SMT Series: Too Much Promo is BAD


Social Media Triage Series: Part One

Too Much Promo and Why It Is Bad

There are two things that social media sites allow. One, interaction with others, two, publicity of anything you want to promote. This is not only a viable way for businesses (and especially writers) to get the word out about their products and services, but it is also the most popular way. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if overused can become one. Too much promo is BAD, y’all. And I am going to explain why.

So why is it when we go out there into the world of the Internet, we think we have to shout and tout our wares? Because mainstream media is the leader, and they do it ad nauseum.

Don’t believe me? Go and like a major brand of anything on Facebook. Take one of my favorites: Dr. Pepper. They have a tremendous following on FB. Over 12 million fans in 2012, and of course, still growing. How did they do that? Well, it wasn’t from sitting idle, I can tell you.

On an average, the brand posts once a day, but oftentimes twice. And what do they post about? Dr. Pepper. Recently they held a tuition giveaway for college students. I don’t think the winner has been announced yet. Their posts contain images of their products (they have many) and interesting tidbits that they want consumers to know about their products.

Sounds like a great way to promote? Well…not so fast. What if I liked their page because I like the diet drink? What if every blessed time I go to my newsfeed I get an advertisement for EVERYTHING BUT the diet version? Um hm…starting to sound familiar? How do you build sales? Get an already interested party to buy OTHER things. Here we go–too much promo.

Because it DOESN’T stop there.

A few days later, Facebook sends me ads in that same newsfeed that advertise Coke. And maybe, Pepsi, or Gatorade, or anything else they think I might want since I love soda so much. This is the problem with selling on social media. It becomes a way for that platform to sell to us too. If I like Amazon’s page or books there, you can bet Barnes & Noble will have an ad in my feed. As well as, Nook, Books a Million, and anyone else advertising similar stuff.

So what I believe we are doing wrong is selling on social media. It’s like living in a tiny one room apartment. You toss the magazine from the mail on the coffee table. Then you leave your coffee cup there. Followed by the bags from your lunch at McDonalds and viola! Your small space just became really ugly and cluttered. Ditto for our social media sites.

Think hard about your newsfeed on Twitter. How many people do you see selling something, or promoting something? I am amazed at how far I have to scroll to get to a tweet with shared info that I care about.

Too much promo!

So what do we do then?

Remember, first, it is a place to interact with others. It is great to keep up with your sister in Maine, your brother who is a pirate re-enactor, and your various friends who live far away. It is a place to BE SOCIAL! Go out and friend people who are into what you are into and start intelligent conversations. Get others excited about the fact that YOU ARE A WRITER. A lot of folks are writer groupies like me. We love books. We want to talk about that process and all its spiderwebs.

And second, I did NOT say never promote. I think that if you say once a week that you are promoting this thing or that, you are probably safe. Just do NOT fill up your twitter page with nothing but that. No more repetitive “Buy my book for .99 cents on Amazon” posts on Facebook. See my post on Stop the ad-sanity!

Most importantly, use your time wisely. Write more books, and try to make more friends instead of selling, selling, selling. Believe me, if you will build relationships before you wrangle buyers, the sells will come.

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Part two, Brushing Off the Haters Hurts Your Brand, in the Social Media Triage series HERE

About master

Kim Smith is the author of Disk of Death, The Dread Room, Love Inn, and An Unexpected Performance.

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