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Some Bitly and a little more Klout

Last time I introduced you to Bitly.com, one way to track clicks. Since the post, I have used Bitly to track Bob’s Kindleboard signature line and the FREE book promotion we did this week.

One thing we noticed was that the Kindleboard sig line is getting a lot of clicks. Okay. Lets back up. What is the Kindleboard sig line? It’s the signature stamp on every post Bob makes on Kindleboards. Kindleboards is a chat board for Kindle authors, Kindle owners and everything Kindle.

This is a screen shot of a post of Bob’s and his sig line in Kindleboards.

On 21, February we had over 300 clicks on The Shelfless Book cover image and over 300 clicks on the Duty, Honor, Country cover. What does this mean? Simply that people like the images enough to see what it’s all about. Or maybe they just like Bob. Bob is a likeable guy most days. It doesn’t mean people are rushing out to buy the books, but they are interested enough to click on something. Its all about Presence Marketing, a term you will hear a lot from me in these posts.

FYI — 26 Feb The Shelfless Book has its official release (though you can get your copy now).

When I sent Bob an email with the Bitly statistics I half expected the usual “okay” email response. Instead I got “this is really useful information” and he pointed out we might be able to gauge interest and likability of the look of our covers. If one cover gets very few hits and another gets hundreds, it might tell us something about reader reaction to any given cover.

One thing I have found helpful with Bitly is to “bundle” your links. For example all the links on Bob’s signature line is one bundle. The next round of FREE ebooks will also have its own bundle. This way I can track if people are clicking on the buy links at the end of each book, or the click is something else. This, to me, is the most important measurement because if you just finished reading a Bob Mayer Factual Fiction novel AND you clicked on a book cover buy link at the end of said novel, then you are more likely to purchase the book you just clicked on.

I check these numbers 1 to 2 times a day. I’m looking at a couple of things, but only spending a few minutes each day pondering the results and checking where we have the most Klout. One could get easily get caught up in trying to figure this stuff out and its only one aspect of my role at Who Dares Wins Publishing. So, moving on.

In the comment section of the last post Klout was brought up.

Here is a video on Klout that I found interesting. I’m not sure I get how hotels will upgrade my room because of my Klout score, but hey, you never know these days.


Your Klout influence is based on the ability to drive action. According to my bitly analysis of Bob’s Kindleboard sig line, his name and book covers carry a lot of Klout!

In looking more closely at Klout, I think its something we can get too hung up on, but it does raise one big interesting question. Do I communicate with other people in social media who have the ability to drive action…influence others…giving me more reach…and more Klout?

When I look at who I influence, the highest Klout score is a 39. Huh, I don’t influence Bob, but he influences me? Weird. The highest score of those who influence me is 66. I just went and added some influencers (didn’t know I could do that). Maybe I can then influence more influencers. Yeah, Bob’s got a headache too.

Another interesting thing is your Klout Style. I’m a Specialist, meaning I’m focused and consistent (Bob, did you hear that?). That actually means that I tend to stay in my specific topic and industry when I participate in social media.

I also just compared Bob and myself. He kicks my butt on Twitter but I’ve got him beat on Facebook and Google. Sigh, he’s also a specialist. Go figure. Oh wait, I do influence Bob when I click on his influenced by. Whew. Good to know he listens to me.

I’m poking a little fun at this because its easy to get too caught up in it. I think its good to know this stuff exists, but put it in perspective by what it really means. Simply put, it means that the people at Klout ranked me based on my actions on social media and how other people have acted on my interactions and there are simple ways to increase your Klout–by participating. Caveat. Only so many hours in the day. Pick and choose which social media sites work best for you and work those to the best of your ability and beyond! (my ode to Buzz Lightyear.)

The key is social media does influence our actions and the actions of others, including our buying behavior. Anyone who says being active on social media is wasting their time, I have three words for them…

  • Presence
  • Marketing
  • Discoverability

If you don’t exist on the Internet, do you exist at all?

Write It Forward!

From Bob: I’m not going to wait to comment:  Huh?  Actually, Jen is finally getting me to see the value of this (buzzword) metadata.  It’s going to allow us to focus our efforts.  We’re discussing right now whether it’s better to spread our Free on Select over every week or do a burst for one week every month.  I’m leaning toward the latter because, beyond the marketing aspect, there’s the work aspect, where the priority is content and if we only have one week where we focus on marketing and promo we can have three weeks where we focus on content.

One trick for keeping track of clicks….

In one word, bitly.

Since everyone has been practicing good Internet connections via the 7 Internet personal stamps each day, we know we exist, but how do we know others know we exist?

