Social Media Engagement

When I first got into social media marketing, I admit that I really had no idea what I was doing. I had never used sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ before. Now, I’m no Luddite, but I just never had a reason to use these sites. I don’t need to know what everyone is doing at all hours of the day, and they don’t need to know it about me. However, I found I was in desperate need of social media marketing etiquette when I began publishing my novels and had no idea how to market them outside of ads and blog spots. (Which I also had to educate myself on.)

Social Media

Everyone told me to get into social media. Now, once I made all these accounts, I had no idea what to do. I barely knew what a tweet was. Sure I dabbled a bit, and eventually got the hang of hashtags, but I was at my wits end making it work for me as a marketing tool. I ended up buying a book on ebook marketing that basically told me to shout into the ether.

I’m not proud of this, but I turned into a spammer without realizing it. I scheduled tweets for every hour on the hour. I packed my tweets with terrible hashtags. Not only that, but I would friend people for the sole purpose of having them friend me back. Sure, I had about 10,000 friends by the end of the first month, but they weren’t “friends.” Or followers, I guess. Either way, they had no interest in my tweets. Or my status updates. Or my whatevers. In fact, they got sick of them pretty quickly. Instead of boosting my sales or seeing my tweets retweeted until the end of time, I steadily began to lose followers. In some cases, users completely blocked me from communicating with them.

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What had happened? My friend soon told me she was this close to defriending me because she couldn’t take it anymore. She said, “If I didn’t know you so well, I would be inspired to never buy a book from you. Because if this is the way you do business, then I can only imagine the quality of your writing.” That took me aback and made me rethink a few things. If even my own friends didn’t want to be friends with me online because I was so annoying, then what was I telling total strangers? I was mortified. I promptly stopped for a while and reassessed what I was doing.

Social Media Engagement

Social Media Engagement

I studied popular authors. I noticed that they rarely promoted their own works, and instead engaged their followers in conversation. By George, they were people! You may laugh, but this was an interesting concept to me. I tried it out. Soon I had real friends on social media, and they actually bought my books. Then we would talk about my books.

I cringe when I think about how I started of marketing online. But now that I know what I know, I want to make sure that other authors don’t make the same mistakes I did.

AA consultant

Comments
  1. lydia23224 says:

    Hi Amaka, I was laughing at myself the whole time I read your post thinking about when I was new to using social media. I was trained to post my promotions relentlessly. To tell you the truth even I was sick of seeing them in the feeds. The thing that does bother me about the training given to new marketers is that I see some leaders making fun of these strategies when I recall when he or she practiced these exact poor methods and trained others to do the same. Fortunately, the day came when I followed the right people who taught be better and I began to really enjoy marketing providing more about me and information that could help others without pushy methods. No more guilt when I promote because I know I have also provided value. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  2. Ruth Bowers says:

    It’s really easy to become a social spammer when you start if you don’t know what you’re doing. I think it also takes a lot of courage to admit it, and learn from your mistakes. Good for you for doing so and wanting to help others avoid making mistakes in the first place!

    Like

  3. Emi Koul says:

    Hi Amaka,
    You are not the only one, you can see so many people who are new to the online space are going the same path. I can relate too 🙂
    Happy to hear that you got it under control and you are rocking it!

    Like

    • Dream Team One Marketing says:

      Thank you. It is a relieve to hear so many people run into the same error and making adjustment is the best way. Lesson learned

      Like

  4. Hi Amaka

    I love your story and I am glad that you applied Social Media marketing the right way. I like the fact that you went back to the drawing board. Thank you so much for this post. Take Care

    Like

    • Dream Team One Marketing says:

      Thank you for reading. It is a good thing knowing what was not working and making the necessary change to move forward.

      Like

  5. I have to agree with Ruth. There are many who become a social spammer when they first start out because it is what they are taught to do. But coming up from the ranks you realize it and it takes a big person to admit that. Now you are on the right track.
    -Donna

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  6. When you are contacted by a new marketer, you generally know they are new as all they do is hit you with “buy my product, or join my company” without even a how are you? They do not know that building a relationship is what they should be doing. People buy from people they know like and trust. Marketing is an art that is learned over time.

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    • Dream Team One Marketing says:

      Thank you! True indeed. I run into them quite often. It is funny sometimes. They do stand out in their conversation. It is all about building a relationship.

      Like

  7. Hi Amaka. I feel your pain! I think that people feel pressured to jump into social media without really knowing what they are doing. I’m sure many people other than you have made social media gaffes. I’m glad that you have embraced social media, though. There is nothing like it for getting the word out there that you have something to offer. Thanks so much for your confession LOL

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  8. heraldmarty says:

    As Donna and Ruth have both said, these are things most of us learn the hard way. I’ve made more than a few social media blunders, but you learn that way and grow stronger. Good for you for hanging in there and doing the work to improve!

    Like

  9. Sue Bride says:

    Consider it just a learning experience, one we all go through when starting with social media marketing. I took to posting to Facebook groups for a while – those where you can advertise. Thousands were doing the same thing but never looked at what others posted 🙂 Of course that didn’t work.

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  10. It’s all a learning experience and we all make mistakes to begin with. I started posting to groups – the type that allowed advertising. I realized that thousands of others were doing the same and, like me, posted but didn’t read what others posted. Of course, it didn’t work.

    Like

  11. Taiwo Emayosanlomo says:

    Experience is the best teacher, but a great time waster. It is smarter to learn from the mistakes and successes of those of who have already achieved the feat we are striving for, instead of learning everything ourselves.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Like

  12. kleebanks says:

    Ditto on the mistakes we make when we’re new at something! I’ve been blogging for awhile, but still relatively new to all the nuances of social media marketing. So glad to be part of PAC and Lesly’s awesome leadership, and valuable members! 🙂

    Like

    • Dream Team One Marketing says:

      Thank you for visiting. We are all new at one time or another. A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.

      Like

  13. da1sy says:

    I think we have all made massive mistake that we can look back on now and realise that they were not the right way to do business. Great you have shared this in such an open and honest way.

    Enjoy the journey!

    Like

  14. lydia23224 says:

    Hi Amaka, great article. I am grateful that I have learned from many mistakes I made when I started out faster than some others i have met but there were some occasions that I chose to learn the hard way. No regrets I have shared those stories and helped others and it turned out my story good, bad, and indifferent had a positive affect on my income.

    Like

    • Dream Team One Marketing says:

      Thank you for sharing. We all learn from our mistake. The important thing is using what we have learn to help others.

      Like

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