Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Social Media Etiquette

Sandra here with a steaming pot of her favorite Chocolate Velvet coffee.  I also ordered boxes of donuts from Krispy Cremes.   I need comfort food for today's post which is rather embarrassing because I will be confessing social media faux pas and ignorance.  sigh  But I learned from my mistakes so want to share and maybe save someone else from "cheeks turning pink" misery.

Photo from Krispy Creme website

If any of you have followed me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I am really a novice, dunce, and maybe some other choice words.   I made a huge faux pas on Mother’s Day. I am learning Hootsuite and tried it out before I was fully trained and ended up posting and reposting all day.  I was a ‘SPAMMER’   YIKES!  Yep. Me. A spammer.   And I did get told. LOL. I did post apologies, but as usual, learned my lesson the hard way, which gave me the incentive to write about social media etiquette.  (If you want to learn something teach it. Right?)

I have a Facebook account that I set up after a high school reunion so it really doesn’t have my writing name on it.  It has my real name that includes my maiden name,  Sandra Wardman Smith. I rarely used it, because I didn’t really understand the concept.

When I started working with my publicist, Amber Stokes of Seasons of Humility, she started posting on my Facebook page and set me up with a Twitter account. Now mind you, I even know less about Twitter than I know about Facebook.

Because I relied on her to post to Facebook and Twitter, I ended up breaking one of the first rules of Social Media etiquette.  I only posted when I had a book to sell. In other words, I only used social media to promote and sell my books.  But ignorance is bliss, because I was tickled pink to be posting at those critical times and even more tickled that Amber was doing such a great job posting for me. I didn’t have to do a thing.

My eyes opened when I traveled to Spain. I bought a Kindle Fire HD to take to Spain because I didn’t want to take my computer. Of course I didn’t know how to operate a Kindle Fire and was turned on to a wonderful book called My Kindle Fire HD by Jim Cheshire and Jennifer Kettell.  (Great resource if you need to learn the old-fashioned way with a book of instructions)

I went through each chapter and lo and behold, there was a chapter on how to use Facebook with the Kindle. I also learned how to take photos and then how to post those photos into Facebook.  What a concept.  I had so much fun posting small excerpts of the events of my travels and photos of my trip.

Cathedral in Santiago

But the astounding part of this process, were the likes and comments I got back. I never got any comments with my “advertising posts”, at least not that I noticed. So I was totally amazed that there were people out there following my adventures in Spain. Many of the names were friends, but there were also other people I barely knew commenting on my trip.

Ancient Roman bridge still used today.

When I started getting likes and comments, those people’s posts started showing up in my news feed.  I started liking and commenting and have since been enjoying the process.  And I’ve learned from these posts.  I’ve learned that many of you are sharing your life and your personal interests and your family life.  It has been fun to “get to know you.”  So by way of hard experience, I’ve learned one of the rules of social media etiquette is to not only announce your new books coming out, but to share your life and actually engage with others.

Roman ruins of the city Baelo Claudia

For me, this is very difficult because my life isn’t that interesting. I mean, I have a routine: devotions, blog, chores, pickleball, swim, write and spend evening with hubby and/or friends.

It was easy to post while I was traveling in Spain because I had something new and interesting every day.  I returned from Spain and now what? I don’t have anything new to post. So I held back for a long time, not posting because I didn’t think I had anything interesting to say. But I am learning that it is the everyday things we do that interest others. I need to remember the key word in social media.  SOCIAL.

Ruthy is a real kick because she shares photos with all those darling children she babysits during the day. There might be a photo of them baking cookies or making a craft at the table. I know Ruthy personally and can just picture her with those little ones.

I really get a kick out of Pepper Basham’s photos of her children also.  And Mary Virginia Munoz always gives me a chuckle with her comical posts that range from photos of the family to silly writing quotes to things she observes around her.  Now, I don’t know Pepper or Virginia personally, but I feel like I know them really well, because they have shared so much fun stuff. And isn’t that what we want to do online with social media?

So how can I make my post fun and interesting? I am not funny and snarky like Ruth. I am not hilarious like Virginia. Nor techie like Tina. I don’t have baby cows like Mary. But I’ve learned that we all have our unique gifts and when I share those, I really do get action on the social media.

I have been posting friends and moments on the pickleball courts. This gets a lot of attention from other pickleball friends who are interested in seeing who is at the RV park where we are. Or just to see another friend’s face.

Hubby and I on the court

I am a nature lover. I love the flora and fauna around me. I love animals and I love interesting geology. I have found that when I post a picture of a bunny,

Bunnies love the grass at Happy Trails, Surprise, AZ

or a photo of a gorgeous desert cactus blooming

These come out in the evening and bloom one day only.

or even the park across the street, I get some interest from others who love nature also.  KC Frantzen is one of my favorite Facebook friends because she works with animal rescue groups and posts the cutest animal photos.

So then on to Twitter.  I was introduced to Karen Baney, a Christian author, who is also a marketing guru. She introduced me to Hootsuite. This is a great site for scheduling tweets. And the best part is, there is Hootsuite University.  They have online classes on how to use all of the social media apps and therefore how to use Hootsuite to do it. These are free for the first month you are enrolled. Well I became overconfident and thought I’d try scheduling. Hence my faux pas. I accidently scheduled it to Facebook pages I belong to. Yikes. I was nicely reminded that those sites were not for “spamming” or promoting. Thank goodness for patient friends.  Smile

I still have a lot to learn with Twitter.  I don’t really feel comfortable tweeting about just me.  But I am trying.  I think, that like with Facebook, once I start doing it, I will find it fun.

So lets recapitulate. Some Social Media Etiquette tips: Some of these I gleaned from a workshop on Twitter offered by Desert Rose author Jamie Gold when she presented at Desert Dreams Conference in April.

