By: Suzanne Kuhn, SuzyQ
I often receive feedback from friends — those I know me both in real life and only through social media — about how much they have enjoyed getting to know me through my social media.
I recently asked this question on my personal Facebook page: “Name one thing that you know about me solely because of our social media interactions.” Those who chose to respond ranged from real life friends who have known me for more than 20 years, to friends that had just recently begun to engage with me through my social media. But more than who chose to respond, what really caught my attention was what they responded — what was stated they “knew about me.” The responses were split between personal and professional, and this thrilled me. What I discovered was that my blending elements of who I am with what I do was the key ingredient in what was making me memorable, while also emphasizing my professional brand.
Mentioned in the comments on that post were family events such as my son’s homecoming from deployment; my strong relationship with my spouse, including our anniversary celebration; my love for all things Disney; and, my love for snow. Also mentioned were physical characteristics that people associate with me such as my red sparkly shoes, that I wear red and black, and my hair color whether it be my inability to embrace my gray or my once red highlights. And then, there were book industry related comments such as, I tend to recommend great authors, I love working with authors, I share good information, I’m an encourager, and my writing. Random comments mentioned my Flat Stanley tour almost a year ago, and the fact that I ask questions on my social media that people will actually answer. And that’s the key!
Social media is a medium with which we are able to engage with others. That is always my objective when using this platform. Yes, I have a message, services to sell, and a platform to build. But the most effective way for me to do any of these is through building relationship … to socially engage through my social media outlets.
If all I ever do is sell my wares though social media, my attempts to engage will lack the “social” aspect. On the contrary, if I only ever show my personal side, I’m missing an opportunity for my friends and followers to connect with what I have to offer on the professional level too. A strategy that allows my audience to connect with ALL of me helps me to become memorable by allowing my friends to have multiple connection points.
Don’t overlook the importance of this one comment I received from longtime industry friend Tiffany May: “You ask a lot of questions and people actually answer them. Pretty cool.” It wasn’t always like that. It’s taken time to get my audience accustomed to the fact that I want to not only share myself with them, but I want to know them more too. If I ask a question on my social media, I take the time to go back to the post to like or comment on it. Often, I’m not able to comment on everything, but by going back to interact, I’m communicating that I’m genuinely interested. I’m present. I’m engaged.
Yes, social media can be a work, but I encourage you to have fun with it. Make it socially engaging.
Suzanne Kuhn of SuzyQ has 25 years of book retailing and event sales experience. Her knowledge in the book-retailing venue gives her an edge when coaching and training authors in reader engagement, developing promotions for increased sales and reader loyalty, and coordinating live events. Suzanne truly believes in the power of Christian literature to impact and change lives.
Thanks so much for the opportunity to guest blog.
Great post. I struggle to get the two way communication on my professional social media avenues. Thanks for the advice that you provide to writers like myself.
Tom, many authors have the same struggle. Keep at it :-). Thanks for taking the time to read my guest blog.
Thanks so much not only for what you do for the authors that you promote and that we sell in our bookstores ….. but also for reaching out to us frontliners personally …. as friends and as an encourager in our work for the Lord and in the business aspect. =)
Susie, It is absolutely my joy and privilege to connect with and encourage retailers. I get lots of amazing new friends too. 🙂