We all make mistakes on social media. It’s just a fact.
When we publish our first book, we tentatively reach for social media because everyone tells us that we need it if we expect to sell books.
What happens next? We go from dreading social media to acting a tad overzealous.
Some people get so excited when they learn about scheduling applications that they start sending automated direct messages.
They are the bane of social media.
Whether you’re just starting or have been using social media for a while, here are seven mistakes you should never make.
7 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on Social Media
This list could be longer but let’s stick with my top seven pet peeves that people commit on social media.
- Don’t use a picture of your dog as your avatar. Look at your avatar. Is it a picture of you? If not, remove the picture of your cat or dog or book cover and upload a picture of yourself.
- Don’t forget to update your social media banners. Are your most recent books on your banners? Are your banners consistent across all the social media platforms that you use?
- Stop sending automated direct messages on Twitter. No one likes to receive them. If you’re interesting on social media, people will check out your book or short stories or your blog. However, if you send mean automatic direct message, they may block you.
- Stop sharing retweets of information about your blog or books. Guy Kawasaki likens this to laughing at your own jokes.
- Stop expecting to get high engagement levels on Facebook without buying advertising. The algorithm on Facebook sucks. It’s super hard now to have organic engagement. If you want to sell books using social media, sign up for a Facebook advertising course (Mark Dawson’s is excellent) and learn how to craft your ads.
- Don’t talk about yourself too much on social media. Do we like the guy who only talks about himself at parties? Of course, we don’t. Find interesting posts, fun memes, and beautiful images to share.
- Don’t blindly decide which social media networks you should use. Determine who your readership is and then figure out where that audience hangs out online. Don’t rush to Instagram just because it’s hot and 1 billion people are using it. Would it make sense for you to use it considering what you write? Figure that out before learning how to use any social media. Once you figure out who your readership is, read this post I wrote.
- Bonus tip: Don’t post social media updates without including an image. Ditto for your blog posts.
7 Social Media Suggestions
Now that you know what not to do, here are some tips on what you need to do.
- Listen to what others say.
- Reply to your readers’ social media posts—and those of influence in your niche —and share their content. Like and leave comments as well.
- Win hearts by being authentic, gracious, and thankful.
- Be cool. In other words, never write a nasty comment, use profanity, ridicule someone, or denigrate another author or follower. If someone wrote something nasty about you online, turn the other cheek and move on.
- Minimize self-promotion. It’s okay to mention that your book is for sale or to share a great review. However, don’t overdo this.
- Find the influencers in your genre and learn from them.
- Develop relationships with writers in your genre. Get to know them, share their blog posts, and help them sell their books.
Author of this blog: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.
Frances Caballo is an author and social media consultant. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online and building their platform. Also, she provides content writing and email marketing services. Find out how you’re doing on social media.