Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Personal Pet Peeve with Social Media


Saying this is probably taboo in the world of publishing. But I’m going to anyways.

I’m tired of all the self-promotion.

Now wait—before you get upset and remind me that as writers we need to do that—put our work out there across all the social networks—for everyone to see and buy our product.

I agree.

But not all the time. Without a real connection with anyone.

More and more I’m running into that. People want to be my friend on Facebook and then I never get a personal reply when I leave a note. People follow my blog but I can’t find a way to reply to them. Most all of the tweets are about a new book.

Come on. We’re humans here. We like to communicate with each other. We need to communicate with each other. (I watch enough commercials on TV.)

Sure, I post my latest blog posts. We all do. But if someone sends me a message, it means I expect some interaction. You’ll get it on my part. Always.

I don’t need the high numbers to make me feel good about myself.

Do you?

Let’s keep it real when we’re doing the social media thing.

Okay—now you can blast away. (covering my head)

61 comments:

Claus said...

No, I totally agree! What's the point of being a "follower" if you won't follow and interact with that person. Why ask to be included in a friend list if you won't work towards becoming one. I have found that in my letter-writing world there are people who "collect" pals, and care more for the number of pals they have, more than the relationship/friendship you can establish. Makes no sense to me, but they do exist.
I'm guessing these attitudes are part of the Internet world. Sad but true.
hang in there!
and have a pretty day :o)

Rhonda Schrock said...

I'll go with you on this one, Terri. It's so rewarding, having that back-and-forth with others. Personally, I will happily visit other blogs and leave comments when I feel like it, but if, after several visits, I never get a return visit or a return comment, I decide it's not worth my while. I understand everyone's busy and that at some point, it's not possible to respond to everyone all the time. By and large, though, if you really want to build relationships and not just numbers, it has to go both ways.

Now, got any room in your bunker?

Shirl said...

I agree, Hon. I had a friend on FB, who had actually been a friend long before that...an online friend...not someone I had known outside the Internet. Anyway, she started a little business and everything she posted there or her blog was about trying to sell stuff. I finally dropped her. There was no personal communication at all. But the thing I find about FB and such social media is that too often people speak AT not to others. There really isn't that much personal communication. I have a hate/tolerate relationship with FB anyway, but, unfortunately, it seems to be about the only way I can keep up with some of my friends and family that I don't see often.

Technonana said...

This is so real!! and I say Amen, My Friend!! Keeping you in my prayers!!

Jessica Nelson said...

Actually, I think most people will agree with you. I do.
:-)

Carolyn said...

You are exactly right! And everyone said "Amen"!
I don't like FB - too much, too many, too annoying for me. I go there to check on my grandson...but FB ranks right up there with texting for me! Maybe I'm just too old! You can stop covering your head now...no one blasted! lol

Nehha N Josshi said...

I too, prefer to keep quality over quantity.

KarenG said...

Facebook bothers me that way. Blogging is my preference because we can comment on each others posts and build relationships. Nothing will turn someone off as fast as constant selling. Which is why I don't understand the "facebook fan page." Really? Do these make a difference?

Linda said...

I would like some communication myself! Thanks for saying it!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Keeping it real. I'm dancing to that beat!

Like it.
~ Wendy

kathy taylor said...

Your entry makes me feel less alone in my thoughts and opinion. I'm going to close my "emerging" blog soon. I don't understand why people want to build numbers instead of relationships. It takes just a few writers to ground me. I reached out to a couple of people when I needed someone to talk to about writing and learned that I had made a mistake. I thank God for the group I've found, one I can meet with face to face now and then. We have to promote ourselves, but I think it's often overdone. If a million people bought my book and none of them read it, I would have achieved nothing.

God bless you for tackling a difficult subject.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Yay for this post! It's all about communication and relationships--I definitely agree.

KelliGirl said...

This is awesome and I agree with you completely! No blasting coming from me.

I am very uncomfortable with much of the "social" media because it really isn't all that social--as the new movie, "Social Networking" points out.

Building and maintaining relationships is hard work. Social media gives us access to lots of people but are we really building relationships or creating chaos?

Keep it real Terri!

Melissa Marsh said...

I agree with you, too, Terri. I like how you said you watch enough commercials on t.v. - no need to have them in the social media world, either! I understand we need to market, but there has to be a line drawn somewhere.

Joanne Sher said...

I agree, sweetie - though I've gotta admit that I'm not as good about responding as I used to be. Working on it.

Clarissa Draper said...

I hope you're not talking about me. I try to always comment back but I do admit it's difficult. However, I have noticed what you've noticed.

