Welcome to WANA Wednesday, based off my best-selling book, We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. There are a lot of different ways to do social media. My WANA methods rely heavily on learning to be part of a team, and, as we have discussed before, this is very contrary to traditional marketing. I believe social media works like a barn-raising. Everyone does a little bit for the good of the whole. Even just being mindful to do small things makes a huge difference in the long-run.
One of the biggest obstacles we face in social media is that we do have to limit the self-promotion. It turns people off and they really aren’t likely to listen when we go around tooting our own horn. What do we do then? We do what is counterintuitive…we support others.
The single largest determining factor as to whether a person will succeed or not on social media is our L.Q. Heard of I.Q.? Well, L.Q. is your Likabilty Quotient.
We don’t care how smart you are as much as we care if we LIKE you. When working on our social media platform, the ever-present questions should always be:
Do people like me?
I know it sounds crazy, but it is true. And there is no need to panic. Calm down. You don’t need to hide all your D&D books and tell your friends to get in the closet. This isn’t high school, where popularity is based on stupid stuff.
Likability is important. Why? We hang out with people we like. We promote them. We go out of our way for them. We want them to succeed.
Our information can be the best on the web, but when pitted against another blogger with not-as-great-information…but she connects to readers and we don’t? The likable blogger will win. If she promotes others and we don’t? Again, she will win.
Being an excellent writer is not enough. When we get out on social media (or even launch a blog) we must make sure we have good content. That is a no-brainer. I don’t know about you guys, but find it hard to like people in person who ramble or talk to hear the sound of their own voice. On the web, I like substance just as much.
But, in addition to that great content, we MUST actively work on how others perceive us. We must become likable. How to we become likable? We serve others first. Remember the barn-raising? Help them raise their barn, and most people will be more than happy to return the favor.
I thought she’d never get on Facebook. Zeb? You got some peeps you can throw her way?
Top 10 Ways to Raise Your L.Q.
1. If we are on Twitter and we know an author writes great blogs, RT (retweet) for them. It only takes a minute of time, and it earns you a reputation of being an edifier.
2. Comment on blogs. A healthy comments section is a sign of a healthy blog. Comments are encouraging to bloggers who take a lot of time to craft meaningful posts. When readers take time to comment, it has the potential to generate dialogue. Dialogue is critical for a blog to thrive. I want comments on my blog, so I go out of my way to comment on the blogs of others.
3. Reply to comments on our own blogs. I wish I could reply to every single last one of you. You guys have no idea how much you make my day when you take the time to post feedback, compliments or even your opinions. Remember in social media, our goal is to form relationships. Relationships are two-way streets.
4. Visit the sites of those who post in your comments. You guys might not be aware, but I am always on the lookout for great blogs for the mash-up. I regularly click on your websites and blogs.
5. Embed trackbacks (hyperlinks)…um the blue thingies. Link to other blogs you like. Link to books you like. Hey, we need all the help we can get these days. There are A LOT of choices. Mash-ups (lists of favorite links/blogs) and even recommendations are a great way to help out other writers and generate more traffic to your blog at the same time. Everyone wins.
6. Blog about your favorite books, then link to that author’s book, home page or blog. Need blogging ideas? Go out of your way to promote others. Part of why I talk so much about Bob Mayer, James Scott Bell, Les Edgerton, Donald Mass, Blake Snyder, Jessica Morrell and Christopher Vogler is because these writers are my heroes. I believe that these are the best teachers in the industry. Now, instead of them having to go out and self-promote I have gifted them with the best gift a writer can have….a genuine word-of-mouth recommendation from a fan. Make life easy on other authors, and who knows? They might one day love to return the favor.
7. When you see a blog/book you like, take a moment to tweet the post or repost the link on your FB page. This helps the blogger/author gain exposure she otherwise wouldn’t have. It also benefits people in your circle of friends in that you are acting as a filter for great information…which helps your platform grow because people trust you for quality goods.
8. Openly praise. When I see a writer post a blog, I go out of my way to open, scan and take a look. Then, when I post, I make sure to add a “Great post!” or a “Very interesting!” Trust me. People remember an authentic compliment.
9. Repost someone else’s blog. Some people might get weird about this, but this is an amazing way to spread influence for you and the blogger you repost. Have the flu? Power outage and you don’t know how you will get a blog together in time? No worries. Just repost. How do you do this?
