Social Media and Social Graces

I like you, will you like me? Here’s my Facebook author’s page… And you’re all reading that sing-song style like that annoying purple dinosaur, right? Does it irritate you when you log into Facebook and find you have a message from someone who said they liked your page, and will you like theirs? To me, that’s SPAM. If you discovered my page through someone or some outlet (like the back of one of my books), that’s cool. There’s probably not a single author out there that would turn down a “like” on their fan page (unless it’s someone who is an ex, a stalker, or just plain creepy). But to ask for a reciprocal like just because they liked your page—that’s bordering on rude.

And even worse: logging on to find that someone spammed your page with adverts for THEIR books. Oh, not cool at all! Social media requires social graces; don’t ruin things for other people. It’s their page, if you want to post something, ask them. I will never post a book on a personal or fan page unless it’s in response to something the owner posted. And quite often, I’ll even remove the preview thumbnail and just leave the link address. I will post on general book pages where they encourage promotion. For instance: Book Junkie Promotions, Book Junkies Freebies, Novel Promotion, KindleMojo, and a host of others. There you can post (within reason) your new releases, freebies, and promotions without stepping on any toes.

And Facebook isn’t the only place book spam occurs. Twitter is another outlet for authors to get the word out. And there is software and apps which make repeat, timed, and dated posts for users that flood the site with “Buy my book!” spam. It’s understandable that you want to get the word out when you’ve released your first or fifteenth novel, but realize that folks get tired of seeing the same posts again and again. Do you like seeing the same TV commercial over and over? Probably not. So think about your current fans, and those who you’re hoping to acquire. You wouldn’t want to do anything to turn them off.

Building a fan base takes time. Yes, I’m well aware of the eager new author who wants to get their novel read by the entire world, however, that it’s not going to happen overnight. And the more you spam, the more you’ll turn away potential readers and new fans. Take time to understand the social graces of social media and you’ll go far in creating and nurturing a group of fans that will eagerly await your next release. As it has been said: Writing is a marathon, not a sprint.

Author: K. Rowe

K. Rowe is an experienced and prolific multi-genre author. She draws from over twenty years of active Air Force service. Kathy lives in eastern Kentucky with her husband and a zoo of farm animals. Among her many duties she finds time to offer services as a publishing consultant for new authors. Learn more about Kathy from Facebook, and her Amazon author page.

25 thoughts on “Social Media and Social Graces”

  1. Great post. I used to try to participate in the “like” fests (and participated in one just recently here), but too many times in the past I’ve liked a gazillion pages only to check on my own and see (maybe) two “likes.” Last year I ran across a new spamming technique – authors who follow you on Twitter only to spam you with their book, then unfollow immediately after sending the spam. That happened to me twice in one week.

    1. I agree with both the points made in this post and the twitter spamming and then dropping the follow connection. Imho, it is dumb to drop a connection once it is made unless they are spamming you or engaging in other poor social media behavior. It doesn’t matter whether your following number is higher than your followers. That is a necessary ratio as we build any network.
      I feel fortunate to have the support group I have, a group of wonderful writers and editors. I try to help them anyway I can.
      I think there needs to be a “courting” stage in social media contact. A lot of people think they should get a big kiss on the first date. 🙂

  2. I’ve had messages from people saying they like my page, would I please like theirs, but they haven’t actually ‘liked’ my page (no corresponding increase in numbers) – a crafty way of taking advantage of the fact that the notification of new likes doesn’t always work and getting more likes for their page without having to see your posts in their newsfeed.

    1. Some people may be liking from their “page” instead of their profile, which of course, doesn’t “count.” But still, I agree with you. I wrote about this a little while ago as part of my birthday wishlist.

  3. Yeah, I hear that, Kathy. I’d be pissed off if someone posted their book on my wall without asking. That’s just rude. But, I usually give folks the benefit of the doubt–once. I’ve made some pretty bad faux pas in my life and am always grateful when someone gives me a head’s up rather than an *ss whipping 🙂 Great post, btw.

    1. Depends who’s giving the whipping, but yes. 😉

      Don’t mind the reciprocal likes but if anyone posted their book info on my Facebook timeline or page without asking me would find it gone pretty quickly.

      I think the problem is that each social media platform has developed a different ethos and what is considered rude on one is acceptable on another.

  4. Good post—I totally agree with you. I’m actually fed up with seeing one author’s constant posting about her book, alternating with her dog’s life and photos. I’m surprised at her total oblivion to how boring and self-serving it appears to most people.

    1. Oh, I hope that’s not me! LOL! I do try to keep my posts entertaining- yes, I have dogs, yes, I take a lot of pix of my farm, but I try not to be spammy about my books- unless I am running a promo or a contest, and that never lasts more than a couple of days. Other than that, I keep it polite.

  5. I agree totally, Kathy. I was inundated with spam from one particular would-be author before I worked out how to cut him off at the knees!

  6. Good post, Kathy. I don’t mind “I liked yours, now you like mine” requests on Facebook if I can identify the source. In other words, if we were both participating in an IU like-fest, I would probably like the other person’s page anyway. But I’ve gotten a couple of these requests out of the blue: “Hi! I found you through LinkedIn and liked your page! Please like mine, okay?” I haven’t hung out in a LinkedIn group in ages. That seems a little presumptuous.

    While we’re at it: I’ve gotten a number of requests to connect on LinkedIn from people I’ve never run into anywhere else. Sometimes, once I okay the connection, the person starts spamming me. Okay, maybe that’s a newbie blunder. But then in the most recent request I received, not only have I never heard of the guy, but he has nothing on his profile — no picture, no resume, no contact info. Thanks for thinking of me, but no.

      1. I think LinkedIn is the worst for spamming – I’m amazed at how many requests to buy their books or check out their facebook pages I get. I’m beginning to wonder whether it is worth bothering with.

    1. Not sure, and I hope not. I tend to be picky about where my presence is. I don’t like to be added unless I’m asked.– Back to that common courtesy thing again.

  7. Hear, hear. A great post. Someone should write a manual on social media etiquette to be given to everyone singing up. Whether the spammers would read it is another matter.

  8. Oh! I luv you. I don’t have time to run around the internet liking pages. I don’t know those folks and they don’t know me. Hey! Buy my book–I’ll adore you forever…but I’m not in a popularity contest on Facebook–now Amazon is another matter. LOL

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