Speaking of Appropriate Ways To Use Social Media

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Carol Rose

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PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS. Do NOT send a message to everyone who follows you on Twitter, or friends you on Facebook, telling them about your upcoming novel. This is considered SPAM and will earn you in most cases an unfollow/unfriend or even a block from the person you just spammed. It's considered very rude netiquette and NOT the way to use social media. Stop doing it. Thanks.
 
Very useful information. A fellow author followed me on Twitter, when i returned the favour, he messaged me with a link to his website, where i could get a copy of his book for free. He was very respectful though.
 
Very useful information. A fellow author followed me on Twitter, when i returned the favour, he messaged me with a link to his website, where i could get a copy of his book for free. He was very respectful though.
There's nothing respectful about spamming people. I have no clue where new authors or wannabe authors are learning this nonsense, but quite frankly I'm more than tired of it. It's SOCIAL media, not PROMO media. The whole idea of racking up followers simply for the sake of the numbers is ridiculous anyway, but that's another rant. To then spam them all with information they didn't ask for is just plain rude behavior.
 
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Oh, how about this DIRECTED TWEET I got, from @KAWyllie (the names have NOT been changed. Eff you KAWyllie.)

"@JasonAByrne please buy my book A Touch of Faith on Kindle."

No link. You can find it your own G-damn-self @JasonAByrne. I wrote it; do I have to feed it to you too? Gimme da cassssssshhhhh.
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With about 1,500 followers — most of which aspiring authors — you can imagine how many automated self-pimping private messages I get a day. Dozens.

Where's Amos Granger when you need him...
 
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Oh, how about this DIRECTED TWEET I got, from @KAWyllie (the names have NOT been changed. Eff you KAWyllie.)

"@JasonAByrne please buy my book A Touch of Faith on Kindle."

No link. You can find it your own G-damn-self @JasonAByrne. I wrote it; do I have to feed it to you too? Gimme da cassssssshhhhh.
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Charming.
 
Well, apparently agents want you to have upwards of 2,000 followers; I presumed they intend the profiles be predominantly of living humans, but nowhere did they specify what manner of person from which those profiles be. I figure starving authors are most likely to blindly re-tweet my press, if it will make them look more 'writerly,' and are likely to have among their followers friends, family, and other starving authors that my message will reach.
 
Well, apparently agents want you to have upwards of 2,000 followers; I presumed they intend the profiles be predominantly of living humans, but nowhere did they specify what manner of person from which those profiles be. I figure starving authors are most likely to blindly re-tweet my press, if it will make them look more 'writerly,' and are likely to have among their followers friends, family, and other starving authors that my message will reach.
And that's why I think numbers for the sake of numbers is ridiculous. It means nothing because half those people spam you, and the other half are amassing numbers for the sake of numbers. I could understand agents wanting a certain number of followers if having that number actually meant something. If, for example, they were readers, or industry professionals who could actually help you along the way, or who you could help one day, but that's not what is happening. You (collective you, not YOU, you) follow anyone who follows you, and on and on, even if all people do is re-tweet useless nonsense all day long.

I hear what you're saying, and I know agents want you to have followers, but what I'm unable to find anywhere or figure out is WHY they think this is important. Or did their message get lost in translation somewhere along the way, perhaps? I would think connections to industry professionals or fellow published authors who could actually do something for you one day, maybe, would be a lot more meaningful than amassing numbers merely for the sake of the numbers alone. And that's all I'm saying. That it should be meaningful, not merely a random number someone pulled out of their rear end.
 
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And that's why I think numbers for the sake of numbers is ridiculous. It means nothing because half those people spam you, and the other half are amassing numbers for the sake of numbers. I could understand agents wanting a certain number of followers if having that number actually meant something. If, for example, they were readers, or industry professionals who could actually help you along the way, or who you could help one day, but that's not what is happening. You (collective you, not YOU, you) follow anyone who follows you, and on and on, even if all people do is re-tweet useless nonsense all day long.

I hear what you're saying, and I know agents want you to have followers, but what I'm unable to find anywhere or figure out is WHY they think this is important. Or did their message get lost in translation somewhere along the way, perhaps? I would think connections to industry professionals or fellow published authors who could actually do something for you one day, maybe, would be a lot more meaningful than amassing numbers merely for the sake of the numbers alone. And that's all I'm saying. That is should be meaningful, not merely a random number someone pulled out of their rear end.
I know "you" wasn't "me" in this case, but I thought I'd mention that in order to keep my ratios down, I only follow-back fellow writers, and just let the rest follow me. I have enough one-way follows among editors, literary agents, publishing houses, science, art, and history news, and @CaptainObvious that I can't afford to follow-back every person who follows me. Just saying I agree with you there.

