Tag Archives: marketing

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Content Crash Course: 25 Ways to Create Content Your Customers Want

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More Ways To Lose Customers: The Latest Social Media Blunders

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/schuminweb/

Photo Courtesy of SchuminWeb

We wrote The Little Book of Social Media to give business owners and marketers real, easy-to-follow tips that will help them provide a great social media experience for their customers. When we were putting together the data for the book, it was disturbing to see in aggregate how many times social media is seriously misused by companies large and small. It seems like every day another company is in the news for a social media-related PR nightmare.

Last week, it was Home Depot and Kellogg’s, two big brands who certainly have the resources to support plenty of great social media content. (It just goes to show you that money does not equal quality.)

In Home Depot’s case, someone (they cited an “agency and Home Depot individual”) tweeted a racist tweet. It was subsequently removed and the agency and employee were both fired, but not before earning Home Depot a lot of unwanted publicity.

In the case of Kellogg’s, the UK branch of the breakfast food company tweeted “1 RT=1 breakfast for a vulnerable child”—an offensive retweet request that seemed to use hungry children as a marketing promotion. The company later clarified that they fund school breakfast programs. 

There are so many easy ways to prevent this type of mistake and avoid the possibility of alienating the people who follow you. Don’t let it happen to your company! Check out my previous post, 10 Ways to Protect Your Reputation on Social Media. Read The Little Book of Social Media (available on Kindle too) for 60+ social media tips, including many pointers on how to manage your company’s reputation and what to do–and not do–when interacting with customers on social media.

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Announcing The Little Book of Social Media!

I’m so excited to announce that The Little Book of Social Media is now available!

Every day, more small businesses and non-profits are realizing the benefits of social media. Social media provides an amazing opportunity to build brand and product awareness, attract new customers, and increase sales — and it does all of these things at a substantially lower cost than traditional marketing.

But before you dive in, you need to know the ground rules so you can protect your brand and your customer relationships. This ebook outlines those ground rules in an easy-to-understand, accessible way, with 60 quick tips that you can use immediately.

You’ll find tips on how to:

  • Create a social media strategy
  • Leverage sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram
  • Identify the sites and platforms you’ll want to use
  • Create a content pipeline
  • Protect your reputation
  • Measure success, and more!

To help you start using these tips right away, we’ve also included two downloadable templates that you can customize — a social media strategy and a social media calendar.

Get The Little Book of Social Media now (downloadable pdf).

You can also buy it on Amazon.

Coming soon to the iBookstore!

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Five Things I Learned from Publishing My First eBook

It’s been a few months now since I released my first eBook, The Wished-For Country: Stories of American Courage. The book tells the story of heroes like Fannie Lou Hamer and Jacob Riis, people who did risked their lives to help others but who aren’t remembered by many Americans today. This book was a personal obsession that started with a Tumblr account a few years ago and ended up in book form because I wanted to expand on it and create something more permanent. Currently I’m working on a second eBook (about content strategy and management — due to arrive in September) and there are five things I learned from my first eBook publishing experience that will influence my second book:

  • Plan and execute a bigger launch campaign. I promoted The Wished-For Country on my various social media accounts, but I did not plan a proper campaign. Why? Probably because it was a little bit scary to put such a big chunk of my writing out there, but also because I approached my first eBook as a labor of love (which it was), rather than something I was trying to sell. But even a labor of love that comes with no expectations of income deserves a full-on campaign. In this case, I really, really want readers to discover the people I wrote about, because they deserve to be remembered by more people.
  • Give free copies away sooner. I joined the KDP Select program for my first book. As part of this special Amazon program, you can give your book away for free for a few days, which helps spread the word. Now, my book is only $3.99, so I wasn’t sure how much of a difference it would make to make it free for a few days. But when I did it (three months after I published it), more than 1,300 copies were downloaded in three days. That was far more than had been purchased in the months since it had been released. If I had done this when I first launched it (in partnership with a more strategic marketing campaign), I am sure the book would have gained a wider audience.
  • Publish on more platforms. With my first book, I targeted only one platform — Amazon. This was partially so I could try out the KDP Select program (which requires you to publish only on Amazon for the first three months), but also because Amazon is such a monster in the space that I figured it was the one platform I should focus on. Formatting was a bit of a hassle, although I followed video instructions posted on Amazon. Take it from me — don’t follow Amazon’s instructions. Instead, use a guide like Guy Kawasaki’s APE book, and format your manuscript via InDesign so you can easily export it into multiple formats. For my upcoming book, I am going to release it to Amazon, Apple’s iBookstore, and Barnes and Noble, as well as in PDF form on the book’s soon-to-be-published website.
  • Go the extra mile with editing. As a professional writer and editor, I know as well as anyone how important editing is. And while I’m a pretty great editor, I’m not so great at editing my own work. I should know this, since I’m often telling my clients that it’s hard to see mistakes in your own writing. I did review my manuscript several times, and each review was weeks or months apart from the previous review, so I was able to catch most of my errors. But I am sure that I missed some. So this time I am going to have one of my eagle-eyed friends review it and help me make it as great as it can be.
  • Be more confident. There are a lot of eBooks that have been slapped together in a couple of hours, are very poorly written, and adorned with very amateur-looking covers. In contrast, my book, like many others, was put together with care and reflects months of work. But like most of us, I’m uncomfortable blowing my own horn. It feels wrong to try to promote something I’ve created. But it’s okay to be proud of something you’ve put time and care into — and if you don’t talk about it, nobody will discover it!
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