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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Followers, Schmollowers

Agent, Janet Reid hit the monkey on the head with her recent post about book promotion on Twitter. The biggest reason I don't spend a lot of time on Twitter anymore is because people are always shilling something. Once in a while is fine. Too often and it becomes noise, forcing people to ignore it completely.

Her ratio of one shill post to every ten is more than fair--and easier on my brain.

I also liked what she said about 'followers'.

Reid said: Don't talk about this stuff at ALL. No one following you cares how many other people are. They ONLY care that you say something of interest to them.  

So true! The number of followers is only important to the person asking for the followers.

That said, there are good reasons to have followers. I had a conversation with someone recently about contests. She wasn't going to ask for people to be a follower in order to enter her contests. I suggested she reconsider it. I've found that people willing to follow (to enter) are less likely to be contest trolls and more likely to be true fans of the genre or author.

Follow because you WANT to be a part of that person's world. And those asking for 'follows' should be doing it because they have something marvelous to offer in return. No one cares how many people are in your posse. That's just ego talking. Real followers care about your content.

I still add myself to other people's follow list, but only if I truly enjoy that person's blog. I want to show my appreciation and that's one small way to do it.

I just think we need to move away from that high school clique mentality. Social networks are really crowded and noisy with spam. To stand out, we need to be a little less self-centered and more genuinely social. 

Touch us where we live through pictures and anecdotes. Talk about other people. Quote them. Link to them. Expand your scope beyond selling yourself and you'll find a more receptive audience.

Reid had so many good points in her post. I highly recommend it.

Have you ever tried to gauge which posts or tweets worked best for you? What did you discover?


32 comments:

R. Mac Wheeler said...

Now that was a good blog title.

;O)

Maria Zannini said...

Mac: Spelling it wasn't easy either. ;)

Sarah Ahiers said...

Off to read Reid's (heh) post!

Before i follow anyone on twitter i make sure to check their twitter stream. If all they do is shill their's or other's work, or tweet links to articles or what have you, i will not follow back. I want actual conversations and real people stuff.

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: I do that too. Of course, it I can catch them on a week when they're doing solid promo for a book release it probably doesn't bode well for them.

Stacy McKitrick said...

I don't tweet, but I do post occassionally on Facebook. I find I get the MOST responses and likes when I share something that has happened to me personally (such as finding a bug--the crawly kind--on my computer!). And I interacted with the commenters, too. It's what I like about Facebook, but it doesn't seem to happen all that often.

Michelle H. said...

That's the reason why I don't go to Twitter. So many new authors just go a little too far with the book promotion. It is like they have it in their head that they must do an hourly (or half hour) "Come purchase my book on Amazon" spamming.

Then they will list new followers in an effort to convince people that the followers must have liked their book, when in essence the people are just "following back." Ugh. Of course, I've never been much of a Twitter person. The 140 character limit doesn't work for me. But I guess you can tell that by this long comment.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: That's been my experience too. There are a few kind acknowledgements when I mention a book release, mine or someone else's, but most of the comments and likes come when I talk about stuff around the homestead.

I think the reasons are two-fold.
1. I'm not trying to sell anything.
2. I mirror what someone else has already experienced--or never hopes to experience--like snakes. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Michelle:
Re: The 140 character limit doesn't work for me. But I guess you can tell that by this long comment.

LOL! I have the same problem.

Part of the problem is because some "guru" somewhere is telling authors that this is what you have to do to get known. I'm not mentioning names but you see their mantra regularly.

Even I fell for it at one time, believing they must know more than little old me. If they're successful, it's not for the vomit of tweets but for something else entirely.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Excellent points and advice, Maria. Content is #1 on my attraction list, not contests or hype. And I'm always looking for new blogs to follow that give me that.

Maria Zannini said...

Karen: I can't remember the last time I followed a blog because of their books.

But I do like to read about interesting people.

Misha Gericke said...

I usually stick to social tweets and posts, since I can't really see how posting about my book actually helps to sell it.

Maria Zannini said...