1. Don’t spam. You can promote but promotion should only constitute about 30% of your traffic.
2. Give positive feedback. Interact with friends and followers. Be social. Engage in conversation.
3. Give support. Retweet and/or share, like favorite great news for your friends. This helps their  promotions.
4. Be smart with mentions and comments.
5. Jamie Gold says feel free to say “Me Too” on Twitter.  Me too is frowned upon in blogs and real time streams, but on Twitter it is appropriate.
6. Answer questions.  If you have an answer to a question posted, jump in and answer it. Or if you don’t have an answer, retweet or share question with your friends as they might have the answer.
7. Show interest in others.
8. Share your interests
9. Be supportive and non-judgemental.

These are some lessons I’ve picked up (the hard way)

Please share any other suggestions or ideas you have for social media etiquette. I so need more instruction and am ready to learn.

Those who comment will  be put in for a drawing. I will be giving away your choice of one of my books (kindle, print or audio) and a copy of Karen Baney’s  10 Keys to ebook Marketing Success. (kindle or print)

And please eat up those Krispy Cremes as I don't want leftovers.


  1. Next year there will hopefully be a Tim Hortons in Glendale, AZ. Then I'll introduce you to their donuts. They have coffee, and ice caps, too, but I know you like your Chocolate Velvet. I don't use Facebook or Twitter much, except to keep up with friends! Your post does make both sound easy, though

  2. Sandra - social media is something I'm totally inept at. Guess I need to get a little more techno saavy.

    I rarely post on Facebook and I don't tweet or hoot. I know I need to learnore do throw my name in the hat for the book.

    Oh, and please pass the donuts.

  3. Not a problem with Krispy Kremes. THERE WILL NEVER BE A LEFTOVER!!!

  4. I love Krispy Kremes. They're my favorite doughnut. Years ago, in a marketing class, I learned that someone had done a study of doughnuts. Krispy Kreme is considered "feminine.' Mister Donuts is considered "masculine." Why I don't know.

    One of the things I used to do was tag Twitter to FB. I've heard this was an easy thing to do. However, it annoyed my lovely wife as a sizable amount of my friends on Twitter are fellow alumni from my alma mater. College football season got to be nuts.

    I've since realized that FB and Twitter have different identities and that they seem to require different posts.

    Marianne, I'm very jealous that there will be a Tim Horton's in AZ.

  5. Best thing to do is to follow a whole bunch of people like you in any social media you're thinking of using.

    So if you're setting up a FB Author page, go look through some authors writing books like yours, follow them, and see who annoys you with their posts and whose posts you never skim over. Then imitate the ones you like (in your own unique way of course) and don't annoy people by doing what the annoying people do.

    And if you find you can't stand anything anybody is doing on that social media outlet, then it's not for you. Step away from the pressure to become a (FBer, Tweeter, Pinner, etc) and find a social media outlet you connect with and find fun/worthwhile.

  6. Ooohhh, words of wisdom, Melissa.

    Sandra, I'm more of a social media dunderhead than you are. I finally started surfing around Facebook and I still don't get it. Like I went to Seekerville's page when you were doing all the pets and encouraging people to post pictures of their pets but I didn't see any. :-( Just kind of a profile page maybe? And some comments...but no pics.

    And twitter. I don't have an account. Occasionaly I'll google someone's name and twitter and try to follow what they're saying but it just seems to be a garble of random statements...or retweets...it's like walking into the middle of a conversation. What are they talking about?

    I'm curious to know how much time people spend on both Facebook and Twitter in a day? How do you schedule your time?

  7. I enjoyed your post. I have a Facebook account and Twitter account that I use more for promoting author's books that I have read then for anything else. Several of my family members pretty much live on Facebook. We visited family in Southern Tennessee a couple of weekends ago and my brother-in-law was with us the entire time talking and sharing but his i-phone was in his hands the whole time and we came home we found pretty much our entire visit posted on his Facebook page.

    Have a great day!
    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  8. I'm here for the doughnuts/donuts!!!!

    I miss Krispy Kremes almost as much as... well pretty much more than anything except my children!

    Oh, faux pas.... I've made my share of those, we won't discuss them in public any more, they're best left to die a quiet death...

    Sandra!!!! I'm in love with the cactus and who'd a thunk I'd ever say that??????


    Arizona has such a different look/feel/presence, it's an entity unto itself.

    We Yanks like our seasons but your cactus is tempting me!

    I love playin' with folks on facebook, I feel like I can connect with readers. They get to see the real me.

    And I ignore my author page because I find them pretentious, so you get me, the real deal, all the time because I'm more comfortable that way. Which means my blunders are obvious but HUMAN.

    I like being just one of the gang.

  9. Ok... I need to read that Kindle Fire book! I got a KF at Christmas an I'm truly embarrassed to say I've read on book on it, and watched two movies. There. That's the extend of my Kindle Fire experience. It sure is pretty, though! LOL

    And I LOVE FACEBOOK. When it works correctly, that is. I love seeing everything my friends are doing and how they're feeling and what they're thinking.

    But I HATE FACEBOOK because it likes to hide friends. I'll never quite figure out why it gives me seven posted links from people I don't really know, but hides my brother's post that he has a bad cold. I mean, I have him in a "family" group and that means I want to see it! but no... It might be days before I realize he's even sick.

    So, sometimes the phone is still the best choice for communication.

    As for Twitter, I still haven't figured it out. I can see when people mention me or my books. I can retweet and I can read tweets. But, somehow the whole concept of subtweeting and getting favorites has eluded me.

    But one more thing I love about facebook: the "like" button. When I read blog posts, I really want to like comments, rather than take the time to mention every person I thought had a well-expressed opinion!

  10. A question for the masses:

    I "like" comments and posts to say "I hear you". A friend of mine said that you should only really like a post if you REALLY AGREE.

    You know, sometimes I don't agree. (You hate chocolate ice cream and think it should be banned?) That's weird, but I'll hit the "like" button because I know how it is to intensely dislike something enough to wish the government would make it illegal. But my friend says that gives the impression I agree wholeheartedly.

    Now I feel self-conscious liking posts that I'm not in complete agreement with. Maybe I feel a little bit shallow and dishonest, lol.

