Tag Archives: Social media

Make Mine Local — with Lots of “Likes”

According to an article in Salon, the American Booksellers Association reported an increase in the number of independent bookstores in the U.S. in the last five years. This is certainly surprising news considering the seemingly increasing popularity of e-books and the convenience and low prices of Amazon.

The article claims that two things are driving the increase in indie bookstores:

  • a desire for authentic local experiences
  • social media marketing

The “local movement” of the last few years has done wonders for our communities. People care about consuming local food and using local services. When local businesses thrive, so do communities. In my own ‘hood, neighbours banded together to form a community association — DECA — that has brought new life to the area by offering incentives to local businesses and by creating and promoting local events like farmers’ markets.

Even big builders have seen the error of creating unwalkable suburban neighbourhoods where driving to large chain stores is the only option for residents.  People want to live near hubs offering something local and unique, and builders now attempt to emulate just that.

As for social media, the Salon article rightly points out that small businesses thrive when their customers create word-of-mouth buzz. Sophisticated consumers don’t trust advertising, but they do trust their friends — real or online — who let them know where the good restaurants are, what pubs have the best craft brews, and which new books they can’t put down.

Smartphones, of course, allow us to find the best stores and restaurants in any ‘hood in which we find ourselves. No longer is there a need to play it safe by sticking to the big chains. A unique small business with great online ratings can be found in seconds.

Authenticity and word of mouth: sounds awfully old-fashioned, doesn’t it?

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Filed under authenticity, books, future of publishing, new books, online life, online resources, reading, the Internet and us

I Like LinkedIn, I Really Like LinkedIn

I continue to take baby steps into the world of social media. Twitter is very useful for current info from the publishing world, but wading through all those tweets can be time-consuming. LinkedIn initially made me feel like a loser for a myriad of reasons — not least of which is the fact that I’m the most unconnected person in the world. Introversion and child rearing will do that to ya.

But today I finally found time to check out the discussions started  by EAC members on LinkedIn, and hoo boy is there a wealth of info there. I was furiously making notes on everything from marketing myself to where to print cheap business cards.

The real fun, however, is found in the debates. A bit of dirt got kicked up about how fastidious we editors should be when writing informally on discussion boards and such. Lots of great comments on that. Personally, I don’t hold mistakes against anyone in informal writing — unless they cross the line into “painful-for-the-reader” territory with all caps or some such turnoff. Suffice to say that not everyone is as lackadaisical as I on this matter.

It’s reassuring to find so many actively employed editors doing so many different kinds of work — some in-house, some freelance. Speaking of which, I’ve signed up for some local seminars for small business owners. Baby steps, baby steps.

Today the sun is shining, I’ve learned some things, and those baby steps are taking me somewhere: a good day on the job front.

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Filed under networking

The Mother of All Edits: The Self-Edit

This week I’ve been attending career workshops — about using social media to job search, writing resumes, that sort of thing. And it’s all about personal branding. What message are you trying to convey? Keep that brand consistent across social media. Use social media to research jobs and network, interact and ask questions, make updates and spread the word that you’re looking for work, stay current and access job postings. On your resume, use accomplishment statements with action words that demonstrate what you successfully implemented in past work situations.

Oy. So I’m getting online and starting to use some social media, and wow. I can’t believe the time people seem to have put into their online personas. Where’d they get that time, first off. As an introvert, I thought I was in my head a lot, but compared to everyone else on the planet, I’m as real (read: old school) as it gets. I’m as tactile, 5-sensory, keeping-it-real, settin’-out-the-garbage, beer chuggin’, takin’ care o’ business, down-to-earth as it gets. There’s this whole other world that I don’t live in that everyone else apparently does, and it’s in this mystical land where the powers that be are gonna be judging my ability to hold down a paying gig.

I gotta take a nap, shop for food, prepare a meal, do laundry, clean and de-clutter, and read a book that’s been printed on paper and then glued together.

The online world doesn’t seem so real to me right now, but that’s probably going to change real soon. (And oh, yeah, make sure you keep it gen-u-wine.)

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Filed under branding, job-hunting