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Too Much Promo Can Hurt You

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Too Much Promo and Why It Is Bad

There are two things that social media sites allow: one, interaction with others, two, publicity of anything you want to promote. This is not only a viable way for businesses (and especially writers) to get the word out about their products and services, but it is also the most popular way. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if overused can become one. Too much promo can be like too much sugar in our diets, eventually corrupting things.

So, why is it when we go out there into the world of the Internet, we think we have to shout and tout our wares? Because mainstream media is the leader, and they do it ad nauseum. We naturally think that if big companies shove ads in our faces all the time, then that HAS to be the way to go, right?


Don’t believe me? Go and like a major brand of anything or anyone on Facebook. Take one of my favorites: Dr. Pepper. They have a tremendous following on FB. Over 12 million fans in 2012, and of course, still growing. How did they do that? Well, it wasn’t from sitting idle, I can tell you.

On an average, this brand posts once a day, but oftentimes twice. And what do they post about? Dr. Pepper. A few years ago they held a tuition giveaway for college students. This past Christmas they posted yummy recipes using … you got it…Dr. Pepper. I don’t think the winner has been announced yet. Their posts contain images of their products (they have many) and interesting tidbits that they want consumers to know about their products.

Sounds like a great way to promote? Well…not so fast. What if I liked their page because I like the diet drink? What if every blessed time I go to my newsfeed I get an advertisement for everything BUT the diet version? Um hm…starting to sound familiar? How do you build sales? Get an already interested party to buy OTHER things. Here we go–too much promo.

Because it doesn’t stop there.

A few days later, Facebook sends me ads in that same newsfeed that advertise Coke. And maybe, Pepsi, or Gatorade, or anything else they think I might want since I love soda so much. This is the problem with selling on social media. It becomes a way for that platform to sell to us, too. If I like Amazon’s page or books there, you can bet Barnes & Noble will have an ad in my feed. As well as, Nook, Books a Million, and anyone else advertising similar stuff.

So, what I believe we are doing wrong is selling on social media. It’s like living in a tiny one room apartment. You toss the magazine from the mail on the coffee table. Then you leave your coffee cup there. Followed by the bags from your lunch at McDonalds and viola! Your small space just became really ugly and cluttered. Ditto for our social media sites.

Think hard about your newsfeed on Twitter. How many people do you see selling something, or promoting something? I am amazed at how far I have to scroll to get to a tweet with shared info that I care about.

Too much promo!

So what do we do then?

How do we stop too much promo?

Remember, first, social media is a place to interact with others. It’s great to keep up with your sister in Maine, your brother who is a pirate re-enactor, and your various friends who live far away. It is a place to BE SOCIAL! Go out and friend people who are into what you are into and start intelligent conversations. Get others excited about the fact that YOU ARE A WRITER. A lot of folks are writer groupies like me. We love books. We want to talk about that process and all its spiderwebs.

And second, I didn’t say NEVER promote. I think that if you say once a week that you are promoting this thing or that, you are probably safe. Just don’t fill up your Twitter page with nothing but that. No more repetitive “Buy my book for .99 cents on Amazon” posts on Facebook.

Most importantly, use your time wisely. Write more books, and try to make more friends instead of selling, selling, selling. Believe me, if you will build relationships before you wrangle buyers, the sales will come. And wouldn’t you rather have buyers who really want to read your work instead of people who buy out of some high-pressure sales tactic?

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