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Social media tips for beginners

Did I miss anything? Add your tips to the comments, I'd love to read some more ideas

Maya Robert

on 5 December 2013

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Transcript of Social media tips for beginners

An introduction to social media
what is it good for?
Do's and Don'ts
A quick cheat sheet

Serendipitous conversations – average posts only reach around 17% of your fan base
Getting noticed for free – Facebook runs on an ad based model

Why use
social media?

Because everyone’s doing it.
1.5 billion users between Facebook and Twitter alone.

Social media now accounts for 18% of time spent online, around 7 hours a month. 80% of that time is from a mobile device.

Because everyone’s doing it… a lot.
Because consumers expect it

The conversation is already happening. Your readers may well already be talking about you and your book, and your involvement in the conversation is a great way to monitor your brand and give your readers feedback.

Real-time communications with your fans
92% of people trust word of mouth and these conversations are increasingly taking place in social media.

Social media is driving better customer experience, and therefore stronger brands.

You're part of the conversation
Before we begin...
Around double that of Twitter’s
Larger user base
Not so great for:
Unlike Twitter you only need to post on Facebook once or twice a day.

Time poor
Pictures work fantastically

Great for images
You can have a private Facebook page and a fan page and change easily between both.

Separating personal
and business

Joining conversations with fans and brands (fans don’t need to follow you for you to reach them)
Twitter is great for:
Reaching large audiences
Finding your audience (easy to search by topic or person)
If you respond quickly on a relevant subject you are likely to be retweeted, and be seen by more people - particularly with TV.

Going viral

Ask questions for feedback, for their opinions.
(with some possible exceptions)
Galvanize your followers

Give your opinion
(within reason)
Follow people you are genuinely interested in
Esp. good for those without their own website/blog!

Link to your publisher's page
A great way of getting noticed online is simply by having a voice.

Get involved in conversations
Most follow because they are interested in you or your expertise, so try and reflect that in your feed

Think about why you follow other people
By far the most successful, particularly for Facebook but generally too.

Post rich content
Notice super fans
‘All fans are equal but some are more equal than others’.

A superfan is someone who engages with you regularly and/or shares your content.

Recognising who these are (and keeping them happy) means you are building a strong core base.

This is you as a person, your personality should influence your tone of voice
You have space for a profile picture, change it to your latest book while you're marketing it. Make sure your cover picture and background pictures are in place

Make your profile pretty
Try not to...
Take it too personally

Ignore your followers/fans

Especially in Facebook, where unattended negative comments will be seen by others and can escalate.
Flood your feed with self -promotion

Keep it for when you need it. Although your fans will be interested in your activities and reviews, try to keep it light on the promo and interesting. I tend to work towards an 80% - 20% rule.
Overload your feed

Post regularly, but don't spam people.
Make accusations

Or get dragged into fractious arguments
Remember that journalists now regularly use social media to gauge opinion or source quotes. And it’s almost impossible to deny what’s published. Either through archiving or screenshots, your tweet could come back to haunt you…

Send anything you’re likely to regret.
What are fans interested in?

How and what you're researching;
How and what you're writing;
What you're currently working on;
When your next book is launched;
Awards, launches and good news;
Anything associated with the above.
Common themes
Remember that old news dies fast, so you may find announcing the upcoming launch of a book a few times is best to keep it fresh on your feed.

Building a tone of voice

- Consider your audience – whether it’s journalists, magazines or consumers
- Remember that it is their turf – you are often encroaching on people’s
personal space, so you need to be contributing in a positive and helpful way.
- Think about a distinctive tone of voice that is both authentic and
- Think of it as a two-way conversation

Push your messaging over and over a monotonous, repetitive
message will bore you into an unfollow
Sound like a robot – the closer you sound to an actual human the better.
Read over your timeline once in a while

Legal considerations

- Laws do apply, including laws of copyright, trademark, slander and competition laws.

- Avoid any language that could be considered abusive, offensive, insulting, humiliating, obscene, profane, or otherwise.

- If in doubt ask – a response is hard to retract, so if you have made a mistake be careful as to what you do and if in doubt seek legal advice.

- All product or service claims on social media are considered

- Don’t ignore Social Media Network Operator Policies

Play around, see what's out there, try different messaging and have fun with it.

Social Media Manager

Best practice
It’s better to dedicate a bit more time to fewer social media platforms than lots left unattended.

Reply to people who engage with you.

Twitter shows the most recent posts first, so if the last time you tweeted was 2 days ago, nobody is likely to see it today.

How many times you post will vary and depend on what catches your eye or how much time you have.

Like each other's posts, retweet each other's good news and support each other. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement that will gain all parties more visibility.

For both Facebook and Twitter, tag the people you are talking about, it raises the level of impressions and is more likely to kick start a conversation.

It’s a great opportunity to gauge your readers’ opinions and get them to interact with you. Plus, questions tend to drive interaction up by 10 to 20 percent

Always, always proofread.

Keep an eye out for what your publisher/publicist or agent are doing (retweeting a good review is less embarrassing that sending it out yourself)

Case study: Peter James
In 2011, Peter James won the ITV3 People's Bestseller Dagger Awards - this was a prime example of the impact social media can have on an author's profile.

This case study demonstrates:
the power and reach of online audiences
the importance of rewarding loyal fans
how creative online activity can translate into an impactful offline campaign
what can be achieved with effort and focus

Digital Publicist

Have a sense of humour
Reply to all
Post regularly
Ask questions
The Dagger Awards are based 100 percent on public opinion. Peter used his Facebook and Twitter pages to rally his readers, asking for their votes.

In return, he promised to buy fish & chips for every one of his fans who showed up on Brighton pier the day after the awards.

Peter won the award, despite being up against Lee Child, who has a much bigger social media presence and much larger sales.
Maya Robert
Naomi Bacon
You may be asked the same question again... and again...
When a message is reused and added to your timeline or feed
Feed or timeline
What you have posted

How many people could have seen your tweet
Going viral:
When hundreds or thousands of people share what you've written
Hashtag: a way of adding your comment to a stream of conversation. i.e. #FACup. Searching #FACup will show all the people who used this hashtag, therefore all the people commenting on it.
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