by Erin Mitchell
My father was writing his Master’s Thesis about WB Yeats when I was born, and this, combined with our Irish family history, led to my being named after Ireland. When I was growing up, Erin was an unusual name; I was well grown before I met another Erin.
I moved to Ireland in the mid-90s. I knew, going in, that despite my background, there would be cultural differences to which I’d need to adjust. The biggest of these was my American penchant to overshare...Americans are unique in our willingness to hang out our dirty laundry for anyone who wants to listen (or even those who don’t). There’s pretty much nothing we won’t talk about. It’s no accident that social media originated here.
In Ireland, friends and colleagues were sometimes surprised that I’d talk fairly openly about pretty much anything, anytime. Some of the most interesting conversations I’ve ever had were about this particular cultural difference.
Which leads me to today’s topic...
I’ve talked before about the differences between a Facebook Profile and a Page. In a nutshell, profiles are personal. Pages are professional. Lately, I’ve seen several instances where an author has posted something on their (personal) Profile, only to have folks comments with Blatant Self Promotion (BSP) comments.
Not cool, folks. Not cool.
For example, I saw a beautiful and poignant post from an author on the anniversary of her father’s death. The majority of the comments were lovely and supportive, but then there was that BSP comment. I mean...really? Talk about inappropriate.
I manage a lot of Facebook Pages, and every week, I sweep through with the express purpose of deleting BSP posts and comments. Again, someone else’s page is not an appropriate place for your BSP. Your own Profile and Page? Sure. Of course. Have at it. But trying to piggyback on the work another person has done to build an audience? Nope.
Over on Twitter, I’ve seen a lot of cases lately where an author has taken to posting links to/ads about their books with @ tags of lots and lots of people. This makes the tweets show up in the Mentions of everyone tagged...but I promise you, it does not engender goodwill, and it sells not a single book.
There are plenty of places to promote yourself. Marketing is both an art and a science, and finding the right places and using the most effective messages and creating compelling content and building an audience...well, it’s harder than it looks. There’s no quick-fix, and trying to hijack someone else’s platform certainly won’t help you.
*climbs off soapbox*
Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaoibh!