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Top 5 Social Media Mistakes Writers Make

As everyone knows: I love social media, but I also TOTALLYHATEITSOMUCHOMG. Continuing my Top 5 Mistakes Series, here’s where some people online go HIDEOUSLY WRONG …

The key is in the name - SOCIAL media!

1) Pitch people or demand help straight away

The clue is in the name, people! It’s SOCIAL media, which means you need to build relationships with people BEFORE you ask them for their help, time or money. It’s not rocket science – you wouldn’t just wander into a bar and ask a random person to marry you, would you?? (Or if you did, the chances are they’d say a big fat NO!). It’s the same thing. MORE: 13 Ways NOT To Ask For Writing Advice Or Help

2)  Using Multiple Sites Badly

Look, there’s a vast array of social media sites out there. It can seem like a no-brainer being on ALL of them, especially when they’re free, but TRUST ME: it’s far better to be on one or two and do it WELL, then be on multiple sites and do it half-assed. If time is limited, pick one or two – but MAKE SURE that’s where your actual audience is! MORE: 4 Indispensable Social Media Platforms For Writers

2) You talk yourself or your product down

If I see one more status, tweet or message saying “in case you’re interested” or “in case anyone is reading this …” I’m gonna go POSTAL. Own your communication or don’t bother!

While I’m on the subject, what’s with all these newsletters, pages and groups promising “not to spam” their subscribers??? Get this into your head: YOU CANNOT SPAM ACTUAL SUBSCRIBERS. They have signed up for your updates. It really is as simple as that! MORE: Congratulations! You’ve Totally Shot Yourself In The Foot 

4) You’re an asshole

Complainers, whingers, finger-pointers and flamers need not apply … We’re back to point number 1 – it’s SOCIAL media, dickheads! (What??).

Look: we can ALL be whinging, flame-throwing assholes at some time or another on social media. But if you’re gonna do it regularly, you better be controversial enough or funny enough to make others come back, otherwise you’ll be on your own. MORE: How NOT To Do Social Media

5) You don’t LOOK like you know what you’re doing

**No one** expects people in the media to know everything, because frankly, most people haven’t a clue what they’re doing. They’re putting their best foot forward and hoping for the best. And why the hell not, because without these brave souls there would be NO MEDIA!

But human beings love certainty – so if you want people to get on board with your journey? You need to LOOK like you know what you’re doing. A carefully considered remit and plan can go a LONG way on this. Anything else, you can make up by researching the hell out of it.

Of course I’m not saying LIE … Just that a little blagging never hurt as long as you have the skillz and smartz to fill in any gaps ASAP. MORE: 5 Ways Writers Kill Their Credibility Online


You just sell, sell, SELL!

Look, we get it – we have messages we need to get out there, whether it’s selling our screenplays, books, or just OURSELVES. So operate under the 80/20 rule – interacting 80% of the time, talking about yourself 20% of the time. Why? ‘Cos you need to interact as well as sell, otherwise it’s just spam.

Now BUY MY BOOKS! (Arf).

Good Luck Out There!

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5 thoughts on “Top 5 Social Media Mistakes Writers Make”

  1. This post is shite! Absolutely terrible drivel. There you go, my fabuloso example of ‘unsocial media’. I could not agree more! So many people ‘follow’ me on Twitter, only to immediately spam me via direct message with entreaties to watch their movie/download their music/read their book. Dudes, I am a fellow creative. I am time poor. I do not know you from a bar of soap. I would love to support you all but I have to make choices. Only if I feel it’s worth the investment of my time (at the expense of my own creative output) will I go there. And I will go there as and when I choose. Your DMs come across as begging, pleading, demanding. Not very social 🙂 Please learn from this post. Peace, out.

  2. Another great article. Why, it reminds me of this great thing I have written, perhaps you’d like to check it out… 😉

    Seriously though, thanks Lucy. I am terrible with the social part of social media not because I want to skip to begging but because I am so introverted, so it’s a helpful reminder to either TALK or get off the site LOL 🙂

  3. Thanks Lucy, much of what you extol really underpins simply being a person who respects and enjoys the camaraderie of fellow humans. I love the flair in your concise and poignant reminders to use some “common sense.”

    1. Absolutely Stan, It’s weird how so few people get how to use social media – my personal rule is I dish straight back what people give me… for good OR ill! Yet so many people end up surprised at this! But It’s not rocket science 😉

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