    Seriously, wondering how many of you "like" a post as a form of "hi there, how's it going" an how many only hit the "like" button if you agree whole-heartedly.

    Inquiring minds want to know what Sandra thinks. :)

  11. Kav, about twitter... there are a few authors I follow on twitter because they are SO HILARIOUS.

    And weirdly, this connects to the comment I just made to you at the café. One of those authors is Rick Riordan, who wrote the Percy Jackson series.

    Example: last week he retweeted something that really made me laugh.

    "Mr. Riordan, you're not as good a writer as J.K. Rowling."

    He responded: "Well, duh. Who is?"

    Since he's a fantasy YA author, I think he can get away with saying "well, duh" to his fans. I wouldn't try it. But it really made me laugh.

  12. P.S. One more and then I'll stop hogging the comment box.

    I love my author pages. The Virginia Carmichael page attracts a lot of historical fiction readers and they post some really fun links! Historical fiction readers are... a whole different breed of reader. :)

    And I love my Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits page because it attracts the Jane Austen fans. Ohhhhhhh boy, do we have fun over there!

    So, I don't feel they're pretentious because they're author pages. They definitely are worth the time, if only to keep the lines from blurring between marketing and being obnoxious.

  13. Yum, doughnuts!!!

    Good post on Social Media. I think the key part is social...it's interactive. Thanks for sharing about your journey. I really enjoy Virginia and Ruthy's posts too!! They make me laugh.

    Now twitter...twitter is my enemy. I don't do much with it. lol

    Thanks for the tips!

  14. Great post. I also find I have more to say when traveling.

    I've noticed on Twitter sporting events are big. I'm a UGA football fan and UK basketball fan. So those topics can keep things interesting during specific times of the year.

    I need to figure out hoot, and the college kids at dinner the other night were talking about something different. I can't even think what they called it.

    Have a great day!

  15. Oh Marianne I might be envious. Tim Hortons and hardly any Facebook or Twitter. Just for friends. sigh

  16. Hi Terri I knew there were others like me out there. Why does this have to be so difficult???

    Just jump in and be ready to laugh at yourself.

  17. You're my heroine in more ways than one Miss Tina

  18. Hi Walt Great to hear from you. So you get twitter posts about football?

    All I see on my stream are ads for books which is why I was thinking this was okay to do. I need to find out how to have conversations or find them I guess.

  19. I agree, Sandra, about wondering why folks would be interested in my everyday life. Really?

    So...I FB when I travel to events and connect with other writers and readers.

    I'm totally inept on Twitter. Always worried I've got the wrong hashtag. #confused!

    Loved your photo of the Cathedral in Santiago, the ending point for those who make the 500 mile pilgrimage walk to the Shrine of St James! Hubby and I found a side chapel and spent time there in prayer. So peaceful sitting in the quiet. Of course, Seekerville and all who visit were lifted up that day.

  20. Hi Melissa What great advice. I guess you just need to jump in and find the right one. However you do need to commit some time. I never did like FB but now that I have fun friends, it is really interesting. I like your posts btw.

  21. Hi Kav I knew I loved you. I feel the same way about Twitter and used to feel that way about FB. I think you need to get that circle of friends you find interesting. It came about by accident for me with FB. Now I need to find out how to interact in Twitter. And it does take time. And you have to have Internet, something I don't always have when traveling.

    Good question. I try to limit my time to 1/2 hour. I hope others respond as your question interests me also.

  22. HI Cindy Yes, when you actually find those posts, they can be fun. My friend I traveled to Spain with now uses FB so I can keep up with her on her travels. That is really fun. And what is cool is that those who want to keep up with her can, and she only has to post one time. She used to email everyone and send photos which took a lot of time.

  23. Morning Ruthy Yes, the desert is beautiful in its own stark and dramatic way. The saguaro cactus are in bloom now which is our state flower.

    And I love all your posts on FB. Your personality really shines through. And when I read them it makes me miss you more and also makes me not miss you so much because I feel close and in touch. That's what social media is for and when I learned that, I started enjoying it more rather than being afraid of it.

  24. Sandra, it's not that I get posts about football. I talk about football. :-)

  25. Hi Virginia Oh boy, you gave us some great info here. And I really love your FB posts and feel much better about Twitter and my lack of understanding it now. LOL

    I love the "like" button also for same reasons. But I have a problem when someone announces their pet died, or family member died or is sick. How do you "like" that. I mean, is liking it a sign of support? You can't really like the fact someone died. ????

  26. I so messed up my author pages. All my friends are on my regular page. So I guess I just stick with that.

  27. Hi Jessica That makes me feel a lot better. I now get FB, but I imagine when I've been in conversations, I will figure out twitter. I just never see a conversation in my feed so don't even know what they look like. I think I'm still missing a piece of the puzzle.

  28. Hi Jackie When you get on hootsuite they list the apps for all the social media out there and amazingly there must be over twenty. I haven't counted, but was in awe.

  29. Hi Debby It was beautiful wasn't it? It was the first cathedral I visited when I went to Spain.

    Thank you for the prayers.

  30. Okay Walt I guess that is the point. But I never see conversations on my feed. I think I'm doing something wrong. All I ever see are other authors announcing their books and ads from book sellers, etc.

    I keep hearing advice for joining a conversation, etc. but like I said, I haven't seen one yet. ??????

  31. Hi Sandra - great coffee. I really like this post, mostly because I can identify. I like FB and have it mostly figured out. Twitter, not so much. Therefore I hangout on FB and avoid Twitter - and yes to MVM - liking on FB does not mean anymore than "like". If there was an agree button I'd think twice before punching that. Everyone likes likes.

  32. Hi Cindy Thanks for the encouragement. It is making me feel better to know I'm not the only one. smile

  33. Good morning, Sandra! Thank you for sharing "lessons learned." This is all so mind-boggling!! (And time-consuming!)

  34. Sandra, you're definitely not alone.
    I have facebook, but rarely post. I do "like" a lot of others.

    And Virginia, I hit like sometimes even if I disagree. Sometimes I think it's funny or I just know it's very important to the person. And sometimes, no one else has liked their comments and I feel sorry for them. BUT, if their opinion is right their in everyone's face, even if I do agree, I don't like or comment.

