Social Networking with Actual People

I realise all the extraneous bullshit that comes with promoting your ‘brand’ is very necessary, but it still grates.

Everywhere I look I see fucking Minion memes. At least we’ve moved on past ‘Nom Nom Nom :-)’ captions accompanying pictures of food, but still. Is this really progression or are we simply sidestepping from one lame cultural trend to the next?

I chip away at it, but the only platform I can seem to muster any enthusiasm for is Twitter. Constricted to 140 characters injects a lean poetry into some of the updates. But does anyone really read them? I feel people are so busy promoting that they’re forgetting to interact. I won’t read your free ebook if you tweet a link at me 100x a day, but I might consider it if we strike up some sort of rapport and I like you.

There has been a lot of research behind when you should tweet in order to reach certain target audiences. For example, I’m based in the UK. I have most of my best ideas in the morning. If I tweet something at 9am, that’s anywhere between 1am and 4am in the States, which is where the majority of my readers seem to be based (hello there!). I’ve tried scheduling tweets and posts, but it feels forced. Like diarising sex.

I miss the good old days of MySpace, with its overhead selfies (cheekbone accentuation) and its gaudy customised profiles. Simpler times. Easier, in some respects.

But as far as I can see, social networking has descended into this:

  • READ MY FREE EBOOK!
  • READ MY FREE EBOOK!
  • Minion meme
  • Link to badly-written Huffington Post article about climate change or how hipsters are evil
  • READ MY FREE EBOOK!
  • LISTEN TO MY BAND!
  • Erotic Fiction – Dare you get aroused? 😉
  • READ MY FREE EBOOK!
  • I Fucking Love Science*
  • Minion meme
  • Ricky Gervais/Simon Pegg quote/retweet
  • READ MY FREE EBOOK!
  • Guns are bad
  • Health tip
  • Picture of a cake with a smiley emoticon caption
  • SOLO ACOUSTIC PROJECT COS MY BAND BROKE UP AND I HATE THEM AND I’M THE TALENT
  • Kim Kardashian body part
  • I love Jesus
  • READ MY FREE EBOOK!
  • If you don’t love Jesus, you’re goin’ to hell, boy
  • Minion meme
  • Bland reference to a Disney movie (probably the Little Mermaid)
  • READ MY FREE EBOOK!
  • Guns are great – the 2nd amendment says so
  • I’VE GOT A NEW BAND! LISTEN TO MY BAND!
  • Cat video
  • READ MY FREE EBOOK!
  • Positive tweet about how life is special (from someone who hates life)
  • There are girls in your area who want to fuck you right now! Click on this link and enter your credit card details…
  • READ MY FREE EBOOK!
  • Minion meme
  • Something to do with a comic book movie
  • Painstakingly posed picture of a person in their underwear/at the beach
  • Minion meme
  • READ MY FREE EBOOK!

Somewhere within this tsunami of crap lurk a few good tweets. Personal ones, funny ones. Tweets from real people trying to connect. But how can you connect when there is so much static? I dunno. I’m cool with people trying to promote whatever it is they’re selling, but it would be nice if they mixed this up with some sort of human interaction. It’s hard to tell if some Twitter accounts are driven by real people or robots from looking at their timelines. So from now on, I pledge to keep the promo to a minimum and try to be as real as possible.

Without further ado:

Here’s my bastard Twitter: jjbinding Follow it if you like. I don’t judge you if you don’t.

Don’t bother following my Instagram. It’s shit.

Let’s leave Facebook alone for the moment.

I still don’t know what Google+ is. There are statistics that say it’s one of the most useful and vibrant social platforms around, but I’ve obtained that information from Google, so…

Fuck Pinterest.

Right, on with the editing, I guess…Today I get to work on the scene where approximately 50% of my characters die. It is going to get emotional. Luckily I have a bottle of Laphroaig to hand. Purely medicinal, of course…

*Don’t even get me started on IFLS – it’ll have it’s own entire post!

