It's a flood, man. The constant barrage of tweets and FB updates: buy my book, it's awesome, blah blah blah.
I try to follow back anyone on Twitter who follows me unless they're obviously a spammer. But sometimes the spamming is subtle. For example, there's one fairly successful YA writer who ONLY retweets nice stuff people say about her books. After a month of her in my feed, I've learned nothing about her as a person. Not a thing. So I unfollowed her.
And when random writers add me on Facebook, if their first three updates are nothing but marketing ploys, then I immediately hide them.
I get really tired of the Twitter folks who use it is as nothing but a marketing tool. IT WON'T WORK LIKE THAT, DUMMY.
And yet I think Twitter and even Facebook can be incredibly effective for marketing. For example, there are authors whose books I've bought that I wouldn't have otherwise picked up because I've followed them on Twitter for a while and I have a feeling that I'll enjoy their writing voice. I have never once bought a book from someone who tweets nothing but stuff about their own books or about someone else's self-pubbed book because they think the favor will be returned. It all comes off as a smokescreen to me.
And then there's the in-between, the writers who tweet about nothing but writing. I like to talk shop, too. But I need more than that connection point to really click with someone, even at a social media level. So the ones who wear me out with nothing but boring writing updates . . . unfollowed or hidden.
I think I react this way because I'm a classic extrovert, meaning I recharge by interacting with other people. People who don't offer real connection points . . . they just want something from me. In the circles I run in, they mainly want me to buy their book. In real life if you had a friend who always needed something from you without offering anything in return, that would be a toxic friend and ultimately, you'd probably let that friendship wither.
So that's what I do with social media relationships. The ones that don't offer some insight beyond the billboard of a writer's projects, I let those fade.
And amazingly, as many of those as I've let fall by the wayside, I still find some really fun connections.
Maybe that's why blogging is still my favorite thing. It forces more real reciprocity than "like" and "retweet" buttons do.
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