|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.