The first sin is social marketing is being boring. Don’t be boring. What I think they meant by this was don’t spam Twitter feeds pleading for people to look at your blog or book. And don’t let an automated system do too much of the work, so that people realize it’s a robot and not you. Finally, give them something worth following you for.
Social marketing is all about building your personal brand. Thanks to the internet, you’re not just marketing your book, you’re also marketing yourself. Since agents, editors and publishers alike will probably Google you, it’s best to control what’s being put out there about you on the web. When posting on social media, post as though everyone who can read it has the power to fire you. That may seem a little extreme, and a lot of people in the forum and on Twitter (of course we were tweeting this!) didn’t agree with it. But as a writer you’re in a different place than the average Joe. Average Joe can afford to rant about people and things and post crazy pictures, etc., etc., etc. Average Joe isn’t trying to get a book published, and no one will probably ever Google him.
They suggested that you don’t try to master every social medium out there, but pick a couple and be really good at them. Maybe it’s Facebook, Twittter, Linked In, blogging, etc. Do you have a favorite author or even person that uses Twitter? Read through their tweets and see how they interact with others. You can do the same with agents and publishers and see how they interact with their writers. This also goes for Facebook, blogs, etc.
Be personable not personal. What does that mean? Don’t rant about how much you hate your co-workers, or give TMI about the situation with your boyfriend, etc. Think about what you’d like to read in a blog and the things you wouldn’t–then don’t write about the wouldn’t. It’s all about controlling your online image. While you’re Googling yourself, Google images too. Are they the images you want yourself to be seen by?
Whatever stage you’re in with your writing career, have a place ready for potential fans to go. Give them the kind of connection that makes them fans. Know when others are having a conversation about you. If someone says they like your book, say thank you! But, remember someone out there will always hate you no matter what you do. Repeat in your head the words “grace & dignity.” Don’t respond to haters in an ugly way. It reflects worse on you than them. In most cases it’s probably best to be aware, but ignore.
Understand who your audience is for your book. With social tools, especially Twitter, it’s not about building followers, it’s about building relationships. But, social media should never take precedence over your writing. Don’t get so involved in the promoting that you don’t make time for what you’re promoting in the first place. You’re on the web for a reason. If you need help controlling time-wasting on the web, they recommended 3 tools that shut down the parts of the internet that waste time:
I asked what hashtags they recommended for YA on Twitter. They said #amwriting, #YAlitchat, and #fridayreads.