Monday, June 11, 2012

Links Myths and Missteps

Missteps (missed words, mistakes, and slips) happen in the world of social media. Where the online world can include an instantaneous megaphone and spotlight, learn to waltz.

On the Many Links Myth post of May 28th, the point of the post was to show how offering a ladder of connection links triggers a paralysis of choice reaction. This is ineffective if the intent is to entice a reader to click on a link and experience your awesome author persona. I, Therese, am aware of all the other distractions to my attention that were happening when I wrote and scheduled that post before unplugging and skipping town. (often do this during the summer.)

Fortunately, David D. Levine sent an email and left a comment that I had actually created an example of inappropriate email addresses instead of the inappropriate multiple social media links examples I had intended. Creating a new post to correct an error is also a duplicate promotion so never shy away from a chance to say, "Oops, here's what I meant to say."

So I'll clarify - no matter where you are on the web, or how many ways you can be contacted, give your audience one choice for that first glance potential. It's the first glance at the author persona you've created that you want to present to your audience. As an author, with hours of time to network all over every social media outlet everyday, <grin!> you need to remember your audience has limited time and they are looking for a great reading experience.

Your signature link should only be:  (.net or .org also work and are invisible)
or if you're using a free service like WordPress or Blogspot or LiveJournal.

These web address links can also be embedded on  Author Name or My Website.

The reader clicks on that one link and there's your Author Persona. Have the graphics in a sidebar for Twitter, Facebook, your publisher, your book covers, and all the places you exist on the web. Make sure a click on those graphics have embedded links to connect to you, or are a link to purchase your book. Check these links to verify they work at least once a month.

If you want to promo a novel beneath your signature link, please limit it to two. An "Available Now" or a "Coming Soon" is great. A list of titles, or a blurb paragraph, distracts the reader from a curious click on your link to find out about your books. Less-is-More to generate a click on your link to you.

When a reader clicks on your link, they have already made the choice to connect. They are now on your main persona page. Since you've created a great experience for the reader that represents your genuine author persona, they are more willing to follow, read more, or BUY, and the easier it is, the better they feel about that choice. Pay attention to how you feel when you see how others present that choice to connect and you will know the way to appeal to your audience.

Also, have a designated email or contact form that's very easy to find and use. Too many websites include the options - Follow me on Twitter! Like me on Facebook! - but do not provide a way to send a simple, private, email note. The recent example is:  An editor for an online magazine wanted to add some bloggers to the magazine RSS feed to repost articles of interest to their readership, but was unable to contact the authors. 

If you misstep and someone like David D. Levine is gracious enough to point out that gaff, thank him, and check out what he's got going on. Hello! Lots of cool stories and more! I wouldn't have discovered him if I hadn't misstepped online and he stepped forth to politely let me know. New connections are born this way. You may never connect with 90% of your audience so treat that 10% with the same respect you deserve.

And if you make a misstep? Waltz with it.

Any marketing questions can be posed in the comments on any post. If you have a question, others will too, so we can address our answers to all. Our posts are myths and tips we want to share but we love to target our answers to specific questions.

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