Help! I'm Drowning in Social Sites - Part One

First, let me say that marketing my books and myself is not easy for me. I’m not a pushy person. I would have never succeeded in a traditional sales position. Now, let me tell you about my experiences marketing myself in the plethora of social networking sites available.

I’ve had a personal Facebook page since February 2008. There have been times when I was more active on it than others. Does anyone remember virtual gifting? Gah, that took a lot of time and I couldn’t taste the stinking virtual cookies or wear the very cute virtual shoes. I was on dial up Internet, too, so it took forever to clear my notifications and return favors.

I’ve maintained a blog since 2009. Scrapped it once and reinvented it at least twice. Just like my experience on Facebook, there have been seasons where I was more diligent about posting regularly than others. It’s taken a lot of tweaking and experimenting to establish my blogger “brand”. Brand. Branding. Yikes! Don’t you hate marketing terms?

I joined Good Reads, I don’t remember when, several years ago, even though my Author profile says I joined January 2012. My activity there has also been sporadic. I enjoy trading opinions and reviews, but to do this as much as I want would take a tremendous amount of time, hours and minutes that I feel I must spread around to other sites.

I’ve had something of a social networking presence for quite a few years, but since Still Moments published my first story, I’ve jumped into social networking with both feet. Sometimes the amount of time I put into it feels like a full-time job. So I’m an accountant, a writer, an editor, and a social networker. I’m overwhelmed trying to keep an active, friendly presence on so many sites. I’m not doing a very good job, I think. If I interact enough on one site, the others suffer from lack of attention.

How many copies of my stories sell due to my increased efforts? Okay, I know I’m being transparent here and just a little bit too honest. I’m supposed to be a clandestine marketer, right? Pretend I’m on all these sites to be a friend rather than to entice people to buy my books? Anything more in your face would be tacky, right? Please don’t get me wrong. I enjoy building relationships with other people, and I’ve met some fantastic people through social networking. But let’s face it. A writer is out there trying to sell his/her books.

I’ve decided if I want to be more effective something’s gotta give. I can’t do it all, sell books, and build honest relationships. So I think what I’d rather do first is build the honest relationships. I want to be a human being first and a marketer second. Then sell the books.

The following is a list of my current social sites and what I think about them. (I’ve commented on some of them in this blog and the remainder will be addressed in part two.)


I’ve become absolutely bogged down in Twitter. With nearly 1,000 followers, I can easily say that a very small fraction of them give a crap about anything I post there…if they happen to be online and catch my tweets. The pace moves so fast, so much can be lost and never seen if I don’t inundate the feed with the same post over and over. But if I do that it’s breaking the unspoken don’t be a jerk twitter code.

Out of ten tweets that come up in my feed, five of them will be Triberr feeds from bloggers. One or two of them will be feeds from Hootsuite. Two or three of them will be retweets, mentions, or shout outs. This is part of the unspoken twitter code as well. A tweeter must show appreciation to other tweeters by mentioning follows and retweets. When you get as much traffic and add as many followers on a weekly basis as I do, this gets hard to keep up with without some sort of twitter application to help sort it out.

Maybe one tweet in ten will be an active conversation between online tweeters. Sometimes I wait many minutes for a tweeter who is actually there to interact with a real human being in real time.


I love my blog. I think it’s pretty. I’ve worked hard to get it just the way I want it. The title and subtitle tell my readers who I am as a writer. That’s what I want to project to the public.

Sometimes I get discouraged. I’ve found it difficult to entice fellow bloggers to join my follow list. I can spend enormous amounts of time commenting on others’ posts without the return of the favor. I can follow someone’s blog and never even get a nod of acknowledgment and return the favor. Yes, I’ve developed a few relationships with other bloggers and I prize every one of them, because I adore real human interaction. But I wonder sometimes just how much attention we bloggers really pay to our fellow bloggers posts.

We live in a fast paced, busy culture. It takes time to read everyone’s blog posts. So I have to wonder…of the 50 to 100 views I get on every post, how many of those hits actually stop and read the outpourings of my bloggy heart? If I go by the number of comments I receive, not many. One of my recent posts garnered over 100 hits very quickly…without a single viewer stopping to comment.

Maybe short, easy to read posts are the way to go. This piece will certainly be too long. Maybe I should break it into several posts. A series maybe.


