Guest Blogger: Mary Demuth
In the February 2011 issue of Fortune magazine, there’s an article entitled “Conan 2.0: How a late-night Luddite accidentally fought his way back into bedrooms (and computers, smartphones, and tablets) across America.” The picture below is featured in the article.
The article chronicles the rise/fall/resurrection of Conan O’Brien, carried on the wings of tweets. O’Brien was a reluctant Twitterer until a friend convinced him to try. This was after NBC moved The Tonight Show from 11:35 to 12:05, prompting his departure, and the subsequent frustration voiced by many of O’Brien’s followers on the Twittersphere and Facebook.
On February 24, 2010, O’Brien and his team opened a Twitter account. His first tweet: “Today I interviewed a squirrel in my backyard and then threw to commercial. Somebody help me.” At that time, O’Brien set a single-day record for Twitter followers. The article chronicles O’Brien’s social interaction, how he’s mobilized his demographic, and how social media has fueled his latest projects and successes.
Why is this important?
Because we’re moving away from an old model of promotion to a brand spanking new one. From TV celebrities as we knew them to TV hosts who highly interact with their fans. There are huge implications for authors.
7 Author Takeaways From the Article:
1. If Conan O’Brien, a self-proclaimed Luddite in the digital realm, can open a twitter account, so can you.
2. Old ways of promotion are waning. Interacting with readers with great content, them-focused tweets, and a slice of humor goes a long way.
3. You’ll never know how your tweets (or blogs or facebook statuses) will affect your career. Recently, I received an email from a publishing executive who follows me on Twitter. This opened the door for some very exciting possibilities. He’s been following me a long time.
4. Your words matter, even in little snippets. Make them interesting. View them as part of your writing habit. See them as furthering your career.
5. This kind of publicity is FREE. For cash-strapped authors, it’s worth our time investment to garnering facebook fans, twitter followers, blog readers, and ezine subscribers.
6. Being yourself in social media is extremely important. Conan is himself. I am myself. Don’t try to be Conan or me. Be you. Folks want authentic interaction.
7. Don’t despise a setback. Conan’s leaving The Tonight Show actually turned into an epiphany, then a renewed career. See roadblocks as redirections.
Q4U: What do you think? Is social media important for the author?