Social media: ur doin it rong

Today I opened up an email account I rarely use anymore–and discovered an email from someone in a critique group I left years ago. Oh, how nice, I thought. I wonder how she’s doing. And I opened it up–to discover spam.

The email wasn’t even addressed to me; rather, “Hi, friends”. And it comprised a newly-published-author version of that letter you hate to receive in Christmas cards: you know, the one in which you learn all about their accomplishments for the past year, or maybe longer if they haven’t bothered to spam you in a while.

The Playbook for Authors tells writers to Leverage Social Media to promote their books. I think social media is a fabulous way of keeping in touch, of getting to know your audience; but it’s not the same thing as advertising, and every person who ever made the mistake of giving you their email address did not “opt-in” to your newsletter list. If you want to learn how to use social media effectively, read Tara Hunt.

Treating friends and acquaintances as potential customers for your advertising campaign only alienates them–and that won’t make them want to buy your book.

Explore posts in the same categories: social media, writing business

5 Comments on “Social media: ur doin it rong”

  1. Tara Maya Says:

    I know what you mean, but I also can’t help but sympathize.

    It’s so awkward for people who are natural introverts to suddenly deal with not just dozens, but hundreds of people. I know I find it secretly terrifying. Especially when I find myself in conversation with Famous Writers I Love, and realize, but only too late, that I am acting like a dork — or worse, a jerk. Agh! That sucks.

    Someone just friended me on Facebook and as soon as I confirmed, left a message on my wall saying, directly, “Buy my book!” And I thought, “Note to Self: Do NOT do this. It’s lame.”

    So, yeah, I’ve been on both sides of the gauche parade.


    • And we are *all* introverts, aren’t we? I agree: it is hard to *push*. And I suggest that “pushing” is exactly the wrong way to go about it. Attracting, sharing: those are useful.

      I’ll bet you never act like a dork or a jerk with writers you love. I’ll bet you’re just self-conscious.

      I’ll bet that’s an introvert thing, too.πŸ™‚

      • Tara Maya Says:

        Thanks, Barbara. Yeah, it’s hard to push, and hard to know when “push” has crossed the line into “pushy.” In person, I’ve more often been berated for being withdrawn and “cold” than pushy, which was certainly never my intention either.

  2. Chris Says:

    Good advice. I have a personal FB page for my mundane stuff but use a Fan page and blog for my artwork. I do my best to keep them separate.


    • I think there’s a distinction to be made, particularly in venues like FB, between self-promotion and sharing your journey with ppl who care. I do pipe my blog into my FB profile, but mostly because I’m full of opinions I want to share–and, if I have or acquire fans, presumably they’ll be interested in getting something a little more personal out of my blog anyway.

      IMO successful self-promo has a lot in common with successful networking. The key to networking (I know you already know) is in discovering what you can do for others. The key to self-promo is in doing things ppl are interested in.

      Or so it seems to me.πŸ™‚


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