Give the title of the blog, and make it very clear you are reposting someone else’s content. Only give the first couple paragraphs…enough to hook a reader. Then add a hyperlink to the original blog. Now you have a blog post and the blogger you promoted now has exposure to your regular followers. I gain a lot of subscriptions this way. There are some people who had never heard of me until Marilag Lubag (Hi Marilag!) reposted one of my blogs. Her readers followed the hyperlink, loved my blog (in its entirety), and I have new fans. Yippppeeee!
10. At least hit the “Like” button. I know that sometimes I read blogs on my phone and I really don’t feel like trying to type out a compliment. I have a touch screen and there is an auto-correct function. My compliment would probably look like this:
I loved your blood. You make so many grape poinsettias and I wish I wood have fought of it. Grape stuff. Looking forehead to next leek’s blood.
So if you don’t want a blogger thinking you want to “leak their blood” instead of “read their blog” it is fine. Hit the “Like” button. Takes two seconds and it encourages the writer who put their effort into the blonde…blood…blog. And they WILL remember your face.
You know, I didn’t always do things the right way. In the beginning, my blogs sounded more like lectures. Was I stuck up? No. Was I insecure and waiting for the digital cabbages to come flying through the screen? Yes. Fear of saying the wrong thing or sounding stupid or making a mistake can keep us from genuinely interacting. But when we fail to interact, what others see is a snob, not someone who is literally terrified that both feet will fly in her mouth. I know it doesn’t make sense, but humans are self-centered, insecure and neurotic.
If someone makes a weird face, we automatically assume they are looking at our fat thighs (okay, maybe that is just me). We don’t stop to think that person might be shy. Why? Because we are paranoid narcissists and like to believe we influence everything. It’s a control thing. You know I am right :D. You, in the back, lurking on my blog. We do like you, you just were so quiet you blended in with HTML. Come hang out. Have a snack.
Can you spot the writer?
Being likable is far easier than it seems. I guarantee you that if you just employ a handful of those ten tactics, your following will improve tremendously. Why? Because you will be giving others what we all desperately need…support, validation, compliments.
What are some habits/behaviors that you guys LIKE? What small or big things can others do that just warms your heart and puts you on their team? Conversely, what are some pet peeves? Maybe we are screwing up but don’t know. Educate us! I want to hear from you guys.
And, to prove it and show my love, for the month of February, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention WANA in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel.
Until next time…
In the meantime, if you don’t already own a copy, my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writers Guide to Social Media is recommended by literary agents and endorsed by NY Times best-selling authors. My method is free, fast, simple and leaves time to write more books.
Also, I highly recommend the Write It Forward Workshops. Learn all about plotting, how to write great characters, and even how to self-publish successfully…all from the best in the industry. I will be teaching on social media and building a brand in March. For $20 a workshop, you can change your destiny….all from the comfort of home.
Mash-Up of Awesomeness
It is as if she KNEW what I would be writing about. The awesome Jane Friedman brings you How to Leave Meaningful Blog Comments
Fantastic post by the Genius Word Pirate with Tourett’s Chuck Wendig Worldbuilding is a Kind of Masturbation.
Really cute blog by Amy Sundberg, This isn’t a “Rambling,” I Promise
Jan O’Hara brings us a great blog on conflict From Bodkins to Back-Stabbing–Elizabeth Loupas on Spiking Your Novel with Conflict
5 Tips for Squashing Self-Doubt Demons from the beautiful, talented and FUNNY Tawna Fenske.
One of my new favorite blogs. Cid Tyler is one of the smartest most talented people I have ever met. She makes me
sick um, no jealous. Wait, no. She makes me try harder. YES! Check out her World-Building: Timing Matters
Loving Peter St.Clair’s explanation of my Big Boss Troublemaker, and he gives an excellent mash-up at the end. Okay, I am a tad biased. Also, if you are fascinated by cults (um, who isn’t) then I recommend his series on Jim Jones and the People’s Temple.
Manon Eileen has some really cool blogs about psychology. Very useful for research.
Need a good laugh? Bayard and Holmes…The Love Doctors.
Is the First Book We Write Usually Garbage? by Jody Hedlund is also must-read.
AWESOME post from The Creative Penn How to Grow Your Reader Community with an Author Blog
What are some of your favorite blogs? I miss anyone you think needs to be in the MUA? Put their link in the comments.