Social Media 101: Social Media Terms – An Introduction

As brands big and small have discovered, social media is its own animal, especially when it comes to building an online presence. If you are just starting out on social media, or plan to start soon, we have some important social media terms you should know to help you understand how to create an online brand presence and use it to your best potential.

Handle: A word that is only for usernames that use the at (@) symbol. Twitter and Instagram are the two most popular platforms that use them. For instance, our Twitter handle is @mckinneypr, and it is implied that you know to go to twitter.com/@mckinneypr to find us.

Facebook Page: Do you have a Facebook account and wonder what people mean when people ask if you have a Facebook page? It doesn’t sound different, but it is. A Facebook account is your personal account that all your friends are on, while a Facebook page is for your business or creative endeavor. You have to create a page from your personal account, and you can allow people you trust, such as your teen or social media manager, to manage your Facebook Page from their own Facebook account. Your friends also don’t automatically roll over to your Facebook Page-you have to invite them to like it.

Hashtag: What many social media mavens know as the hashtag, and you may know as the pound sign (#). The “#” is used across almost all social media networks. Each time you hashtag something, it becomes a link that you can click on and view other posts by other people with that hashtag, in that social media network. For instance, if you tweet a photo of yourself with an ice cream cone that fell on the ground, you might caption it with “Ice cream #fail.” Click on #fail and it links you to a bunch of other people who tweeted about their own fails.

For a cuter example, American Kennel Club’s Instagram (@americankennelclub) posted a picture of a border collie with the #BorderCollie, which then went into Instagram’s hashtag category of people posting and tagging photos of their border collies.

social media terms hashtag
American Kennel Club tagged #bordercollie on Instagram for all those border collie lovers out there to enjoy this adorable photo.

Organic/Paid Reach: The different ways that people are engaging with your social media posts. Organic reach is when interaction happens naturally, such as your Facebook followers reading your Facebook post about your bad attempt to make non-bake chocolate chip cookies. Paid reach is when you pay to have the social media network reach out to people that aren’t following your page. If you are an author looking for some Facebook visibility on your new thriller novel, you might target paid outreach to users whose interests include books.

social media terms paid outreach
The box that opens up when you are deciding on paid outreach. You can target people by their interests.

Content: Valuable, free information that you provide on your blog that you may promote on social media. For instance, NerdWallet is a company that offers financial tools. Their blog provides useful info on things people want to know, like rewards credit cards, best interest transfers, and banking news.

Check out our blog for another edition on social media terms and what they mean. And by the way, Internet Trolls are not the same thing as the ones hiding under bridges (but they are similar).

Book Publicity 101: 5 Reasons Press Releases Still Matter

I have heard directly from book review editors that they toss the materials that come with review copies.  I have also had a radio producer chastise me for mistakenly not sending a press packet with a book.  Clients have asked me if press releases matter anymore: “I mean does anybody really read those things?”  The short answer is “yes”: there are media, booksellers, librarians, academics, etc. who actually do pay attention to an old fashioned press release, and you have no way of knowing who is going to insist on having one and who isn’t.  So in my opinion, I wouldn’t sacrifice this tool just yet.

Here are five practical reasons why:

  1. The Core Message: Press releases are different from any of the other copy you will use to market your book. Some of the words may be the same as what you have on the back of the jacket, but the release is supposed to achieve a few things including delivering the newsworthy or unique aspects of what you are presenting; giving the reader an idea of why you would be a good interview subject; and a relatively brief synopsis of the best points of the book (or product depending on your industry).  If you want to read some examples you can check out these links on our website:
  2. Press Approved Copy or When Your Words Come Back to Haunt You: This is my favorite.  First of all the copy on your release is assumed to be vetted and usable for the press.  It is likely that one outlet or another will actually lift the synopsis or even the entire release and reprint it online or in the newspaper.  The first time I saw this it was a little weird, but the words on the release, by the very nature of what the document is, are fair game for repurposing.
  3. SEO Optimization: Having the release available on your website, your publicist’s, publishers, etc. gives you more real estate online and can offer more search results. You will notice a search for your book brings up Amazon.com and other big properties first, your publisher, and even our website can appear on the first or near the top of the second page.  It gives you more power online when there are more references to you and your work.
  4. The Pitch Package: So many people interact primarily on email these days, so there is a bit more “room” to present the best aspects of your book. As a standard practice we write pitches according to which people we are sending them, and we paste the press release below so the media contact can choose to learn more.  In the past we would send a cover letter with the press kit which constituted the pitch, and I know that today all of those pages won’t get read in a mailing.  The release is an informational supplement that provides another tool for marketing.  If a contact only wants to read three sentences, fine.  If more is desired, it’s all there in the email.
  5. Standard Practices: More people want to see a release than not, and it’s part of the public relations/media relations process. In addition, your booksellers, event coordinators at higher end venues, librarians—they want to see the meat of what you are selling without having to read the entire book.  Having a press release gives you a more serious, professional persona when you are marketing your book.  It says, you mean business and people should pay attention to you.  Don’t sell yourself short.

The other more esoteric reason for the release is that it is an opportunity for you and your publicist to come to an understanding of what your intention is about your book and its relevance.  You may also discover some things that are unclear about your work, or an interpretation that is not at all what you meant.  It’s important to come to terms with how the book will be presented and what the selling points are.  It’s super competitive out there, as you know, and you want to make sure your work is getting the attention it deserves.

 

Links Roundup: Week of 6/8

Happy Friday, and a beautiful one at that! The excitement and buzz of Book Expo finally started to die down this week, and now it’s time to move on to other book and pr related topics! So here’s our Friday Links Roundup for you, and we wish you a sunny weekend!

RIP Christopher Lee [People]

Growing your audience on LinkedIN by repurposing content [Copyblogger]

A case study of a successful book launch [ALLi]

53 of the best lines in literature. Is yours here? [Buzzfeed]

Quiz: How humble are you? [92Y]

Can reading make you happier? [New Yorker]

Assembling a good team can help a lot in self-publishing [PW]

More ideas on repurposing content [PR Daily]

A finished copy of EL James’ “Grey” was stolen [Bookseller]

How much should you spend on a marketing budget as a writer? [Funds for Writers]