How to survive a social media outage

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Yesterday, Facebook and its related apps, including Instagram, experienced an outage. Many users reported the inability to log-on and use these social media platforms. While some people might roll their eyes and deem this a non-priority issue, there are many for whom the outage was crippling.

Really?

Yes, really!

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Facebook (which also owns Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger) has evolved into more than a cool place to post cat memes and recipes. There are almost 3 billion social media users worldwide, which translates to more than a third of the world’s population using social media to communicate.

For many people, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms are today’s virtual water cooler. They are communication tools, often critical for sharing information and connecting with professional contacts. They are also advertising platforms so an extended outage like the one we just experienced can affect revenue.

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My work was directly impacted by the Facebook outage. I could not post social media content related to clients’ products and events. I could not check metrics to evaluate advertising performance. On a more fundamental level, there were individuals I could not exchange information with.

I’ve identified seven strategies to avoid a work interruption when Facebook (or any other social media platform) goes offline.

1. Email clients to alert them to potential problems. If you anticipate the outage may impact specific issues (such as a prescheduled live event) be prepared to offer solutions to minimize impact on clients’ followers/audience (such as sending out an eblast/email).

2. Check other social media profiles for messages or outreach from clients/contacts who usually rely on the channel(s) experiencing an interruption.

3. Monitor the outage so you can resume work as soon as access is restored.

4. Post a message acknowledging the outage on other social media profiles. Include instructions/contact information if appropriate.

5. Expand your social media footprint. If you only have profiles on one or two platforms, create “social media outposts” on other channels to remain accessible. Chris Syme has how-to advice on using outpost channels.

6. Collect contact information for clients/contacts. Include email and phone numbers, as well as social media links.

7. Diversify how and where you communicate, connect, engage and advertise.  Social media is just one method for communication. Others include your website, blogs, newsletter, texting, phone calls and–my personal favorite–in person.

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Just Five Things – Why authors need a website

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WhiteJust Five Things, a list of simple actions that can enhance your publishing career. One tip for each day of the week related to every aspect of publishing from time management to marketing to writing.

1.  Authors need a website (or blog or landing page) so readers can find them on the internet.

2.  A website serves as “Grand Central” for authors. All others resources, such as bookmarks, swag and social media, should redirect readers and fans back to your central hub (website).

3.  A well-organized website will provide information commonly needed by readers, fans, media and marketers: bio, book list, reading order of series, new releases, career accomplishments, etc.

4. Websites are the internet-version of business cards so they should include contact information and other online profiles, such as Facebook, Twitter and  YouTube.

5. Websites give authors autonomy over content vs. having to abide by the rules and regulations of social media sites or internet “real estate” owned by another individual/organization.

See you next week for another list of Just Five Things.

If you have a tip to share or need help with a challenge, email me at myauthorconcierge@gmail.com.

Just Five Things: How to network online

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5 2Just Five Things, a list of simple actions that can enhance your publishing career. One tip for each day of the week related to every aspect of publishing from time management to marketing to writing.

1.  Establish an engaging, interactive online presence that reflects your brand, service, product, business, etc.

2.  Identify  professionals peers who share your target audience and connect with them on social media.  Like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, subscribe to their newsletters/blogs.

3.  Create a list of 10-20 most influential contacts and engage with them on a daily or weekly basis by making thoughtful comments and sharing their content.

4.  Send a personal email or message to individuals when you’ve found their information or expertise helpful. Be sure to include your credentials as a subtle invitation to cross-promote and/or network with you.

5.  Create profiles at social networking sites such as LinkedIn, but also those specific to your industry.

See you next week for another list of Just Five Things.

If you have a tip to share or need help with a challenge, email me at myauthorconcierge@gmail.com.

Just Five Things: Best book marketing blogs

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number-5Just Five Things, a list of simple actions that can enhance your publishing career. One tip for each day of the week related to every aspect of publishing from time management to marketing to writing.

1.  BookMarketingBuzzBlog / Brian Feinblum

2.  The Creative Penn / Joanna Penn

3.  Savvy Book Marketer / Dana Lynn Smith

4.  Author Marketing Experts / Penny Sansevieri

5.  SMART Marketing for Authors / Chris Syme

See you next week for another list of Just Five Things.

If you have a tip to share or need help with a challenge, email me at myauthorconcierge@gmail.com.

Just Five Things: Characteristics of credible, effective publishing industry influencers

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five-706893_960_720Just Five Things, a list of simple actions that can enhance your publishing career. One tip for each day of the week related to every aspect of publishing from time management to marketing to writing.

Influencers – Individuals who have the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of their (real or perceived) authority, knowledge, position, or relationship. (Definition per Business Dictionary)

1. They are actively engaged on social media (consistently post content and have a high level of interaction with their audience).

2. They are widely recognized within the publishing community as an expert or authority.

3. They have a genuine passion for books, publishing, reading and authors.

4. Their audience has an authentic interest in you and your product (books).

5. They support positive experiences and authentic relationships, meaning they are respectful, professional, reliable and honest.

See you next week for another list of Just Five Things.

If you have a tip to share or need help with a challenge, email me at myauthorconcierge@gmail.com.

Just Five Things: Cross-promotion strategies for authors

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5 1Just Five Things, a list of simple actions that can enhance your publishing career. One tip for each day of the week related to every aspect of publishing from time management to marketing to writing.

1.   Look for cross-promotional partners who bring different resources, talents or strengths to the group.

2.  Consider cross-promoting with groups, organizations or individuals who offer services or products that compliment your books.

3.  Create a group campaign or project and coordinate promotion across each partners’ social media, mailing lists, etc.

4.  Promote your partners in your books’ back matter, on your blog, on your social media or in your newsletter.

5.  Invest time and energy in building positive, reliable cross-promotional partnerships. Identify author who write in a similar genre or have a similar readership; engage and support their marketing efforts, reciprocate when they support you; be professional but require accountability and participation.

See you next week for another list of Just Five Things.

If you have a tip to share or need help with a challenge, email me at myauthorconcierge@gmail.com.

Just Five Things: Storytelling with photographs

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imagesJust Five Things, a list of simple actions that can enhance your publishing career. One tip for each day of the week related to every aspect of publishing from time management to marketing to writing.

1. Look for images that reflect a mood or emotion.

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Contemporary romance author Chris Keniston (R) at a costume-party reader event.

2. Compose photographs with contrasting, surprising or unexpected elements.

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A romance author in a military hangar? Heather Ashby makes it work.

3. Focus on unusual details or perspectives.

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This reluctant reader was still willing to promo Jacki Delecki, one of her favorite romantic suspense authors.

4. Aim for spontaneous vs. staged.

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Cover model Vikkas Bhardwaj sends a personal message to a fan.

5. Develop photographic themes related to your branding.

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Historical romance author Madeline Martin often pairs wine and romance on her social media.

See you next week for another list of Just Five Things.

If you have a tip to share or need help with a challenge, email me at myauthorconcierge@gmail.com.