I thought that since I am kind of shy, awkward, and not comfortable in real life social situations, that social media marketing would be right up my alley, but I have found that the thing I am trying to avoid is a key component to a successful online marketing campaign. I just completed the book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Social Media Marketing by Jennifer Abernethy and realized I have been going about this social media thing all wrong. All the don’t s listed in the book I am doing. I thought I could just post on my Facebook page or send a Tweet or two and I would be fine and book sales would go through the roof. I didn’t realize I would actually have to engage with people. That was the part I was trying to avoid. Imagine me posting on Facebook and I get an instant message and my heart drops in my stomach and the following questions go running through my head:
- Why is someone instant messaging me?
- Should I respond?
- What do I say?
- How long do I have to engage in this instant messaging conversation before I can log off?
The first few times this happened, I immediately logged out of my account and thought about if I should respond, what my response would be, and what my objective was. After all of this I figured a simple “hello” would do the trick. Crisis averted. Twitter is less stress inducing, since you are limited to 140 characters, you don’t have to worry about long conversations, a few @ shout outs and retweets are more manageable for me. Anyway the book has really helped me to understand social media marketing and help me through my anti social ways. Some of the things the book addresses is that there are rules and courtesies to communicating on social media just as one wold at a networking event. There are also rules that I wasn’t aware of on social media sites that protect users against spammers and the like. I almost got kicked off of Facebook for posting “buy our latest title” with the url attached to everyone in my friends lists. (The book explains how to avoid your post being marked as spam). Twitter has following limit depending on how many people are following you, I was following 2,000 people and only 700 are following me, so I was unable to follow anyone else until my following number increased. The most important thing I have learned from the book is that it takes time to cultivate an audience on social media. Just because you can connect instantly, doesn’t mean you reap the benefits instantly. If you are interested in building an online presence through social media, I would recommend this book.