And Now…An Informational Interlude

Before I post the last section of Norm’s story. I thought I would take a break and talk about social media and advertising for a moment.

Social media is everywhere and to get ahead of the game of advertising we need to be using social media to put our product out there.  Whether that product is writing, photography, internet based business or whatever your specialty is, we need to be engaged in social media so others have access. Sometimes, though, it can be overwhelming to try to connect to a mass audience. There are so many people out there writing and creating products. There are so many ways to engage and connect to people (goggle+, twitter, tumblr, facebook, instagram and many, many more). It can make a person crazy trying to keep up with it all.

So, how do we do this? How do we write or create a product and then reach a larger audience so they are pulled to connect with us? I have done a bit of research on this very subject AND interviewed my Amazing wife, Phaedra Culley (writer of http://best-photo-places.blogspot.com) who actively researches and develops reliable leads on social media through blogging and engagement on social media sites.

In the beginning, I thought all I had to do was put something on my blog and post it on Google+ or Twitter or facebook and the readership would come. I quickly found that this was not the case. There has to be something to connect to the reader and to my audience to catch their attention. This is commonly referred to as Rhetoric. The general rules of rhetoric are that you have to have something that people can connect with and you have to have a reason (or context) for them to connect with it. In other words, I can’t just go throw something out there an expect people to read it. I have to say something that captures their attention so they will want to read it, then I have to say something in my writing that they relate to. The second item was not that hard. I can write and, I have been told, my writing is enjoyable and entertaining. Hooking people was my biggest constraint.

To get some help in this I talked to my wife. She writes on a blog geared towards Photographers and she engages in social media to support photographers and business owners. I conducted a mini interview and found out a few things that I thought I would share…maybe someone else would get the benefit of not struggling so hard in the beginning.

Here is what I found:

Nevin: Who is the audience you engage with?

Phaedra: I mainly focus on photographers and business owners who want to build their business.

Nevin: What’s your main purpose in working on social media?

Phaedra: Social media can be used for a variety of businesses to reach their audience so I try to focus my information to support other business owners and photographers. I try to inspire people about what they are doing and have them understand how they can use social media to achieve their goals in their business.

Nevin: While writing your blog, what do you think is especially important?

Phaedra: I think that writers need to focus on relevant content. Have it be engaging interesting and targeted to the business’ specific audience. Keep an eye on the stats to make sure you are reaching your targeted viewers. This can be done by monitoring your views, shares, as well as tracking what the reader is looking at.

Nevin: Why is written communication important?

Phaedra: Written communication is only important if there is a social context for it. It provides valuable information to readers as well as showing the writer’s authority and credibility in their field of interest. Most important, though is the fact that communication has to have some sort of a connection to the reader for them to engage in it. if you just write about anything and everything, it is difficult to get a readership or a following. You have to build a context that you are writing from and stick to that context. Then, when a reader comes to your site or reads your material, they know what they are coming to you for whether it is science fiction writing, photography or another type of business

Nevin: What strategies will work best for writing for a specific audience?

Phaedra: You have to have a human element and speak in a relatable way, be engaging, have a hook that’s catchy. Make sure to use media tools like hashtags and keywords so people can find you through SEO (Search Engine Optimization); then, engage with other writers and google+ users.

Nevin: Anything else I need to be aware of when using these tools?

Phaedra: Just understand that you do not have to be super tech-savvy to use social media. There are many people who are putting out information about how to use these tools to help with businesses. Ask questions, find people who have researched the field and they can really get you going. Then, stick with the communication. One of the biggest ways that people lose readership is by letting their blogs or their own engagement drift away.

While engaging on my research there have been many writers of Rhetorical research that will also state what Phaedra was discussing such as making sure your content is relevant to the person reading or hearing what you have to say. I have also read that there are many ways to get your message across. This falls under the different rhetorical or persuasive strategies. How can we use logic, credibility and an emotional connection with people to relate our information such that it engages our audience and has them return to us looking for more? Repeat business is not just for restaurants and retail outlets. As writers and bloggers and engagers we want people to seek out what we have to offer. Using the tools and ideas like rhetoric and Phaedra’s information about social media will help us create that level of writing, photography, technology or whatever YOU are delivering to the public.

I hope this brief insert has been helpful (or at the very least…engaging!). The finale of Norm’s story will be posted in the next couple days. Hope you enjoy!

Nevin

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3 thoughts on “And Now…An Informational Interlude

  1. Hi, Nevin!

    What an aesthetically pleasing site! I like the layout and the colors a lot. I have to confess, though, that I would never have found the part of your blog that addresses the assignments of ENG 503 if Dr. Gruber had not given me some guidance. It seems the primary thrust of your blog is Sci-Fi, so I suspect that the ENG 503 parts will fade into oblivion after the course is finished.

    Now, to your interview with your wife and your comments about social media. I enjoyed it, but would have liked to have seen specific citations to the research you mention you have done.

    You mentioned that “hooking people” is the hardest for you. How have you decided to do that on the Sci-Fi part of your blog?

    At the beginning of the blog entry, you mention all the various ways that people can connect through social media. What is, I wonder, the downside to having connections so easily made?

    I look forward to your next blog entry.

  2. Nevin,
    Thank you for your insight into social media and rhetoric, especially as it pertains to blogging. I am still working on finding my voice to be engaging enough with my audience. Your site is easy to read and pleasant on the eyes.

    I admit, I first started reading the fourth installment of a story, went back, checked to make sure you were still enrolled in the course, and then went searching for what I hoped was the blog for class. Is there a way to set up folders or different pages on your blog? That might help us busy students quickly find what we need. We can always read the more enjoyable stuff in seven weeks!
    Thank you,
    Amanda

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