Inside the mind of a fantasy writer

Etiquette for Facebook

discussion copy

I know I might get some back lash from this post, so I apologize in advance.  And please, I don’t want anyone to take offense to this and be like, “Is she talking about me?”  Because most likely, I’m not.  I’m talking about this subject in general, not pointing a finger at a specific person.

Let’s talk about promotional etiquette on facebook.  

This subject REALLY annoys me.  A lot.  We all know that almost everyone is on facebook.  It’s addicting, especially for nosy, have-to-know-everything type of people like me (I admit that, I’m gossipy).  And yes, it’s a great place to promote.   But I think it’s important to know when and where it’s okay to do it.

I have an author’s page on FB and I use it a lot.  I use my author’s page to post info on my books and engage followers in conversations about writing related things, then I have my personal facebook that all I do is mostly talk about how awesome my kid is, complain about work and repost Takei’s pictures (because they are fricken funny).  So, there’s a separation between my job (as a writer) and my life as a mom and friend.  I think it’s important to keep this separation.

So, this leads me to the question.

“Is promoting on your personal facebook hurtful to you, rather than helpful?”

People who “like” my author’s page are expecting me to babble on about my books and talk about writing. That’s what the page is about. Me. The writer and my books. But—what about your friends outside the writing world? Like close friends and family? The ones on your personal facebook account that’s not tied to you as a professional author?

These are the people you talk about everyday things to, share photos and complain about your man too, they’re not meant to be a marketable audience.  They know you write, and if they want updates on your books, etc, they know to find that on your author’s page.

To me, I think it’s important to have your professional life and your personal life separate. It annoys me when people promote their businesses constantly on their personal facebook. Constant promotion can annoy your friends too, maybe even cause a few to defriend you. Your personal facebook should be reserved for pictures of your kids and what you’re doing (or who you’re doing lol), not for constant talk about your books or plugging.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this. People friend you (unless you state on the profile it’s about your books/you as an author) because they want to know about you, your family or what you’re doing. Not to get subjected to a bunch of “spam” type posts fifty times a day.

They don’t want to see you promoting constantly on there for you or your friend’s books. Sure, it’s nice and it reaches people, but it’s annoying. I have actually defriended or hidden activity from people who do stuff like that. What sucks about that, is then you miss the posts they make that you “do” care about. So, it is my belief, you stick to your author’s page for promotion/author stuff and don’t taint your own personal facebook status’ with it.

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a note fromsmSo, what do you think? Where do you draw the line and what is appropriate conduct on various kinds of social media outlets? Have you been blocked or have you ever blocked anyone who’s done this?

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16 responses

  1. I think you’ve ht the nail right on the head with this one. I know exactly what you mean about inundating your (non) writing ‘friends’ with up-dates on your posts and writing career. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with an announcement on FB when you publish a new book, but that’s hardly likely to be a daily or weekly occurrence. I too have a separate FB page dedicated to my writing, but am also part of a small FB groups (Blog Friends First) where I and a few select fellow bloggers comment and post specifically on our own and each others writing/posts, secure in the knowledge that such posts are welcome and not intrusive in any way. Thanks for posting this, it’s a topic that defi itely needs airing…

    February 21, 2014 at 10:32 pm

  2. Thanks, I’m glad other people feel the same way. And I think you make some very good points. We do have a lot of “non-writer” friends that stuff like that doesn’t interest. I also agree that it’s okay to post when you have big news or release a new book. That’s great news and it’s not considered “spam-like”. I think the biggest thing is to remember to see our friends not as “customers” but as “friends”. And what’s the link to your page? I’ll stop by and give it a like 😉

    February 22, 2014 at 9:27 am

    • That’s most kind of you. My facebook page is the same name as my blog, (facebook.com/echoesofthepen).
      ps Really great blog you have, not just the posts, but the whole layout and theme, completely in tune with your books and writing genre

      February 22, 2014 at 9:40 am

      • Thanks! I double as a graphic artist, so I’m pretty good at that kind of stuff 😉

