October 27, 2020– You can also find this blog post topic on our Podcast today click here to listen: https://jidwkx.podbean.com/e/social-currency/
What is Social Currency? In the most simplistic terms, it’s information shared by people as they go about their lives talking about brands, products, services, and events. We use social currency to make ourselves seem more educated or knowledgeable, more interesting, more attractive, more fun, and more influential to others that we come in contact with.
Social currency is what people say about our books, brand, and business when we aren’t around; it’s what they talk to their friends, neighbours, acquaintances, and colleagues about. For example, when is the last time you talked to someone about toothpaste, coffee, or an oil change? Those things probably don’t sound that interesting and probably don’t make you seem any more educated, attractive, or fun, but each day 100,000 conversations consist of people talking about such items and brands. Why does this matter for authors? Because social currency is what can make or break your books and business. If people aren’t talking about your books, they certainly aren’t buying them. Tip of tongue=top of mind. You want people to talk about your books, to get excited about your new releases, to say good things about you to their friends and family, and to spread the word about your business. So, how do we get people to do this?
- Give them something to talk about. Let’s say that you are looking for readers to review your newest thriller; you send them out one copy of your book, but also send an extra one for them to pass on to a friend who might be interested in the same genre. Why? Becasue the story of getting 2 of the same book in the mail (when you were expecting 1) and giving it to a friend is a repeatable, talk-worthy story. It also gives the book reviewer social currency by making them feel important and telling people that they are trusted to provide an honest review of your work. It makes them seem like an expert or that they’re privy to inside information.
- Guerrilla marketing. Do something big. Something totally unexpected. Like the time McDonalds painted a gigantic box of french fries on the street at pedestrian crossing; imagine you’re walking across that intersection with your kids and they see a massive box of fries…guess where you’re going? To the nearest McDonald’s to get a Happy Meal. For an example of what I did for my own Guerilla marketing campaign, listen to the latest episode of my podcast here: https://jidwkx.podbean.com/e/social-currency/
- Out of the box thinking. Remember Snapple? The juice drink that came in a glass bottle with a metal lid? Under the lid hid fun facts such as Kangaroos can’t walk backward and a glass ball will bounce higher than a rubber ball. These facts (all true) are fun, repeatable, sharable, and interesting. The same kind of thing needs to be done for your books; could you include a few fun facts at the end of your story? Could you create a contest online that gets people talking and sharing? What if you had an online treasure hunt with a massive prize where the clues could only be found within your books?
People love to talk, but only 7% of word of mouth marketing happens online. The real publicity of your brand/books/business happens in person. Remember that advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for and social currency is what customers “Hurray” for.