How does Amazon Tweet & post to Facebook?

Tweeting

POSTING TO TWITTER & FACEBOOK EFFECTIVELY

One way to learn how to do something effectively is to find someone else who is doing it well.

Amazon knows a thing or two (!) about marketing. So let’s see how Amazon uses Twitter and Facebook.

Obviously, Amazon has a huge advantage when it comes to building a following. People seek out Amazon because the company is famous.

But… just like everyone else, Amazon must tweet and post to Facebook effectively in order to engage that audience.

So what we might learn from Amazon is how to engage an audience with Twitter and Facebook.

Let’s look at two examples from Amazon. If you’re an author, these pages are actually relevant. They post a lot of helpful publishing tips, so it’s worth following these particular Amazon pages.

AMAZON KDP’S TWITTER & FACEBOOK PAGES

First, we’ll look at Amazon KDP.

You can check out Amazon’s Twitter page here:

https://twitter.com/AmazonKDP

Here is the Amazon KDP Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/KindleDirectPublishing

CREATESPACE’S TWITTER & FACEBOOK PAGES

Next, check out CreateSpace.

Here is CreateSpace’s Twitter page:

https://twitter.com/CreateSpace

Find CreateSpace’s Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/CreateSpace

HOW AMAZON TWEETS

At both Amazon KDP and CreateSpace, look at their recent tweets.

Here are a few things that I notice:

  • About 25% of the tweets include images.
  • Both KDP and CreateSpace post 1-2 times per day.
  • The images in the tweets are consistent in size. They are 1024 x 512 (or 1024 x 576).
  • The way the images are spread out and the same size gives a nice appearance.
  • Most of their images feature writing or reading, consistent with the brand. These are publishing services.
  • The images look nice. They also include a small quote or a little text, just large enough to read, but not imposing, out of the way of the foreground.
  • The tweets provide links to relevant and helpful content for their target audience, i.e. the content relates to authorship or publishing.
  • The tweets usually include a single, but highly relevant hashtag.
  • Many of the tweets link to other helpful sites, e.g. articles, contests, or posts appearing on author’s blogs. (KDP actually linked to one of my blog posts a few weeks back, and CreateSpace did this with a different post of mine more recently; you can still find the link to my name readily at CreateSpace.) That’s pretty cool that they link to authors’ blogs.
  • Most of the tweets going to other sites (i.e. not Amazon) specify “via” and include the @ to designate the author’s Twitter handle.
  • The information found in the links is often very useful to authors. Content is king.

DIFFERENCES WITH FACEBOOK

Now look at the Facebook pages for CreateSpace and KDP.

I notice much of the same as noted above, but there are a few differences:

  • The images are more square. They are usually about 940 x 748. Amazon knows which size works best for each.
  • Every post has an image, instead of just 25% of the posts.
  • Amazon makes its own image and uploads that image for the post. If you click on the links, you’ll see that the images on those pages are different. (If you simply insert a url into a Facebook post, Facebook automatically finds an image to show, if available. Amazon inserts its own image instead, and Amazon’s image is the one that shows.) Using their own images helps Amazon achieve a consistent brand on their site, and ensures a uniformity in size, too. (Plus, then there is no question about image use rights.)
  • The Facebook posts appears to engage the target audience over a much longer period of time. I still get a few referrals from a link to one of my articles (about the use of color in cover design) that was posted by CreateSpace on Facebook over a week ago, whereas the referrals from Twitter dropped off after just a few days.
  • Although KDP and CreateSpace post the same url links at Facebook and Twitter, they don’t simply feed the posts from one to the other. They actually take the time to post separately to both Facebook and Twitter. The wording is different. The photos are sometimes the same, but cropped differently so that Twitter’s photo is 1024 x 512 and Facebook’s photo is 940 x 748. (Don’t simply change the aspect ratio to do this. Crop them differently.)

WORDPRESS TO TWITTER & FACEBOOK

So we shouldn’t auto-feed our posts from WordPress to Twitter and Facebook. (I’ve been guilty of that. But now I’m seeing the light.)

Why not?

  • The image size that works best isn’t the same across all platforms. Amazon uses 1024 x 512 (or 1024 x 576) at Twitter and crops it to 940 x 748 for Facebook. The squarer look appears better at Facebook; the more rectangular look appears better at Twitter. Amazon has a uniform look on both sites by feeding separately.
  • The auto-feed to Twitter doesn’t show the photo from WordPress. Note that Amazon only includes a photo with about 25% of their posts at Twitter, but 100% at Facebook.
  • Amazon changes the wording of the posts from one site to the other. This way, people who follow you at both Twitter and Facebook get a little variety, even when both posts link to the same article.

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

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Follow Amazon

Follow the Leader

Images from Shutterstock (human icons are modified images from artist Orla).

 

FOLLOW AMAZON

When I first began using Twitter, I found Amazon on Twitter. I followed Amazon. And received a pleasant surprise. Amazon followed me back! (I’m not special. Thousands of others have received the same pleasant surprise.)

Obviously, when Amazon follows you back on Twitter, you shouldn’t expect this to be an active member of your audience, reading and enjoying your tweets, interested in any products or services that you offer. But it’s still cool.

If you’re a writer, you also want to follow KDP Amazon.

TIP: You can find a good variety of free writing and publishing tips on KDP Amazon’s Facebook or Twitter pages. (Note that following KDP Amazon is different from following Amazon.) KDP Amazon makes effective use of social media, so KDP Amazon’s posts provide good examples of how to tweet or Facebook effectively.

KDP Amazon surprised me with a wonderful social media Christmas present a few days ago. I received an email notification from Twitter that KDP Amazon had mentioned me in a post.

So I immediately searched for KDP Amazon on Twitter. There I found a beautiful image, a link to one of my WordPress posts with a cover design checklist, and a relevant hashtag, #pubtip.

Next, I received an email notification from WordPress that my stats were booming. I average about 10 views per hour, but when KDP Amazon mentioned my cover design checklist, I was averaging 100 views per hour.

I noticed that most of my traffic was coming from Facebook. So I found KDP Amazon’s Facebook page, where I saw a similar mention of my cover design checklist. And a host of other valuable references for writers.

Amazon discovers many KDP and CreateSpace indie authors. Once in a while Amazon reaches out to an author. Other times they discover helpful writing or publishing tips and link to them from their social media pages. Several authors are recognized through success stories in the KDP newsletter, CreateSpace newsletter, or even on Amazon’s homepage.

Obviously, you can’t expect Amazon to reach out to every author, or to feature you if you simply contact them with a request. But you can see that Amazon does find some authors who are finding success on Amazon or who are supporting Amazon writing and publishing opportunities.

Following are some Amazon social media pages that all writers should follow.

AMAZON TWITTER

@amazon

@AmazonKDP

AMAZON FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/Amazon

https://www.facebook.com/KindleDirectPublishing

AMAZON EMAILS

Follow Amazon’s Success Stories. Many of these are inspirational. Also, if you check out these successful authors, you might learn some valuable tips. Click http://www.amazon.com/gp/gss > Success Stories

Subscribe to the KDP email newsletter: http://www.amazon.com/gp/gss/detail/13778590. The monthly newsletter often contains helpful tips and highlights success stories.

There is also an occasional email newsletter from Amazon called Newsletter Highlights: http://www.amazon.com/gp/gss/detail/162110.

Amazon’s new publishing program, Kindle Scout, has a subscription newsletter, too: http://www.amazon.com/gp/gss/detail/29134490.

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set now available for Kindle and in print (both at special introductory prices)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

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Facebook Twitter WordPress Triangle: Double Posting OOPS!

Double

You should feed your WordPress blog into Facebook and Twitter, as I explained in a previous post.

However, you have to beware of possible double posting.

However, you have to beware of possible double posting.

(You see: It’s annoying, isn’t it?)

In Twitter, there is an option to link it to Facebook, and vice-versa.

So if your WordPress blog feeds into Twitter and Facebook and if also Twitter is reading/writing everything you post at Facebook, you may find that your posts are getting doubled up at one or the other.

I confess that I had accidentally done this at Twitter with Read Tuesday—a Black Friday type of event just for books. Oops! Should be single posting there now, though.

Publishing Resources

I started this blog to provide free help with writing, publishing, and marketing. You can find many free articles on publishing and marketing by clicking one of the following links:

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Facebook and Twitter Options at WordPress (and Why You Should Use Them)

Two Audiences Pic

If you don’t already feed your WordPress blog into Facebook and Twitter, you should. People who don’t blog here who may want to read your article (because someone was kind enough to share it with them, or because they discovered a link to it somewhere) may not want to create a WordPress account in order to subscribe to your blog. Facebook and Twitter provide two popular alternatives.

Even if you don’t currently use Facebook or Twitter, you should take a moment to open accounts there and to also create a Facebook page. (The how-to part of all these suggestions is described later in this article.) Don’t worry about not having friends or followers there yet. Feeding your blog into Facebook and Twitter is a handy way to get started there without having to do any work. Then you’ll feel that you’re actually using those services, and stop worrying about not using them. Once you have a healthy following there, then you might get the motivation to utilize them by doing more than just feeding WordPress posts to them. In the meantime, it’s a good way to get the ball rolling with little effort on your part, but it will be very handy for potential followers who prefer Facebook or Twitter.

You should also make it easy for people to find other ways to get your blog feed. You can include an email option at the end of every post, put a Follow me on Twitter or Like Me on Facebook option on your sidebar, add a Follow Blog by Email widget, and include links to subscribe to your RSS feed. The more options you provide, the easier it will be for people who aren’t WordPress bloggers to follow your blog.

Of course, they really should sign up for a WordPress account, even if they have no intention of blogging. It’s a great ambiance, the interaction and connections are wonderful, and there is a wealth of amazing material to read or look at for free. I like it better than any magazine. If you can convince somebody of this, that’s great for WordPress and for that person, too.

However, we know that some people are reluctant to sign up for a new account at a site that’s new to them. So make it easy for them to follow you.

How to get started at Facebook and Twitter.

If you don’t have Facebook or Twitter, it will just take you a minute to set up accounts there, add your author photo, and setup your profile. You should also add a header, probably like the one you have at WordPress, although the aspect ratio will be somewhat different.

You should also have an author page at Facebook, to keep separate from your friends and family page. People will be able to Like your author page, too. The name of the page will be different from your Facebook name. From your Facebook home, find the Create a Page option on the bottom-left. For an author page, click Artist, Band, or Public Figure; one of the options is author. (You can also make a page for your book by selecting Entertainment.)

When you want to do something as an author rather than with your personal account, login to Facebook, click on your Facebook page (see the list on the left-hand side), and look for a message at the top of the screen that shows how you are posting. There is a place to click to change this. You’ll need to get into the habit of checking how you’re posting, liking, or commenting before you do it.

How to feed your WordPress blog into Facebook and Twitter:

Find your Settings. There is more than one way to get there. One way is to click the My Blogs tab at the top of the page you see when you login (you also see it when in your Reader or viewing your Stats), then click the button that tells you the number of posts. Now look for Settings near the bottom of the list on the left-hand side.

Now choose Sharing. On Facebook and Twitter, click the Add New buttons. This will give you the option to login and agree to feed your WordPress blog into your Facebook and Twitter accounts. For Facebook, be sure to do this with your author page instead of your personal page (see the previous note regarding how to select how you post, like, or comment at Facebook).

This will feed your posts into your Facebook and Twitter accounts (once you click the Save button below).

You can also add Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Path. There is yet another Google+ option below.

Further down, there are several other buttons that you can add, such as PInterest and StumbleUpon. You can choose from this list even if you don’t have accounts there. PInterest isn’t for you to use. It’s for anyone who uses PInterest to Pin things they like. So if you would like someone who uses PInterest to have the option of Pinning something you posted, you should add this button, even if you don’t use PInterest. The email and print buttons may be convenient for people who aren’t into social media connections at all.

Explore all the options at the bottom, like the button style and where these options will appear on your blog.

How to add Facebook and Twitter options to your sidebar

In the same place where you found Settings in the previous instructions, look for Appearance and select Widgets.

Look for the Facebook Like Box widget. Drag it over to your sidebar. Click the little triangle in the blue bar, if necessary, to open up the options. Add a title. Go to your Facebook author page and copy/paste the url from your browser (up at the top, including the http:// part) into the url field. If you don’t have any friends yet, reduce the height to 100 pixels (if you enter a value less than this, it will revert to the default); if you have faces to show from your author page, you may want a higher pixel count for the height. The standard sidebar is 200 pixels wide (if you have a dual sidebar, the one on the left may be more like 150).

If I visit your blog, I’ll try to remember to check if you have an easy way for me to check out your Facebook author page, and if I like it, I’ll Like it, too. 🙂

Look for the Twitter Timeline widget (the old Twitter widget is expiring soon, so don’t select that one if you see it). Enter a title. You’ll need to login to Twitter (in another window) to get a widget id. At Twitter, go to edit your profile (look at the top-right), then click Widgets. Create a new widget. Save it when you finish selecting your options, then look for the long number called your widget id in your address bar (it’s in the url at the top of your browser). Copy and paste this into the widget id field at WordPress.

Open up your blog’s homepage and refresh the page to see how it looks. If you need to make changes, refresh the page again when you finish to see how your revision looks.

How to setup other follow options

Go to your WordPress blog’s widgets (see the previous instructions). Drag the Follow Blog (whereas the Follow button is for WordPress.com users) button over to your sidebar. This will let non-WordPress users subscribe to your blog by email.

You can also add the RSS Links widget to provide links to your blog’s RSS feeds. Many professional authors only have this option; but we can benefit by offering the convenience of several different options.

The RSS feed for your WordPress blog is simply your blog’s url plus /feed/ (for example, mine is https://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/feed/). You can use this to feed your WordPress blog into your AuthorCentral page at Amazon.com (but in the UK, you must feed Twitter there instead) or into GoodReads (go to your author account there to do this), for example.

How would you like to participate in a Black Friday type of sales event designed specifically for books? Check out Read Tuesday. It’s going to be HUGE!

Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing)

Late to the Social Media Game

I was ahead of the social media generation. We weren’t using cell phones in high school or getting online when we got home. We mainly used the computer for word processing, programming, and occasionally games, but nothing like the games these days. We had a lot of games that didn’t have any pictures at all, like Mystery Mansion or the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

On the other hand, almost all of my students seem to be on Facebook, used to be on MySpace, and are now into Twitter. So for a few years, I have felt that social media just wasn’t my generation.

I have taken a real liking to WordPress, however. Once I finally figured it out, I have felt that blogging was invented just for me. Ha ha. 🙂 I should have been blogging twenty years ago. (But then what else would I have accomplished in that time?)

Since I’ve been at WordPress, I’ve seen many bloggers from my generation, or thereabouts, who seem to be quite active with Twitter and Facebook. This gave me the inspiration to start feeding my WordPress posts into Twitter for a while now. I see that I have some followers on Twitter (here is a big thank you to any followers anywhere), so maybe it’s time to start learning what else I might do with a hundred or so characters. 🙂

I’ve had a personal Facebook account for years, mostly for close family and a couple of friends. There are some people, it seems, that you can’t get in touch with any other way, which is why I joined Facebook. 🙂 I finally added my author page to Facebook. Like Twitter, I’ll start out by feeding my posts into Facebook.

Read Tuesday (a Black Friday type of sales event just for books) seems to be more popular on Facebook than anywhere else. I’ll have to think about how to put more content over there (although the Read Tuesday website gets several referrals from the Facebook page).

I’m a complete author now, as I can vainly say:

Please Like me on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter (@ChrisDMcMullen). Ha! But, really, you “had me” just be viewing my post here at WordPress. 🙂

As long as I’m making such requests, I may as well also ask you to Like or Follow (@ReadTuesday) Read Tuesday, too, or check out the Read Tuesday website.

You could even +1 me on Google. I’ve scarcely used this, but it’s on my to-do list (with PInterest and many other things). I had started a blog with Google’s Blogger (BlogSpot) to make some posts that relate to teaching or learning fundamental math skills, but haven’t been using it since Google’s Reader met its end. Maybe I’ll revive it, or try it again over here at WordPress.

Please feel free to describe your author pages at Facebook or Twitter in the comments section and I will surely check them out. 🙂 (Or the next time I visit your blog, I’ll look for these buttons.)

Chris McMullen