- by BlogMistress
Web 2.0. Ain’t Going Anywhere
By Rebecca T. Crowley
Those around me know that it is my personal mission to turn the world onto social marketing one person at a time. Even if you are a complete Luddite, I have no doubt that after a short time of working with me that you, too, can be a social marketing genius!
I started my blog June 1, 2009 and in the world of PR and marketing I look back and think that I may have jumped on the Blogging trend too late. But that concern didn’t last long. From there I realized I needed to attract a wider audience, and needed to figure out a way to market the Blog, and created (with some guidance from my more tech-savvy friends) my twitter account and RTC Publicity Facebook Page. I am a strong believer in branding and this extended to the design of my developing “web presence” – so I made sure my brand manager created a phenomenal Twitter background, designed my Blog layout and created a killer signature for my email. Ironically, I am in the process of a re-design because templates of social media sites have changed already!
So what is web presence? It’s what is out there when someone searches for your name online. The majority of authors understand that having a website that is updated regularly is essential to their success. We call this Web 1.0. What some may not realize is that that is only ONE aspect of a web presence. Like looking at a cake and seeing only the flour. There are so many other exciting (and often free!) avenues to pursue to build a bigger presence including, but not limited to: Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, YouTube, Flickr, Shelfari, LibraryThing and Goodreads. Utilizing these sites will reach a much wider audience, and create a much bigger “web presence.” This we call Web 2.0, if you will. Now that we’re naming all these stages of web development, ask yourself: Do you want to be left behind in 1.0 when the rest of the world is getting their hands dirty with 2.0, and Web 3.0 is already being conceived of?
In 2008-2009 there were job listings for everything from corporations to non-profits looking to employ a “social marketing expert.” Authors, companies and NGOs figured they needed to hire a specialist to work in the “scary” world of social marketing – these jobs were created out of both anticipation for that need, and fear of how to meet it – of technology that is actually very user friendly. In 2010, companies began realizing both that simply knowing technology did not make one an asset, but also, that the technological know-how was minimal, and that it was critical that any individual (often someone already on staff) have not solely a technology background, but also, that they knew a thing or two about marketing and PR. The 2010 social marketing expert had to be someone cutting-edge but who also knows the ropes of “traditional” PR. Humph.
I have embraced Web 2.0, and because I love technology, I am already conceiving of what 3.0 could look like. Now I not only do social marketing for my own company but for companies and authors like you. In doing this, my goal is to assist with the development of accounts and pages, walking clients step-by-step through the (actually quite easy) process, and then teaching authors how to keep up these sites etc. on their own, effectively and efficiently, with a minimum time commitment. It’s something that can easily be done—and it IS fun—ask any of my clients! And it should not be necessary to retain someone specifically for the purpose of social marketing, endlessly, unless you are an author that tours many weeks out of the year. Finally, once understood, it is easy to use these platforms and frequent tweeting, updating your status on Facebook etc. will drive more attention to you, your book and widen and deepen your conversation with your past, current, and potential future readers.
There are daily changes to the interfaces of the major social marketing sites. That may seem intimidating but these sites are so user friendly it doesn’t take much to figure the changes out. The biggest changes this year are Facebook moving from the button that says “follow” to the button that says “like.” In addition we have a “new Twitter” that is MUCH more user friendly and offers a lot of ways to access your own stats – important so that you can see the results of your effort at social marketing and can test new ways of engaging, with quick feedback on the results.
Traditional PR takes a lot of time, but its principles are not going anywhere. Social media is instant and there is something beautiful about that. However, I believe that the two, in tandem, work best. The spontaneous nature of social marketing shows the power of the internet. It CAN make you a big name. Think about the recent WikiLeaks drama—everyone is talking about it. Is WikiLeaks press just like The New York Times? I believe so. Things are changing that rapidly. Once something reaches the consumer (your readers) through media channels, whether they are social or traditional, it is press. Good or bad. Because it is instantaneous it is necessary for you to control your own social networking destiny. By jumping on board this trend now, that shows no sign of going away, only evolving, you are investing in your future. Solid hours logged now, with or without an expert, lead to a virtual and real community dedicated to YOU. After all, every follower on Twitter is a real person, who is likely to buy your next book.
Wikileaks is now a household name—watch where it ends up. The government is on the defense—responding and trying to shut down a website! How did Twitter become so big? Obama made it a household name. It’s time you capitalize on that. Readers are looking to be engaged. They DO want to know the author behind their favorite books. The “conversations” being had on the web are awaiting your input.
Is it your time? Have you been waiting, left wondering what to make of social media? All I can say is it is not going away. Done right, the ROI is priceless.
And now this is how I sign my name:
Rebecca Crowley, RTC Publicity
With a little help and a little bit of social marketing, believe me, it’s how you’ll be signing off too, in no time.
Rebecca Crowley started her career at Penguin Group, USA, specifically in the Berkley/NAL imprints. In July 2004, Rebecca founded RTC Publicity, a boutique PR and marketing firm located in the heart of NYC. Energetic and ambitious, Rebecca does not believe any idea is too far off from execution. With a decade of experience in Public Relations with a specialization in books, Rebecca has had an eclectic client base, allowing her to pull from many different areas of her vast history in the industry. She believes passion for the story and “the business” keeps her ideas fresh. Often, Rebecca is called upon to manage traditional marketing and social marketing campaigns.