Book publicity tip: Share testimonial photos on your Facebook page

When author Gail Mencini wrote her fiction novel To Tuscany with Love, she included a character who must deal with breast cancer. The novel follows the adventures of Bella Rossini, a vivacious college junior, who is suddenly thrust into living in Tuscany with seven strangers during one life-altering summer. 

Gail, a breast cancer survivor, hoped that writing about the struggles with breast cancer would remind women of the importance of mammograms.

She was thrilled when, this week, reader Toni Daylor emailed to tell her that the novel nudged her to make a long overdue appointment for a mammogram. Toni also included a selfie of her and her Xray tehnician, holding a copy of Gail’s book. Gail asked for permission to post it to her Facebook page, and from there, word is spreading.



“Little did I know that the book would actually have this type of effect, even though that was my hope,” Gail said. “And, by the way, it’s also good publicity.”



Jump on testimonial photos like this one. It’s a feel-good story that your friends, followers and fans will love to share and, often, it can be just as powerful as getting a great book review. 


Other Tools That Can Help You with Book Publicity:

Where to Find Millions of Readers Online to Review, Recommend and Buy Your Books

How to Launch a Book, Promote It and Sell a Truckload, Without an Expensive Publicist 

Crowdfunding: How to Use Other People’s Money for Your Book or Project

How much is an email address from Facebook really worth?

Facebook Like button on cash


Here’s a startling statistic that will force you to really think about how much money you’re probably leaving on the table on Facebook.

Studies show that the average Facebook “Like” is worth about $10 a year. Some of those people will buy from you when they see you promoting things, but most won’t.

If that same person who “Likes” you, however, also gives you their name and email address, that fan is worth a whopping $120 a year!

In other words, convince them to opt in on Facebook and they are now worth 11 times more than if they had simply “Liked” you.


Why a Facebook Opt-in Is Worth That Much


Once they opt in, you can email them valuable content like tips and advice on how to solve a business problem and really promote your expertise.

If they’ve been with you for awhile and love your content, chances are far greater that they’ll buy from you if you send them an email promotion instead of asking for the order on Facebook where most people hate blatant promotions.

That’s why selling on Facebook is usually ineffective. You need to get your fans onto an email list. Right now!


Learn How to Gather Email Addresses, Step by Step


Internet marketer Don CrowtherMy friend Don Crowther will give you step-by-step directions on how to do that, for free, when he’s my guest on a webinar from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12. He’ll also teach you how to use Pinterest and your own blog to build a valuable email list of people who will let you market to them over and over again.

Register for the free webinar “Turn Your Social Media Into a List-building Machine.” 

You can access the free step-by-step directions after the webinar.


Do the Math. How Much Money are You Leaving on the Table? 


If an email address you’ve harvested from Facebook is worth $120, multiply that by the number of fans you have. Now do you see why you’re leaving money on the table?

Register for my webinar with Don right now.

6 Common Problems with Opt-in Boxes on Facebook

Facebook is digging into its back of tricks, yet again, and making it more difficult for users to create a buzz without buying an ad.

Remember the big ruckus last year when people discovered that only a small percentage of fans were seeing status updates posted to a page? Back then, it was something like only 11 percent.

That number is shrinking even more. 

Advertising Age got its hands on a document that Facebook sent to its partners recently. In it, Facebook admits that the main reason for you to acquire fans isn’t to build a free distribution channel for your valuable content. It’s to make sure Facebook ads work better. Bottom Line: The vast majority of fans will NOT see your content unless you buy an ad.

Lost of people saw this one coming.


What If You Don’t Have Money for Ads?


As Facebook tightens the vise, that means it’s more important than ever to make sure that you’re not only providing quality content but that you’re pulling Facebook fans into your marketing funnel and making sure you keep them happy with even more content than they’ll find on your page.

One of the best ways to do that is with an opt-in box on your Facebook page. An opt-in box adds people to your email list, with their permission, and that means you can market to them over and over again. I’ve had one on my Facebook page for more than a year, but sign-ups have been stagnant recently. Until last week, I couldn’t understand why. 

Then I saw my friend, Don Crowther, demonstrate step-by-step how to add an opt-in box to a Facebook page that visitors will find absolutely irresistible. You can use his method, for free, and watch him demonstrate it during a webinar I’m hosting with him from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, Dec. 12. Register here for Turn Your Social Media Into a List-building Machine.  


