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Cleaning Up Social Media

Spring cleaning begins for me in January. I’ve set up my goals, I’m reorganizing my Client Notebook (where I track the status, dates and all other pertinent information for each client), I cleaned my desk and I cleaned up social media.

Social media should be a lot more than just a place for you to shout out your successes. Social media is about engaging with other writers, agents, editors and potential readers. It should never be used as an advertising platform only (a place where you schedule a bunch of regular, but predictable posts and walk away). When it comes to business I’ve found Twitter is my platform of choice. I like to see what people are saying, catch up on news, both publishing and otherwise, and connect with my own clients as well as other writers and authors. I like answering questions as well as sharing information about BookEnds, and daily agent life. For me Twitter is a place where I can pop in and out quickly. Facebook has become a little more overwhelming.

This weekend I spent about an hour cleaning up my Twitter feed. It had gotten bogged down with useless information, or Tweets that no longer pertained to what I wanted Twitter for. When I first signed up I followed a lot of different people, in my case a lot of chefs I admire, but over time I realized that was not the kind of information I went to Twitter for. I find Instagram better for my chef feeds. I like the tasty-looking photos. So I streamlined. I went through Twitter and unfollowed over 200 people. There’s no reason for any of these people to be offended, it was nothing personal, it was simply a matter of controlling my feed so I was seeing what I wanted or needed to see.

Some of the criteria I used when cleaning house:

  • Does the person have a photo? Anyone who uses the default Twitter profile icon isn’t serious enough for me to follow.
  • Does the person post interesting and sometimes random Tweets? If the Tweeter is simply someone who posts a standard promo post once a day, with no further engagement I unfollowed. I want more from Twitter and too many of those simply clog my feed
  • Is this why I go to Twitter? What am I looking for when I log on to read posts?

    Part of any success relies on efficiency and that includes making your social media as efficient as you can. If you’re regularly scrolling past the same Tweets to get to the information you actually signed on for maybe it’s time to clean up your Twitter.

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    6 comments

    1. Another great topic, dear Jessica! I get very frustrated with social media lately because everyone that follows me or that I follow because, for example, we share a love of coffee and books (I have an almost-fetish with that combination) turns out wants to sell me something as soon as their welcome DM. (I long, super long sentence, but hey – I live in Germany). I’m building my platform too, but I still want it to be meaningful. I want to see people behind those nicknames. Sadly, there’s hardly someone out there who’s aggressively trying to sell something (including thin air – “How to Live your Dream Life” by Nobody Someone) and I’m growing frustrated, soon surely angry.
      The most aggravating thing happened to me a few months ago. An author befriended me on facebook (I accepted because I really loved her book covers, and I was intrigued), but then she started bombarding us with “buy my book” posts. She even posted on our timelines. When confronted about it, she responded to all of us, “My publicist advised me to build my platform” – or something of the kind. And she responded that EVERY TIME! I unfriended her, of course, and never checked one of her books again.

    2. One of my favorite author twitter feeds features beautiful bugs. Others share random snippets of what they are reading, bits of their WIP, a lesson they learned. All interesting and/or informative.

      I cleaned up the other side of my Twitter (my posts) by deciding what I wanted to share – what sort of thing would people keep following me for? I post things I find inspiring, often from science or history, that might spark ideas in people who are world-building in one way or another. Lots of people will find me boring, but those who stay will know what to expect. And will probably like the weird details and world-building in my books.

    3. Sorting out my social media is on my ‘to do’ list for this year. I’ve found it overwhelming and frustrating because of all the guff I had to wade through. Plus I really hadn’t thought about what I wanted to post. So I am going to keep it to my blog, twitter, instagram and pinterest. I need to get a routine for when I spend time on social media though, so it doesn’t take over. Just as soon as the kids are back at school and I can get my life back into routine (this is the last weekend of summer holidays – I’m both disappointed, as I love the family time, and relieved, as I have so much to do!).

    4. I’m not much of a Twitter user; it’s facebook for me and I find myself unfollowing people almost every day. There’s so much negativity in my feed that it just becomes a drain to look through my feed. I wish I could hide the adverts, they are driving me mad!

    5. I use Twitter and Facebook regularly and find myself cleaning up my feeds once or twice a month. People that I think would be interesting to follow turn out to be just pushing their product and have nothing else to say.

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