Carol Vorvain (@writersboon) is an Australian international lawyer, mediator, author and founder of Writers Boon. Her books, When Dreams are Calling, Why not? - The island where happiness starts with a question and A Fool in Istanbul - The adventures of a self-denying workaholic have been featured in a number of travel magazines including the International Traveller magazine and can be found in libraries, bookstores and on Amazon.
Many authors are fully aware that having a good online presence is crucial.
They are becoming increasingly aware that their readers, both young and old, are using the internet to find more books to read.
So, they dive into social media, but they skip entirely the research and planning phase.
They chase away the thought that perhaps there is a science behind social media interactions. They don’t try to really understand how social media works, what purpose each channel serves. They post without a goal.
And ultimately, they suffer of… neglect. They get the likes, but they don’t get the readers.
In this post, we’ll explore some of the don'ts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+.
1. Ignoring comments, questions and pretty much everyone else
Acting like you are the only person that’s worth talking about is a sure recipe for social media failure.
If potential readers are asking you questions, you need to respond. You need to thank people for retweets and Facebook page likes.
Learn to harness the power of social media to facilitate two-way conversations with people you’ve never met face to face.
2. Spam your fans, followers with sales pitches
People who follow you on social media will quickly get bored if all you are doing is saying “Buy my book.”
Try sharing interesting articles on topics related to your books.
Stop sending private Twitter messages with offers of free books.
You might have your account blocked.
I’m not saying you should not mention that your new book is out today. Or that it is on sale. Or that you have been invited to a writers’ event.
And I’m certainly not saying that you should only share other people’s news and articles.
Just mix them up a bit.
3. Prioritizing quantity over quality
There is a fine line between being engaging and spamming. Resist the temptation to share something every minute of the day.
Stick to meaningful, high-quality content that resonates with your target audience.
4. Using hashtags willy-nilly for no reason
Hashtags must be relevant. I repeat. Hashtags must be relevant.
Don’t use #amwriting if your post is about reading just because you think #amwriting is a popular hashtag that will send your message to millions of users.
You might think you’re interesting, but unless you really want to keep portraying yourself as a victim and ultimately a loser, stop complaining about every single thing. Stop complaining about your lack of inspiration, how hard is to land a publishing deal, or how much money writers make nowadays.
6. Posting about politics
Yes, I know, Trump has been named “person of the year.” Yes, I know, some of you might hate him, while others might love him. It looks like it’s hard for anyone to remain neutral on the topic.
But, please, understand that as an author, you are a public figure too and no matter what your opinions are, expressing them will offend some people. You will lose those readers and your latest freshly launched fantasy romance book will suffer. Is it really worth it?
7. Recycling your old posts again and again
- Although it is quite usual to promote the same post five or six times during the day – like BuzzFeed does - you should watch out for overdoing it. Not everything has a shelf life of forever. Don’t share news of publishing events that happened in 2013 if your business promises to keep authors up to date. You will look totally unprofessional.
- Don’t bet on people not paying attention. Because if they do, you are in trouble.
- Try planning ahead. Make sure that the same posts are shared not one after another, but several hours apart.
8. Making scheduled posts your ONLY posts
Scheduling posts does not mean you do not need to engage online.
And it certainly doesn’t mean your marketing is over, that now, you can go on holiday. No. Scheduling posts only frees up more of your time to engage with your followers, participate in Twitter chats, Facebook live events and so on.
9. Using every social network available
Less is more. Remember this and don’t try to build a presence on each social media channel, unless you want to fail miserably. Stick to the channels where the readers of your genre are.
10. Worry only about selling your book
Don’t worry about selling your book. Worry more about being engaging and thankful.
This last one will take you far. It will make sure you are not getting lost in the sand of social media.