Clarissa Draper from Listen To The Voices

Deb Shucka said...

I completely agree with you. I think if we ever forget that connecting is about relationship, we lose contact with the part of ourselves from which our best writing comes.

Lin Floyd said...

I agree with both getting tired of self promoting and facebook/blog expectations. I'm here to build friendships, selling books is extra if that happens.

Patti Struble said...

Terri,
You are so on target. I love reading blogs; I love supporting novel debuts. But, I hate thinking of social media in terms of my personal scream-a-forum. I do treat it like a biz, but I don't ever want to forget about the person I am behind all that. When I'm having a bad hair day; you might not be able to see, but I will share it in some way. Stick figures do not make fun playmates or great art.
Patti Struble

Susan R. Mills said...

Here! Here! Well said!

Karen Lange said...

I agree with you; I like connections with people. I dislike the promotional part; I suppose balance is the key, just a matter of finding it. :)
Blessings,
Karen

Sarah Forgrave said...

100% agree. And maybe, just maybe, more people would buy our books some day if they're drawn to our genuine interest in them? I'd call that a win-win.

Candyland said...

AGREED!!!!! I posted about this not too long ago. We're all people, dudes. Let's connect before you hit me over the head with all your stuff. Right?

Susan said...

Hello Terri...I'm glad to read that I'm not the only one who saw a new Follower, was happy, tried to write, and found no e-mail address. Hrrrrrumph.

I am always thrilled with each precious new Follower. However, when I started my blog almost one year ago, I had NO followers. I just wanted to write from my heart and I still do.

Communication is terribly important to me and I always love corresponding with any person who does the same.

Take care and have a great day. It's raining to beat the band in Massachusetts. Susan

Kathryn Magendie said...

I know what you mean! I try to answer every email, comments, etc I receive - I'm sure I miss some and maybe there could come a time when it will be so overwhelming I have to severely cut back, but I answer reader mail and I do it personally, not with some canned response. If someone messages me on FB or Twitter, I answer them, etc etc

But, I have cut back on Social Networking - I need time to write, yes, but also, just as you say, I need time with GMR and I've also decided I need time with friends - I've even made plans to go do some things with friends here in WNC -something I rarely do!

No need to duck and hide -you aren't alone.

I hate it when people only contact me when they want something or try to sell me something - I don't do that to people about my books - sometimes I talk about them on SN, but I don't talk it to death and I never tell people "go buy my books!" - :-)

I think trying to go out and "sell ourselves" can backfire - so I just try to be myself and have fun and do what I love and if people want to 'friend or follow me' or buy my books-yay! if not - well, then that's fine too - I don't try to go out and get all these Numbers - it just feels weird.

Sally said...

Clearly, you are not alone. The 'net' is a perfect place to be a voyeur. If there were no "stats" tab there would be no footprint. Those who want interaction will give it, those who want business will do it, those who want to remain anonymous will slip silently through the ether and birds of a feather will flock together.

Welcome to my nest.

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

It seems your "personal pet peeve" isn't so personal :)
We seem to all agree that the personal touch is needed to foster relationships which is was it really means to be a friend.

You may not remember, but we first connected when I was in AZ with my mom & sis to visit a sick aunt. Your words of comfort meant the world to me at a stressful time. That's what social media is all about.

After that, I had trouble finding your blog in my reader list and this week, I figured out the problem. Sadly, out of sight was out of mind for me. So glad that I reconnected with you.
Susan

Jolene Perry said...

I completely agree. I've had a few people follow my blog and I'm like "really? Did you read about me at all? Cause we're SO not on the same page"
Happens.
Not from me. If I leave a comment its because I like you and want to. Not because I feel like I need to.

T. Anne said...

You mean it's not all about me??? ;)

I SO agree. Lets keep it real or at least try to.

K9friend said...

Sometimes "real life" interferes. I do try and keep up with communication, but also recognize and accept my limitations when I can't do it daily.

Pat
www.critteralley.blogspot.com

Linda O'Connell said...

Terri,
I completely agree. Have the decency to say hello and make a brief intro. I always try to contact my followers. One person I know sells real estate and is forever posting her houses. It gets annoying when I think I have mail and it's an ad.
http://lindaoconnell.blogspot.com/

Janet Johnson said...

Obviously, people know when it's not real, and that doesn't really help with the marketing thing. Best thing to do is to go out and make friends and enjoy the communication. That's what keeps me blogging. Otherwise it's just too much work! Great post. :)

Tabitha Bird said...

