How NOT To Win Friends On Social Networks

Social networking is a wonderful way to meet people who share your interests, develop relationships and ultimately increase your book sales. But spamming people in your network isn’t likely to win you many friends. Here are some examples:

• On LinkedIn, someone in a group that I belong to has sent me two sales pitches for her products in the past couple of weeks, by direct message. I’ve never heard of this woman and she’s not on my list of connections.

• On Facebook, the use of direct messages to send promotional pitches has become so prevalent that many people simply tune out their messages.

• On Twitter, people I don’t know send me @reply messages asking me to buy their product.

• On Facebook, some people leave frequent promotional posts on group walls or post promotional messages on their friend’s walls.

Yes, you can promote yourself and your book on social networks, but be subtle about it. Most of your communications should be about developing relationships, getting to know people, sharing information and resources, helping others, and being a member of the community. I recommend that no more than 10% to 20% of your status updates and tweets be promotional or self-serving.

Be cautious about using direct messages for promotional purposes. For example, a direct message to announce an event (like your book launch) or a message that contains tips and resources will probably be more acceptable to people than a sales pitch. Just don’t overdo it.

Remember the golden rule of social networking: treat others as you would like to be treated. 

This is a reprint from Dana Lynn Smith‘s The Savvy Book Marketer.