For today’s “Top Ten” list, we present The Top TEN Things NOT to do on Social Media when it comes to Marketing your book:
- Tweet: Buy my book. Buy my book. Buy my book NOW. #buymybook #buyitnow #buyitordie It always amazes me how much you can threat a person in 140 characters or less. People generally don’t respond well to threats. It’s just a fact.
- Twitter Party etiquette: Don’t show up at someone else’s Twitter party and start throwing in links to your book on Amazon, hashtag: #justincaseyouwantedtoBUYmyBOOK — That’s the equivalent of wearing your wedding dress to someone else’s wedding. Hello?
- Facebook Book Cover Tag: This is when authors gets so excited about their new book, that they tag everyone they know on the cover pic of their book. Which makes their cover show up on all their friends’ Facebook pages. Don’t. Do. It. Not if you want you keep your friends, anyway.
- Facebook Private Message each of your 3001 friends: Buy my book. Buy my book. Buy it NOW! That’s spam and you risk being kicked off Facebook. Then you’ll have 0 friends. Don’t do it. Twitter messaging is similar. Don’t PM all your followers. There’s nothing “private” or personal about a copy/pasted message.
- Instagram photos of your book over and over and over again. From different angles with hashtags that run so long, one could sprain a finger from scrolling. No one shops on Instagram. You can’t click on links (outside your tag under your profile name.) Keep it fun. Keep it light. Invite, don’t swamp, readers and then walk away.
- Pinterest: Ummm… Does anyone even use Pinterest anymore? Just curious.
- Snapchat: This probably applies to Young Adult authors, but Snapchat is a fun way to share your story. Not your BUYmyBOOK story when each chapter starts out BuyMyBook, Buy it NOW. You’re much better off engaging your readers on SnapChat as you. Your real life story. That’s the bonus material readers are looking for. YouTUBE is a place to tell longer stories, post book trailers, and ask Vloggers to review your book. BUT beware the ever present ticking of the clock and impatience of this fast paced world: Keep it short. Less is more. And share tastefully.
- When there’s a SALE: Don’t remind everyone on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all other Social Media sites, every hour on the hour. I get it. People need to know your book is on sale, but drowning someone never made them come back for seconds. Unless we’re talking shots. But then I might need to refer you to AA. But let’s stay focused, here. J
- A note on Amazon Categories: Don’t list your book under a category it doesn’t belong in just to get on a TOP TEN list, because in the end, you will just end up with lost readers and a review like this: “Why was this book listed under Amish Vampire Stories? There wasn’t one neck-biting incident, and one minor character might have had a distant aunt who was Amish, but that doesn’t make the book Amish. One STAR is too generous, but I had to rate it in order to warn readers!”
- DISAPPEAR: I get it. Sometimes we need to unplug. Sometimes we all need a break from the madness of Social Media and all the messages and images pulling at our attention. BUT, don’t disappear forever. Readers are looking for the person behind the story today more than ever. They want to connect with authors and have relevant (and sometimes meaningless) conversations about stories, life, and all of it. Be available but don’t be a slave to Social Media. And don’t treat it like a servant either.
So before you post something in the spirit of marketing your book, think twice, remember who your audience is, and remember to be yourself. And be real. Not just your edited, filtered, perfect self that only shows up on a good hair day. Keep it real. And keep it light. See you there.
Rajdeep Paulus, Award-Winning author of Swimming Through Clouds, Seeing Through Stones, and Soaring Through Stars is mommy to four princesses, wife of Sunshine, a coffee-addict and a chocoholic. As of this June 2013, she’s a Tough Mudder. To find out more, visit her website or connect with her via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.