I agree. I hate the tireless self- promotion with no intention of connecting in any real way. I can't believe that leads to the sale of books. I have never bought a book because someone shoved it under my face continually on social media.

Julie Jarnagin said...

I agree, but I have to say that sometimes it is tough for me to keep up. Between a full-time job, a two-year-old, writing, and editing, sometimes social media interactions fall to the bottom of the list. That said, I do cherish the relationships I've built online and try my best to keep the communication going.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

I'm diligent to keep up with my blogging friends and try hard to keep tabs on the Followers. Sometimes it's difficult from a time perspective.

When I get a full-time job, it will become even more of a stretch. I hope people will give me some grace.

Blessings,
Susan :)

abkeuser said...

I'm pretty much a silent observer. I love reading about other peoples experiences I usually just dont have a lot to add. But I try to when I can.

Lynn said...

So far I see no 'blast' but lots of understanding. Quality not quantity is an old saying but I think it flies with social media too. I know I've slowed down my blogging to one post per week to make sure I can comment back to those that do comment on mine and hopefully a few others. Just like it's not about the stuff we have in life, the number of 'friends' on fb doesn't measure the type of person I am either (I hope!)

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

You go girl!

Totally agree with you! Here is what confuses me, I have followers on my blog who have never even left me a comment so I am wondering who these folks are and why they are folowing me.

I don't get it!

Blessings
R

Catherine West said...

I like that!! I too often wonder why add people to Facebook that I know I will never interact with. However, that said, if I am someday in a position of being a published author with a book to promote, I do think those connections are important. So it's kind of a fine line. When I do get published I will probably do what many author friends of mine have done, create a fan page - that's where all the folks I don't really know can be added, and I'll keep my other page for personal friends and family, the folks I have a real connection with. Guess I could do that now although I would feel silly creating a fan page!!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Love this post Terri, I too feel its not all about getting the maximum number of followers or marketing oneself, we are first and foremost making genuine connections with other writers. After we get to know other writers, we don't have to ask them anything, because of the friendships we have forged they go out of their way to help us.

Jackie said...

Amen, Amen and Amen for keeping it real!!!

However, I'm convicted somewhat here because I'm guilty of not replying to every comment not because I don't want to but lets face it, often the stuff of life overtakes blogging and comment responses....not by choice, but it's just life!!! So, keeping it real here, if anyone reads this comment and I've failed to reply to your comment on one of my posts, please forgive me....I love and appreciate your encouraging words and strive to be an encouragement to others as well! I'm trying to get a better handle on this responding thing and actually feel that checking in return on the commentors lastest post and leaving a comment and thanking them is equally as important......just saying!

And, that being said, I'm with you Terri on all the Social Networking lack of relationship stuff! I've just about nixed my FB....I love getting a little blurb from a friend about what's going on their life but telling everyone what flavor of Lean Cuisine there eating right now or that they just ordered a Vente double shot lite vanilla lattee with whip is just weird to me.....that's not sharing our hearts and concerns in friendship/relationship.....it's Social Networking gibberish....too many empty words floating around these days....are you feelin me on this anyone!!

OK, now I'm running for cover....hope I didn't step on anyone's FB or Tweetin' toes!!! Sorry, Terri,....didn't know I would practically write a post for a comment....you just hit on something I'm really passionate about lately....can you tell : )) !

Blessings!
Jackie

Lynda Young said...

Brilliant post. It's so true though. Sometimes we are so focussed on what we are told to do: promote your work, that we forget to enjoy all that social media has to offer. We become more effective when we promote OURSELVES and each other rather than our work anyway. It's more about the connections.

sarah said...

this made me smile...why? because you are so real. I love blogging. It's connected with some amazing people and you are definitely one of them. ☺ I've even met a couple...how cool is that. But someone said I should be tweeting to advertise my book...I do but I'm not into it like the blogging. Well said Terri.

Brenda Leyland said...

Agree with you!

To me that's what social media is about.... connecting and getting to know people....in snippets.

paulgreci said...

The personal connection is the big draw for me. Meeting people on Twitter. On my blog I don't always respond to the comments. It depends on the post and what else is going on in my life. But I always visit the other person's blog. I think that's one way to get to get to know someone--by each leaving comments. And, it's fun. Sometimes I email people responses. Again, it just depends. I don't take it personally if I don't get a response or a comment. I know everyone is busy. I'm just happy to meeting some interesting writers and learning from them, and hopefully I have something to offer as well, or at the very least can be a support. thanks for a thought provoking post, Terri:-)

Sandra Heska King said...

I think we've got a chorus line here.

