November 12, 2014

Facebook: Are They Really Your “Friends?”

By Roxanne Henke 

There's been so much conversation about marketing on Facebook...I want to add a bit of an outside-observer's opinion. Before I do that I need to give a tiny bit of background for this...

Several years ago (when I was still novel writing) "everyone" told me I needed to be on Facebook in order to market and connect with my readers. I reluctantly joined and accepted anyone who asked to be my "Friend."

Fast forward a few years...I'm no longer novel writing (I do write a magazine column for a state-based magazine) so I have nothing to market. But I do enjoy Facebook. I like connecting with people and have found some smart and funny friends on-line. And also, I find FB a good way to encourage (and maybe entertain) people either through my posts or by commenting on their remarks.

All that to lead up to what I want to say: I am Facebook Friends with many authors and, honestly, I can tell the difference between those who truly want to make a connection with their readers, and those who are simply trying to market their books.

I have "hidden" some people who have been over-zealous in their marketing attempts. Some only post when they have something to "sell," making it completely obvious why they friended me.

Others post comments (or questions) about their characters or WIP's...which would be great now-and-then...but if that's the ONLY time they post, again: it's a see-through marketing ploy.

And then, to make it worse, when they do post a question, there is rarely a follow-up, a comment, or a "like" to let their "friends" know the responses are even being read. I am NOT saying an author has to 'like' every post, or comment on every one. But, when you (meaning 'me') comment on a thread, you continue to get notifications when others comment. When there is absolutely NO response--to anyone--from the author, I end up feeling duped for having commented, thinking they really did want some feedback. Instead, I’m left with the impression that all they wanted was to “market”…not “connect.”

Building a readership on social media is ALL about connection. Real and meaningful connection. What kind of “friend” are you?
Roxanne Henke is a small-town 'girl.' (Rural North Dakota to be exact.) It's a good place to write from, distractions--like coffee shops and bookstores--are at a minimum. So are stop lights and shopping malls. All that adds up to more time to write. My life-long dream was to write ONE book...I never dreamt about a second book, much less a third, fourth, or fifth! Just goes to show God can dream much bigger than we can. Author of the popular Coming Home to Brewster series...After Anne, Finding Ruth, Becoming Olivia, Always Jan, and With Love, Libby. Also available...The Secret of Us, Learning to Fly, and On a Someday! YOU CAN READ FOR FREE HER E-BOOK, AFTER ANNE,  

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