    I spend more time on the writing groups than a I do my "reg" page.

  35. Hi Glynna Yep, it is mind boggling even when I'm feeling more confident. And time consuming. The nice thing about writing for LI is that they have the marketing down for you.

  36. Sandra, I can totally relate to your comment about feeling like your life is mundane. I'm a stay at home, homeschooling mom who happens to write romance. There is one author I follow-I won't mention her name-who seems to have a glamorous life. But she's the exception. I feel comfortable with Facebook, but Twitter is another matter. Much of the time, there's no response to what's put out there...so there's no way to tell how it's being received. I trudge along the best I can.
    Thanks for your insight.

  37. Thanks Connie Queen for the good advice. Although I've never pushed a like cause I felt sorry for someone. lol That is sweet.

    When you like a comment, I've learned that Facebook then pushes those pages onto your feed. That is how you get to see the friends you are really interested in. I think that is what I need to start doing in Twitter.

  38. Hi Karen Seems like we aren't alone. That is a relief. Although the experts are probably getting a kick out of our struggles. lol

    But hey, we are trying. Right?

  39. Oh, Sandra! I feel your pain. I always worry about doing something wrong on Twitter. I'm gradually getting more comfortable with it.

    I'm much more comfortable on FB. But I'm like you--feel like I'm boring. I think it's tough to find something to post regularly about (especially since my kids are such a big part of my life and I don't share photos of them).

  40. Hi MIssy Now I am amazed because here I thought you were another guru. I think your posts are fun and interesting.

    And yes, please help with those Krispy Cremes. Although Tina assured me there won't be leftovers. smile

  41. Sandra, you are far more savvy than I am about social media. I still need to learn how to post pictures. I'm sure it's simple. But without pictures some of the fun stuff I'm excited about and share isn't as interesting to others.

    I only retweet so lots to learn there. But, we must not forget Seekerville. Blogs are social media that builds true relationships. So we're all in the game.

    Thanks for the Krispy Kreme's donuts. I've had a few as my son in law loves them.


  42. Hi Janet Yes, I thank God every day for Seekerville and the wonderful friends we have made here. I love it.

  43. Sandra, thanks for sharing your faux pas and the things you've learned. One thing I love is that you stepped out there. I tend to be the person who won't try something until I know exactly what I should do. The down side to that is sometimes I don't step out there at all. Sigh.

    One blogsite I LOVE for learning/keeping up with social media know how is Edie Melson's The Write Conversation. She doesn't blog on social media every day, but she has great tips on everything from blogging to Twitter and Facebook and more. I'm not sure how to link it here (http://thewriteconversation.blogspot.com). Sorry.

    See? Told ya, not sure what I'm doing either.

    I tend to do fairly well with my personal Facebook page, but my author page doesn't get many visits. Not sure what to do about that.

    For Twitter, I do a lot of retweeting. And I try to thank each person who follows me (unless they're weird and I have NO intention of following them back) in a tweet. I'm not super knowledgeable with Twitter, even though I've been on it for a while now.

    Thanks for your great tips, Sandra.

  44. Hi Jeanne, I so hear you. I do the same thing with the follows. But I never see conversations so am not sure what I'm doing wrong on Twitter. I'm like you. The author page gets nothing. I think I might have set them up wrong. But to be honest, I only have time to keep up with one anyway and people seem to find me even with my strange name.

  45. Virginia, I do want to press the Like button sometimes for "I hear you" but if someone would think I mean "I like that you're sick/hating on chocolate" I refrain to keep anyone from thinking I'm dastardly.

    I was just telling hubby the other day that FB needs an "I hear you" button. I know people often want a "dislike" button for people sick statuses, but I can see bullying happening with that, a good thing to only give positive choices with the idiots out in internet land, but an "I hear you" button is positive and should be added, do you hear me Facebook??

  46. Thanks Jeanne Great tip and interesting site. I subscribed. Here is the live link.

    The Write conversation

  47. Melissa I love the idea of an "I hear you" button. It would make so much more sense. And you're right about the dislike button. YIKES. Is there any way you could let FB know???

  48. Sandra, I could write a post on 'How little can one know about social media and still survive in the real world?

    It seems like by the time I do everything else that is required of my mornings, midday and evenings, there's no time left to twitt, hoot or FB .

    I do have some neglected Pinterest boards, does that count? I try! :-)

  49. Hey, Sandra, fun post, my friend, and SO important for us social-media illiterates, of which I am one, but you no longer are, apparently.

    I have learned that social media is just that -- "social" -- which means people want to mingle and chat, something I enjoy at an intimate dinner party, but not so much at larger parties. Unfortunately, FB IS like a large party, which automatically lowers my comfort level. So I'm guessing I will never be too wildly successful at FB or other social media, but you have certainly helped clean up my act, so THANK YOU!!


  50. I can't believe we're even having this conversation, which should tell you something. Oh Brave New World. (The Shakespeare one, not the Aldous Huxley one.)
    I've made just about every social media mistake there is, mostly on FB. I should have been banned by now.
    I used it to promote my own projects, got ignored which is only what I deserved, took a break, came back and started posting humorous pieces and photos. People kept saying they liked my "snarky" sense of humor. This is NOT what I want to be known for, so I took a deep breath and a step back. I gave up FB for Lent and haven't really gone back, at least not in a big way. I didn't LIKE the person I was on there. I still post but, like Mr. Ed, I only speak when I have something to say.
    I do have a Web site but nobody's been to it, to my knowledge. I'm sure it will get more traffic when I'm published and people have to find me.
    I tried Pinterest but couldn't make it work. Don't get me started on Texting and Twitter. Very difficult when you don't have opposable thumbs.
    I'm 63 and lucky to do as well as I do, but the world doesn't see it that way. I guess I'll get my young adult daughter to help me. I can do anything if someone takes me by the hand and shows me. I can do nothing from a manual or a 20-something tech support person at the other end of the phone line.
    I find comfort in knowing it's about relationships, just as this forum is, and that we don't have to do anything we're not comfortable with.
    I would love to be put in the drawing, but it will have to be for the print edition of whatever, I don't have a Kindle or Nook. (You see my point? You should have a Seekerville contest on who's the least tech savvy.)
    OH BRAVE NEW WORLD. (The Huxley one this time.)
    Fraternally yours,
    Kathy Bailey
    Low-tech in New Hampshire

