Okay, maybe you’re not an idiot. You might be a very nice person who doesn’t know any better. But, the truth is we’re getting sick of it and we’re not gonna take it anymore (wait, isn’t that a bad country song?). Anyway, pay attention.
If you put links in every tweet or Facebook message, it’s a total turnoff and you are no different than spammers. It’s a proven fact that people who broadcast one-way rather than interact two-way have less followers and are unfollowed more often (Dan Zarrella, The Hierarchy of Contagiousness).
So you’re thinking, fine Miss Bossypants. What do you expect us to do instead? (You’re also thinking, damn, who does this redheaded chick think she is? Let’s just say I’m someone who has done this for awhile.)
Provide content. Ya know, info, resources, interesting shit. This doesn’t mean jabber on about nothing or what you ate for lunch. Pick keywords that describe you, your genre, what you do, who you are. Make people care.
(There, there, honey. Was that so hard?)
Here’s what I’m referring to specifically that bugs us:
- When you autoDM someone with a link to like your FB page or book (ack)
- When you only tweet out links to your own books (and please, stop quoting your own stuff. You’re not Abe Lincoln)
- When you tweet out links to your own books and the books of others authors (oh, just relax. I’ll explain)
- When you tweet out links to your books, other authors, and RT anything else that includes a link
- When you are promoting your book because it’s free or part of a group promo so your sense of urgency takes over
Are you seeing a pattern here?
Links, links, links.
AUTO DMs WITH LINKS: People hate these and for good reason. Asking me to like your Facebook page or book before we’ve even said hello is like expecting sex on the first date before I’ve even opened the door and said how do you do. I mean, I like sex as much as the next girl but I kinda want to have a drink first, ya know?
Besides, if you’re smart, you’ve already included in your bio your pertinent links (Twitter allows two links. So der, have two.). I do know how to read. If you’re not a tool, I will click on them and check you out. I will also probably like your Facebook page and Amazon book if you don’t inundate me with linky spam to go like all your stuff. So back the hell off.
REPEATED BOOK LINKS: I’m an author. I get it. Selling books is important. But guess what? You will sell very few on Twitter. I know. Harsh, Rach. Read it again if you need to.
But Rachel, you say, wha, wha, what? That can’t be possible! Yea, well. Reality sucks.
Here is your wake-up call: You need a fully fleshed-out author platform. Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, LinkedIn, now Pinterest, Google+, website, blog (which is why I cringe when authors wait until their book release to start social media and then expect support. Do it way before release. Please.)
And even then, the majority of your book sales will likely come from reviews, word of mouth and ads (I like Google AdWords), Facebook ads, or Goodreads ads, Kindle Nation Daily and Pixel of Ink are also awesome, advertising with top book bloggers (Google them for your genre), doing virtual book tours where you’re exposed to readers of your genre, book promotions (there are a gazillion – again, Google them or contact me via email) and a myriad of other ways.
(And KDP Select if you’re part of that. It rocks if you also advertise the hell out of it when you go free. Just going free and tweeting the hell out of it? Not good enough.)
Twitter is but one part of your author platform.
What Twitter does do is increase your exposure and help you build a fan base, a tribe who will support you in your endeavors, just as you support them. Which is why you need to not simply broadcast book links. Twitter is social, two-way. Are you two-way when you broadcast? No.
Think about it: do you listen to the guy who pontificates endlessly about himself at a party? No. You find some excuse to get away, quickly.
Don’t be that guy.
AUTHOR LINKS: I love supporting my other authors and they support me back. It’s a crucial part of community building on Twitter that I value immensely. Unfortunately, I see too many writers fall into the trap of inbreeding, meaning they only tweet and RT their own links and links of other authors. That’s it.
The danger here is that no one person is that narrow focused. Do you only write? No. Surely you have other interests. Just as you played football in college or enjoy cooking now (sorry, can’t relate; burn water), it’s a good idea to explore other tweeps and build on those relationships. As I mentioned above, while Twitter doesn’t sell your books, word of mouth does.
My #1 bestselling eBook about men and women, The Mancode: Exposed has some unlikely advocates in the most random places due to my varied interests like movie scores, sci-fi, and even vodka. Who knew? Don’t limit yourself.
LOTS OF OTHER LINKS: There is so much great stuff to tweet out, right? Cool pix, unique info, music, book reviews, Pinterest links, Triberr mates’ blogs…how do we know how much is too much?
You may be one of those tweeps who IS quite conscious of their amount of tweets that contain links (and good for you) but feel at a loss how to control it. Well, there are a few things you can do:
- If you’re on Triberr, go to settings and set your tribemates posts for 90 minutes. The auto setting is 20, which is too close together in my opinion.
- Some tribemates post more than once/day. I don’t approve those. Sorry guys but I only blog once/week. Once/day approval is all you get from me.
- Use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck (both free) to schedule in your posts. If you’re still using Twitter to live tweet, all your tweets are going out in batches and your tweeps are inundated. This helps with your time management also.
- For goodness sakes, write tweets that have no freakin’ links!
(I will write more about content tweets and promo tweets on my BadRedhead Media blog in a few weeks.)
SENSE OF URGENCY: I see this a lot. We’ve all felt it. Some people just freak out! When their book is on promo! OMG! My book is free! Everyone buy it!
Enough with the exclamation marks. Especially early in the morning. If I haven’t had my coffee. Step away from the shift-1.
I work with lots of clients who are selling their books. I manage their Twitter accounts and in fact, their entire campaigns and I can tell you, Twitter is but one small part of how we go about ensuring their book sells. We look at:
- Their Amazon copy, categories, tags
- Blog tour, interviews, guest posts, and book promos
- Press releases
- Blog post
- Email campaign
& more. Much of the above is free or low cost so ‘blah blah I have no money or time and Twitter is all I can do’ is BS. Save it. If you use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, you can post everywhere so ix-nay on the inks-lay. Got it?
So…I hope you have a few ideas at this point which show you other avenues besides Twitter to promo your books or business.
STOP THE MADNESS!
UPDATE: Since posting this yesterday, I’ve had QUITE the reaction from people who post nothing but links (imagine that) and they are not pleased with me. Ah, well such is life. I will grant them that IF you’re linking out interesting, unique data, people are more likely to click on it. I follow many streams that are link only if the content is useful or helpful to me. My point, and perhaps this is my bad for not being clear enough, is not that links are bad. Links are terrifically helpful. If you look at my stream, they’re full of em (how do you think you got here?) Most popular tweeps are linky. Many of us have learned to provide content with our links. It’s a balance. That’s all I’m saying. Do whatever YOU want. It’s a free country.
I’d love to hear your comments below. Please share your experiences or tell me where to stick it. Whatev. Thanks so much. If you know someone who can benefit from this article, please by all means share with them. Exclamation marks optional.
Do sign up for my newsletter The Chronicles of Snark. The form is just over there =====>>>> it takes seconds, and you’ll find out all the haps with the Queen of Snark. Yea, that’s me.
Still feeling overwhelmed by Twitter? Check out my April webinars.
Cool stuff coming up this next weekend. I may actually tweet about it. Ha!
- The Top 6 Reasons No One on Twitter Is Following You Back (badredheadmedia.com)
- Top 10 Rules To NOT Be A Social Media Douche (rachelintheoc.com)
- An Indie Author’s Journey: What I’ve Learned (rainethomas.com)