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Automate your social media marketing

One of the biggest time wasters for small business is social media marketing. Not that social media marketing is a time waster. But constantly feeding the beast can consume an awful lot of your time without ever showing much benefit.

Many small businesses attend seminars or read articles on the power of social media. You have to be on Linkedin. You have to be on Twitter. You have to be on Facebook. You have to make videos. You have to have a blog.

Yes, you do have to have most of these things to market yourself effectively online.

But what happens is that folks walk out of individual seminars or click away from a marketing article and create accounts for each social media site. They then start a blog and post a few articles.

Awesome.

Two weeks later, they discover that they are spending all their time writing content and posting it separately to all these accounts.

And nothing is happening.

The missing element is that you need to get all these different worlds working together. And the best way to do that is to automate a lot of the process, so the only real effort is creating your compelling content.

So how do you automate the process? Well creative use of RSS feeds is one way.

A few weeks back I wrote about the “Not-so-secret Google tool you should use” in regards to Feedburner.

Well each of the social media big three (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) can use your feeds to automatically update your status.

How much time would that save you?

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

For the purpose of this article, I’ll assume you already have an Facebook Business page – similar to this one from one Linkedin sales trainer, Kurt Shaver.

What we used to connect Kurt’s blog, Twitter and YouTube accounts to auto-update his Facebook page was an app called RSS Graffiti.

So now Kurt only has to concern himself with creating videos, writing new blog posts and keeping up with his tweeting – things he would be doing anyway.

And what happens is anyone who has “Liked” his page, will then see these updates on their Facebook newsfeed the next time they log in.

We also set Feedburner to auto update Twitter, which also auto updates his  Linkedin status.

RSS Updates and LinkedIn

To update your personal LinkedIn profile with your latest blog posting you can install one of these two apps Wordress or Blog Link. Both do the same job. They take the RSS feed from your posts and connect them to your LinkedIn profile.

From your Linkedin company page you can also add your Feedburner feed to display and distribute your blog posts to folks who are following you.

So, if there is a lesson to be learned for everyone when it comes to setting up your social media, it’s that using the free tools all around you will save you time and move your business into the social media arena, without causing you to burn through hours of your day updating everything manually.

A new way to promote your book

Do you have a book? Do you have a site for your book?

Everyone and their dog has a website these days. It’s how we do business.

So when you have a new book, you obviously stick it up on your site for sale.

How is that working for you? No need to answer. It’s not.

I know this because I’ve worked with multiple clients who sell their books on their own sites.

Often they choose to sell the book themselves instead of simply providing a link to Amazon and letting the big guys take care of fulfilment.

The reasons for doing this are many – but they generally come down to the same thing, money.

Amazon takes a whopping 55% of your retail price. So your $20 book becomes an $8 book. And then you have to take care of printing costs.

But compare how many people go to Amazon each day with how many people come to your site.

You can sell 1 or 2 books a weeks yourself or 1 or 2 hundred through Amazon. You make more per copy yourself, but you’ll generally make a lot more money if you sell a lot more books through Amazon.

So then why do you need to have your book on your site?

Well the job of promotion is still yours.

Recently I did some thinking about how authors could promote their books more effectively online.

I think I came up with an interesting approach that may sound counter-intuitive.

Give the book away.

Not all at once. But in dribs and drabs.

I toyed with this concept a few years back with a client. We posted a new chapter each week to a custom site built around the book and also created videos around each of the chapters.

That was way back in 2007 – a million years ago in internet terms.

Last week I reached out to this old client to ask permission to use that content to create a proof-of-concept site where folks sign up to receive a free chapter each week accompanied by a video delivered directly to their inbox.

Each mailing comes with specific calls to actions that encourage people to not wait for the full 15 weeks to accumulate the whole book in separate PDF chapters – and just buy the book from Amazon or grab the ebook from Smashwords.

Have a look at the site – www.promoting-a-book.com.

[Update July 14th 2012: Check out this new one for Craig Price – Realist-Revolution]

Here are the key benefits:

  • A dedicated blog specifically for the book
  • Complete integration into Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin (share with networks, friends etc.)
  • Auto responder let’s anyone sign up at anytime and start at Chapter 1
  • Links on every email encouraging folks to buy
  • List building opportunity.
  • Search engine optimized site

I really think this is an option that most authors should consider. If this is something you might want to explore, send me a note.

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Get your custom site review

Before we get started I have a brief questionnaire for you to complete.

After you submit your information I’ll go through your site and review your social media.

We’ll then have a 20 minute chat on Skype to show you how we can help you grow your business through proper marketing.

Free site review

Why spend a lot of money, if you’re doing everything right? You may only be getting 100 visitors a day to your site. But if those 100 visitors are highly qualified leads, then that’s all you need.

Let me take a look at your site and I’ll send you a detailed breakdown of things you can do to improve your web marketing.

Obviously my bet is you’re too busy and you’ll hire me to implement this stuff.

But at the very least, I hope you’ll sign up for my blog or pass my name and site info along to others.

Cheers,

Aidan