  51. Mary H. you really made me laugh. I so relate. LOL

    Hey Pinterest is big. I have a board but never use it either. My brother-in-law helped me set it up but then he lives in another state so no help there. LOL

  52. Boy was I on a roll this morning. Let me be perfectly clear (channeling Richard Nixon): I am not anti-technology. I just don't always see the point. Or the time investment, when I could be writing. I know it's just another tool, and can be a good one. I'm just not there yet. And after several false starts, I should be.

  53. Hi Julie A big party? Wow that about says it and like you, I'm happier in a small intimate party. But I am amazed that you aren't into social media because you have such a large following. woo hoo. And lucky you. But I do know having a large following, no matter how you obtained it, is a lot of work. I am always so impressed with your social presence. But then again, you write terrific books so who wouldn't want to follow you. smile

  54. Oh my, Kathy B, I am still chuckling. A contest for who is less tech savvy? That is hysterical and I bet ALL of the finalists would be in our age group. Like you, when all else fails, I go find some young person. They make it all look and sound so easy and for them it is easy. sigh. l

    But hey, you are blogging. Many of my friends are impressed that I blog. They don't even know what that means. So I guess we aren't so bad off as we think.

    Hang in there.

  55. Oh my, Kathy B, I am still chuckling. A contest for who is less tech savvy? That is hysterical and I bet ALL of the finalists would be in our age group. Like you, when all else fails, I go find some young person. They make it all look and sound so easy and for them it is easy. sigh. l

    But hey, you are blogging. Many of my friends are impressed that I blog. They don't even know what that means. So I guess we aren't so bad off as we think.

    Hang in there.

  56. Are there any Krispy Kremes left?

    I love facebook for keeping in touch with friends. In the last year, I have come in contact with authors and learned of giveaways which has increased my reading library. One of the most exciting things about facebook is I've learned about Authors needing influencers and street teams. Now I am a part of several. Through this means I have met fellow Christians who also love to read.

    Now as a result, I am attempting to write a novel something I have longed to do for a long time but had no clue how to go about it.

    When I first started using social media I thought lol meant lots of love and commented with that in mind but others quickly pointed out what it really meant.

  57. Sandra, thanks.
    I can do it if I have to. If there's no reason to do it, I'd rather be writing. If my future agent or future editor says, "KB, we want you on Facebook" or what ever, I'll be on it that same day. I have no problem with Seekerville or other writing blogs because there's a point to it, we all get together to talk about writing, YAY! Social media for the sake of social media, not so much.
    Well I am off to work on my MySpace account and do some Instant Messaging. See what I'm up against?

  58. I'm with you, Sandra, on thinking that my life is too boring to share much. I feel like I do what everyone else with children is doing. I mean, how many times does somebody want to know what we're having for lunch? But like you, I'm still learning. Thanks so much for a great post! Please put me in the drawing.

  59. I agree with Virginia. I love keeping up with friends and family on fb, but I want to know EVERYTHING, and sometimes I don't see everything.

    Given that I have almost 2000 "friends", I suppose that's understandable.

    For instance, my cousin that lives 150 miles away just became a grandmother and I got to see pictures of the baby within hours. That's really cool!

    The model of fb profiles and pages is frustrating, but it's all free, so I'm not going to complain. Pages are weird in that people rarely comment or engage, but they will on a profile. Not sure if that's MY fault or theirs. So, I just use both and try not to overlap what I'm doing too much.

    I share, like, comment as much as I can, but sometimes I find myself surfing friends and families posts and forgetting to share.

    If I really want to keep up with a convo, I make sure to comment. If I don't want to see a particular topic that doesn't interest me at all, I don't Like or Comment on it.

    One piece of advice if someone is trying to become more comfortable on social media sites, posting, commenting, and engaging. The following is a personal preference for ME. Others might feel differently.

    I never comment on politically charged issues or share inflammatory posts, memes, or pictures even if they are from my close family. I don't engage in potty humor or lash out at anyone regardless of how heated the discussion gets. I might agree or disagree or think of the great zingers I could put in the comments that would surely awe everyone present and bring the discord to a screeching halt with my wit and wisdom, but I don't. As a public figure (that's relative, btw), I'm not interested in engaging in a flaming war on social media.

    Now I must go see if I can engage with my friends on fb and twitter! :)

  60. I'm with you, Sandra. I'm slowly learning about social media.

    And it's a love/hate relationship.

    I love connecting with people -especially friends we've moved away from, and new friends I've only "met" through the internet (like almost everyone here at Seekerville!)

    One thing I've learned is that my friends and followers love it when I post something unique about me.

    That's why Ruthy's little munchkin posts work, and Mary's cows, and your trip to Spain.

    What's unique to me is where I live. So I share a lot of pictures of our neighbors and our neighborhood here in the Black Hills. (Today I have a picture of yearling Bison calves on Facebook!)

    On my author page, I try to share a lot of information about Amish life - food, quilts, etc. - and more recently, about South Dakota history (since next year's book takes place in 1877 Deadwood).

    And once in a while I post an update about the next book.

    Great post, Sandra. And a great discussion!

  61. Great post, Sandra - - and you are so gracious to share what you've learned from your mistakes (and we ALL make mistakes!).

