Starting a Social Media Conversation

November 19, 2013

(BLOG POST)

Terry DohertyBy Terry Doherty —

Have you ever stopped to count how many ads you see or hear every day? Would it surprise you if I said at least 200? I didn’t think so.

You also know that cutting through all that noise is a monumental task. People are overwhelmed. They’re tuning out. Guess what? That’s not new. We’ve been honing our selective attention skills for centuries.

  • Can you remember the last time you listened to a commercial?
  • When did you sit to read the whole magazine, cover to cover?
  • How about the last time you read more than the first couple paragraphs of a newspaper article?

Social-media-image-anymeetingExactly! Independent publishers are no different than any other industry when it comes to getting – and keeping – someone’s interest and attention. The advantage we have is a rock-solid sense of our demographic. We can’t afford to do a “spatter campaign”. It is one of the reasons why we can look at our market and hone our messages or change directions so effectively.

So why am I rambling on about what you already know?

I am so glad you asked! Before we start talking about social media, I wanted you to see that core marketing concepts have not changed. We are challenged to set ourselves apart from our competitors. We are on a quest to reach consumers who are bombarded with information.

No matter what the label (social commerce, social influence, social marketing), the fundamental elements have not changed. What social media offers are new – and often free – marketing portals with direct access to your consumers. Please don’t take that to mean I’m suggesting that you give up print advertising. Marketing and advertising are two different things, and you need both.

One of the first things I explain to students is that before we sign up for Facebook or start adding pictures to Instagram, we need to understand two things.

  • Where our target audience is.
  • What our marketing strengths are.

The answers are likely to be found in your mission statement and/or strategic plan.

twitter-bookwormIn the coming months, I’ll be explaining some of the terms of this new marketing arena. I’ll also be offering platform-by-platform discussions so you can decide whether Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Diig, (you get the idea!) is the right tool for your marketing effort.

Ultimately, I hope that we can get a discussion going. We can start today if you like. Just add a question or idea in the comments. What platform would you like me to talk about first? What do you see as your biggest challenge for using social media channels?

Reading Worth Your Time

How to Build Trust Online: 11 Tips for Trust Building
Social Notz, October 2013

What is Social Proof and What Types of Social Proof Business can Use on Their Websites
[Infographic] Digital Information World, October 2013

You Don’t Have a Marketing Problem
The Soul Marketing, June 2013


Terry DohertyAbout the Author: Terry is a voracious reader with a keen analytical eye and a lifelong passion for writing. Combine a passion for reading and kids, a natural affinity for analysis, and a love of solving puzzles, and you’ve got Terry.

Before becoming a Mom in late 2001, she spent nearly 20 years as a research analyst, supervisor, mentor, trainer, and analytical program manager with the federal government. She has drawn on her acclaimed expertise as a national security analyst in her roles as senior editor and publishing director for an independent house; and mentor for both her consulting business & flourishing literacy nonprofit.

Now, she uses those extensive skills in research, analysis, writing, editing and interpersonal communication, in three roles: Mom; Executive Director of The Reading Tub®, a family literacy nonprofit; and Director of New Media & Alumni Education for the Mom’s Choice Awards.

Terry is a dedicated, lifelong student, always eager to share her expertise with those eager to learn. She heartily ascribes to Thomas Jefferson’s statement: “I cannot live without books.” Learn more at maestromarket.com.

2 responses to “Starting a Social Media Conversation”

  1. Beth Chapple says:

    How can a book publisher use Pinterest? I have started two boards, one about one of my personal interests and one about the subject of the book I am promoting. Does it make sense to strategically follow anybody?

  2. Hi Beth – How timely!! I just finished writing my February 2014 column last night and it is on (drum roll) Pinterest.

    I don’t want to give away all the info, but I do want to answer your question.

    Yes, it is definitely in your interests to follow other Pinners. I would search for and follow boards that are directly and tangentially related to the topic of your book.

    A great complement to Yellowstone Treasures may be boards related to hiking or national parks. Maybe checklists or inspirational quotes, maybe gear you recommend, maybe a board with beautiful pictures that others have taken of Yellowstone.

    Repinning will bring people to your pinterest boards, and that is a great way for them to discover who you are.

Leave a Reply

How to Get Involved!
Marketing Opportunities

From mailings to exhibits, see how IBPA's marketing programs help you grow your sales.

Educational Opportunities

Attend a seminar, ask an expert, and get more free advice with our educational programs.

Become a member

Access exclusive members-only benefits starting at just $10.