I was recently asked by a fellow publisher “whether an author with limited time and resources should put them into social media strategies rather than trying to include publicity or even going exclusively the publicity route.” Does an author need PR and Social Media to succeed?
Here is my response:
Good question. The first thing I always want to know is where does your audience live, as it should inform a lot of where to put your efforts. If you target an audience that is rarely on social media, then that would not be a great use of all your efforts.
I consider social media as part of ‘the media’ nowadays
Earned media [others writing about you, talking about you…] is the most valuable type of content you can have [no one cares or believes what you say about you to some extent, especially on social media]. Others talking about you is social proof, third party credibility, perceived as an endorsement…
In our review economy [also called trust economy], people trust:
- recommendations from friends and family
- online reviews & recommendations and
- the media [source: Nielson]
You have probably heard it said that people buy from those they know, like and trust… so media coverage/mentions are in the top 3 factors that influence buying decisions
The media are respected, and as it is they who decide what they write about; being the ‘selected one’ has additional value – i.e. they featured you over all the other experts out there.
When you are featured in the media, you get the halo effect of being associated with their respected brands…. that is why we say, as seen in the NY Times or cite a NY Times book review, and we don’t say “as seen on Facebook” or cite a Facebook book review, no matter how glowing.
As you can probably tell by now, I think that authors need PR and Social Media to succeed; I recommend authors use a combination of PR and social media… yes, even when time and resources are challenged [when aren’t they?]… all the more reason to learn how each medium works and learn how to maximize your efforts.
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