I am an expert at bombing at self-promotion. I work a day job. I am lazy. I am allergic to Twitter. You know, the usual excuses.
I have learned a few things though, in reading Twitter, which I do when I’m sitting here, brain frozen as I try to dredge up one interesting tweet that will never come because most of my days consist of ‘Clock in. Rearrange things. Clean things people mess up. Go to lunch. Come back. Do it again.’ I have learned, my friends, how not to sell books. I may even be an offender on some of these points, so don’t crucify me. Just take these as educated observations.
Here are a few of the biggest offenders I come across:
Only tweet your Amazon purchase links. Never say anything about anything else. Only tweet that link. Over and over and over again.
Because this is so very interesting. I sense you want to connect with me on a personal level, and not with my debit card. Let me see that link one more time so I can bond with it.
Follow a bunch of authors. Give them two days and if they don’t tweet directly at you or share that one link you tweet over and over, unfollow them.
I hate, hate, hate, the speed date mentality on Twitter, sometimes. As an author, you probably have hundreds or thousands of accounts whizzing past you as scroll through your main feed, and to see authors come and go, well, isn’t that a missed opportunity for both parties? Not everybody is a responder and retweet addict. They may be a quiet reader, and you’ve alienated someone, rather than made a connection. I know I have been poised to purchase a novel after following an author for a bit, then found myself ditched on the side of the Internet road with no explanation. Lost sale, my unfriending friend. Be patient. Let it simmer. Think what you may lose if you break up with a follower before you give them a chance to become a fan.
Never engage with people, but openly declare they’d better engage with you if they expect you to continue following them. Better yet, make sure your profile pronounces that you will not follow new followers until they demonstrate they are worthy of your click.
This, frankly, is arrogant and presumptuous and I probably will unfollow you or pass you by when I see that statement. You sound kind of jerky, not authorly.
When someone follows you, immediately bomb them with impersonal direct messages.
There’s a lot of debate on this subject. A lot of people feel this is an imperative in social media marketing. Perhaps it is, but I don’t see the appeal. What I do imagine, is that I’ve received a telemarketing call. I followed you, which means I bought the initial offering. Now you’re trying to upsell, and I haven’t even gotten a fix on whether I like the product yet. Now you want me to go to your Facebook and click like, then go to G+ to add you in a circle, buy your book, share your links, and…and…and…dude, chill out. I am not a sandwich board who will be suckered into marketing for you when I can’t even remember how to spell your last name. I don’t know if I want your book. Show me I do. Don’t tell me I do.
Tweet about television shows all the bloody time.
There’s a fine line between trying to find common ground with readers, and either spoiling the crap out of an episode that I didn’t see yet, or just being kind of pointless. Ha, Castle! Wow, Downton Abbey! Holy Cow, Walking Dead! These statements do not make me feel like we have a common bond. It’s visual clutter and I’m moving on to something more interesting.
Make sure you carry on a very complex and lengthy conversation with someone via a minimum of eighty tweets per second. We all really care about your swollen big toe and fully understand that a phone call or email doesn’t make sense to you.
Okay, don’t do that, because it’s obnoxious. Don’t screw with the purpose of Twitter. This is about micro-blogging. Not writing an hour long epic about your microwave blowing up.
Hashtags. Abuse the crud out of them.
I understand hashtagging, and reaching certain audiences. Use ones that make sense. #amwriting #amreading #authors #blogs. These are useful. A not useful example hashtag hell?
Hey, the sun is out! #sun #shining #earth #warm #solarsystem #lazy #nojacket #wanttocalloffsick #probablywontgotowork #wonderifmybossjustreadthis #uhoh #unemploymentline #hatesunshine
Stop doing this. Stop it.
Follow somebody, wait until they follow back, then unfollow them so your numbers look good.
Okay, that's just flat out jerky and you deserve to get a raging case of karmic strep throat.
Be silent all the time. Be the invisible tweeter.
It works so well for me. I know the fact that I've been silent on Twitter for three weeks has done wonders for my self-promotion. Now, where's that sarcasm font again?