I still don't have a very good system for keeping up with the FB and Twitter friends I really, really want to keep up with. Statuses go whoosh, and I miss them.

BTW, I just requested you as a FB friend. We aren't/weren't!

Sandra Heska King said...

P.S. Can you add more ID options on your comment form like name and URL?

Jan Cline said...

I didn't read them all, but judging by the number of comments you sure struck a nerve! How lucky am I to actually have met you and that we truly have a relationship. I treasure it beyond words.

Ann Nichols said...

As a published author of several inspirational romance novels and many many historical articles I must say...I couldn't agree more. The interaction is what I love about blogging (something I am VERY new to - about 3 real weeks now). But often the computer causes problems...I go into people sites and I try to leave a message or comment but blogland doesn't let me. I try to return later but sometimes it just doesn't happen. That is very frustrating! Now facebook...that's something else entirely. I REALLY do not understand it; maybe - definitely - I don't know how to use it!
But the personal aspect is the best part of blogging! It is so wonderful to meet people who we might never meet. There really are so many great people "out there" and to miss the chance of communicating is to miss out on a great big wonderful part of modern life. I wish I had discovered blogging years ago!
Ann
PS Love your books!
PSS Will try to contact you on Facebook (try is the operative word!)

Jill Kemerer said...

Social networking needs to be genuine. The numbers that show up on Twitter, Facebook, and in our follower bar won't mean a thing if we haven't connected to the people behind them.

Tamika: said...

We are made for relationships! It is easy to lose the beauty of that connection over the internet. I remind myself of this often:)

Jeanette Levellie said...

No overripe fruit from this redhead--I agree with you, Terri.

I hate seeing someone on Facebook ten times a day, posting about Fido's bath in the lake, the new sippy cup they bought their grandson, and how excited they are that the hot summer is over, just so we'll remember their name. Good grief! I know I'm a hypocrite, since I did put on my profile about my maroon hair mistake, but that was for a laugh, not so you'd buy my book.

I hate self-promotion. It seems so, well, selfish.

ginny said...

I totally agree. I have had it with facebook. I think it is a big book of bragging. I am thinking of signing out for good. It is much ado about nothing. People are funny, you know, unless it is totally about them, the they do not have the time to just visit your facebook, or blog and say something worthwhile.

AnooCre8ion said...

I so agree with you Terri. I don't understand how people call themselves 'friends' and can't take a moment to say something personal.
At one point I emailed most of my 'friends' on my contact page and asked them to stop forwarding me stuff. They would never send an email and say, 'hey Vickie, how are you doing?" but they would forward me all kind of stuff. It's a real shame. I like to connect with people, I like to go on FB and just stop by someone's page and say hi.
Good for you for posting this.

blessings,
Vickie

Margo Berendsen said...

I agree! One hundred percent. Numbers are meaningless unless there is a real connection.

Hmm, seeing some spiritual connections here, too... that whole religion or relationship thing.

Nancy said...

It's a good thing I don't need the high numbers or I would have been out of here a long time ago. I enjoy so much interacting with such kind and interesting people that it keeps me going. Don't cover your head. Look up and see how much you are appreciated for your human touch even with the high numbers you receive.

L'Aussie said...

Judging by the long comments you have struck a chord. Of course there's a lot of self-promotion and it's why I didn't do much with twitter for awhile. There's also an element of knowing how to use twitter - for example I just found out how to see where people had mentioned me! Who's got the time, so maybe you've got replies and don't even know.

Anyhow, I'm sure you're not as iffy with twitter as i WAS (I'm into it now) but you'll always get self-promotion in this world.

I follow people on twitter and blogs to learn things, and usually it's very interesting. I try to keep fb for family and friends. I am going to do a 'writers only' fb page, but then it's more time...

Anyways, Terri, as someone with a huge following on your blog, you will know how hard it is to keep up. I've 'only' got nearly 200 followers and do my best to get around to everyone, but of course I'm only human.

Bye and God Bless!

Carol J. Garvin said...

The accumulation of numbers is meaningless if all the person is doing is using the statistic to impress visitors to his/her page. If there is no attempt at reciprocal communication it comes across as a ploy for self-benefit rather than any desire to develop online acquaintances. I decided not to even include a 'followers' widget on my blog... I just have the RSS feed and subscription links. I just don't see any reason for it.

Ann Best said...

I want that "real" connection too. As humans, we need this!!!
Ann

Julie Musil said...

I'm with you. I love the real connection with other writers. I love this feeling of "we're all in this together," and I love how we each know what the other person is going through . Unless it's major book deals, which I have no clue about :)

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

I totally agree.

Doris