Dec 20, 2011

Playing Around with Social Media

During this time of experimentation, I also wanted to learn about how to deal with more of the social networking aspects of marketing. Having worked in the computer science industry for over 20 years, I knew about the technologies, but I hadn't really used many of them myself. The results were interesting.

On the blogging side, I created a  site that could be accessed from my web site and contained my thoughts on humanism, parenting, and related topics and observations. I kept it going for a couple of years while the Humanism for Parents book was being launched. It enjoyed marginal success and taught me how to make use of a blog. I considered this a successful experiment.

Twitter, on the other hand, was a completely different story. With it's limit on names, I ended up with a twitter identity of spiritualhumani, which happened to be where it cut off, but wasn't bad, so I left it. I ended up finding a program from a cohort of mine that promoted more twitter followers (by using the assumption that 30% of people who are followed follow the follower back again - it would programatically follow 1000 people, wait for a set of them to follow me and then un-follow them - sad, but true). In this way, I had many hundreds of followers, but I had no real idea if they cared about the topic or not. Moreover, my account was now following 1000 somewhat-random people at any point and I certainly didn't care about most of what they had to say (especially those who felt it necessary to tell me when they went to the bathroom and other mundane events in their lives). Eventually, I felt this avenue was a one-way communication to people who had too much time on their hands. The experiment was successful only in that it taught me that I didn't think it was a feasible marketing route - at least for my target audience.

Facebook I had been using for a while, but mostly to keep in touch with my family & friends. As I expanded it's use to include a multitude of "friends," it became less useful. That was mostly because it became information overload and I don't really have the time to monitor the noise for the gems (not unlike twitter). I found myself looking at particular people's post (mostly family), but otherwise ignoring it and only posting occasionally. On the other hand, I continue to keep friends on it in the hopes that they can, eventually, help me sell books. I have really enjoyed the Google+ concept of circles since it allows me to watch the users I care about without all the noise. They are so clever at Google :)

I've also used LinkedIn for work for years and will continue to build my network there - and will make use of it when the time comes for selling books.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting options for twitter. I had never heard of such a thing. But I actually use it for quick reads during my "waiting" times. I follow Writer's Digest, NYTimes Books and other writing tweets. As well as some on health and other items. Maybe it isn't a writer's ideal avenue, but getting on on the NY Times list could be beneficial.