There a lot of different ways to track unique visits and link clicks from various different places.  A visit is anyone who “stops” at a site on the Internet, stays a moment and then leaves. Your log analyzer takes into account the IP address and figures out if the hit came from the same IP address. If it happens over a short period of time, the analyzer “assumes” its the same person. When there is no activity for a while, the analyzer “assumes” the user has left. This then becomes the “click out page”.

And this is different from a unique visitor in the sense that it is one unique visitor that makes several visits to a website….I lost Bob at bitly….

Okay. The bottom line is how do you know your efforts on the Internet are effective? The answer is two-fold. The first one being “presence marketing” and anything you do on the Internet is just that. A tweet. A Facebook status. Uploading a pin to Pinterest. Sending an email to a yahoo group with your signature line that has live hyperlinks to your website, blog, etc. is all presence marketing to increase discoverability. But how do we know that people are actually clicking on those links once they have found us?

One thing you can use is something called bitly (http://bitly.com). Its very easy to use. So easy, that Tweetdeck does it automatically for you if you tell it to, but that doesn’t give you access to the information. So, I suggest you use bitly yourself. Its easy, just copy the url you want to shorten, then put it in the big blue box on the bitly homepage and bam, you’ve got a shortened URL you can track.

I made a couple of links this week for us to use. On Tuesday we had 127 clicks through 5 bitly links I created. However, here is the negative. If I click on the link, then I’m counted as unique visitor/click, so don’t click on your own links other than to check to make sure they work.

I can hear Bob asking “but what does this tell me? What does it mean?” He always wants to what the numbers mean. Number of sales to dollar amount is easy, but what do the clicks in and out mean? To answer his question it means that two links were clicked on regularly on the Write It Forward blog on Tuesday that directed people to the free eBooks on Amazon. Did they download? I don’t know. I just know how many times the link was used in a 5-hour time frame. But if they took the time to click on the link, they might have been more invested in the possibility of the one click free purchase.

But why do we need to know? Because over time, say 6 months from now, I can look at these numbers and re-evaluate where, how and when I use tools like Bitly.

This is where you have to have a plan for these shortened URL’s and as we’ve learned, use them sparingly and with specific purpose. Go crazy, creating a million different bitly’s without having a plan will just give you a headache, trust me on this. I think I gave Bob one yesterday.

Here is one good example for Bitly. We are putting the bitly links as hyperlinks in the end matter of our books. What will this tell us? Do our readers actually click on our buy links when finishing the book? If they don’t, will we stop putting them in there? No. Why? Back to presence marketing. Its all circular and organic, but by using Bitly I can see what is happening and perhaps make a plan on how to improve possible click throughs.

This is just one of many tools you can use to measure certain things you do on the Internet. Its good practice to use some of the tools, but don’t get too caught up in the analytics of all of it. Remember, everything you do increases your discoverability quotient, and that really is the purpose more than anything else because if your readers can’t find you, you don’t exist.

If you don’t exist on the Internet do you exist at all?

Before we begin, we’ve added to the side bar a “free eBook” schedule. Each month we will put which of our books will be free and on what dates with a link to Amazon. Enjoy!

What do you do when you need information quickly? You Google it. What do you do when you want to know the latest gossip about Snookie? You Google it. Need to know a neato fancy word for interloper? Google it. Or maybe ask Siri. Want to read a good book about Area 51? Google it. When I do so, I get a Wikipedia page, Images for Area 51, the website for Secret Headquarters for UFO, a “HowStuffWorks” webpage and then…drum roll please…Area 51/Bob Mayer’s Blog. YES! Then a little farther down, Area 51 eBook (book 1) linked to the Who Dares Wins Publishing website. Exactly what I want to happen. Area 51 and Bob Mayer to come up when you Google Area 51.

Granted, these webpages could have come up on the first page because my web browser is getting smart. Meaning, based on my history, what I “share” on the Internet, etc., Google finds things it thinks I want to know. Well, clear cookies, browsing history, and do it again. Go to a different computer. Open a different browser. Yes. I do all this just so I can see how the Bob Mayer banding techniques are holding up. You see, if you don’t “know” Bob Mayer, then you don’t know to “search” for him. However, there are lots of factual fiction books associated with his name in various genres with various words associated with the name Bob Mayer. These words are used as keywords and tags in posts and other places where they can be linked to Bob Mayer.

Everything you do on the Internet is part of your Internet Presence or Presence Marketing.

This past weekend I gave a workshop to CNYRWA (Central New York Romance Writers) on marketing and the writer. We spent a good portion of our time discussing social media and how to use it effectively. I mentioned during the talk how each day you should put your personal stamp on the Internet 7 unique times. That doesn’t mean 7 tweets on Twitter or 7 Facebook updates. It means 7 meaningful interactions. Yes, it could be a tweet with a link to your blog, or a blog you commented on. Hey, that’s two meaningful interactions. You did something on twitter with a link and you did something on either WordPress or Blogger with either a comment or your own blog post.

