On Writing

On Social Media

When you write, you are bombarded with advice from people left and right about what they think you should do, or how you should act. They want to tell you how to write your stories, how to make your covers, and how to promote your books.
Or rather, how not to do those things.
The other day I stumbled over a thread somewhere, where people (mostly other authors) were talking about unfollowing on twitter and Facebook pages because the account owners promoted too much.
It seems they had a rule, that you could only post 20% promotional material and the other 80% of your posts must be "other".  If you share outside what they expect then you're spamming them.
Every time an author sees something like this, we think "I need to do better, or more, or less."
The fact of the matter is, unless someone is stalking your twitter feed, they aren't seeing every post you make.
You could post 10 posts a day, have 2 of them be book links and 8 of them be "something else" and if a person isn't sitting there, watching the twitter feed go by at the speed of freaking light, they aren't going to see them, unless they go to your page, scroll down your posts and read each one. I don't know about you, but there's only a couple of people on Earth that I'd do that for.

I logged on to twitter the other day to follow back my new followers, which is pretty much the only reason I go on twitter these days (because hallelujah they gave me Buffer and Hootesuite), and in the less than five minutes it took me to do that, over 150 new tweets entered my stream.
Yeah. No. To read them, I'd have to refresh my screen, and start scrolling down. I hadn't gotten through those 150 when I got another notice of 79 new tweets in the stream.
I didn't read them.
Or any of the other hundreds of tweets that arrived as I was taking care of business on twitter.
And I figured you know what? If you don't like what someone posts, go ahead and unfollow. But you should always be aware when you are choosing to follow someone – an author, or musician, or chef- that the primary purpose of having that account is promoting their work.
Because twitter feeds are public, and while you can send a message in private to someone, pretty much all of what you say can be read by anyone who follows you. If you can say it in 140 characters or less, then there it is. You're "supposed" to interact with people on twitter- to talk to them and have conversations. I don't find that feasible.
Oh, I've seen people conversing on twitter. I've even made an attempt or two to follow a conversation on twitter – but it's not easy and it doesn't flow and it makes you feel like a stalker.
Bottom line, I use twitter for promotional purposes. I share articles, interviews and professional pieces, I retweet items I think are of interest to my readers, and I promote my books.
I do love hearing from and talking to my readers, other authors and industry professionals. But I don't choose twitter as my vehicle for doing that.
There is so much social media out there, that we can't actually maximize our presence on all of them. I've made the decision to use Facebook  and my blog for that purpose.

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  1. I thought I was the only one who didn't read tweets. I have a list of specific friends whose tweets I read and tend to favourite because they are authors and I'm helping promo them. I'm on Triberr, 70+ tweets go out every day that are promo related. I'd have to send out a lot more tweets to get the "other stuff" up to 80% --- or just keep on doing what I'm doing.

    1. YEah- and honestly, the odds of anyone seeing the "other posts" are just as slim as seeing the promo!

  2. I totally agree with you on this one.
    And I retweeted this too! lol

    1. Thanks Michaela! There's just too much to keep up with out there!

  3. Oh me too Lee! I find Twitter very confusing. I know a lot of folks really love it but I just blink as tweets fly by without me having a chance to "get it".

  4. Very good post. I will be dealing with some of these issues as well.

    Here is my blog ... Jordan Femme


Be Yourself

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955