Oh, Triberr, when I first met you I thought you were the love of my life. How wonderful is the concept? Join a co-op of other bloggers and share each other’s posts. Great idea, right? Post to my blog and my current offering will reach over 266,000 twitter accounts. This sounds great, except the traffic to my blog hasn’t increased significantly. I suspect my fellow tweeters do just like I do. If I happen to be online when the Triberr fed tweet comes up, I might click on the link…if the post sounds remotely interesting and if I have the time. Thus I probably click once for every 25 to 100 tweets…when I’m online. If there is a tweeter out there clicking on every single tweet that comes up in their feed, I’ll show you a very frustrated, tired, and dysfunctional person.


  1. And yet....I'm here because of Triberr. Hmm. Lol just sayin. I think the distinction is that Dan and Dino wants your blog to get noticed. In fact Triberr headlines are my one source in finding out what my friends are doing, what those with expert knowledge have are recommending, etc. There is a huge responsibility on the users of Triberr to connect with those you want to as well as making a blog engaging. Yours got my attention today so good job.

    1. Yes, I think part of becoming an effective blog is determining what topics are engaging. This topic seems to have struck a chord. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  2. Hi, Denise. I found you through Diane Capri's tweet with your post title. I often feel like I'm swimming with the sharks in social media so I was intrigued enough to click over.

    I haven't published yet, but dipped my feet into social media because that's been the current advice. I have to say that from my limited experience, you make a lot of sense and I enjoyed your post.

    Best wishes!

    1. Hi, thanks for dropping by. Wading into social media can be a little daunting at first. Good luck as you determine what's the right mix for you.

  3. I started microblogging before I started blogging, so I find I'm very good at Twitter, and that I naturally do interact there as a human (though promo and self-promo tweets are definitely becoming a bigger part of my timeline). It's other bloggers I feel like I'm letting down.

    Part of the problem for me is that I blog with Blogger and Wordpress (in two different genres/personas). I generally read my Blogger pals through Google reader and my Wordpress pals through the Wordpress reader. And I'm on Triberr as well, so that's a third network.

    In an ideal world I would read everything everyone posts, but no one has time for that.

    But I think you're idea of building honest relationships first could be the way to go. Firstly, with networking of this kind it's probably better to get high quality rather than high quantity. Secondly, in this new age of social media and networking, authors are not just selling their work. You, the author behind the work (at least the public version of you), are a part of the product. We're not mysterious behind-the-scenes unreachables like Print Age authors were.

    1. Yes, you're right. An author can't hide behind the printed word any longer. Successful authors know how to brand themselves. The public persona is vital and social media definitely helps define a writer's public image.
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  4. Amen. I wrote my first manuscript before I joined writer's group, launched my blog and started a Twitter account. I see the difference now that I'm working on my second manuscript AND trying to do those things.

    Like you, I've forged great relationships, but it comes at a cost.

    1. I noticed the ramp up in activity after my second release. It does seem I'm on social media a lot. I'm always telling myself I need to find time to write. Good luck with the second manuscript and happy writing.

  5. I found you through a retweet on Twitter. I really like this and will retweet it myself.

    I don't even have my first title published yet and I'm a member of so many groups, sites, and any other social media you can think of. I have to keep a spreadsheet with all the sites, usernames, and other info necessary to use them. I cringe at what else I may be looking at when I finally publish.

    I too have met some great people along the way, but I find I don't have much time to keep up those relationships as I would like.

    1. I don't as much time to do everything I'd like to do either. I think that's why I've got to let some things go and limit other activities. Thank for stopping by and commenting. Happy writing.

  6. Awesome post.. It is amazing how what starts out as a hobby can turn into a job... I work as a CFO of a beverage company, which is a stressful many hour job. I only have early AM's, a little lunchtime, and weekends really to focus on writting and social media. I never can keep up. I finished my manuscript last spring and got my final edits back from the editor I hired a few weeks ago. I just was traveling across the country and managed to write 27 blogs which I can stock pile and use so I can focus on finishing the book...

    1. I have a part time job. When I get home I'm either writing, editing, or on social media. It's like I have another part time job. I want to write some posts ahead of time preschedule them, but I need a chunk of time such as you had.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


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