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I wrote a book! If you've ever wanted to learn a bit more about creating recipes, this series is designed for you. The first book focuses on cookies, because who doesn't love cookies?
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Sunday, 10 July 2011

Social Media Strategizing

I offered to help a friend to develop a social media strategy for her business, and it got me thinking about my own "strategy" - which is to say, I realized didn't really have one. I had a bunch of sites I'd signed up for and was using, but there was no particular coherence in the way they linked together.

My intuition about social media (as a user) is that it works best when everything is tightly connected. It's just simple stats: if there's a chance I might see your latest blog post on Twitter, or on Facebook, or on my Google Reader feed, that makes it much more likely that I'll see it somewhere.

So I got out a notebook, wrote down the various sites I use, and tried to put in arrows representing routes users could easily take from one site to another. For example: my reviews on Goodreads auto-publish to Twitter, which makes it easy for Twitter users to click through to the Goodreads site, but there's no easy way from my Goodreads profile to my Twitter account. On the other hand, this entire blog is syndicated onto my Goodreads profile. (The dotted line between Twitter and Facebook indicates a service I use that will synch between them, but only when I tell it to do so for specific updates). Drawing it this way made it easy to see where the gaps were, and when possible I've tried to make the arrows go both ways.

Of course some of these sites, like Amazon, are only applicable if you happen to have written a book. And when I did the same exercise with my friend to help her "socialize" her campsite, we included some services like 4square that only make sense for physical locations. In her case we started with a blank sheet of paper, drew out what we wanted, and then went about setting up the various profiles and links. For mine I had a partial network to start with, and I just had to work through and add as many extra links as I could.

How many social sites do you use? And what do you do to keep on top of it all...?


Jacqueline said...

Food for thought Rachel. Thinking about it, there isn't a flow between the programs I use. Some link and some don't. There is definitely a gap in the market for something to pull everything together.

becky said...

I have a Facebook page but rarely look at it unless prompted. I don't find prosaic chatting very interesting to follow...I'll never bother to twitter.

BECKY said...

I spend a lot of time (too much, actually!) blogging, but I do believe it's good for my writing and I love the friends I've made, such as you, Rachel!

I do have facebook, but rarely use it. I just recently got a Twitter account, but I can't figure out to even use it! Duh!

I think you're doing a good job...getting things ready for when your book is out! That's what I'm trying to do!

emma said...

I think people who use social media to promote themselves need to be careful not to overdo it and end up spamming people. For example, a lot of people seem to synch their Facebook and Twitter feeds so EVERYTHING gets cross-posted. I've ended up hiding updates from these people on Facebook as I just don't have time to read everything twice. I have some friends who, when they post a blog, I get an update on Twitter, an update on Facebook, an e-mail from Goodreads AND an item in my RSS reader. If I really like someone's blog, the only place I need it is in the RSS reader - the rest is just spam. I know it's tricky as the purpose of the other updates is (I assume) to get new readers, but I think people need to be careful not to overload existing followers.

Hope that doesn't sound too grumpy, reading back it does a bit, but I don't mean it to, it's just something that bugs me on a fairly regular basis!

Jade said...

This is a great idea, I should really think this through too. I like the idea of doing a mind-map, it's my favourite way to work things out!

Have you tried Pinterest? I love it and it's a great way to share interesting blog posts of others. If you need an invitation let me know. Although perhaps you already have plenty going on here, it's quite addictive!


Rachel said...

Definitely something to think about, there, Rachel. At the moment the nearest I get to social media is my blog, and I really need to consider whether it is something I should be looking into more professionally.

Holly said...

Social Media...I love it and hate it at the same time. I need to try this out and see what my flow looks like...I am kinds of afraid!

Jenny Woolf said...

This reminds me I should think about this more. It's usually pushed to the bottom of the pile.

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

I use all the sites you mention in connection with my two blogs apart from LinkedIn but then I am no longer working. I thought Emma's point in the comments was a very valid one that I shall take a careful look at.

Charlotte said...

I really need to get on this, too. I find that with all the new services available out there, it makes it harder to keep up... but I should consider linking them all somehow. Do you use StumbleUpon, too? I recently signed up for this one at someone's suggestion, but have no idea how it works just yet.

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