        February 22, 2014 at 9:41 am

        • Ahh… That explains the great book covers. I had just assumed that you had invested in a professional book cover design service. Great job…

          February 22, 2014 at 9:51 am

          • Thanks! I’m glad you like them. My publisher has a cover artist, but they allow me to do my own covers. I have a sister blog to this one for my graphic design here http://designbyhn.wordpress.com

            February 22, 2014 at 9:55 am

      • And I gave you a like 😉

        February 22, 2014 at 9:42 am

  3. I think that there has to be a balance, I don’t usually share too much from my Author FB page but my twitter automatically sends to both no matter how many times I try to alter the settings, I do tend to share friends books to my personal FB especially if they are doing a freebie promotion because I know I have friends who are always looking for new books to try but I do try to keep them separate generally and only share things that I know my friends will be interested in, I just need to persuade twitter to co operate lol

    February 22, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    • I can’t get the hang of twitter, so I kinda gave up using it for now. I’ve never seen your posts as a problem, and it’s okay to post the free stuff. And I like how you engage your readers with questions. I have copied off you a few times 😉

      February 22, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    • Hey Paula!!! I hope you read my response!!! Lots of love to you hun and give Samantha a hug for me, Emily

      February 22, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      • Read your response and saw your FB post earlier with your great news! We are doing great here will message you and tell you all xx

        February 23, 2014 at 5:01 am

  4. Hello Heidi,
    I have both, but I don’t say anything personal too much on Facebook… period. I learned the hard way that there were just too many people who loves any excuse to rag on you. I use Facebook for promotion. However, I do use Facebook Messenger BIG TIME!! I communicate with my family and friends that way. It is private and I can say all the personal stuff I want. After all, we are writers, not robots…. we bleed when we get a bad review or a person who rags on our books. I need that private forum with my Author friends… like you… to vent and share my good times and my frustrations. I am glad you feel free to use Facebook like you do, and I am happy for you. However, if I post ANYTHING personal on Facebook, I know it will bite me on the bottomside! Lots of love to you, Emily

    February 22, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    • I think in my case most of my FB friends fall into two categories they are either people I know or have known in real life for years or friends for gaming, I have been really lucky that I have never really had an issue with anything I posted partly because most of them would settle for agreeing to disagree or they are waiting for me to become really famous (boy are they going have a long wait) but I think also I am pretty thick skinned and have an attitude of if you don’t like me then don’t let the door hit you on the way out (that’s on my personal page obviously). I think my main thing is actually I am pretty pig headed and refuse to compromise myself for others, I spent a long time in various relationships trying to keep other happy and suffocating myself that I made myself thoroughly miserable, I do try to think about how other will feel about my comments and posts but usually as they are ranting about humans treatment of animals or my own failings I guess there is nothing too controversial – I save that for friends walls lol. 😀

      February 23, 2014 at 5:00 am

    • I know what you mean about writing stuff on your FB that could get you in trouble. One of my friends wrote something on my wall about our boss and I got in trouble for it (though it was over something stupid). And I love messenger! It’s replaced my texting habit (kind of lol). I usually have four chats open at once. As long as I don’t write the wrong message to someone else, I’m good 😉 And you’ve been absent on FB for awhile, but you should be back now that you have that new book to promote. Congrats on that!

      February 23, 2014 at 11:01 am

  5. I definitely keep my author profile separate from my personal profile – they’re not even the same name. And EVERYTHING on my personal profile is set to private. Only my friends and family see my pics and what I post. I don’t want some weirdo downloading photos of my son. They are far too many creeps out there to mix the two.

    It’s one thing if you start talking about raising a toddler with one of your readers, but it’s another when you post constantly about what your spouse or kids are doing to annoy you. Professional profile is for professional behavior. 😉

    February 28, 2014 at 10:24 am

    • I like that. Professional profile is for professional behavior 😀

      February 28, 2014 at 4:11 pm

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