40 comments

  1. Sad but true. The best ‘promotion’ for a book on Twitter I’ve seen is a blogger by the name of Mike Cernovich. He uses it for social interaction, mostly, plus promoting his blog. It’s much more effective than him just advertising his advice book.

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    1. Mine was black background with neon pink writing. I was in a glam band at the time…I log in every now and then. It’s like flicking through an ex’s photo album on Facebook. Still hurts.

      Like

  2. I’m following some author who has outsourced his social interaction to some company that essentially searches for hashtags and RTs them. All comes crumbling down around you when porn peddlers start using your #fantasy genre hashtag though, doesn’t it? The mind boggles.

    I’m @Tim_kimber – in case anyone cares.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha, yeah. Old picture. Gave up smoking about three years ago. But I still stand outside with the smokers, because, generally speaking, they’re more interesting.

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  3. I think Twitter has way more potential than a lot of writers realise. For one – have you ever noticed how television shows have accounts for some of the characters? Why hasn’t a writer done this yet (please correct me if I’m wrong)? One of the protagonists in my novel is a misanthropic ex-journalist who was essentially blacklisted for doing some highly questionable stuff to get evidence for his stories. Unpublishable in print, he turns to the internet, publishing photos and information that he thinks the public deserves to know but the media is ‘keeping from them’. For my own marketing purposes (and ok my own fun as well), setting up a blog under his name, a twitter account, other social media etc would be so intriguing. I’m fairly certain getting people to interact with HIM would be more interesting than interacting with ME. And in terms of ‘plugging’ a book or ‘promoting’ a brand – much better to make it engaging right?

    Forgetting to interact is definitely an issue. I know I’m as guilty as anyone for self-promoting on twitter, but Tim’s example of writers outsourcing is hugely frustrating. Also Team Follow Back (too many words for that). However, I can see why authors do it. Having a hacker mentality is almost as important in writing today as in business. Social media presence is pretty much essential since a loyal following created by the writer already translates as big pretty pound signs to a publisher. It’s why EL James and Cassandra Clare are SO attractive despite plagiarism scandals and fanfiction origins… they have a dedicated group of readers ready made for marketing purposes.

    … And this is super long so I suspect I should go write on my own blog now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Okay, so after my first attempt at a novel (which I pretty much finished- it was awful), I created fake Twitter accounts for all the characters with that exact same idea in mind. I was going to have them arguing at each other, breaking up and getting back together etc. But then do you know how much trouble it is maintaining ONE Twitter account, let alone 5 or 6? It is a brilliant idea, and perhaps the one way of doing it would be to sit down every week and write a script, then tweet gradually. But then wouldn’t that time be better spent writing some actual fiction?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha brilliant! I currently look after three-ish accounts so I understand the logistical nightmare that can ensue… admittedly made possible by TweetDeck and some heavy scheduling (which yes ok diarising sex). Then again, have you heard about JKR talking with her pseudonymous counterpart Robert Galbraith? It’s bloody funny. Perhaps one or two is easier than a full cast? With my internet-savvy misanthrope, I think I’ll probably end up going live with a ‘True Crime’ style blog – entries would turn up in the novel – and then have him tweeting conspiracies and London news around them… mmm the sweet smell of a challenge.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The real pain comes when you realise you have to not only create one email address for each character (purely for Twitter), but also assign them a profile picture.

        Your plan with the blog sounds great – looking forward to reading it!

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  4. Hi Jack – I agree with every single thing you said! I followed you on Twitter just to play the game and get under your skin some more. lol Now turn all of this heartfelt angst into something brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. And that’s why I never bothered to update my Twitter status, not even check also. But I love to follow genuine updates. I have heard about scripting AI which could do a lot of “promotional stuff” for you on such social mélange while you sit back and enjoy 🙂

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  6. It was hard to read all these comments without peeing my pants laughing! (Sorry overshare) Anyway, love reading your blog, glad you found my blog, and I think Frozen is now the hot Disney meme. PS My ebook isn’t free but its cheap! Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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