Chip MacGregor

June 19, 2015

The Ten Things NOT to do on Social Media (a guest blog)


For today’s “Top Ten” list, we present The Top TEN Things NOT to do on Social Media when it comes to Marketing your book:

  1. Tweet: Buy my book. Buy my book. Buy my book NOW. #buymybook #buyitnow #buyitordie It always amazes me how much you can threat a person in 140 characters or less. People generally don’t respond well to threats. It’s just a fact.
  2. Twitter Party etiquette: Don’t show up at someone else’s Twitter party and start throwing in links to your book on Amazon, hashtag: #justincaseyouwantedtoBUYmyBOOK — That’s the equivalent of wearing your wedding dress to someone else’s wedding. Hello?
  1. Facebook Book Cover Tag: This is when authors gets so excited about their new book, that they tag everyone they know on the cover pic of their book. Which makes their cover show up on all their friends’ Facebook pages. Don’t. Do. It. Not if you want you keep your friends, anyway.
  2. Facebook Private Message each of your 3001 friends: Buy my book. Buy my book. Buy it NOW! That’s spam and you risk being kicked off Facebook. Then you’ll have 0 friends. Don’t do it. Twitter messaging is similar. Don’t PM all your followers. There’s nothing “private” or personal about a copy/pasted message.
  3. Instagram photos of your book over and over and over again. From different angles with hashtags that run so long, one could sprain a finger from scrolling. No one shops on Instagram. You can’t click on links (outside your tag under your profile name.) Keep it fun. Keep it light. Invite, don’t swamp, readers and then walk away.
  4. Pinterest: Ummm… Does anyone even use Pinterest anymore? Just curious.
  5. Snapchat: This probably applies to Young Adult authors, but Snapchat is a fun way to share your story. Not your BUYmyBOOK story when each chapter starts out BuyMyBook, Buy it NOW. You’re much better off engaging your readers on SnapChat as you. Your real life story. That’s the bonus material readers are looking for. YouTUBE is a place to tell longer stories, post book trailers, and ask Vloggers to review your book. BUT beware the ever present ticking of the clock and impatience of this fast paced world: Keep it short. Less is more. And share tastefully.
  6. When there’s a SALE: Don’t remind everyone on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all other Social Media sites, every hour on the hour. I get it. People need to know your book is on sale, but drowning someone never made them come back for seconds. Unless we’re talking shots. But then I might need to refer you to AA. But let’s stay focused, here. J
  7. A note on Amazon Categories: Don’t list your book under a category it doesn’t belong in just to get on a TOP TEN list, because in the end, you will just end up with lost readers and a review like this: “Why was this book listed under Amish Vampire Stories? There wasn’t one neck-biting incident, and one minor character might have had a distant aunt who was Amish, but that doesn’t make the book Amish. One STAR is too generous, but I had to rate it in order to warn readers!”
  8. DISAPPEAR: I get it. Sometimes we need to unplug. Sometimes we all need a break from the madness of Social Media and all the messages and images pulling at our attention. BUT, don’t disappear forever. Readers are looking for the person behind the story today more than ever. They want to connect with authors and have relevant (and sometimes meaningless) conversations about stories, life, and all of it. Be available but don’t be a slave to Social Media. And don’t treat it like a servant either.

Social Media is made up of real, living, breathing individuals who have feelings, thoughts and Rajideas. Don’t ever forget that.

So before you post something in the spirit of marketing your book, think twice, remember who your audience is, and remember to be yourself. And be real. Not just your edited, filtered, perfect self that only shows up on a good hair day. Keep it real. And keep it light. See you there.


Rajdeep Paulus, Award-Winning author of Swimming Through Clouds, Seeing Through Stones, and Soaring Through Stars is mommy to four princesses, wife of Sunshine, a coffee-addict and a chocoholic. As of this June 2013, she’s a Tough Mudder. To find out more, visit her website or connect with her via FacebookTwitterPinterest, or Instagram.


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  • :Donna Marie says:

    This is all VERY much worth reiterating, for sure. I cannot STAND the “buy my book” people. And I actually here Pinterest mentioned often (?).

    • Rajdeep Paulus says:

      Thanks, Donna!
      I’m not sure how relevant Pinterest is as part of this conversation, only because I don’t spend many minutes there. But if it made you “Buy my Book!” I will throw up a board dedicated to you! 😉 kidding. Another rule of thumb-don’t give away so much just to get people to purchase your books. Giveaways are great and can stir the pot, but there’s such a thing as FREE-fatigue. It’s also a simple mathematical equation that we forget sometimes. Less minus a lot more rarely produces more. 🙂

    • :Donna Marie says:

      Ah, Rajdeep! I wasn’t thinking “Pinterest” just in respect of the “buy my book” aspect, so that was me at 3am reading and not fully absorbing lol. If I ever have a book to buy, I know I won’t be the type to shove it down people’s throats, for sure 😀

  • Rajdeep Paulus says:

    Sorry to come on board a little late but thanks for all the shares and comments! Chip has taught me a lot and one word he never tired saying: patience. 🙂 Happy Writing, All!

  • SO right on, Rajdeep. What is truly annoying are the repeated emails I get from a friend of a friend whose book I’ve already read. He is actually violating spam laws because he doesn’t have an unsubscribe link. I just dealt with it by auto-routing his emails to junk.
    If your posts are “all about me” pretty soon you’ll find that nobody is listening. Social media, like your writing, needs to be about the audience.

    • Rajdeep Paulus says:

      Thanks, Dennis,
      Strange how much we all succumb to desperate attempts to get our books out there at times. Resist. Deep breath. Write on! There’s a reason why it’s called Spam, after all. 🙂

  • I love this article! Funny, and so true. Another problem is emails. If I’m constantly getting emails just advertising books, I usually unsubscribe from the author’s mailing list.

  • Iola Goulton says:

    Pinterest? Did I miss something? I have an account but I’ve never been a big user. Is it dropping out of favour?

    • April says:

      No, Pinterest is still booming. I’m not sure why she wrote that. Perhaps she just doesn’t use it much herself.

    • Rajdeep Paulus says:

      I think for a lot of us, instagram sort of replaced Pinterest, but not sure how effective it is to market books. Any thoughts?

    • Cathe Swanson says:

      I don’t have a cell phone, but that makes me the old-fashioned one. 🙂 I did set up an account using my husband’s phone and have posted a couple things. I find Pinterest to be longer-lasting, easier to refer back to on a regular basis. I use it when I see something I want to read – or anything I want to do later and not click on and respond to at that moment. Instagram is like Twitter for pictures – things scroll away so fast that the marketing moment is over almost immediately, especially if your target audience is following a thousand people.

    • April says:

      The purpose of Instagram and Pinterest are completely different. So, I could see how one replaced the other in terms of your interest or personal use, but I don’t think that could be said for the general public.

      I never thought Pinterest was particularly effective for book marketing to begin with though, and the interest in using it that way has waned, I’ll admit. Probably becuase it doesn’t work well, since that’s not its purpose. 🙂

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