I had a unique opportunity this month to roll out a social media campaign. The release of my new book Saturday was the perfect excuse to take a product that had never before existed and introduce it to the world.
All of the decisions would be made by me, with some guidance from my girlfriend and best friend.
I had to consider a few things:
- Who was my audience?
- What platforms should I choose?
- How often should I broadcast messages?
It was a lot of fun setting up all of the social media channels – until my department director at the university and a couple other people told me, “That’s an awful book title!”
Yikes. Do over.
So I repeated the process, a bit wiser, but not until I first A/B tested the old and new titles.
I found the clear winner from the testing. I checked to see if any current books had the same title. Nothing. I had a niche to establish the book’s online identity. We rolled out our program.
I gave this presentation at a faculty meeting this week, to introduce my work and philosophy. They laughed when I told them the case study I was presenting was my forthcoming book. They know a hustle when they see it!
The PowerPoint is below.
I compared my book introduction to a student’s online presence – they are the product, their work is real, and by creating this “feedback loop” they can set up a foothold that increases their visibility online.
Making yourself easy to find is one thing; making your audience want to come back for more is the challenge. Here comes the cliché – you have to be engaging.
That’s the very difficult part. Browse on LinkedIn and you will see a whopping number of listings for “Social Media Manager”.
The major corporations have had their teams in place for a long time. Now the mid-sized companies are getting into the act, and they all need help. If you are a master of audience engagement, you can quit your job tomorrow, hang your consultant shingle, and have more business than you can possibly handle. But you have to be good at this – telling your clients to just post stuff as much as they can will not keep you on retainer very long. That’s not a solution at all. The content has to be…engaging. It’s the Holy Grail of social media success.
Go to any seminar, webinar, etc. about social media and you will hear that “engaging” word. Every person/product is unique. What words will you use?
The book is out Saturday morning. The marketplace will decide if it’s worth its purchase price. Will it create community, or fall into the morass of a billion other first-time works?
I’m going to be pleased, no matter the result. I am learning as I go. The lessons will be priceless.
John Scott is a media instructor, online education coordinator and the career services manager at the School of Multimedia Communications, Academy of Art University, San Francisco. John’s debut book ”Destination: Reinvention” will be on sale Saturday.
Follow John on Twitter @johnscottsf.