Monday, April 18, 2011

Social Media Survey

Recently I've run into a few folks who are using social media almost exclusively for self-promotion. These are people that I have started to consider friends but have been contemplating unfollowing them because I'm so put off by their behavior. I made a mention of it on Facebook yesterday and it created a bit of a conversation. I had a couple suggestions to write a post about it, which I have done in the past, but maybe it's time for another look for those who are relatively new and a reminder to some who have evidently forgotten the meaning of social media.

What I'm hoping is that folks will share information with me for the post. I'll report the findings as I share ideas for good use of social media.

If you don't understand any of the questions in the survey, please feel free to email me. Thanks in advance for your participation. Hopefully we can make this a valuable blog post for everyone.


Belle Wong April 18, 2011 at 12:03 PM  

Great survey, Jen! Looking forward to reading your post.

Sara J. Henry April 18, 2011 at 1:10 PM  

Just want to note that many authors who would not normally use social media such as Twitter or Facebook are doing it only because their publisher says they must. They're trying to earn a living and essentially have been told this is a new part of their job. Sure, just unfollow if they annoy you, but if you're someone's friend in real life, why not send them a hint how to do it (or not do it)?

Jen April 18, 2011 at 1:33 PM  

Well, in this case, Sara, these are people who DO know better. They are simply choosing to use social media inappropriately. But there are a lot of people out there who for whatever reason, haven't made the efforts the learn about using social media. There are all kinds of avenues to learn through. I'm hoping this blog post will be one such avenue.

But on that same note, if you are told to do something as part of your job and you don't know how to do it - any kind of job - you are responsible for learning how.

Social media can be a powerful tool for an author, but it can be a powerful tool against an author. Those authors who are being told it's required for their job...if they want to continue doing their job, they probably should learn the ins and outs. They might even find that they actually like it.

Dorte H April 18, 2011 at 5:41 PM  

Interesting survey, but as I have not found my own writer´s feet yet, I won´t try to answer. I would have liked to know exactly what it is you find off-putting because I use facebook and twitter (everybody else tells me writers should). I don´t want to seem pushy in any way, however, so recently I have created a fan page. MY intension is that friends who couldn´t care less about (my) crime fiction can follow my old page, people who want to know about my writing can check the fan page - obviously the fan page is full of me and my fiction, but I suppose that is fair enough.

Libby Hellmann April 18, 2011 at 7:52 PM  

I'll be curious to see the results, Jen. I go back and forth about Twitter... sometimes I think it's amazing, other times a pox upon our houses. But I have noticed that after abn individual gets a certain number of followers (not sure how many that may be), it's not really interactive for that individual anymore. It's more "broadcasting".. or "narrowcasting" as the case may be.

Facebook is something else... I love interacting with folks there and try to keep it more personal.

Anyway, good luck with the survey. WHen will you post the results?

Jen April 18, 2011 at 9:22 PM  

Hey Libby, I'll probably put the post together in early May. I'll be in NYC the last week of this month, so when I get back.

I actually disagree with you on the Twitter front, and I think folks like Joe Finder, Jeff Abbott and Harlan Coben are good examples. Simon Vance is another one. I regularly see him interacting with people who love his audiobook narrations. These people respond to their followers. They may not get into long drawn out conversations but they do have interaction that goes far beyond broadcasting. Even organizations interact with their followers. Good examples of those: Mulholland, Tantor Audio and Macmillan Audio, Tyrus Books.

The other day, someone I chat with occasionally on Twitter e-mailed me a TV script because she knew I was interested in it. I only know her through Twitter, but we've established a friendship that way.

Anyway, I'll get into more in my post. Be on the lookout!

kathy d. April 19, 2011 at 4:17 AM  

Oh, gosh, I'm so glad I'm a Luddite and stick to emails and phone calls as my modes of communication.

These dilemmas are tough, especially when using social media is a requirement in a job. There's so much competition out there for publicity, for sales, etc., and it's become so dog-eat-dog, that individuals who don't want to do it are between a rock and a hard place.

Social media etiquette is a very good thing to educate folks about; hopefully, many will see this blog.

Stephanie April 20, 2011 at 4:07 PM  

Thanks so much for the great information. I always love to read more about social media and marketing.
I have my own site. I hope to offer tips as well. Thank you.

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