Maybe next on your list is uploading a new board filled with new pins on Pinterest. Make those pins part of your branding process, you’ve got another unique, meaningful stamp on the Internet. Participating in a twitter chat using #Hashtags is another meaningful stamp, partly because more than your followers are reading your tweets, but you are putting your image and brand into a conversation.

There are a variety of ways to leave an impression on the Internet. I say do it 7 times because “the experts” say our memory can only handle 7 things at a time. Other “experts” talk about the 7 habits of successful people. Bob talks about the “rule of 7”.  7 is a magical number. I also use the number 7 because you can break that up into time spots and manage your time more effectively. You do one or two meaningful interactions in the morning, a few more at lunch, a few more late afternoon, maybe after dinner and lastly before you go to bed. This number is not set in stone, but used as a guide to help you make sure you are consistent in your efforts.

The real key to all of this is to increase your “discoverability quotient” because if no one can find you, then essentially, you don’t exist. The great thing about digital footprints is that they tend to stick around for a long time. So remember, those 7 digital imprint or personal stamp needs to project your image and brand. First impressions are important and in today’s current marketplace, first impressions often happen on-line.

To increase your chances at discoverability you have to be on the Internet. In order to create discoverability you have to leave your digital footprint in places that will be meaningful and in such a way that is effective in time and money.

What have you done to increase your discoverability today?

What happens when Social Media becomes the Weapon of Choice?

Do you say things on social media you wouldn’t dare say in person?

Social media is a great place for introverted writers. We get to be social without ever having to get dressed. We can hook up with readers, other writers, make new friends, share information, promote, etc all from the privacy of our home, or wherever we are. Except, none of it is private. And too often, we type words we would never let our mouths say.

We all have hot buttons and sometimes, when we feel strongly about something, we react or even attack. I’ve been guilty of this and thankfully it hasn’t been anything so bad I’ve totally regretted it, though had it been in the physical world, I might not have let the words out. I might have bit my tongue. In social media it is simply easier to express ourselves, even when it might be best to take a step back and think it through instead of reacting in the heat of the moment. Because I have reacted in haste, I now always take a moment to think before I post anywhere. Heck, this blog post has taken me over an hour so far…

When I was growing up the worst thing that could happen was that someone said something bad about me, then repeated it to the entire HS and next thing you know, I was known as XYZ. It lasted for a week and then they school was on to someone else. Now, it is broadcasted across entire networks…globally…to everyone…on the planet…and perhaps Mars…and it never goes away. EVER.

We are as a whole, obsessed with bad behavior. Charlie Sheen should be a household name for his talent, but instead it’s because of his current state of turmoil. Not that I follow it, but I read something about it while standing at the checkout line at the grocery store. I was mortified at myself that I even looked at the tabloids. I agree, it’s newsworthy and should be reported, but the fact that we as a society get off on putting others down, poking fun at their troubles, making judgments about who they are and why they are that way sort of mortifies me to an extreme level. I will concede the man has problems and I hope he gets the proper help, but we don’t need a twenty-four update on his bad behavior and listen to anyone who is trying to get their fifteen minutes by spouting off whatever about the situation. Part of the reason why social media scares me and I limit my access and use it sparingly. Unfortunately, it can be a playground for bullies that collect the masses along the way by promising them a good time all at the expense of someone else.

I’ve seen many writers use social media as weapon to get back at someone or something in very unconstructive ways. It’s one thing to say, you know, I tried this, but it didn’t work for me and this is why, but it might work for you. It’s quite another thing to tweet, blog, Facebook and comment malice statements, even if the thing didn’t work for you all in the name of making the other person or company look bad. It is okay to disagree with a statement, and express you point-of-view. Where it becomes destructive is when it as at the expense of someone else. Best to say, this was my experience, instead of because of my experience the world should be on my side. When the tools of the intent used to cause harm, I do take issue with it. When the intent is to inform, even if it is negative, I have no issue. Just allow the opposing view to be heard.

I find it interesting that people are more willing to point out your faults, than point out your good qualities. It has affected me so much that I think if someone actually tells me I’m good at something they are lying. Now that is topsy-turvy.

Social Media is a tool. It is a way to connect in ways we couldn’t before. Technology is both a curse and gift. It is a curse when it’s misused for malicious purposes. It is a gift when used as way to communicate effectively and without malice. Use it to positively connect with your audience and friends. Use it to communicate your message to the world, without putting down the opposing point-of-view. It isn’t about being politically correct, but being respectful. We can disagree without slinging the cyber mud.

Here is an interesting YouTube video discussing negative comments and integrity. Bottom line, be real and have integrity no matter what you put in your social media stream.

Here is an interesting article from The Sacramento Bee regarding social media, libel and lawsuits.

Write It Forward!

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