Monday, May 18, 2015

Save Time, Save Money, Get Loved - Case Study 06

Save Time, Save Money, Get Loved - Case Study 06

How to Save Time and Money - and Find Love.

Well - link-love, anyway.

We're talking social media here. Many of these are interlinked with various programs that will send your status updates, and even post blogs for you.

The technical name for this is syndication. Newspapers and radio programs still do this, as do TV networks. Movies are distributed in a similar fashion.

But the Internet does this best. A good piece of content-media can get shared by millions.

Your job, should you accept this, is to get your message out to the world.

Today, we're going to talk about two programs you should know about that can help you promote your book.

These take care of detail work - mundaine, grinding, and most authors won't go there. I didn't talk about them on the spreadsheet proper (much) but can now tell you since you've been through all those steps.

Caveat: Again, all these do is to "prime the pump." If you send out salesy, garbage content, don't expect anyone to respond. You'll just tick them off and get yourself blocked. This is not without risk. Improperly done, you can become a social pariah and lose friends - or have only shallow associations. If you value the people you know on social media, then tread lightly - and follow these instructions carefully.

The time saver - IFTTT

No, I didn't stumble.

Stands for If This Then That.

This is one of the few still standing, and is fairly new. The story to syndication services is one of success, attrition, buy-outs, and close outs. Companies like HootSuite simply bought up competition, who in turn had bought out competition (those pictures of tiny fish eaten by bigger fish eaten by larger fish come to mind...)

And while Hoot Suite is still pretty good, it's limited (unless you want to pay them.)

IFTTT does this quite simply - when something happens on one site, it sends a message to other sites. It can even run your internet-connected house if you want. (Example: when you get a sale on GumRoad, it can dim your lights momentarily.) 

IFTTT runs on "recipes" which interconnect "triggers" and "actions" so that when something happens over here (ex: person buys on gumroad) it sends a signal for something to happen over there (ex: lights are momentarily dimmed.) If you post an image, it can copy that image to several other places. Same for blog posts.

Our use of this is to simply make sure that our social posts and status updates go everywhere we want to show up.

A necessary sidebar: Check out - what this does is to ensure your brand is taken care of.  Your brand name can be registered on all the biggest social media sites out there - so no one can market that except you.  On the front page of Knowem is all the top ones. The others are nice, but mostly also-rans as far as traffic - so they wouldn't get your book much exposure for discovery.

If you cross-compare IFTTT and Knowem, you'll see the key social media you need to exist on and to cross link.

Warning - there be dragons and perilous cliffs...

Here's where the hazardous part comes in.

Social sites are meant to be social. Means they hate fakes and salesy media-content. Meanwhile, there is all sorts of tales about how having huge followings will give you sales and so on - all unprovable, since those results can't be duplicated. And as well, most of the "followers" are fake - up to 70% for some politicians. (The recent story you may have heard that several thousand "active" twitter followers of Obama turned out to be the work of just a hundred or so hackers who would "re-tweet" through that network.)

Most social media sites are filled with lurkers who sign up and then do nothing.

But the few who are active and do value the interaction really resent being fed obvious garbage - and might not just un-follow you, but instead start a real negative campaign against you. (Like getting people to vote you down or give you bad ratings on Amazon.)

The key is to always, always give great value away - far more than any simple promotion like "I just released another book - check it out." The ratio is something like 20-1 or so. That's the simple rules of social posting.

OK? Now let's get to work.

Where you should be

Look up IFTTT and you'll see 187 sites represented. Really. That's a lot.

When we compare this to Knowem, it narrows down to a handful. You'll need to sign up with accounts on each of these - and fill out your profile on each of them, so you look like a real person, not just a 'bot.

Let me cut to the chase:

Status Updates:
From (trigger sites below) to Twitter, Facebook, Facebook page, Linkedin,, delicious, digg, diigo

From YouTube to Tumblr, Wordpress, Blogger, Status Updates
From DailyMotion to Tumblr, Wordpress, Blogger, Status Updates

Cover Art
From Flickr to Instagram, 500px, Status Updates

Landing Pages and blog posts
From Blogger to Wordpress, Tumbr, Status Updates

From Soundcloud to Status Updates

From GDrive to Box, Status Updates

Do your own study of these to see if you can improve on them. The key point is that you get word out that whatever you just posted is available. You post to five sites and 12 get alerted. About seven will get notified when you send any sort of varied media out.

On these original sites (the five mentioned above) that content is linked to your landing page. Your landing page is hardlinked to all your distributors, as well as having a place to buy from you directly - and maybe even access to buying your BitTorrent bundle.

One side benefit is that the distributors will be getting a lot of traffic about your book, as will your landing page.

There are a lot of recombinations around. The trick is to avoid echoes. Use just one syndication service and double check to ensure you aren't sending duplicates out there. (That's a red flag to the search engines that you're spamming.)

Now for the heavy hitter...

Synnd - the quiet giant

This is a different approach to the same problem. It was created with the idea of giving a jumpstart to SEO for bloggers. Actually, it's roots probably go back to the old Digg cadres - where a handful of people were actually determining what got "dugg" and what got "buried". They all dugg each other's stuff, so that when one liked it, they all liked it - and when one buried it, they all buried it.

Kinda like a Good Old Boy's Network. In Synnd's case, it wasn't collusion as much as it was cooperation. The original scene was that you earned credits by bookmarking someone else's material and could spend that credit to get other people bookmarking your stuff. You could only spend what you got paid, and the work was apportioned automatically, with all the members computers simply doing what they were asked with a tiny program that ran on it in the background. You asked (and paid), the network delivered.

