Moderating the panel on Digital Branding, digital marketer Fauzia Buke, founder and president of FSB Associates, offered a very simple definition of the concept. “It’s all the stuff people find when they search for your name on Google. Whatever comes back.”

Burke, along with Barrett-Koehler v-p of sales and marketing, Kristen Frantz, provided a genial and informative hour of information about branding online. Branding, marketing and promoting online is clearly a major topic of interest. The two marketers offered common sense advice on using social media and took questions from an audience that was almost evenly divided between authors and publishers.

Burke’s definition of Digital branding focused on the importance of maintaining websites, Facebook pages and social media, all the stuff that will come up in a Google web search. “Those will come up the most and they are critical to your brand,” she said. “it’s important to do them well. You’ll get more sales, more speaking gigs, even though its not necessarily a one to one relationship between Tweeting and Facebook and sales,” she said.

Burke emphasized the importance of a well designed website and consistent social media presence and offered a formula for digital branding success: Design + Engagement + Visibility = Success. Studies show, Burke said, that people make judgements in about 1/10th of a second—so engaging users online is about making a great first impression: “Design is important. Your website has to close the sale." Engagement, she continued, comes via social media and "the relationship you have to your readers, and visibility comes from promotions, ads, and events; all of these elements have to work together.”

Frantz provided tips on effective use of social media. Have a consistent presence, she said, try to update two different social networks, say Twitter and Facebook, at least twice a week. Establish an internet and social media presence at least a year before your book is published; be generous in sharing your content and links, sharing good content will help build a relationship with your followers. Frantz prefers Twitter ("it's more vibrant") over Facebook—Facebook’s algorithms suppress certain kids of commercial posts, she said. She thinks LinkedIn has gotten cluttered and encouraged using YouTube, “if you’re good on video. It depends on your skills.”

In fact both panelists emphasized that it's more important to work the social networks that appeal to you, the user. “It’s not the venue it’s more about what you’re good at,” Burke said.