Monday, July 6, 2009

Does Your Online Presence Help Achieve Your Publishing Goals

What Does Your Online Presence do to Help Achieve Your Publishing Goals?

Chris Brogan, in his blog, writes about managing your online presence. Presence is a bog part of your brand and must be managed carefully. Think of each person who touches you, through your online presence as a soon to be, reader, then think about how you wish to direct and manage their impressions of you and your work.

There are as many theories about this as there are theorists.

Be intentional. Make your online presence YOURS. Cookie cutter, off the shelf looking blogs and social media pages are just that; cookie cutter and off the shelf. You are an individual artist and your “look” is the main event until they pick up and start to read your books.

If you’re looking to establish your online presence, and build relationships, it’s not the kind of project where you show up, build your profiles, friend a few people, and call it good. It’s a lot like tending the farm. Here are seven particular “chores” you could do every day that should prove beneficial to your online interests.

Find seven things others are saying, worth retweeting in your general feed and share.
Reply to at least five things with full responses (not just “thanks”).
Point out a few people that you admire. It shows your mindset, too.
Follow back at least 10 folks. (I use an automated tool, but this is a personal preference. If you want such, I use SocialToo.)
10 minutes of just polite two-way chit chat goes far.

Check in on birthdays on the home page. (Want a secret? Send the birthday wish via Twitter or email. Feels even more deliberate.)
Respond to any comments on your wall.
Post a status message daily, something engaging or interesting.
Comment on at least seven people’s status messages or updates.
Share at least 3 interesting updates that you find.
If you belong to groups or fan pages, leave a new comment or two.
Accept any invitations that make sense for you to accept.
Enter any recent business cards to invite them to LinkedIn (if you’re growing your network).
Drop into Q&A and see if you can volunteer 2-3 answers.
Provide 1 recommendation every few days for people you can honestly and fully recommend.
Add any relevant slide decks to the Slideshare app there, or books to the Amazon bookshelf.

Visit your blog’s comments section and comment back on at least 5 replies.
If you have a few extra minutes, click through to the blogs of the commenters, and read a post or two and comment back.
While on those sites, use a tool like StumbleUpon and promote their good work.
Write the occasional post promoting the good work of a blog in your community.
It’s Not Easy
Maintaining your online presence takes time. If you look at all I’ve listed above, that’s easily more than an hour of work. But it depends what the value of that presence is to you, if you’re doing this as an individual, or to your organization, if you’re doing this on behalf of a brand or product.
We’ve traded dollars for time, in lots of these equations, as we see the return on our advertising spend diminish. It’s your choice whether you want to maintain an active online presence, or if you want to get away with a bit less.

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