In this case, they worked with the search engines said they wanted to hear about - social signals.

There's a lot of theory to why search engines follow social media. The main one points back to how they stay in business - organizing data that people want and giving it to them when they ask for it.

Terms like "authority" and "trust" really just mean that people want some things more than others and will re-visit (and stay a long time when they visit) the sites they think are good. Tweets with links and keyword phrases tell a lot about a site and whether it's trusted to be an authority.

The idea of getting a bunch of people together who will tweet, like, bookmark, and generally share each others sites is pretty sensible. This is why groups are good things, and people keep joining them and starting new ones. Mutual back-scratching and such.

Synnd's not cheap, and you don't see the results right away. After all, there are a usually a few other sites on the top of the heap you have to push aside - and many have been there for awhile, so they're tested. But the search engines are always looking for "the next big thing" to show up - so give a new site a leg up to see if it stays popular.

Can you use cheaper tools? Sure, like Hootsuite and Onlywire. But they are really no better than IFTTT for getting the word out on platforms you have already staked out. Synnd coordinates thousands of other people and their unique computer addresses to do this work for you. In my mind, this is a very cheap investment which pays huge.

Where I've used Synnd, it helps those sites get and stay up there - provided I put good content there for people to find and appreciate. Where I've seen it fail always goes back to not doing enough and not using it they way they said to.

Synnd runs on campaigns, which is a set of "votes" by the network. There are bookmarking, social news, and other campaigns to use. You'll want to run more than one type of campaign on a site if you can. Even if you only have salesy content, you can at least get that page or link bookmarked.

Again, Synnd isn't there to make your site rank, it's there to give you all the right signals to the search engines by priming the pump. You have to have good content which is valuable in order to earn the right to stay on that heap top once you get there.

There's a lot of data they have for free on how it works and how to use it.

Video Synnd-ication

One great asset Synnd has is the ability to syndicate your videos - and then run bookmarking and social news campaigns (social signals again) on these videos.

Videos are some of the greatest tools to promote your book with. YouTube is the third-most used search engine out there right now. There are many, many video sites because that is what people want to see - probably because videos are stories and we all think in stories.

The video sites you'll need to sign up for, and have paid accounts with (so Synnd can do it's magic) are:
  • Flickr
  • YouTube
  • Photobucket
  • DailyMotion
  • Phanfare
(These are the sites which don't cost you an arm and a leg to get started. There are others, but these five will take videos you submit.)

You simply upload your video to Synnd, along with the meta data, and they upload it for you, plus then make it "popular" by creating social signals.

Again, see their documentation.

If you want to do something right, sometimes it's DIY.

There are some sites which are key, but aren't on IFTTT or Synnd. You approach these much as you do porting your book. Set up bookmarks in a folder on your browser and then "open each bookmark as tab".

Here's the list (which doesn't include IFTTT - which runs in the background.)

Blog post (LP)
    G+ (public)
    Gdrive (public)
Once you do these, then IFTTT will copy the content around for you. Synnd will take your video - and you'll be able to set your campaigns from that tab.

This list integrates with your to-do spreadsheet, which isn't set in stone. Adjust it as you see fit.

You can note that on the spreadsheet, I set IFTTT Setup right after the Book Landing page column. All the IFTTT setups really only need to be done once.  But you have a day's work signing up for these various sites and linking up the recipes. Just pile in and get it done.

Note: presentations are PDF's just like promotional book excerpts. They both get updated to the same key doc-sharing sites as separate content.

Your mileage may vary - a lot.

The point of this is all "Multiple eyeballs" and "Caring Sharing". You're creating multiple versions and porting them everywhere you can. And getting these syndicated so that you don't have to spend a month per book just getting the data out about each one. You've got a whole series to promote.

Life can interrupt so that you don't get all your media produced until later.

With a spreadsheet, you can always just say, "Oh right, now where were we?" - and then you can carry on, calmly.

No two books sell the same. No two promotional campaigns will get the same result.

The point of this spreadsheet and these actions are to give you a fighting chance to get your book discovered and sell well online.

Volume (deep backbench) is what will pay more than spending time on social signals. Lots of books selling somewhat decently might be better than putting all your eggs into a single book in order to "make it a bestseller".

Again, this marketing is all built on what works in other areas. It's built on why some books sell when they do, the reasons why some authors have broken through. Sure, it's a ton of work. But you'll find that if you set this up on a spreadsheet basis, you can work on this a bit each day and get it  done, while you are also writing your next book - or editing your next series into one.

While some people like ads, I don't. It's too close to gambling for my taste. If I am spending for ad-blockers, then why would I want to spend money on ads that people like me are ignoring?

I'd rather spend my time and money on great media-content that people are already looking for. Move my targets in front of people who are shooting their arrows there.

These tools make some of your target-moving somewhat automatic. The volume of the work to be done just makes certain that we can hide these secrets right out in the open. No one with a "get rich quick" mentality will try it - it involves too much work. Once you do set this up for yourself and move through it, then the pieces will all fall into place the next time you do it.

Another side benefit is that the more books you get up there and market in this fashion - the more your name and brand are being built up with the search engines. Your later waves you create will help float your earlier boats that much higher.

It's all based on how much you want to succeed, and how much you want to work at it. That comes right back to having and following a bliss - your "Burning Desire" as Napoleon Hill has it.

Everything that goes around, comes around.

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