The benefits and drawbacks of social media


I only  use three types of social media: Facebook Twitter  and my WordPress blog. Of course there are a myriad of other social media sites, but as I work full time, I can just about manage to maintain these three.


I spend a lot of time promoting my books, Amzn UK Amzn US as do other writers. Long gone are the days when publishers marketed your work for you and with the advent of self-publishing, self-promotion is very important, not to say essential.


The question is, which of the three sites I’ve mentioned are the best for promotion? In my experience, it’s Twitter. Tweeters seem much more willing to retweet and share other people’s posts, than they do on Facebook. But here’s the important bit. If you can, return the favour, or at least thank the author of the retweet; a little bit of courtesy goes a long way. If you do, then it’s possible you’ll gain more retweets and perhaps even more followers; it’s worked for me.


When I first joined Twitter, I found it quite hard to compose a tweet of only 140 words and make it relevant. However, as they say, “practice makes perfect.” It’s amazing, with a little effort, how much can be squeezed out of those 140 words.


Always use # tags to attract the right audience: #amazoncart #retweet #yaurbanfantasy, and so on .

The major drawback with social media sites such as Facebook, is that the world and his wife are marketing their books and it’s all too easy to get lost in the crowd. I also find it slightly irritating when posts about the same book are repeated over and over, in close proximity. I try to only promote my books a maximum of three times, spaced out during the day and interspersed with posts about non-book related subjects; after all, variety is the spice of life 🙂


The other major drawback with all social media, is the weirdos and porn merchants who occasionally try to “friend” you on Facebook, or follow you on Twitter. My advice? Don’t respond to such spamming. It’s an unfortunate fact of the internet that crap merchants like these will always try to find a way into your online life. So just delete any friendship requests or block them. If they’re really bad, don’t hesitate to report them. Children and young people also have access to social media and the last thing any parent wants is for their offspring to be exposed to such detritus.


One unfortunate side effect of social media is that, you’ll always get certain types trying to work the system for their own benefit. For instance on Facebook, “like for like” events are designed to gain greater online presence, by liking each others pages. Some unscrupulous people will either unlike your page, or not return it, after you’ve liked their pages. The usual protocol is to like someone’s page, then politely ask them to reciprocate. However, some will actually demand   you like their page and also like 5 of their posts, a practice I particularly dislike, especially when they can’t be bothered to say please or thank you.


In my early days on Twitter, I would look for people to follow. Some of them would then tweet me to like their Facebook page, without following me back, or even asking me if I had a page they could like. If I had the temerity to ask them to like my page, they’d either ignore me or delete my request; the result? I’d promptly unfollow them. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot! Such selfishness and arrogance can only engender a dubious reputation and let’s face it, a good reputation is invaluable in whatever walk of life a person’s engaged in.


So, to reiterate, always retweet those who retweet you, where possible. Like for like on Facebook and above all, maintain your integrity. 🙂





3 Responses to “The benefits and drawbacks of social media”

  1. Most of my social media time is spent on Facebook, but it’s for fun, not for promotion. I can barely keep up Twitter. I love the blogging community too! I don’t know how people keep up with all the social media sites out there. I get dizzy just thinking about being in all those places at once.

    Liked by 1 person

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