I think the media is still in its infancy, and a better measurement hasn't been contrived yet — I agree that it's pointless, and I think they basically want to see you've blindly jumped on the social media bandwagon as well, and have at least put a certain degree of effort into your media footprint. That said — a lot of people on here have done just that very successfully without touching Twitter, @Marc Joan the first of which to come to mind.
 
I completely agree with all of the above. Collecting followers always seemed to me like a pointless, anally-retentive exercise in time-wasting. Life is short; you won't wriggle around on your deathbed shrieking 'Oh, I wish I'd broken through the 5,000 [or whatever] follower mark, oh woe is me'.

I pretty much don't do anything on LinkedIn any more for the same reason. I saw the rot start when complete strangers (yes) started endorsing me for things like, er, 'team working'. How could they know?
It's just mad.
 
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS. Do NOT send a message to everyone who follows you on Twitter, or friends you on Facebook, telling them about your upcoming novel. This is considered SPAM and will earn you in most cases an unfollow/unfriend or even a block from the person you just spammed. It's considered very rude netiquette and NOT the way to use social media. Stop doing it. Thanks.

I hate it when people do this! I've not been on twitter very long and for me it's all about engaging with people but even in my brief experience I've had a few of these - instant unfollow!
 
I completely agree with all of the above. Collecting followers always seemed to me like a pointless, anally-retentive exercise in time-wasting. Life is short; you won't wriggle around on your deathbed shrieking 'Oh, I wish I'd broken through the 5,000 [or whatever] follower mark, oh woe is me'.

I pretty much don't do anything on LinkedIn any more for the same reason. I saw the rot start when complete strangers (yes) started endorsing me for things like, er, 'team working'. How could they know?
It's just mad.
LinkedIn is so spammy it makes me crazy!!
 
I've only gotten request from a couple people I didn't know on LinkedIn and no spam whatsoever, but I only have maybe 75 contacts, all co-workers and former co-workers.
 
Well, apparently agents want you to have upwards of 2,000 followers; I presumed they intend the profiles be predominantly of living humans, but nowhere did they specify what manner of person from which those profiles be.
This is why it's IMPOSSIBLE to get on board with flash fiction contests or use the word "writer" in your Twitter bio without being buried under a wall of teenage girls.
Which, in other circumstances, like twenty years ago, would have been lovely. Some clown put it about that having "lots of followers" on Twitter was essential if you were going to be agented.
If you ever meet anybody who offers this advice with a straight face, can you please slap them and send them to me for correctional guidance?
Jason, do yourself a massive favour - unfollow at least 800 followers. Twitter will become a much more enjoyable experience. The easiest way to do this is to start with anyone who has a series of hashtags in their bios or anyone who has never interacted / replied or favourited your stuff. You're probably already on their mute list.
I've removed any reference to writing in my bio, and will now only follow a writer back if the actually engage with me first.
 
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This is why it's IMPOSSIBLE to get on board with flash fiction contests or use the word "writer" in your Twitter bio without being buried under a wall of teenage girls.
Which, in other circumstances, like twenty years ago, would have been lovely. Some clown put it about that having "lots of followers" on Twitter was essential if you were going to be agented.
If you ever meet anybody who offers this advice with a straight face, can you please slap them and send them to me for correctional guidance?
Jason, do yourself a massive favour - unfollow at least 800 followers. Twitter will become a much more enjoyable experience. The easiest way to do this is to start with anyone who has a series of hashtags in their bios do anyone who has never interacted / replied or favourited your stuff. You're probably already on their mute list.
I've removed any reference to writing in my bio, and will now only follow a writer back if the actually engage with me first.
Eh. I didn't join Twitter of my own volition for nine years, since it began — writing is for joy, publishing is a job — it doesn't have to be enjoyable. I'm on Twitter because I need one to get published.
 
I completely agree with all of the above. Collecting followers always seemed to me like a pointless, anally-retentive exercise in time-wasting. Life is short; you won't wriggle around on your deathbed shrieking 'Oh, I wish I'd broken through the 5,000 [or whatever] follower mark, oh woe is me'.

I pretty much don't do anything on LinkedIn any more for the same reason. I saw the rot start when complete strangers (yes) started endorsing me for things like, er, 'team working'. How could they know?
It's just mad.

Yep, I liked LinkedIn at first, because I managed to keep all my connections strictly professional, and to people I knew. But then a few of them started to play the "endorsement" game, and I gave up on it.
 
This article might be of interest in this thread, as it's about an author's social media presence.

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2015/stop-grading-authors-social-media-presence/

Clicking on the link to the study by McKinsey Consulting shows a graph that charts how effective different channels are in acquiring customers. Twitter and Facebook do poorly.

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