Every Monday I will be posting an interview with a social media marketing expert. My blog focuses on using social media to promote books (particularly self-published books), and I believe authors can really learn a lot about successful social networking by following the experts.
This week we meet Phyllis Zimbler Miller of Miller Mosaic.
KS: Tell me about your company – how it was created and what you do.
PZM: My social media marketing company partner Yael K. Miller (@MillerMosaicLLC on Twitter) and I combined our abilities.
I contribute a Wharton MBA with 30 years of marketing experience with companies such as Max Factor and Tiger Air. When my self-published novel “Mrs. Lieutenant” was named an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semi-finalist in 2008, I coupled my marketing knowledge with the power of social media to promote my book.
Yael contributes experience from the corporate communications department of a Hollywood talent agency as well as her study of story as an English major at the University of Pennsylvania. Yael uses her story background to help Miller Mosaic clients stand out with strong stories that promote their brands.
Here is how Miller Mosaic social media marketing came to be:
In March of 2008 Yael realized that the Hollywood talent agency’s corporate communications department where she was an intern used old-fashioned methods to promote the agency’s message. At the same time I focused on promoting my novel “Mrs. Lieutenant.” And that’s when Yael and I formed Miller Mosaic, LLC.
We began by building WordPress websites for clients, who found us through our social media activities. (The first WordPress website client was in the U.K.; shortly thereafter this was followed by clients in Australia and South Africa besides the U.S. and Canada.)
Personally realizing how powerful social media could be for getting in front of targeted prospective clients or customers, we expanded into social media marketing consulting.
Now we focus on social media power marketing — coaching clients on how to effectively and strategically use social media to attract more business — as well as reviewing websites to ensure that these sites are social media friendly and complementary to a company’s social media marketing activities.
KS: Who do you feel can benefit from a social media marketing strategy?
PZM: Everyone who has a brand, book, cause or business that he/she wants to get in front of targeted prospective customers and clients.
KS: How long have you been blogging and what is the primary focus of your blog?
PZM: I’ve been blogging for 2 ½ years and my earliest blog was www.mrslieutenant.blogspot.com (this is before I knew to have my own self-hosted blog). Now my most active blog is the social media marketing blog on our company site – it can be found at www.MillerMosaicSocialMediaMarketing.com – and Yael occasionally contributes posts to this blog
KS: What is your favorite social networking site? Why?
PZM: My personal favorite is Twitter. I love the openness of the site as well as the brevity of the messages. As a former journalist, I really enjoy fitting an informative tweet into an 140-character limit. And I learn such good information by scanning the tweets in my Twitter feed. I’m grateful for all the interaction and support I get on Twitter.
KS: What is your #1 piece of advice for social networking newbies?
The #1 piece of advice is not to be afraid of the unknown. Accept that you are new to social media sites and be comfortable experiencing a learning curve similar to when you first used word processing or rode a bike or whatever other new skills you have had to learn.
And, remember, all the old timers on social media sites who seem to know what you don’t yet know had to also start off at ground zero. Instead of continuing to hide your head in the sand futilely hoping that social media will go away, get in there now and start learning. Otherwise, the longer you wait to start, the more you’ll have to catch up. This is because social media is constantly evolving and even we old timers have to learn new things every day.
KS: Tell me about your books.
PZM: The Jewish holiday book “Seasons for Celebration” that I wrote with Rabbi Karen L. Fox was a project brought to me in 1992 by my book agent who couldn’t sell my mystery novels.
I self-published the novel “Mrs. Lieutenant” right when I entered the 2008 Amazon contest because I decided I had waited enough years for someone to say yes to me. I wanted to tell a fictionalized version of my first weeks as a new Mrs. Lieutenant in the spring of 1970 during the Vietnam War in order to preserve a slice of women’s social history.
I recently published “Four Comedy Screenplays” (two written with my husband Mitchell R. Miller) because I love the stories and no one is buying the screenplays to make them into movies. All four screenplays have very strong female role models — something that has always been important to me in my writing.
KS: What differentiates your books from other books in your genre?
PZM: “Seasons of Celebration” was designed to be very accessible to families, and the book received praise for this element.
“Mrs. Lieutenant” is based on actual events in 1970 right after the Kent State National Guard shootings.
Portraying strong female protagonists in “Four Comedy Screenplays” in which each woman has an interesting job is very important to me as a long-time feminist who wants to encourage young women to go outside their comfort zone. (And I wrote “Dr. Soapy” – based on a true story I saw in The Wall Street Journal years ago – for Queen Latifah because I was so tired of seeing her portray maids or poor women or victims.)
KS: Do you plan to write more?
PZM: At one time Rabbi Karen Fox and I wanted to write a Jewish life-cycle book but we gave up that project years ago.
I have partially written a sequel to “Mrs. Lieutenant” – “Mrs. Lieutenant in Europe” – about what it was like to be part of an occupying force in Germany only 25 years after the end of World War II and during the height of the Cold War.
And I have other unbought screenplays I hope to publish, including one in which a woman is the first U.S. Naval officer to serve on a sub. (You can read about her at www.MollieSanders.com )
My business partner Yael K. Miller is working on a Middle Grade fantasy book series. You can read about her project at www.HurricaneHoodoo.com
To find out more about Phyllis Zimbler Miller and Miller Mosaic Social Media Marketing, visit: