routines to simply think and value reflection as much as we value responding to the onslaught of data that will forever pour over us.

We are taking no time to think, to consider, to plan or to dream. All we are doing is trying to stay ahead of e-mails, Tweets, DM, status updates, LinkedIn invitations and more.

Seth Godin recently wrote a blog called Lost in a Digital World which was retweeted 952 times within 24 hours. He recommends that we turn off the noise and turn on the productivity.

One of the biggest disadvantages of technology is the lack of “thinking time.” Forrester tells us that the reason we have so little time to think is because, “our habitual use of technology and bias for immediacy and rapid response has contributed to fragmenting our attention across many issues at the cost of allowing deep exploration around any one issue.”

Many of us depend on multitasking as the only way to get everything done. However, there is a cost to all this multitasking, I worry that we are doing nothing to the best of our abilities. Schwartz talks about the myth of multitasking: “The brain can’t do cognitive tasks at the same time, so you end up dividing attention between them, as your brain switches back and forth. The result is that you do an injustice to everything, and everyone your splitting time between. We’re sequential beings, not simultaneous. One thing at a time: it’s been around as a basic principle since the dawn of time!”

In the last six months, I have made some small changes in my life. Twice I took two weeks off completely unplugged. To tell you the truth it takes a few days to find a rhythm, a few days to remember how to “be” without the noise, but after that it is blissful. And you know what? The world did not stop, nor did anyone miss me. I just slipped in and out of the river of digital information with no consequences. I found that when I returned I had better ideas, more energy and fully formed thoughts. This year I plan to take more steps for creating balance in my life. Like anything else it’s a choice and like anything new it will take some practice.

Why not join me? I say to my fellow workers, set some office hours and stick to them, take back your lunch hours and unplug during dinners, family times and vacations. We deserve our own time and even more importantly our own attention.

2010 Social Media Stats and Insight

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Happy New Year to everyone out there. Hope you had an enjoyable, safe and sound holiday with all your loved ones.

Now that “2K10” is set tidily in our past, a collection of social media reports and statistics detailing top trends from last year have surfaced to help anyone lost at digital sea get back on route to where the online action is. Now that there are over 300 social media services vying for your time, it’s wise to know where the pack is heading. Hopefully you’ll find the information below helpful when planning your social branding or marketing strategies from here and into the rest of the year.

Facebook

As reported by AddThis, a social sharing service, Facebook continues to lead the race with 44 percent of the total social networking service volume in 2010. That’s a growth of 33 percent from 2009.

Twitter

After examining over a billion tweets, social media monitoring company Sysomos revealed some interesting information about the service nearly everyone has heard of but has taken time to embrace.

The number of Twitter users with over 100 friends has tripled since 2009 which could say the platform is good at forming tight communities. Still, 2010 could be seen as the year of experimenting as 80 percent of all users have made fewer than 500 tweets and that 90 percent of all Twitter activity came from less than a quarter of all users. The company also states that more and more people are disclosing location, bio, and web information to Twitter profiles. Looks like these users have found a service they find valuable and worthwhile.

MySpace

With Facebook now a household term, it’s hard to believe that MySpace was once the most popular social networking site. ComScore, a web measurement firm, reports MySpace worldwide total unique visitors to be less than 13 percent of Facebook’s visitors. At the same time, AddThis shows a backward growth for MySpace of 20 percent. For marketers, it seems pretty clear where time investments are going to be cut.

Services Growth

As important as it is to recognize which services are hot and cold now, it’s crucial to track how these services are growing. AddThis has put together a chart that shows the rate at which the most well-known services are moving. Note that while Facebook is leading the pack, other services still have their eyes on the prize.

Whether you’re posting updates on Facebook, experimenting on Twitter, or transitioning from other services, being active with social media is essential to any branding or marketing campaign. We were glad to see authors embracing social media with roughly 50-70 percent of our clients on Twitter in the summer.  By the end of the year, 100 percent of the clients we represented in December had Twitter profiles they used to market their expertise and books. For 2011, the question is no longer whether you should participate, but rather how you’re going to connect with your online audience.

Study: Twitter Chatter Sells Books, Sometimes

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

By Fauzia Burke

Recently, two Hewlett Packard scientists developed an algorithm that projected movie sales with 97% accuracy based on Twitter chatter alone. Inspired by this and other recent social media studies, my staff and I decided to conduct some social media research of our own to see if Twitter chatter sells books.

As promised in my previous post, I would like to share the preliminary findings of our research based on the perceived correlation between Twitter chatter and Amazon rankings. First, we began exploring the types of social media search tools that are now available. We discovered some fantastic applications, such as Addictomatic and Topsy, but eventually chose TweetReach to conduct our research. TweetReach searches Twitter chatter, allowing you to see how many tweets have spread on Twitter and how many users received tweets about your topic.

During recent publicity campaigns, we started to notice a relationship between TweetReach numbers and Amazon rankings (most of the tracking was done on paper books, we are now tracking both paper and Kindle versions and I’ll give you an update on that in a couple of months). We were excited and began to do more research.

After tracking over 20 books during a 6 month period, we realized that the correlations are there but they are unpredictable. There were certainly times when high Tweet Reach numbers impacted Amazon rankings (Twitter chatter sold books), but unfortunately there were just as many times when they did not. Like any research with a wide range of variables (demographics, subject matter, relevance, quality, reputation, activity level of authors, etc.) it is too early to draw absolute conclusions. What we can say with confidence is that being active on social media sites has great benefits for branding as well as spreading word of mouth.