Why Your Opt-in Box Isn’t Working


If you already have an opt-in box on Facebook, and you’re happy with the number of email addresses you’re collecting, you probably don’t need Don’s training. But if you’re not collecting lots of email addresses and making money from them, Don says,  this could be why:

1. You’re offing the same tired freebie you’ve been offering for years, like an ebook or White Paper.

2. You’re offering the same freebie to different target audiences. Don’t assume everyone wants the same content. On Facebook, you can offer different opt-in boxes for different audiences. 

3. Lack of a compelling thumbnail that catches visitors’ attention. If visitors arrive on your Facebook page and get distracted by the many links, they might not know you’re offering great content and that they can opt in to get it. During the webinar, Don will share a great tip on how to persuade visitors immediately to opt in to your email list.

4. Using another company’s tool to create an opt-in list. Some tools cost $10 to $40 a month, Don says, and that eats into any profit you might eventually make from an email list.  

5. Not sending top-quality content to people on your list after you get their email address. What good is an email if you aren’t constantly impressing those people with great content and, periodically, asking for the order? 

6. Not using video on the opt-in page. This is very easy, Don says, and he’ll demonstrate exactly how to do it.


don crowther opt-in box on facebook

Register for Thursday’s call here. 

What other questions do you have about opt-in boxes on Facebook? List them below, and bring them to Thursday’s webinar with Don.  

Social Media 101 for authors kicks off Thursday, Feb. 28, with 3 sessions on Facebook


I’ll be the first to admit that Facebook may well be the most confusing of all the social media websites.

It changes frequently. It has apps, tabs and other tools hidden in the strangest places.

It isn’t intuitive, at least for me. But for every person who hates it, there’s another who swears it’s one of the best marketing tools around.

Chris_headshotCount Christine Buffaloe among the raving Facebook fans. She uses her profile page daily to communicate with her friends, and her page to communicate with people for business.

She teamed up with me last month to present two webinars to romance authors on how to use social media to sell books. She taught Facebook. I taught Twitter.

We learned rather quickly, from the questions they were asking, that much of what we were teaching was way over their heads. Some loved the “how to market” lessons. But others asked very basic questions like how to create a profile, how to create a page, how to configure their settings, where to find the settings, and whether they can use their book cover as their profile photo (no!).

That’s when Chris decided to recruit an all-star lineup of social media experts to help her present a 10-part series on Social Media 101 for Authors. She calls it “Social Media KISS for Authors: Keep it Simple & Serene” (affiliate link).

She kicks it off this Thursday, Feb. 28, with Part 1 on how to create a Facebook profile. She’ll present two more sessions on Facebook the following two weeks, followed by sessions from guest presenters on how to blog and how to use Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Amazon. I’m presenting a session on Thursday, March 28, on how to use Twitter to market books.

Each presentation, from 30 to 45 minutes, will be followed by a Q&A. All start at 4 p.m. Eastern Time.

You can sign up for the entire series, or pick and choose only the sessions you need.

You won’t learn strategy, how to read your statistics, or other more advanced tricks. This will be nuts-and-bolts training on how to create your accounts and take advantage of every tool available to put your best foot forward and sell more books.

Don’t miss this one. And bring ALL your questions, no matter how basic.

And no, you don’t have to be an author to participate. If you’re at all confused, frustrated or depleted because of social media, this one is for you.

Dog Tweets—Authors: You can’t promote your book on your Facebook profile

Here are my Top 10 tweets from this past week, great for retweeting! If you missed these, follow me on Twitter.

Effective story-telling for business [Works for PR and during media interviews, too.]
The best stories drip with conflict. They have a hero and sometimes a villain. There is a story arc. As a writing teacher once told me: “Writing without conflict is propaganda.”

22 tips for using Pinterest. [Have a strategy. Don't just pin willy-nilly]
So you may be asking why you should use Pinterest for business. It is because based on its performance, it can become a powerful tool for your business. It may be even better than Facebook.

3 good reasons not to accept LinkedIn invitations to connect only from people who know.
If you are refusing connection invitations on LinkedIn because you don’t know the person who sent you the invitation, you might want to rethink your strategy, particularly during a job search.

Authors: You can’t promote your book on your Facebook profile.
“Social Media KISS (Keep It Simple & Serene) for Authors.” It’s a one-hour call every week that focuses ONLY on the basics.

Hashtags are now part of big brands’ marketing campaigns. [Why not small brands too?]
We are now entering the hashtag era, as evidenced by the half of Super Bowl ads that carried them.

12 best social media conferences to attend in 2013.
Have you been to any of the above events? Which ones are you the biggest fan of? Which invaluable ones did I miss?

