Things An Author Should Never Do On Social Media

As an author, you have a responsibility to market your books, to build traffic, interest and sales, as well as manage and maintain your brand, reputation and image online. (web, forums and social media platforms). With so many of our potential readers now using social media as their primary means of news, communication and self-expression, it’s important to target social as a part of your author marketing strategy. However, we must be mindful of the things you post, share, and comment on. This is a social media first world, and successful authors can be made overnight with the right viral content, some would argue that social media marketing it is now a key aspect of becoming a successful author and can be a vital lifeline to an author’s business. Social can be instrumental in book marketing, driving traffic to your website, and to your sale funnel, i.e, bringing new readers to your books. But just as social can build it can destroy, take for example, the comments JK Rowling now battles daily.

Build your author platform and play be these rules and you will be fine. 

Below are 13 things that an author should never do on social media to preserve their reputation and maintain a professional image.

Popular author social media sites include Pinterest, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These rules also apply to your newsletter, amazon author page and your author website.

Please note: This information is for those wanting to play the game by the normal rules of social etiquette. However, if you are a controversial kind of character and you wish to play the heel. Then break everyone of these rules, there is a possibility that your brand will rise like a phoenix but it may burn just as bright. Be warned.

1. Never Post Sensitive Information

It’s important to be mindful of what you post on social media. Sensitive information, such as financial details, personal addresses, and phone numbers, should never be posted flippantly on social. This type of information can be easily accessible by anyone and can put you in a vulnerable position. You are, after all, running a business and this information can be used to infiltrate your business accounts and destroy your brand. 

2. Never Share Political Views

As an author, you want to keep your image neutral and non-partisan. Sharing your political views on social media can alienate a portion of your audience and damage your reputation. Avoid posting anything that could be seen as controversial or divisive and instead focus on writing and promoting your work. Obviously, unless your brand is built upon a political view or your books are of a political nature.

3. Never Engage in Online Arguments

It can be tempting to jump into online debates and arguments, but this behavior can harm your reputation and make you appear unprofessional. If you disagree with someone’s views, it’s best to avoid engaging in a heated argument and instead choose to move on. Add to this, the algorithms will notice that you have engaged in this highly emotional content and begin feeding you more of it. 

4. Never Use Profanity

Using profanity on social media can be offensive and unprofessional. Keep your language clean and respectful, and avoid using words or phrases that could be seen as inappropriate. Again, unless this is a part of your brand. I sell a Scottish Swear word colouring book for example. When I put up marketing post about it I sometimes swear, but it is all in the marketing. 

5. Never Post Private Messages

Private messages should remain private. Posting private messages on social media, even if they are directed towards you, can be seen as a breach of trust and can harm your reputation.

6. Never Post False Information

Posting false information on social media can be damaging to your reputation as an author. Always fact-check your sources and verify the accuracy of the information you are sharing. I once reposted an image that was false and I was crucified for it. Always do your homework.

7. Never Post Negative Comments About Others

Posting negative comments about others on social media can harm your reputation and make you appear unprofessional. Avoid speaking ill of others and instead focus on promoting your work and engaging with your audience in a positive manner.

8. Never Post Inappropriate Photos or Videos

Posting inappropriate photos or videos on social media can be damaging to your reputation and make you appear unprofessional. Avoid posting anything that could be seen as offensive, inappropriate, or explicit. Unless you’re selling x rated romantic novels, then ignore this. This should be your no1 marketing strategy.

9. Never Automate Your Social Media Posts

Let me explain further. While automation tools can be helpful in managing your social media presence, it’s important to avoid relying too heavily on these tools. Automated posts can appear impersonal and lack the human touch that is so important in building a strong and engaged online following. I am not referring to writing and scheduling posts but to using tools that regurgitate posts. Be original, your audience deserves it and always follow up and engage with anyone who comments.

10. Never Ignore Your Followers

Ignoring your followers on social media can harm your reputation and make you appear unprofessional. Respond to your followers in a timely and respectful manner, and engage with them in a meaningful way. Afterall it is ‘social’ media, be social, interact, they have taken the time to interact. It is only fair and decent that you reply. 

11:  Avoid Spamming

One of the biggest mistakes an author business can make on social media is spamming their audience with too many posts or promotions. This can quickly turn off potential customers and harm your brand’s reputation. Instead, focus on creating high-quality content that provides value to your audience and limits the number of promotions you share. I try to mix up my book promotions with links to useful author blogs, memes, inspirational content, character breakdowns and author insights. Think about the reason why you interact with particular author channels and try to replicate that kind of content..

12: Don’t Post Irrelevant Content

Posting irrelevant content can confuse and frustrate your audience. Stick to topics that are related to your genre and books, and ensure that all of your posts are relevant and valuable to your audience.

13 Don’t Overlook the Importance of Visuals

Visual content, such as images and videos, is more engaging and memorable than text alone. Make sure to incorporate eye-catching visuals into your social media posts to increase engagement and reach. Use AI?

14 Always Check Your Spelling, Grammar And Editing

Yip, you are an author. Poorly written social media posts are not good for business. If spelling and grammar are not your strong point, use ProWritingAid or Grammarly to assist. 

Some Things An Author Should Do On Social Media

Do Post Consistently

Posting consistently is key to keeping your audience engaged and growing your following. Choose a posting schedule that works for your business and stick to it to ensure that your content reaches your audience when they are most active.

Do Experiment With Different Types of Content

Experimenting with different types of content, such as live videos, infographics, memes, character breakdowns, character art, background info, polls and more. This can help you find what resonates best with your audience and keep your content fresh and engaging.

Do Utilise Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to increase the visibility of your posts and reach a wider audience. Research popular hashtags in your industry and include them in your posts to increase their visibility.

Do Collaborate With Other Authors

Collaborating with other authors in your industry can help you reach a new and wider audience. Look for authors with a large following in your target market and reach out to them about potential collaboration opportunities.

In conclusion, maintaining a professional and positive image on social media is an important part of being an author. Social media for authors is key for indie authors to sell books and to get more folks to read your books. By avoiding the above-mentioned behaviors, you can preserve your reputation and build a strong and engaged online following to support your author business and increase book sales.


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