At FSB, we begin each publicity campaign with a detailed “web snapshot” of a client’s brand. With this preliminary research, we glean an overall, holistic understanding of where a particular author is in terms of their platform online. We note their blog, how many followers they have on Facebook and Twitter, and what links are listed on the first page of a Google search for their name.

What we have noticed over and over again is that active authors have dynamic Google page results. Authors that are not engaged in online brand building have a static Google search page often populated by outdated content and database links. We also saw that social media “sharing” is key to driving traffic to guest blogs, reviews, interviews and even in-person events.

As a result of these findings and our ongoing research, the daily mantra at FSB has evolved into: “If it can’t be shared, it shouldn’t be done!” Essentially, we have adapted our decision-making and productivity to ensure that each publicity hit/placement will be shared to create a viral effect, which benefits our clients’ brand visibility and help us sell books. Many sites, such as Huffington Post and Oprah.com make it very easy for readers to share and spread information by utilizing one click sharing. With this application, hitting the re-tweet button or Facebook share or like button will immediately disperse that information to member’s social networks.

By now, we know that social media participation is a crucial aspect of any publicity strategy. Reviews, guest blogs, interviews all lend credibility to the topic and authors, but it is also necessary to develop different forms of content, such as videos, slideshows, and articles, to successfully promote books. Additionally, posting content daily is essential for gaining and maintain followers.

We are well aware of the fact that every voice adds to the chatter and, with each bit of shared information, the bigger picture begins to unfold. Because word of mouth on Twitter spreads very quickly, “you have to be in it to win it.” I urge authors, publishers and publicists to start the chatter! Make sure you have a variety of social outlets where you can share information, grow the visibility your features and share your successes.

Have you personally experienced the effects of viral media? How has it positively impacted your work, your brand, or sales?

Social Networking Your Brand

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

by Ken Ishii

It’s not enough to rely on traditional marketing platforms today. There’s a shift in both habit and attitude that is making “push” sales a thing of the past. Our time is being stretched around a stack of new tools and technologies leaving us with less room for fast-fading television, newspapers, and magazines. To compensate for lost time, consumers and sellers alike are budgeting their minutes strategically. That means passing on activities that require physical interaction in favor of virtual interaction using devices like computers and mobile phones that are tethered to the modern lifestyle.

Understandably, people choose to “unplug” from time to time, falling back on activities away from the Internet, but these are moments when most can’t be bothered with ads. Devices that skip over television commercials and efforts to disguise ads in print are further indications of traditional media’s weakening effect on the public.

Brands in every industry across the globe now have robust websites that serve to meet the demands of societies everywhere that are migrating from a physical world to a more portable and palatable virtual space.  The subsequent rise of social media was almost inevitable. Of course people would need places to socialize and express themselves. Crossing the digital divide didn’t mean we would eliminate our need for interaction.

So social media is big. A transplanted global populous without border patrols or passports limiting our interactions. To give you an idea how much social media has taken off, let’s take a look at a recent Nielsen study. According to the definitive media research company, social networks make up the largest share of time Americans spend on the Internet. This beats time spent on e-mail which has, for long, held the top spot on the list. Considering one is a leisure and the other a work related activity makes this finding flat-out remarkable.

Social media gives sellers, in this case authors, an unprecedented opportunity to connect sympathetically with fans and newcomers alike. Networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr offer previously unavailable access to reader likes and dislikes and, most importantly, give rise to formations of meaningful relationships with like-minded communities.

If you’re new to social media, you might find the weight of information daunting at first. On or offline, balancing relationships with people is never an easy task. Like forging a friendship in the physical world, getting people to open up to you takes time and nurturing.  If you’re introduced to an established circle of acquaintances however, your road to success becomes a much smoother ride. Like in any relationship, the bottom line is trust. Your reputation is gold. Without it you’ll be in a virtual room talking to yourself and the four sides of your screen. FSB Associates President Fauzia Burke wrote an article for The Huffington Post that simplifies the difficulty of protecting your online identity into a list of five steps that will build and maintain your digital reputation.

At FSB a large audience of “real” communicators spread across specific areas of interest are here to welcome you. Together we’ll create your voice and build and maintain your online reputation through strong relationships grounded by meaningful interactions with the most influential social media communities around. There are an innumerable amount of impostors out there attempting to cash-in on this explosive marketing phenomenon.  Savvy consumers have little tolerance for spammers though. Don’t let a seemingly innocent pitch turn into an over-ambitious gaffe leaving a mark on your name. We have the experience, resources, and skills necessary to help manage your online reputation and build your personal brand.  There are new trends and challenges on the horizon for the new year and we look forward to conquering them with you in 2011.

PR Quick Links

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Here are to 10 quick links to help you on your Web PR journey. Hope you find them helpful.

1. Alltop (top stories and blogs by every topic imaginable)

All Top

2. PR Daily from Ragan’s. They have a great newsletter:

PR Daily

3. I think you have seen this: FSB’s blogger directory

FSB Media

4. HARO

Help a Reporter Out

Nice video explaining the service and blogger outreach: MyRagantv.com

5. Top Newspapers by Twitter followers

Journalistics.com

6. Top Newspapers on Facebook

Journalistics.com

7. Top Newspapers by traffic

Journalistics.com

8. How to pitch bloggers

Journalistics.com

9. How to add blogger outreach to your PR plan

Mashable.com

10. A comprehensive list of holidays and observances (helpful in pitching books to editors). Sometimes a small, silly holiday can make a quick blog post for someone:

Holiday List