Misha: Like Janet Reid said: The key is to have other people talking about your book.

marlenedotterer said...

I can't get into Twitter. It just doesn't make sense. I do link my blog posts to it, but I never go on there myself. If I only have a minute or two to give to it, what good is it? There's never time to get to know someone or have a conversation. At least, I haven't figured it out yet.

Jenny Schwartz said...

Maria, you know I like twitter, but it has become crowded with people being shamelessly self-promo'y.

More positively, I really like that if you follow news sites that interest you, you hear the news as it breaks.

I don't know if I've sold even one extra book directly because of Twitter, but I do think you can make yourself a bit more visible to reviewers if you tweet interesting stuff.

Anne Gallagher said...

I have to remember to make new lists. Then I can watch what I want and not have to listen to the noise.

When I'm actively promoting, I'll only tweet about the book once every couple of hours for two days. Then I stop because it's boring to talk about myself and I've got to move on.

When I'm NOT actively promoting, I'll tweet a book every so often, but I'll schedule it for 3am.

Of course, this is only if I'm actively Tweeting. And when I'm not writing.

Hope you're well.
Did you kill BBQ?

Darke Conteur said...

I think the message is getting out that social media is no longer a good place to market. I drop people who constantly promote their work. A little promotion is fine, but some people over do it.

I don't try to gauge anything. If people like it, fine, if they don't, that's fine too.

Angela Brown said...

Truthfully, I'm on the fence about keeping my Twitter at all. I find that I may schedule a few or share a few tweets but I barely ever look at them...rarely.
le sigh...

Maria Zannini said...

Marlene: I feel the same way. I don't feel it's a relationship on Twitter, but more like 'sound' bites.

Maria Zannini said...

Jenny: But you've got the Twitter mojo. It's like a foreign language to me. I've tried several times and I feel I the only people I can connect with are people I already know.

Whereas I've become good friends with new people on FB. It's gotta be the 140 characters holding me back. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Anne:
Re: BBQ
That son of a gun is still with me. We're going to see about reinforcing a separate pen for him--at least until the girls deliver. I don't want him bothering them.

If we do put him on the pit we'll wait for warmer weather.

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: I'm hearing a lot of disgruntled people coming up with that realization.

It'll be interesting to see what new social networks develop in the next five years. The current ones are starting to feel stale--especially for business.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: I really wanted to leave after that scumbag jacked my profile.

I still don't understand what good it did him. It's not like I'm some big name and the stuff he shilled was relatively dull.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've been finding my blog friends on Twitter and unfollowing a few trolls. I also unfollow anyone who uses it to promote political views.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: I try to be tolerant of differing political opinions, but if they start ranting, I dump 'em too.

Life is too short for crazies.

Shelley Munro said...

You know whenever I go on Twitter none of my friends are chatting. It's just a load of promo. I'll admit I add to the promo at times, but I do try to tweet about interesting blog posts I come across or things that interest me. I think I've been on twitter a couple of times this week. I don't think I've missed much.

raelynbarclay said...

I'm awful with social media. Kristen Lamb has a rule of thirds. 1/3 conversation, 1/3 sharing (linking), and 1/3 promo. I think that's a pretty decent ratio but I fail miserably at it.

Off to Janet's post :)

Diane Carlisle said...

I don't get much traffic from Twitter, so I too don't like to use it. Traffic is fine, but I want traffic to be from people who actually want to read my stuff, not people who are tricked into gimmicky links to my blog.

Maria Zannini said...

Shelley: Methinks people are going to start moving away from Twitter if authors don't quit with the sales pitches soon.

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: A third of promo seems a bit too much to me. But then there is a way to do promo if you do it with finesse and subtlety.

Maria Zannini said...

Diane: I know what you mean. This is why FB works better for me.

Mike Keyton said...

I wish I had the talent/inclination for Twitter. Renee Miller has it, so too Katrina Monroe. My daughter Frances Keyton has it in spades. She crack me up every time. I prefer FB. It offers more options, I think.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: Renee is brilliant at Twitter! I love her quips. I think I need more than 140 characters to be clever.