What’s The Problem With Shameless Self-Promotion?

by | Jan 23, 2023 | Articles | 0 comments

While I still find it somewhat hard to believe, I’ve been on Twitter for almost eight years. I know this not only because Twitter shows Joined March 2015 on my profile but also because, even if they eliminate that feature, I use a tracker called Who Unfollowed Me?

If you’re a regular tweeter (Twitter-er?), you may have stuck around despite Elon Musk’s purchase of the platform. The Who Unfollowed Me tracker is helpful because:

  • It’s free.
  • It shows you who unfollowed you.
  • It allows you to unfollow back.
  • It also allows you to follow back.
  • It shows you accounts you have followed that haven’t followed you back.

I’ll be the first to admit it: if you unfollow me, I’ll unfollow you. Couldn’t you mute me instead? Unfollowing is a decision with consequences. We should all know this. Only blocking is harsher than the dreaded unfollow.


It’s Not PersonalIt’s Business

Many of us use Twitter for promotional purposes, not merely as a social media outlet. To compare and contrast Twitter with the Meta/Facebook platform: I have to maintain a personal page on Facebook to keep a Facebook business page going. Fair enough. My business page is purely self-promotion; my other page is 99% not self-promotional. Once in a while, I post something about my books that my friends and colleagues might like. However, I don’t post “Buy My Book” on my regular account. 

Twitter is different. There’s no business page vs. personal page there.

Successful book marketing via Twitter can be an elusive creature. I’ve got book sales here and there directly from someone seeing a tweet of mine. Howeverand this is a big howeverI have never seen evidence of a single sale resulting from a Shameless Self Promo tweet.


Does It Sell Books?

That last bit might bear some explanation for the uninitiated. If you’re a writer on Twitter, you may or may not have seen the many Shameless Self Promo hashtags, e.g., #ShamelessSelfPromoSaturday, #ShamelessSelfPromoSunday, and so on. These often get many views, shares, and even likes.

The previous paragraph might tempt you to say, “Hey, Mike: many views, shares, and likes are right up my alley!” I get it. I do.

The thing is, why are we doing this? There are now Shameless Self Promo hashtags for every day of the week. And here’s my take: if you want to grow a following, go ahead and try that. You might even get a random book sale or three.

Also, you might get nothing but “engagement.” That is to say, a few “Thank yous!” from random people….many of whom aren’t even following you.

I’ll say the same for creating your own Shameless Self Promo tweet, where you invite anyone and everyone to share their books, blogs, poems, websites, and even the kitchen sink. Do it, and you might make a few buddies, but I wouldn’t count on your goodwill indirectly translating to book sales.

What do you think? Do you find the Shameless Self Promo hashtag useful? Monday through Friday? Saturday to Sunday? Let me know in the comments below.


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