I spent much of yesterday fiddling around with the details of the latest project. The melted down puddle of it is that I’m attempting a social media experiment. I believe the actual content is mostly irrelevant as long as the connections are made. Of course the connections are the difficult part. People like famous authors and celebrities have hundreds of thousands to millions of followers on Facebook and Twitter. I currently have 59 followers on Twitter and 111 friends on FB. So I am a distinct disadvantage in getting the word out.
That is what this whole experiment is about. How do I get the ball rolling. I think it will all be about the hook. Society today is moving at a pace that is staggering. I sometimes have completely missed a ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ phenomenon until it is referenced in a joke several weeks later. There are so many options for potential distractions that I am sometimes amazed anyone is able to get their fifteen minutes. I’ve read the ideas of Malcolm Gladwell and mostly agree with the basic premise, but with the internet and social media, I think there may be an alternate path for something to tip. Granted, the basic concept of a connector being essential remains, but today that seems to be almost quantifiable by looking at an individual’s followers or the number of likes they have.
Identifying the connectors and trendsetters who could tip this project is not difficult. Simply look up the first few famous people you can think of, and then look at WHO THEY FOLLOW. From there, it becomes a web of connectors and trendsetters. Finding them is not hard. Making one’s own connection to them is where it becomes difficult. They have become famous through hard work. They can’t necessarily help out everyone who would like to have their help. To do so would be overwhelming and would probably occupy more time than they actually have. It is this duality that I want to explore with this experiment.
The hook is imperative to get the attention of one of these individuals or businesses. There are a lot of things out there that go viral and it is that hook that is universal. Sometimes it takes the form of a sick child, sometimes that of a feline who looks constantly angry. There are wounded soldiers, munchkin cats, and long anticipated movie trailers that all get our clicks. How to find a place that at least a few of the connectors and trendsetters will like or retweet your message, that is the question.
I’ve come up with three different messages I’ll try and see which of these, if any, get sent out by other users. Those messages follow, and will all have a link to my newest book:
message 1: “should a good story sell more copies than a celebrity tell-all, or picture book, help make it happen RT and check out http://www.amazon.com/dp/B012KW6BBM/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_5u5Tvb031X84N via @amazon
message 2: is a good story should be worth as much as a good single? If so show your support by RT and check out http://www.amazon.com/dp/B012KW6BBM/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_5u5Tvb031X84N via @amazon
message 3: Please retweet the link to my latest book and help support my latest project.
Each message will be tweeted to 100 recipients chosen at random from those I have followed. The number of retweets will then be tracked for each message.
There are three types of messages here. The first is slightly negative, playing counterpoint to the Hollywood tell all, in order to use peoples secret love or distaste to direct them to the content. The second is strictly positive making one think seem as good as something else without the negative connotations. The third is simply neutral, asking for a bit of help. The book that is linked to doesn’t really matter. It is the idea of the message, the hook and the interaction of the connectors and trendsetters I’m looking at. Yes the link will be to my most recent book. That is true and in the spirit of full disclosure, yes I would love for the book to blow up and sell 20 million copies. But, I’d also be happy if I can get a statistically significant variant in the number of hits based on the content of the message. That at least would be something that would be interesting and possibly could be used as the basis of a few articles. But, like all experiments, something entirely outside the anticipated results may occur, and sometimes nothing at all happens. That is not failure, it is simply learning a way that doesn’t work, so you can get closer to a way that does. I think that will be the interesting part of all this, to see if anything happens, or perhaps, nothing at all. Either way the anticipation will be exciting.
Then of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that this is also a marketing experiment. I am selling a book that I have written and believe to be a good story. The other part of this is to see if this approach is successful in making an impact on sales. I certainly don’t plan on quitting my day job. I actually kind of get a rush out of the problem solving there, but making a little extra on the side would be nice. Sales are initially going to be limited to a single source so as to make the tracking easy. I’m excited to see what happens. I’ll report the results here in the future so stay tuned.
Link to the new book is: http://amzn.com/B012KW6BBM