    I don't use Twitter, but love Facebook for so many reasons. Especially to read prayer requests from others so I can pray for them, and also keeping up with special news from family and friends (new grandbabies, etc.). I've even reconnected with a long-lost cousin thanks to Facebook! :)

    Your photos from Spain are wonderful--I'm so glad you were able to travel there.

    Thanks for the donuts today (and coffee!). YUM....reaching for a crème-filled. ;)
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  62. Speaking of LIKES on fb. The other day someone (apparently new to fb or not real savvy about the way it works) got all in a tizzy because lots of people were "liking" a post about a family member passing away.

    Someone explained that "Liking" was akin to acknowledging that they had read the post, not that they liked the fact that someone had died. The person was still not satisfied with the answer.

    So, that's another part of Social Media Etiquette that's quite different to what we think of in real life.

    Maybe someday, fb will add a "frowny face" button to posts so that we can :( over instances like that instead of clicking like.

  63. Hello to Pam,
    I never do anything controversial or political either. It's not worth it. Even if I'm joking, people can't see my face and they tend to go nuts.
    I did post a picture of my Russian nested dolls and a message of solidarity with Ukraine when that all started to go south, but that's as far as I go.
    You don't "win" arguments on FB. People have their minds made up when they log on.
    Observation from Kathy Bailey

  64. Pam,
    Yeah, and no potty humor. I like to keep my dignity, what's left of it.

  65. Hi Wilani Great points for getting onto FB. That is interesting that you went the opposite direction than most of us. whew! And that is great that you are now writing your own novel. Way to go.

    And yes, please have a Krispy Creme. Lots more where those came from. smile

  66. Hey KB You have a My Space account. That is impressive. You're ahead of me there. Happy writing.

  67. Jan, sounds like you're doing everything right! I "LIKE" it!

    KB, hey honey, 63 is young! You can do anything you set your mind to. Problem is when time is precious, FB is on my C List (reference Tina's frog blog last week). Bet you have a lot of to-dos that come before social media. Am I right?

  68. Hi Meghan, What I've learned is we aren't boring people. We all have gifts to share. I always enjoy your posts on the blog so no reason I wouldn't enjoy hearing about your interests on FB. Happy writing.

  69. Thanks for your honest post, Sandra! I love FB but don't post my own things too often (trying to rectify that!)

    But Twitter - Yikes, can't seem to get a handle on that. The whole # or @ thing - I don't get it. And to wade through the hundreds of postings at a time is mind numbing. So when I do go on, I try to skip over the ones I don't really care about, and focus on favorite people, etc. But then I want a LIKE button to hit! I don't know what to do when I like someone's Tweet. Sometimes you can reply, but retweet? Who wants to retweet everything?

    And forget Hootsuite or whatever it is!

    Oh well... I'm learning slowly!

    Thanks for making us feel not so bad!


  70. Hi Pammers Great advice. I so agree with you. When I see inflammable topics, I quickly pass those by. No need to get into those discussions on FB or in real life. smile.

  71. Hi Jan Yes, you are wise to post about your area. I love your posts and the scenery you show us. I have traveled in your area so when I see those posts, they bring back lots of fun memories. Great going.

    Great idea to tie your author page to your book settings. That could work for me. I might try that.

  72. Melissa, an "I hear you" button would be ideal. Better than a "frownie" button for sure! :)

  73. Hi PattiJo, Yes, getting photos from friends and family is fun. I am learning to really enjoy that aspect of FB.

    I do enjoy your posts also. You do find interesting inspirational quotes. Thanks.

  74. Pam that very issue was discussed earlier because I said the same thing. I am uncomfortable clicking like when someone has announced a death or illness. Virginia had a great solution. They need to invent an "I hear you" button.

  75. Good advice Debby, That A,B,C list of Tina's is a good model to follow.

  76. Add me to the Social Media Fail Club.

    Please pass me another Krispy Kreme donut!

  77. Sorry Susan I can't help you much with the Twitter thing as it is a puzzle to me also. Like I said, I see so many twitters that mean nothing to me. So how do you find the ones you want? Very mind boggling.

  78. Pammers This is exactly why I brought the Krispy Cremes today. Comfort food. LOL

  79. Kaybee said: You don't "win" arguments on FB. People have their minds made up when they log on.


  80. Pam Amen to all kinds of conversations - social media and face to face. lol

  81. Hi Sandra. Social Media is always tricky.

    I have fun with it but I have no idea if it's really effective. I mean the people who hang around with me and my CALF pictures on Facebook are really fun and we have a good time. But honestly does it branch out? Does it reach more than just that same, fun, lovely crowd I always talk to?

    No idea.

  82. I think Twitter can work if you're very good at it.

    The untold story of Twitter is that for all it's SHORT, it's also a lot of work to make SHORT effective.

    Mainly I think it works if you're willing to be edgy. And then you end up getting a strong response but not always good. And I'm not that interested in trying to be edgy so I just rarely go there and I have Facebook posts auto-load to twitter, which I've heard is wrong.

    And I retweet other people's tweets, but usually only if they tell me too, because I just rarely go there.

  83. Leftover donuts?

    What are you now, Radcliffe, a stand-up comedienne??????

  84. Twitter confuses me--I admit it. I love FB, though, and feel like I've developed some real friends there.

    The one negative I'd say about all of this is that if you're chatting with people on Twitter or FB, make sure you remember them when you meet them in person (like at conferences or signings). Otherwise you accidentally leave that person with the impression that you're a fake and were just using them for marketing purposes.

    Now, I'll leave the Krispy Kremes for all of you because I brought my favorite donuts :), but I would so love that marketing book! I do need some help.

  85. The majority of the tweets I receive are from publishers and writers pushing their books. It's like a private industry circle. Guess I have to find other folks to follow.

    My editor tweets. I like receiving news from her. And I like seeing the other LI authors and what's going on in their worlds. But I don't need all the other promo stuff.

  86. Good question Mary, but it is fun to see what our friends are doing. I love your calf pictures. They are so adorable. At that age anyway.

