Thursday, February 7, 2013

Social Networking Pet Peeves

I apologize in advance if this sounds a little ranty, but I thought I would mention some hang ups I have about Twitter and Goodreads. As authors we are always trying to figure out ways to get readers to read our books. We have to walk a fine line on social media etiquette. The following are the ways which usually make me not read a book.

  • The follow, follow back, then unfollow people: Ugh, that is so annoying. Someone follows you, you follow them back, and then they unfollow you within a day or two. Of course, they always seem to have more followers than they actually follow. Why? Because they got you to follow them, and then they unfollowed you, making their ratio look good. Not cool, people, not cool. I see other Tweeters making comments about this occasionally. I'm pretty sure the consensus is that this is not favorable. I try to pay attention to this, but it's not easy.  
  • The follow-me-everywhere DM: You follow someone on Twitter and then comes the annoying follow-me-everywhere-DM. You know the one I'm talking about. The "Thanks for following me. Check out my Facebook page, blog, etc. (with links)" Yeah, kind of a turn off for me. If I'm interested enough I'll check it out on my own, please don't shove it in my face. I follow a million blogs already. Okay, maybe not a million, but more than I can keep track of. 
  • The read-my-book-tweet-after-tweet feed: This is a turn off. I'm really interested in making connections on Twitter, therefore I tend to read the tweets a person sends out before following them. Even if they have followed me first. I do this only because I already follow more people than I can possibly manage. I use Tweetdeck and Hootsuite with lists, but still it gets overwhelming. If the only thing in an authors feed are tweets about reading their own book, forget it. What is the point in following them? They aren't there for the connections, only to get readers. And besides, I already know what every one of their tweets will say.

  • "Friend Collectors": My sister has this nickname for people on Facebook that have over 500 friends. And I have applied it to those on Goodreads who have ZERO books on their shelves, but over 100 friends. What is the point? Seriously? I saw this just the other day. A bunch of my Goodreads "friends" had all become friends to the same person. So curiously I clicked. This person did not have a single book on their shelves and almost 200 friends. I'm confused. I thought sharing book reviews is the whole point of Goodreads. 
  • Trolling for Readers: I don't really have a problem with authors trolling for "friends" on Goodreads as a way to get more readers. Whatever, I've heard of authors that do it, know one or two myself. That's fine. What bothers me is when they don't compare the books. I got one friend request from an author of true-crime fiction. Not one single book was similar on our shelves. That's right. Not one. Why friend request me? I'm obviously not his target audience. Why waste the few friend requests you can send out in one day on me? This does not make any sense to me at all. It's all about targeting potential readers. The couple authors I know of that do this both have said they pay attention to what books are on peoples shelves before sending a friend request. Seriously, if you and I have similar tastes, please friend me. I want to know what you think of these books and see what you're reading that I might not have heard of.
  • Read MY book NOW: Yup, I've made the mistake of "friending" authors on Goodreads only to have them constantly invite me to an event to read their book. I actually had one author do this around Christmas time a few years back. I was so busy and I knew I did not have the time even to read anything on my to-read list, let alone add a new book that didn't really interest me. I declined the invitation. The next day I had a new invitation in my inbox. I declined again only to receive a new invite hours later. Seriously? I unfriended that author immediately. Don't badger the reader. 
  • What-the-heck-is-this-invite-about?: Lately I have had people send me invites to events on Goodreads. People I'm not friends with. And the best part, not even for books in any genre on my shelves. Need I say it again? Taking time to target your audience better, might save you time in the end. Don't get me wrong, I totally love getting invites for things that are from my "friends" on Goodreads, as well as from people I don't know as long as the book in question is on my to-read shelf. Totally legit and more than welcome. But I'm noticing more and more people are not paying attention to their target audience. No offense, but I'm just not that big on true-crime or erotica. That's just me, though! lol 
Tell me what some of your social networking pet peeves are. 


  1. I love this post! You've stated my gripes exactly.

    I've seen an increase of authors sending friend requests willy-nilly on Goodreads lately and noticed soooo many of them have that ridiculous book to friend ratio you mentioned AND the books they write are NOTHING I would ever read. At best those authors are not thinking. At worst they're lazy and rude.

    Maybe I'm more sensitive to that at the moment because I'm trying to figure out how to use Goodreads better as an author. But I realize that I need to research. I need to put in the time looking for readers who might actually be interested in reading my books.

    In case you don't know, a good way to see who's not following you on Twitter is to go to

    1. Thanks, Linda. I was worried I was getting a bit too ranty, but there were certain things that were really getting to me. lol

      Thanks for the link1 I'll definitely have to check out that website. It takes so much time to figure out who has followed me and then unfollowed me through Twitter. haha

  2. you hit them on the nose. Except for GoodReads, which I did sign up on, and then promptly stopped visiting. So, you are probably correct on that score too, I simply do not have the experience.
    I'd say what got left off is the huge time drain these sights can be. And personally I'm pretty tired of reading other people's quotes. I love Gandhi, don't get me wrong, but truly, no one has anything original to say? I don't believe it.
    Overall, these sights aren't bad, but I'd rather be writing if I can't connect with people in some way that feels genuine.

    1. I agree these sites can be a huge drain on time. That's why I use Tweetdeck & Hootesuite to organize everyone I follow into lists. It makes it easy to focus my time reading tweets, wasting less time. :-)