Thursday, 28 February 2013

Marketing Tips for Authors - AIDA Part 1 of 2

Many authors these days are using Twitter as part of their marketing armoury, and rightly so. Social media is a useful weapon in the battle for book exposure. Unlike most other forms of marketing, Twitter has one serious drawback - 140 characters MAXIMUM. As authors we are always aware of only using the necessary number of words to deliver our message, and this should provide an advantage when using Twitter, compared to other Twitter users who may not be so disciplined. Even having said that, 140 characters are not many when we want to included hash tags, website links, user names etc., and that's before actually writing the all important message. 

(With regard to weblinks, one very useful tool is bitly - - which can reduce long URLs to much smaller, user-friendly, and Twitter friendly links. You can also track how often each link bitly creates is clicked.)

Nearly all marketing campaigns, adverts, commercials etc., adopt one very popular tactic, and that is the use of AIDA. Some of you may have heard of it before, but I'm guessing many, unless involved in marketing as part of your 'day job', perhaps haven't. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Most marketing gurus will rip an advert to pieces if AIDA hasn't been utilised.

ATTENTION - This is where your message/product must grab the immediate attention of your audience.

INTEREST - Once their attention has been grabbed, your message needs to be of interest to them. Why should they buy your product? Why your particular book? There is an old saying in marketing - 'Sell the sizzle, not the sausage.'

DESIRE - If steps one and two have done their respective jobs there should now be some desire to purchase your product/service/book etc.

ACTION - They now want your book! Where do they get it? If you can provide a time limited offer, that will generate even faster action.

Authors are very creative by nature. So if you want to share some creative ideas for fellow readers please leave a comment for others to read. Thanks.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Understanding Twitter's 2000/10% rule

What is the 2000/10% rule?
If you are fairly new to Twitter you may find problems with Twitter once you want to follow more than 2,000 accounts. This is due to an obstacle the designers of Twitter have placed at the 2,000 follower level. Regardless of how many followers you have, you can follow 2,000 people without a problem. So even if only 100 people follow you, you can follow 2,000. However, if you want to follow 2,001 you'll hit a problem. At this point the 10% rule comes into force. In essence you need more followers to enable you to follow more people. Only once your followers exceed 1,819 will you be able to follow more people. But how many exactly? Once you exceed 1,819 you can follow an additional 10% over and above the number of people who follow you. Let's say you have 3,000 followers. You can now follow a total of 3,300.

Breaking through the 2,000 follower barrier
What I now intend to share is how I breached the 2,000 limit in just 42 days. First things first, you'll need some tools to help you, as Twitter cannot be managed purely online via your Twitter page. Knowing who you are following, and who is following you, takes a lot of managing, but two tools I've found particularly useful are HootSuite and JustUnfollow.

HootSuite (
HootSuite enables you to monitor tweets as they come through via your timeline, and separates those that specifically relate to you - Mentions. Mentions show all tweets people have created which include your Twitter name. Other columns can be set up to follow certain groups you may belong to by using hashtags (e.g. #mywritinggroup), create lists of specific groups of people you want to create - such as Thriller/Writers, and also set up future tweets so you can still be tweeting whilst sleeping. (If you want to use HootSuite's bulk uploader facility, I've written an article on my author website explaining exactly how to create the necessary files.) So in essence, HootSuite is great for seeing what is happening, and managing what is most important to you.

JustUnfollow (
The second tool I want to introduce is JustUnfollow. If you want to grow your twitter 'followers' you will need to manage very carefully the list of people you are following. If you hit 2,000 and your followers are, say, at the 1,200 mark, you may struggle to get more followers if you don't 'release' some of the people you follow. Now, you may have a number of people you follow who have followers in the millions, but only follow a handful of people themselves, such as actors, sportsmen and sportswomen etc. These may be people you want to continue following regardless. That's not a problem. But what about those regular people who you follow, but they don't follow you? You need to consider why you are following them. If you are an author using Twitter to build relationships and create awareness of your books, you need to follow people who are prepared to reciprocate. In just a few weeks I've linked up with some great people, but I've also come across a lot who are totally self-focussed. They love you to follow them, but don't seem prepared to reciprocate. These people will stop you from growing your followers, once you reach 2,000 in terms of who you are following. These are the people you need to unfollow, so that you can reduce your following number to below 2,000, and then follow a new group of people who may reciprocate. This is where JustUnfollow helps you. It will show you who doesn't follow you, who you don't follow - but does follow you, etc. You can whitelist your favourite celebrities, but the remaining people who don't follow you can be listed, giving you the opportunity to unfollow them. JustUnfollow will also highlight those people who have decided to unfollow you, whether or not you follow them. It may seem counter-productive to 'release' a person you are following, who has many thousands of followers who could be interested in you, but if they steadfastly refuse to reciprocate, by following you, they will never hear about you - or your book(s).

HootSuite: Manage and Measure your Social Media