    But I think friends are more inclined to want to promote our books. When I'm selling at craft shows in the RV parks, I always sell more to friends and they tell their friends so it snowballs.

    Of course the best thing is to write an irresistible book. sigh Which you do. So there.

  87. Hi Sally This book is really a great tool and it is written at a level even dunces like me can understand. It is short, to the point and informative.

    And you aren't going to tell us what your favorite donut is????

  88. So Debby How do you find your editor's tweets amongst the gazillion you receive? That is my big ponder. What if you miss the important ones? There are so many to scroll through. Or is there a way to get the tweets you want to see?

  89. Hi, Sandra!!! Krispy Kreme doughnuts are my favorite food! Unfortunately. I'm trying to start liking pears and apples as much as a Krispy Kreme doughnut, but so far, it hasn't quite happened.

    Marketing is not my favorite thing, though. Especially when I barely have time to finish a book before a deadline.

  90. Hi Melanie I hear you. While fun and productive, social media does take time. whew. It is a constant juggle.

    I go in spurts. So I guess that is the way of it for me. But I'm learning. At least that makes me feel young. I amaze myself sometimes. LOL

  91. I like these 0 calories and 0 fat donuts...LOL!

    What is pickleball? Looks like you're enjoying yourself on the court!

    I have a twitter account but I've been putting off learning/using it like I put off studying in college ;P

  92. Thanks for the post, Sandra. I'm still learning, so appreciate your advice. I've been doing a bit of Facebook and Twitter. Now I'm trying Instagram because, like you, I want to share nature photos...reminders of God's blessings in our lives. <3 BUNNY photos!

    YUM! DONUTS! (Just ignore my munching while I read through the comments!)

  93. Social media illiterate here. Only have the occasional FB posts. No twitter.

    my life isn't that interesting...really.

    i do so love the advice here though. will keep it in mind as i get dragged, kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

    (because i'm still stuck in the 20th)

  94. Hi S. Trietsch Yes, virtual snacks are wonderful. 0 calories. smile

    Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the nation right now and super fun. It is addictive though so don't start unless you really want to play. chuckle. You can find out about it on usapa.org. This is the official site and they have videos to watch the fun. What is great about it is that it is easy to learn so you start playing right away.

    I'm with you on putting things like twitter off. It is mind-boggling.

  95. Hi Sherida I've heard that Instagram is becoming the latest social media medium. Oh dear, something more to learn. But I'm glad to hear you are doing it. I will check it out as I love the nature photos and if that is what it is about --yay

  96. Hi Deb H You are tooo funny. I think there is more than you dragging their feet. Life was so simple before the Internet. I long for those days sometimes.

  97. Lots of helpful info and observations. Thanks to everybody for sharing -- and thanks for starting the conversation, Sandra.

    Nancy C

  98. Sandra, Dunkin' Donuts!!!! If they're fresh. The one around here hasn't done too hot in that category lately. Nothing worse than biting into a donut, expecting warm and fluffy sweetness, and realizing this thing has sat around too long. Bad Dunkin'.

    I used to love Krispy Kremes, but anymore I get a horrible sugar headache from them. :( In heaven we won't get headaches from sugar. I'm fairly certain.

  99. Sandra, I probably miss a lot of her tweets. The ones with @DebbyGiusti get sent to my email.

    I need to check out pickleball. What type of court do you play on?

  100. I can't eat anymore Krispy Kremes because I just ate a chili burger and a huge Coke. Okay, I'll just have one Krispy Kreme...

    I'm still learning the social media thing. So much to juggle. I'm on FB and I recently got a Twitter account. They both feel very difft to me. FB feels like having lunch with friends while Twitter feels like hanging out with a huge crowd at a footbal stadium IMHO.

  101. Really great tips, Sandra. I discovered my 'marketing' sweet spot when I attended RWA in Atlanta last year and someone I met said, "Oh, you're the Pom Mom!" I don't post my Pom pictures for that reason, but it turns out that they've given me a memorable web presence. I'm happy with that!

    Every Krispy Kreme has CLOSED around here! We had at least four of them within fifteen miles. Bummer. We had a Timmy's (Tim Horton's) about three miles from our house in Fairport, NY and dh and I often went out for a midnight run to have a fresh doughnut and hot chocolate date. Such fun...Recently he attended a wedding in OH and he called to ask me if I wanted anything from Timmy's! I'm hopeful that if Timmy's has gotten to OH maybe they will move to IN and then IL next!

  102. I don't do donuts but loved your funny comments on social media. I am seriously remedial.

    I thought this blog was difficult so I lurked for some time.

    And setting up another account made me slightly crazy.

    On that cheery note, maybe I need a donut. The sugar high will give me an excuse for my dismal failure with social media.

  103. Really great tips, Sandra. I discovered my 'marketing' sweet spot when I attended RWA in Atlanta last year and someone I met said, "Oh, you're the Pom Mom!" I don't post my Pom pictures for that reason, but it turns out that they've given me a memorable web presence. I'm happy with that!

    Every Krispy Kreme has CLOSED around here! We had at least four of them within fifteen miles. Bummer. We had a Timmy's (Tim Horton's) about three miles from our house in Fairport, NY and dh and I often went out for a midnight run to have a fresh doughnut and hot chocolate date. Such fun...Recently he attended a wedding in OH and he called to ask me if I wanted anything from Timmy's! I'm hopeful that if Timmy's has gotten to OH maybe they will move to IN and then IL next!

  104. Thanks for sharing Sally Ruthy is a big Dunkin Donut fan also. smile. They are yummy. I like their chocolate glaze coffee. It is almost as good as chocolate velvet. smile

    And I'm positive heaven has calorie free donuts. :)

  105. Hi Preslaysa I'm glad you took a Krispy Creme. No leftovers. smile

    My friend says twitter is like hanging out at the water cooler. You pop in and join in whatever conversation is going on. I haven't seen any conversations yet so am not sure what that is about.

  106. Hi Debby We play on pickleball courts which are the same size as a badminton court. In a pinch we'll use a tennis court and sidewalk chalk to mark the lines. Go on usapa.org to find courts in your area. Go watch them play. It is a kick.

