Social media – why self promotion bores us all

Many writers, especially self-published ones who need to self promote more than others, use social media to get their message out. It’s the obvious call for it is free (except for time) to use. We are all told we must use social media to the max.

How often do you sigh with irritation when someone is self-promoting yet again, every time you look on Facebook, or Instagram? These are the accounts providing no new insights of material, just another photo of their book cover? Yes, me too, so let’s see how best to use social media for promoting your business or product.

The harsh reality is that people do not want to see the same old stuff regurgitated in different ways so if you have nothing new to say, then the golden rule is, don’t say it.

Mind set: forget complicated technical stuff or the ‘I am amazing’ approach; think forging relationships, information sharing, and engaging.

Ask: what is your aim?

If you are promoting a book then stuff about why or how you wrote it, author insights, interviews by others, photos of location shots, snippets from the book, critical reviews (not your mates and family) are all useful but even then, use in moderation.

Facebook

I have largely stopped looking at Facebook because so much of it is simply self-promotion.

A personal account is needed for a business account. This is a pain but it is how it is.

Everything you post on Facebook is content. Posts with photos get around 39% more engagement. However, the photos need have a function. Yet another smiling author photo promoting their book cover is inane yawn-inducing stuff.

Time your posts. Many check during lunch times, after dinner, or during a commute.

Ensure grammar and spelling are correct. Check phrasing and sentence structure. Please! So many don’t and it looks poor.

Numbers of followers is far less important than engaging with them.

Grammar and spelling are universally important, and all efforts for their correct use should be made.

Fact-check sources and news before sharing them on your networks. Ensure the safety of your users by not sharing links to malicious sites.

Do not spam, send out mass invitations. People don’t like salespeople; really, they don’t. It is a big switch off.

Hard sell – it is very irritating and unattractively desperate.

Respond to comments.

Engage with/share other people’s posts. It really isn’t all about you! No one really cares about you as an author. Quite rightly.

Twitter

Twitter has pace, so boring tweets are quickly rumbled, as are constant self-promotion messages.

Don’t tweet just to hear yourself speak or to fill gaps but try to tweet at least daily. Don’t be lazy, find something to say.

Include images.

Rapid response is needed.

Follow other people in your area/industry/field.

Reply to positive feedback.

Be polite to negative feedback.

Share ‘personal’ updates about your book or blog or business. Be human!

Don’t spam. Don’t use pointless hashtags. Don’t copy in almost everyone in your feed.

Use direct messaging for private information.

If talking about someone on twitter, use their username. Mine is @jeeznotuagain while my @budeandbeyond is my hyperlocal website twitter account.

Hashtags #

Hashtags expose you to a wider audience, so people may pick up your tweets who are not following you if the hashtag is relevant to them. They are meant to explain what your tweet is about (shorthand).

Some people have more hashtags than content – same in Instagram. It smacks of desperation and is dull.

Instagram

Used for creating and sharing photos and short videos. Vibrant and active, especially for younger audiences. Hashtags are important for sharing.

Give detailed descriptions where merited. It can put a picture or video into context.

Use links in text.

Videos are popular – if original content.

Use filters to improve your photo especially if you are a poor photographer. Snapseed is a useful app.

Show behind the scenes images.

Create a series of related photos or videos.

A shameless bit of self promotion but I promise I don’t do it every day!

Blogging

Blogs have their own objectives:

Personal/diary

Business

Hobby or interest.

Community

Professional

How you write it depends upon your objective. My main objective in any blog, including this one, is to disseminate information.

Google Blogger and WordPress.com, especially the latter, are mainly used for free blogging.

Think of style/images required.

Generating regular content can be the biggest challenge.

A blog which is never updated quickly becomes boring, so people switch off.

You can use Google alerts to set up email alerts which may be useful.

To finish:

You can link all these social media but have some empathy and mind for your reader. If you read the same thing over and over again in numerous different places, you eventually stop looking because you are bored.

There are some amazing bloggers how there, and very erudite commentators on social media, especially Twitter, but there is also a load of self-important tosh. People quickly distinguish the two.

2 Replies to “Social media – why self promotion bores us all”

  1. Thanks, very informative – not looking forward to the self-promotion bit & am dragging my heels, if I’m honest. So, for me , this is very timely & I’m grateful 🙂 Lal x ________________________________

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