OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
I love Mad Men and I love Twitter so I'm clearly a fan of this guest post from Steven Lewis from Taleist.com
What would a writer for the 60s make of today's opportunities?
I made a mistake with Mad Men. I misread the publicity material and thought it was a comedy set in the 1960s. About 20 minutes into the first episode I hadn't laughed once so I switched it off. Whoops. On the upside when I worked out what all the fuss was about I had four seasons to catch up on. It took about a weekend: it's that good. It's not funny, but it's good.
If I've read the latest publicity correctly, the fifth season will be set in the present day. That made me wonder what fictional advertising legend Don Draper would make of blogging, Facebook and Twitter.
Draper today would be about the same age as Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch signed up for Twitter on a whim on New Year's Day while on a yachting holiday with his family. Within a few minutes the world could know he was having a great time in the sea with his young daughters.
If Rupert can do it, it's hard to imagine Don wouldn't get there, too. After all, why wouldn't he? In the 1960s there were, relative to today, only a handful of ways to reach a worldwide audience. All of them were expensive and involved time-consuming preparation and planning. Now there's a potential audience in the hundreds of millions using services you can join in less than a minute.
I can't know what Don Draper would be tweeting about — his fifth wedding? checking-in at his favourite bars? Maybe he'd enjoy the nostalgic feel of Instagram's photo filters.
I can imagine, however, that he'd have no time for excuses that Twitter was too hard to “get” or that someone didn't understand how to work Facebook and couldn't be bothered to learn. Not if the person complaining had a product to sell like, say, a book.
Sometimes social media can seem overwhelming.
There's so much advice out there, so many sites. Should you be on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Instagram, Google Plus? Does MySpace still exist? If you are on all of those sites, how much time should you be spending on each one? It's easy to see how all this analysis can lead to paralysis.
That's why I want you to stop and look into Don Draper's eyes. Somehow you've ended up in his presence, maybe you've been asked to bring him an old-fashioned at a party. You end up telling him you've written a book but it's hard to get the word out.
“You know there are over 300 million people on Twitter?” he asks
Yes, you say but you're not sure you really get it.
“And there are almost a billion people on Facebook?” he says, cocking his eyebrows.
Ah, but it's so complicated and you're not sure whether you should have one fan page or a page for each of your books.
“And they're free?” The eyebrows climb higher.
But they're just so darned confusing, you say.
“Do you want people to read this book or not?” he asks, fixing you with a hard stare. “It's up to you.”
If you've been struggling with what to do to kick start your own social media promotion, sign up now for Steven's free Social Media Check-Up, a free email course showing you easy ways to make sure you're using social media to maximum effect in promoting your books.
Steven Lewis writes the Taleist self-publishing blog.
You can also learn more detail in these posts: