Blogger: Mary Keeley
When it comes to author interaction on social media and within online groups, we need to be discerning. Positive interaction can attract followers faster and lead to a favorable reputation. As important as attracting our following is, we’ll have better online relationships by using respectful online etiquette. Let’s have an interactive conversation today about examples that reflect on us positively or negatively with our network connections. I’ll start us off with several examples and guidelines.
On professional sites like LinkedIn, I’ve had requests to be added to my network by salesmen for companies having nothing to do with my industry. I delete those as soon as I see them because the apparent motivation seems to be a desire for access to my list of connections for their own business purposes rather than networking within the publishing industry. I won’t take the risk for me or for those in my network. Appearances matter, and this sort of activity leaves a negative impression.
If you have pitched projects to agents at conferences or your agent has submitted your latest proposal to publishers, you’ve confronted the importance of platform and reader following. The competitive edge that imposing numbers of followers and social media activity affords has prompted authors to devise creative ways to grow their numbers. Some have resorted to purchasing followers. Others have tried to increase their numbers by following lots of other people indiscriminately in hopes the others will follow them in return. Editors have come to realize the hard way that five- to six-digit social media numbers don’t guarantee super-size sales numbers. When the expected sales don’t materialize, those impressive social media numbers render an artificial impression, which damages the author’s chances of a future book contract. Integrity matters.
Respect for an author’s brand matters
While the convenience is alluring, sending private message requests to other authors, with whom you have no personal connection, asking them to “Like” your author page is poor online etiquette.
Authors need to protect their author brand and respect that of other authors. When an author within a group automatically adds the other members to another group, he or she tampers with the fellow members’ brands. This practice puts them in the awkward position of having to delete themselves if the other group doesn’t mesh with their brand. Show respect for each other by obtaining permission from fellow group members first.
Your turn. When have you been on the receiving end of poor online etiquette? When have you unknowingly practiced poor social media etiquette? Do you have additional guidelines to add to this list?
Appearances and integrity matter. Here are three guidelines for online etiquette. Click to Tweet.
Taking shortcuts to increase social media numbers may backfire for authors. See why here. Click to Tweet.