Time magazine’s editor offers detailed pitching tips. Don’t miss this one.
Harry McCracken, the magazine’s editor-at-large, discusses good and bad pitches in a recent podcast. PR pros, turn your listening ears on.

Average people love to be comfortable. Rich people find comfort in uncertainty.
Average people think MONEY is the root of all evil. Rich people believe POVERTY is the root of all evil.

The Steveology Blog now accepting guest posts. He’s a major player in social media world.
If you think you have an awesome idea that senior marketers would love, and can live with rejection if I feel it doesn’t meet all the requirements below, you can apply to be a guest author and have thousands of readers and newsletter subscribers to see your work.

13,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies dumped in landfill. Bad publicity. Scouts HQ seems unconcerned.
A David Goldstein investigation reveals that more than 13,000 boxes of perfectly fine Girl Scout cookies were trashed — rather than donated.


Dog Tweets—How To Contact Facebook: A Directory of 120+ Forms

Here are my Top 10 tweets from this past week, great for retweeting! If you missed these, follow me on Twitter.

How To Contact Facebook: A Directory of 120+ Forms
Use this guide to show you exactly where to report content on Facebook.

The top 5 reasons every artist should blog.
Artists create some of the most visually engaging, dynamic blogs on the web.

LinkedIn decides you can’t get laid on LinkedIn. [Good. Leave that for Facebook.]  
Just when LinkedIn was about to become vaguely fun, the suits upstairs ruined it.

3 industries social media is changing for the better. 
It’s no surprise that social media is changing the way we live today. To put it in perspective of how much, how did you find your last job? And what is your preferred method of getting the latest news?

The problem with Kickstarter. 
Kickstarter helped pioneer crowdfunding for creative projects. It has been enormously successful. The Kickstarter model is to set a fundraising goal.

5 Strategies to Natural Link Profiles. 
Old SEO paradigms used to say if you linked to a page about hedge trimmers, then you should use a number of content-oriented sources that link back to the page via the anchor text “hedge trimmers.”

Hosting a webinar? Ask registrants, “What do you want to learn?” 
When I listed 9 ways to use webinars for PR, to make money and save time, one of my tips was to host a free Q&A webinar for your customers, ezine subscribers, blog readers or anyone who needs help in your area of expertise.

How to respond to negative social media and blog comments. [Great tip in 1-minute video] 
When someone starts to criticize your company or latest business move online, what can you do to help stop that behavior?

Free White Paper on PR Salary Survey. Opt-in required.
The first-ever PR Daily Salary and Job Satisfaction survey found that PR people got pay bumps in 2012, but they’re mostly dissatisfied with their pay.

Tell a great story that turns heads. Learn how on this replay of a free call with Nancy Juetten 
Whether you need to attract new clients, invite media attention for your winning ways, or all of the above, you’ll learn essential steps you can take to get ready to welcome and initiate more of the right kinds of opportunities to grow your influence, impact, and your income.


Why Pinterest contests are easier than Facebook contests

pinterest contest brides

Contests are powerful marketing tools, and not just for businesses and brands associated with beautiful images, like the ones on Pinterest for the Brides of North Texas.

A fun contest with an enticing prize can go viral within hours.

Contests can pull traffic to your website, build your email list, get you in front of people who never knew you existed, generate publicity, and sell more products and services.

Sponsor a contest on the world’s Number One social media site, and you have to adhere to a long list of Facebook promotion guidelines. Here are just a few:

—All promotions must be managed through a third-party app.  

—You can’t use Facebook features or functionality (likes, comments, videos, photos, cover photos, etc.) as a promotion’s registration, or you can’t automatically register participants by asking them to Like a page.

—You can’t use the Like button as a voting mechanism.

Not so on Pinterest, which has its own long list of Terms of Service but no third-party app requirement for contests.


Beth Hayden

In fact, Beth Hayden, an expert in Pinterest contests, suggests that you keep your contest simple. “Don’t ask contest participants to do five different things in order to enter. Make it a two-step process: Create a board, and tell them to tell you about it, whether it’s on Twitter, email, or in blog comment.”

That’s the easy part. Making your contest really work for you—by growing your email list, for example—is more difficult.

Beth will share tips on exactly how to do that when she’s my guest during a webinar on “How to Use Powerful Pinterest Contests to Grow Your Audience and Explode Your Profits” from 4 to 5:30 Eastern Time on Thursday, Jan. 31. Everyone who registers will receive:

—The video replay

—The PowerPoint slides we used for the presentation

—Beth’s report “Profile Power: 5 Ways to Bring in More Sales by Making Your Pinterest Profile Work for You.”

