by Donna Huber
According to the dictionary, "Brand" is a product manufactured by a company. But to bring it into the realm of the book world and blogging, it might be an author's book or a blogger's blog. We see it with The Vampire Dairies. The brand that is the book series is separate from the author who created the series - the most recent books are written by a ghost writer of sorts. However, brand may be more than just the product. In the book world, it is often the person behind the product that you are branding.
To think of brand in a broader sense, it is your reputation.
As a book reviewer, your reputation as providing a fair and honest assessment of a book is important.
As an author, your reputation as a great story teller is important.
But managing your brand is more than just writing a great review or book. It is about who you are publicly as well. Your brand is best established through your interaction on social media. It is also where it can be most damaged. How many actors and actresses have fallen from grace because of something said or done publicly that reflected negatively on him or her?
You should take great care about what you share on Twitter, Facebook, etc. If you are a children's author it would be unwise to post about an erotic novel. Why? How would a parent feel if they visited your Facebook page with their child and the first thing they saw was a sexually explicit cover? You want to be accessible to your fans not matter what their age.
As a blogger, everything you share reflects on what one might find on your blog. If you feature sexy reads on your blog then sharing about picture books on Twitter won't be of interest to your fans and may diminish your brand. You do not want to confuse your readers as to what your blog offers.
I understand you may want to reciprocate help. Sharing others so they share you. That is great as long as they fit into your brand. If it does not, then you may be doing more harm than good.
I also understand you have other interests and that's great. It will help create a well-rounded person for your readers to know. Yet, always keep in mind how it will effect your brand, your reputation. If all I ever talked about on Facebook and Twitter were animals, then people may forget all about my blog. It is one of the reasons why I highly recommend having a personal Facebook profile and a Facebook fan page. Also it should be noted that it is against Facebook policies to promote your business on a personal profile.
I don't want to discourage anyone from sharing content online, I know we all need it. However, the next time you are wanting to share something think first if it is something you actually would recommend to your readers. Is it something they would find useful or imformative? Remember the first rule of social media is to be social. That means putting thought in to what you are sharing. It means understanding your readership well enough to provide content they want to see. If you are not taking your readers, your followers in to account when you click share then you are just adding to the noise, the clutter they have to wade through. And you know what? If there is so much clutter that they lose sight of why they followed you in the first place, then you might find yourself with one less reader come your next book or blog post.
What are you doing to brand yourself?