Using Social Media and ‘pull-marketing’
Updated: Mar 7, 2020
In my last post I talked about where I was going with this blog now that my book is out and I feel I have covered, at least in overview, most facets of getting your book ready for the digital, and literal shelves. I said I’d be delving into the writing craft itself, but I still want to stay true to helping people, and so this post will be about my transition from writing a book and getting it ready for publication, to what comes after in regards to nurturing your brand and connections with others. In that same vein, I also want to talk about the importance of community.
I’m usually the kind of person who will try most things at least once; whether it’s foods or places, I enjoy new experiences. However, I will be honest and say the idea of using Twitter scared the hell out of me. Facebook is well known to me and very much within my comfort zone. I have control and knowledge of everyone who sees what I post and the things I say. Twitter on the other hand is so much more public, and my only experience with Twitter, until recently, was the occasional screenshot that would show up on my feed. Very rarely would those screenshots be pleasant. But I knew that the public aspect of Twitter was important if I was going to market my book, so I jumped in.
What I found, was that the generally unpleasantness of Twitter was only once face of the social media tool. With help from a few new friends, I got all the information I needed about Twitter mechanics and etiquette, as well as a much needed starter boost to my followers. I was introduced to the Writer Community, and it was there I learned that Twitter is what you make it. You mould and influence the people you attract by the things you engage with, so as writers it’s a perfect platform for meeting likeminded individuals and becoming part of a community.
So, being part of a community where you can find help and offer assistance in return is amazing, but how does it help us as authors who want to market our book? That’s where ‘pull-marketing’ comes in. To understand this, I’ll first define ‘push-marketing’, which is when you put up links and tell people, in one way or another, that they should by your book, for whatever reason. But isn’t that all marketing really is? It’s the natural go-to for most people and the easiest way to promote your book and as I have said before, it’s important to keep your name and product fresh in people’s minds. Long term however, it’s not effective because eventually people will start to ignore anything you put up, if that is all you are doing. There are hundreds of thousands of authors out there just like us, so simply posting a link to your book every day is not going to make people want to buy your book. Not only this, if you do it too incessantly, it’ll have the opposite effect and is pretty frowned upon on especially on Twitter; few things will make you bleed followers more.
Pull-marketing on the other hand is where really creating a brand for yourself comes in. Pull-marketing on social media is all about attracting people to you as a person so they actually care when you post a link to your book, or blog, or whatever else. I mentioned in a previous post that people like it when the people they love do literally anything. So be the kind of person you want to attract by talking with other people on social media, sharing other people’s things, and generally just engaging with others, and you’ll naturally grow a follower base that actually cares when you put up something you want them to spend their time and money on.
To summarize, push-marketing is great for short-term marketing, but should be used sparingly. Pull-marketing is good in the long term, and a great way to engage with the community besides. Also, Twitter isn’t as scary as you may think.
“The most successful marketer becomes part of the lives of their followers. They follow back. They wish happy birthday. They handle problems their customers have with products or service. They grow their businesses and brands by involving themselves in their own communities." - Marsha Collier, speaker and business author