Golden Rule of Social Networking? Don't Be A D*ck

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dgaughran
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Golden Rule of Social Networking? Don't Be A D*ck

Post by dgaughran » May 12th, 2011, 12:35 pm

Antisocial Media

As a writer, when you start connecting all the parts of your online presence: Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Amazon Author Page, Website, there is a moment when you pause for a second.

Suddenly, you realise that all potential readers will see your tweets and blog posts. But don't worry, that’s good. It means that you are starting to get that all your online interactions are public and will form an impression in your readers’ minds.

You want that to be a good impression.

Your blog is not the place to plant flags or settle scores. Your Twitter account is not for chasing chicks or talking about boys. And, for the love of God, if your Facebook profile is open to the public, please be careful with not only what you share, but what your friends share.

It’s important to set some dividing lines here. You can have a Facebook Page for business (we’ll talk about that below) and a personal one for fun. You can have as many Twitter accounts as you like, but keep one strictly for work.

Just think about some of the things your friends or acquaintances might share, and whether that will reflect well on your professionally. My advice is to keep these worlds separate. You may want to switch off yourself sometimes, so it’s good to have a personal hideaway.

Don’t Be A D*ck

If there is one commandment in all online behaviour, whether that’s forums, Twitter, Facebook, or blogging, it’s this: Don’t Be A D*ck.

Don’t go on to forums just to spam people about your book. Don’t tweet your new release every hour. Don’t use your blog to take on your enemies. Don’t turn every conversation into, “That’s enough about me, let’s talk about you. What do you think of my book?”

In short, don’t be a d*ck.

People forget the “social” part of social media. It’s about interaction, it’s about engagement. This means asking your readers questions and caring about the answers. This means listening to your audience. This means responding to comments in a timely manner. You know, being nice.

Interaction is one of the key advantages of the web, and if you are not leveraging it, people will soon change channel, and there are over a trillion channels.

However, if you care about your readers, if you say interesting things to them and encourage them to respond, if you start having conversations, rather than giving speeches, readers will come to you.

It’s the same with Twitter, it’s the same on forums, it’s the same with Facebook, it’s the same with blogging.

Do Unto Others

No-one likes being spammed, friends that only go on about one thing are boring, people who talk and don’t listen are annoying, and everyone shuts the door when they see the salesman coming.

There are lots of different reasons I buy books. But the only ones I have checked out by social networking contacts were written by people that were smart, interesting, funny, had way with words, a different perspective, or were just plain nice.

I bet I'm not alone.

Dave
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Down the well
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Re: Golden Rule of Social Networking? Don't Be A D*ck

Post by Down the well » May 12th, 2011, 3:10 pm

Nicely put. Couldn't agree more. People are absolutely attracted to the positive.

HumorWriter0910
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Re: Golden Rule of Social Networking? Don't Be A D*ck

Post by HumorWriter0910 » May 13th, 2011, 4:31 pm

I write a theme-based Twitter (@KnowWhosAwesome), which kind of prohibits me from breaking character, so to speak, to thank someone for following or just giving me a nice retweet/mention. I've found the direct message tool to be really helpful in this regard, as it allows me to express my gratitude while still avoiding a Tweet that wouldn't make much sense.

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Re: Golden Rule of Social Networking? Don't Be A D*ck

Post by dgaughran » May 14th, 2011, 7:38 am

That's a very good point.

If you have a reputation built up as an abrasive character (or whatever), and this is reflected in your voice, and it works, then these rules may not apply.

However, many inexperienced authors - who think there work is the best thing since Salinger - think it's appropriate to use social media to announce their genius to the world and demand respect.

They never get it, and usually the writing's not up to scratch either.

Dave
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Re: Golden Rule of Social Networking? Don't Be A D*ck

Post by HumorWriter0910 » May 14th, 2011, 12:11 pm

I'm definitely sarcastic but try to keep it good-natured so as not to be abrasive (pointing out my own "awesome" characteristics from time to time helps). But either way, I agree 100%: Twitter or any other social media platform is no place to act like you're better than the people reading your stuff.

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