  107. Hi Nancy Glad it was helpful. Thanks for stopping by. Happy writing.

  108. Hi Lyndee Oh that is so disappointing when your favorite stores close. The mall close to my house closed and I'm sick about it. Now I have to drive all the way to Chandler and I don't really like that mall. The acoustics in it are very annoying. But I guess malls are struggling these days. However when it is 109 degrees out like today, you find all kinds of people in the mall. Sure hope they are buying stuff. :)

  109. Hi Becke That is why I brought the donuts. chuckle.

    But no, you can't be a social media failure if you are posting here. That is a big step. Most of my friends don't even know what a blog is. When I tell them I can't do something because its my blog day, they look at me like I'm talking another language. Some get brave and ask "What is a blog?" LOL

  110. By the way Lyndee I love your pom photos. They are so adorable. smile

  111. Thank you for this wonderful post and all the suggestions,Sandra. Like many here I'm trying to get a handle on the social media thing. Reading about your success with posting pictures and comments to FB while travelling in Spain, I'm tempted to do the same when in the UK this year. Why didn't I think of this the last time there? Still, I lead an ordinary life and question who really cares about my day. I do like to share writing and gardening topics I come across. Thanks again, Sandra.

  112. Hi Pat Jeanne What a terrific idea to share photos of your trip to the UK. I would certainly be interested.

    I like the idea of sharing gardening tips too. I know that a lot of the Seekers are great gardeners.

  113. Off to RWA meeting where I'm speaking tonight.

    I'll be back later to catch up.

  114. Sandra, I love this post and your honesty. I don't have a book to promote, so I'm not guilty of the faux pas of promoting only, but I sure do understand the not having anything to say.

    I'm a quiet person to begin with so I have to force myself to think in terms of anything worth sharing.

    I'm looking forward to reading the discussion but I have a frog (in the form of 3k) to eat first.

  115. Wonderful post today, Sandra! I'm clumsy when it comes to social media. I've made several of the same faux pax! I give you so much credit for jumping in with both feet. My toes are still dangling off the dock, LOL!

    Thanks for the info. I'm off to Hootsuite right now hoping my last post to Twitter didn't go all over creation!!

  116. Ah, the sweet smell of Krispy Kremes. I love donuts.

    I also love social media, but I never know when to send someone a friend request on FB so I'm probably sending out more tweets these days rather than FB posts. But on Twitter I'm very protective about my kids so they each have a "pseudonym" on Twitter.

    Thanks for the post.

  117. Sorry folks. The meeting lasted longer than usual. My talks went very well. We had a great group of writers.

    The main speaker was fro the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office and he was a true hero. Nice looking too and really fun. Gave us great info.

  118. Hi Mary With all your techno savvy, I'm sure you will do great with the social media stuff when it is time. And what do you mean you have nothing to share? You take great photos that I'm sure we would all enjoy. smile

  119. Hi Audra Well there is something to be said for just jumping in. I made mistakes big time, but I've learned so much that I would not have learned if I stayed ashore. Happy writing.

  120. HI Tanya I think it wise to use other names and to protect your children. I've seen some scary TV shows about identities being stolen.

    So glad you understand Twitter. I still can't find conversations. I need to do more searching. smile

  121. Thanks everyone for joining in today. What a lot of good information we gleaned. Have a wonderful week and don't forget to check out the weekend edition for winners. And when you find out you've won, be sure and email the Seekerville address with your contact info.

    Happy writing

  122. I find that the social media I am most comfortable with are blogs. I love book related blogs most of all, of course.

  123. I'm still trying to understand the Krispy Kreme allure. Maybe because I like cake donuts.

    I am constantly trying to figure out social media. Pictures of kids, pets, doodles, and sunsets seem to draw the most comments.

  124. Sandra,
    Sorry I'm late to this! Last week of school in Basham-land, then the summer chaos can ensue!
    Thanks for the mention. My kids are crazy and SO MUCH FUN!

    Isn't Kc Frantzen FABULOUS at encouragement on FB. Seriously! The BEST!

  125. I found your post encouraging. I have been on facebook for awhile. I do find that personal posts get more comments then when I post links to my articles. Tweeting is foreign to me and I probably need to do it. Honestly, its hard to watch people spend so much time on social meida when they have a room full of people to talk to. Balancing social media and face time is becoming quite a challenge. As well as deciding what to post on FB and what to comment on. It can take up time that I sometimes feel could be used to talk to others. *sigh* Add my name to the drawing and I'l pass on the donuts.
    Cindy Huff

  126. Any coffee and donuts left?
    Those are okay for an evening snack, right?!

    Oh my, Sandra... I hear ya.

    Wish I'd learned how to set up Facebook from the get go. I made the mistake of having my personal page interface with my author page for awhile.

    Thanks for the bark out by the way. ;)
    May and I scour the Internet and grab freely from others to beef up our content. I'm so glad you enjoy and I think others do too.

    It's just a way to let folks in on our lives.

    I LOVED keeping up with your trip(s) and daily dozen. It really is fun. And Virginia and Ruthy ARE masters at social media. Who could ignore those amazing cows that Mary posts too?!

    Social media is a good way to keep up and to meet folks in real life too. I've met authors through Facebook and when they come through TN or if I'm visiting in a city far, far away, and I recall someone I know lives there, we make contact and try to rendezvous. It's been FUN!

    Thanks for a great post. So much to learn!

  127. HI Tina P Cake donuts are yummy also :) I'm really not picky.

    I agree. The animals, scenery, children, etc. are interesting to me also.

  128. HI Pepper Glad you made it. Yes, your family seems to have interesting fun times. I love it.

    Happy writing.

  129. Hi KC and May I'm so glad you made it over. I do love your Facebook photos. You are an amazing woman. Thanks for joining us.

  130. There is so much to master with social etiquette and even then, it seems to change and we end up only talking to our own circles. Some good tips there.