With all the buzz lately about crowd-speaking campaigns, I thought I’d throw my two cents worth in and give you my take on the two major campaigns, Thunderclap and Headtalker, in a two part article.

Crowd-speaking is an easy concept to understand. Basically, you ask people to lend their contacts on various social media platforms to send out a message. The more people who support you, the more contacts your message reaches. You, of course, write the message you want to go out and can even set the date and time. Since the messages all go out simultaneously, whatever you are trying to gain exposure for has a chance to go viral.

What can you use this for?

Anything you want to put out in front of a large number of people. In the book world that means cover reveals, book releases, events, blog exposure, and sales. You choose one link to attach to the message, which directs people to where you want them to go. For instance, if you would like more followers on your blog, then that is the link you use. If, however, you want sales, your amazon page would be a better choice. You can even link to a facebook event, fan pages or your website. The sky’s the limit.

So what’s the downside?

First, you have to ask people to support your campaign and you will have to be a bit pushy about it. Not everyone wants to authorize someone else to have access to their contact list. Let’s face it, that’s understandable in today’s society with fears of identity theft swirling around in our minds. Take a minute to explain to your friends and family the platform sends out a one-time message and their information will not be used for anything else. Pointing out that it’s free, easy and takes only a few seconds to complete also helps.

The next problem is it isn’t as easy to support using a phone as it is a computer. I have found occasionally, people using mobile devices needed to go through the process a few times to actually lend their support. That can be a bit frustrating to both parties.

Now for the really bad part. If you do these a few times and ask exactly the same people to support you, not only will your friends and family get sick of you asking, but you will be reaching the same crowd over and over. You need to find a way to diversify the reach. On top of that, all of a sudden you may find a few supporters will appear with an enormous social media following. After supporting you for a few campaigns it is possible they will offer plans for you to pay for people to support you. Remember if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Search around on the internet for groups or clubs specifically designed for Thunderclap and Headtalker. They usually offer a support for support format. With a constant influx of new people and new campaigns, you’ll be constantly adding new reach. Of course, you’ll have to be willing to support other campaigns back with your own social media.

Do they work?

My personal answer to this is – yes, however, it is like anything else in life … not guaranteed. I have heard stories of people selling hundreds of books and others where not a single copy was sold. What makes the difference? The answer is a number of factors.

When planning your campaign you will need to take into account the date and time your message is being sent. How many people are online to see it?

What crowd are you reaching? If you have only authors who write horror supporting you and you write romance, their social media contacts may not be interested in your books.

The message itself is important. Research hashtags that are popular before creating your campaign. For instance, if you schedule the message to go out on a Friday, you could use #Fridayreads.

To maximize the benefits I strongly suggest a solid knowledge of how social media works. You can also read step by step guides on either the Thunderclap or Headtalker platforms.

Don’t feel down if you don’t do as well as you had hoped on a campaign. If you are using the free platforms and sold one book or gained one new follower, it was worth it.

Join me next time when I take a look at Thunderclap and Headtalker separately. Till then, happy reading.