—Beth’s “Top Ten Ways to Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Website or Blog”

—My handy checklist that will help you remember important things to do as you’re pinning.

—The MP3 file so you can listen while you’re at the gym or walking the dog.

Go ahead and register for the Pinterest contest webinar  even if you’ve made plans for tomorrow afternoon because you’ll get the link for all the downloads and you can watch the video when it’s most convenient for you.


Dog Tweets–Facebook: Are the good times really over for good?

Here are my top 10 tweets from this past week, great for retweeeting.

If you missed these, follow me on Twitter.

Facebook: Are the good times really over for good?

Great explanation of Google AuthorRank.  If you write anything online, read this.

9 mistakes you’re making on LinkedIn 

How guest posting propelled one site from 0 to 100,000 customers RT @Frank_Strong via @joeldon

“A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer.”  –Dean Acheson #quote

10 Commendments of the Self-Employed

5 social media sites to ditch in 2013 to save time

5 Facebook posts that need to stop.  Now.  [#3 is most annoying.]

Ratchet up your publicity next year with 27 tips from my ezine.  Free ebook.  No opt-in.

3 things executives can do to be more quoted in the news. RT @Steveology

Increase your Facebook Page reach with ‘Get Notifications’

get notifications on faceboookThe annoying reality on Faceboook is that only about 17 percent of your Facebook fans, if you’re lucky, actually see your status updates in their feed.  

Facebook wants you to pay, either by buying a Facebook ad or a Sponsored Post, so that more people can see your updates. When Facebook page owners finally realized that, they started complaining loudly.

Maybe that’s why Facebook has finally rolled out the “Get Notifications” feature for Pages. You’ve been able to use this feature on user profiles for quite some time, but Facebook recently enabled it for Pages.

It’s a way to flag your fans to your content, without paying, so they don’t miss anything.

Tell them to subscribe to all your status updates by checking the “Get Notifications” option under the “Liked” button. “Get Notifications” is automatically turned off when they Like your page, so they must take this step. Here is the three-step procedure:

1. Tell them Like your page.

2. Then tell them to hover their cursor over the blue “Liked” button until “Get Notifications” appears.

3. Click on “Get Notifications” and they’ll see a checkmark appear.

Every time you send an update, Facebook notifies them in the “Notifications” section of their Admin panel. I “Liked” Target’s page about 15 minutes ago. Three minutes later, they added a new photo as a status update. It showed up in Notifications in my Admin Panel on my profile page:

target's notification on Joan Stewart's Facebook profile


You can subscribe to updates on my Publicity Hound page here. Go through the same process. Click on “Liked,” and then hover your cursor over the blue “Liked” button and click on “Get Notifications.”

If you like my updates, please Like, Comment or Share.  What other tips do you have on how to pull more fans to your page, or encourage them to Like, Comment or Share? 

More Tools to Help You:

35 Ways to Promote Your Facebook Page

Promote your Facebook page with a look-alike contest

duluth trading co.'s paul bunyan look-alike contest

The next time you needed a fun promotion for a new product or service, or an upcoming event, consider a look-alike contest, one of the 35 Ways to Promote Your Facebook Page.

Important: You must use a third-party app to run your contest, one of 9 tips for running successful Facebook contests.   

I love the Duluth Trading Co.’s Paul Bunyan Look-alike Contest on their page.  

Chaplin the Musical also just completed a Chaplin Instagram Look-alike Contest, also supported on its Facebook page.

Here are six ideas for creating a look-alike contest as part of a PR campaign:

  1. To promote a book. Authors, are you launching a new book with an interesting character on the cover?
  2. To promote an upcoming festival. The Florida Keys Tourism Council sponsored a “Papa Hemingway Look-alike Contest” on its Facebook page.  “The winner was Richard Costello, a 71-year-old restaurateur from Massachusetts. 
  3. To draw attention to a character associated with your brand. Example: Larry, the Quaker, who’s shown on the container of Quaker Oats. Or bald-as-a-bean Mr. Clean.
  4.  When a celebrity is coming to town. The Des Moines Register sponsored a Justin Bieber Look-alike Contest, and gave away two tickets to the show.
  5.  To draw attention to your business and tie into an upcoming holiday. Emeritus Senior Living sponsored a Mother-Daughter Look-Alike Contest, though I couldn’t find the winner on their Facebook page.  
  6. When you’re promoting anything to do with animals, particularly dogs. This is a great idea for humane societies and pet stores. For inspiration, watch this video of kids that look like their dogs. 


What other ideas can you think of for a fun look-alike contest? 

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