Aug 23, 2015

LITHW #12 : How to be social in social media

Social media holds a variety of users everywhere, may they be authors, bloggers, writers, etc. And it can be pretty intimidating sometimes to approach someone through social media because often, we feel inferior or disliked by other people.

Kelly from Diva Booknerd has a say on what to do when you're online: from basic netiquette to proper behavior. Say hello!

Blogging and social media go hand in hand. It's how we engage with potential readers, friends and make new connections with like minded book lovers. It can be seen as an enormous asset, unless you're a social misfit who doesn't play well with others. And we all know one of those.

I'm probably not the best person to be sharing advice on how to be a social butterfly, I may even be the poster girl for pissing people off, but I also see a lot of shit hitting the fan on social media and it's surprising how so many of us tend to forget our social filter. It's not about being silenced, but common courtesy for others and just because you have an opinion on a whole range of topics, some things are really best left unsaid. Especially if they are liable to offend.

My social media of choice has always been Twitter, it's the quickest way to connect with other bloggers, readers, authors and publishers. There are networks and circles in which book bloggers seem to participate, but with the added bonus of being retweeted to a new audience, perhaps expanding your own in the process. Because Twitter is quickfire and only 140 characters, sometimes Tweets can be misinterpreted unless you add a stupid emoticon on the end.

So how do you succeed at Twitter? Here's a dodgy list that probably won't help you, but here goes.

  • Don't be a wanker. Using big, pretentious words makes you look like a tool. If we have to Google what the hell you're talking about, you're doing it wrong. And stop it.
  • Don't write a snarky review and Tweet it to the author. Pretty sure they won't appreciate it. And will do a background search... Rent a car...
  • If someone posts a photo of a book they've received from a publisher, and you've been dying to read said book. Don't drop your bundle and throw a tanty. Chances are they've been desperate to read it as well. Suck it up and be happy at least one of you has the chance to read it.
  • If you have an unpopular opinion, there's a reason it's unpopular. If you're hesitating whether or not to post it, the chances are it might be offensive. As in, 'adults who read young adult are pathetic'. Tweet something like that and even I'll be standing in line to cut a bitch.
  • Settle down with the hundreds of 'selfies'. Unless it's book related, with an author, a group of bloggers or an event. Most of us couldn't give a shit 
  • And that brings me to swearing. Be mindful of your audience. If you review mostly middle grade, no one wants to see the words fuck, and Percy Jackson in a sentence. 
  • Don't poke fun at others unless you and that person have a relationship away from the bright lights of social media, and both share the joke. 
  • Respect is a two way street.
  • Stop spamming. You may not be selling anything, but seeing several Tweets per hour pointing to your latest post will cause others to unfollow. And quickly. We know you're proud of your work, but give us a chance to get around to seeing it before you flood our feed with the same link over and over. The same can be said to those who link up all of their social media accounts. I've had bloggers post on Instagram, their blog and then on Bloglovin', then tweeting a link. You can't escape and personally, it makes me determined not to see whatever the hell you're trying to show everyone. 

Now what can you do to boost your profile and meet other like minded bloggers and readers?

  • Join Twitter chats. In Australia we have #PTAchat run by Penguin Teen Australia and also #OzYAChat. Both are hosted and international bloggers are welcome. It's a great introduction to not only finding awesome new reads, but connecting with others. A friendly chat is more liable to have new friends checking your blog out than pushing it in our faces. Check with your local fellow book bloggers and they'll give you the heads up what's going on in your own Twitterverse.
  • Written a fabulous review on a new favourite book? Tweet the author and the publisher, even if it's a copy you've purchased yourself. Not only will most authors engage and retweet you, but you're also potentially starting a relationship with the publisher, leading to possible ARC books later down the track.
  • Don't be afraid or intimidated by bloggers who seem 'untouchable'. The higher the popularity doesn't equate to them being an asshole. it just means that a lot of fellow bloggers relate and enjoy what they have to say. Most of the big wig bloggers love to be engaged in conversation.
  • Please unlink your social accounts, especially when they're all posting the same thing and connected to Twitter.
  • But most importantly, be yourself. Unless you're horrible, then be a better version of yourself. One we'll all like. And preferably who smells nice.
Have you got any social media tips? Pet peeves? Or just want to unload about a Twitter asshole you wish would vanish into cyber space?

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