How can writers use social media to open the floodgates? What can writers learn from what businesses have done to make the most out of the social media?
According to an editorial in Selling Power Magazine, Gerhard Gschwandtner said we must stop selling in the old way. He wrote,
and pursuing the old tried-and-true tactics results in more of the same: high stress and lower sales. He went on to discuss what he called the “conversation” economy 1) Join the conversation 2) Match your sales process with the way customers buy 3) Replace pitching with collaboration and 4) Make buying easier and create social networks that showcase your knowledge.
Tannebaum and Schmidt (T&S) created this model in the early 1970’s, published in the Harvard Business Review. This model will help us understand how to involve people in the selling process. This model was and published it in the Harvard Business Review.
Basically, T&S created a model based on participation and authority, theorizing that as you give more participation to groups in the decision-making process, you give up authority or control.
The model begins with complete authority in the Tell Mode: You simply tell people what you have to sell and expect no feedback. As you move up the continuum slightly, giving up some authority, you move into the Sell Mode. Here you share your decision by “selling” or persuading others to your product. You really don’t want feedback, but you at least care about what others think. The third stage moves toward the center of the continuum where you’ve made your decision, but you are willing to change it. You are in the Test Mode. You throw the idea out there and listen to the responses and maybe you’ll change your mind. In the fourth stage, you move into the Consult Mode. Here you have not made a decision. You wish to consult with others and listen to their views and then you will decide what to do. Finally in the last stage, the Join Mode, you join with others to make the decision together. This is where you have the least authority and the most participation.
Ways Writers can Adapt the T&S MODEL To Open the Floodgate
1. Use the Tell and Sell Modes to create visibility. Your blog posts and your Tweets simply tell readers about your book, it’s release, contests, etc. You might also add information about what others say about your book, in reviews and testimonials.
not engage them in the decision making.
You could add a short story to your blog and get feedback on that story. You might include some story ideas and see how people respond. Be creative in what you put out there and then see what the reaction is. You ask them to react to what you have created or decided.
3. Use the Consult Mode to enable you to really engage your readers. This might also be called “crowd sourcing.” If you have a significant platform who are hooked into the social media—that is, your readers are creating blog posts, they are responding to and bookmarking the content on the Web, or they are signing up on social media sites—you can engage them in many of the decisions you might face. For example
Some writers even ask for plot points from their readers.
4. Use the Join Mode when you want your readers to make decisions with you. In the Join Mode, you no longer make the decision alone. Here you share decision-making with the customer in a completely collaborative manner. This level of participation becomes messier.
The best example of the Join Mode and the social media is with Wikipedia. The founders of Wikipedia decided to crowd-source their online encyclopedia, with the idea being that many people have more information together than we each have separately. The difference between the Consult and the Join mode is that even though both use crowd sourcing, in the Consult mode the writer takes all the comments and makes the final decision. The Join mode means the writer and the readers are on equal footing with the decision.
and how the social media might play a role in that involvement. It gives us some tips for developing a strategy for opening the floodgates.
How do you use the social media to help you engage your readers?