Don't Ignore Your Followers

2013-Sep-9 -> from the this-should-be-common-sense department Tags: writing marketing publishing 

The more followers we have, as authors, the harder it is to keep up with them all. I get that. Most people out there are understanding of that as well. There are only so many hours in a day, and we all have lives to lead, jobs to do, money to make and books to write. For me, being an author is currently a hobby. Many other indie authors are in the same boat. But imagine my surprise one day, when in a conversation about Twitter, I saw one author state "I ignore my DMs (Direct Messages). If people want to contact me, they have to do it through a mention, or an email."

Direct Messages are a form of communication on Twitter that lets you send a message to a follower that nobody else can see. It's private, and more intimate than a mention that is all out in public. The key here is, you can only send a Direct Message to somebody who follows you.

What this author basically said is: they followed somebody, and then ignored the private message that was sent to them from the person they followed. This stands to reason: why are you following this person if you are going to ignore their private communications with you?

The problem is, some indie authors (and others out there) use DMs as a way to spam their followers. This sucks. If I follow somebody, it's because I'm genuinely interested in what they have to say. If I find out that they have nothing interesting to say, or they are just interested in spamming me, I unfollow them. But I never ignore DMs.

People who ignore their followers like this are only in it for the numbers, and thus, only in it for themselves. On Twitter, I use lists to organize people into categories that help me keep track of what everyone is up to. I don't read every single tweet from every single person I follow (that would be impossible), but I respond any time I'm included in a tweet, and I always read my DMs. Even with the lists to help me, I occasionally go unfiltered and see what people are talking about on Twitter, because I don't want to miss something that could be important to me.

Twitter isn't the only place this happens, though. If you are on any social network, and you choose to participate, you should be interacting with the people who choose to take their precious time to follow you. Build relationships with people, and get your name out there as somebody who is interesting and approachable.

Don't ignore them.

The most successful indie authors are the ones who are out there actively building their audience with people who are of like mind and like interests.

Being a successful author is not a numbers game. It's about people, and enriching their lives with stories that come from the deepest darkest parts of you.

Don't ever forget that.

Thanks for reading!

I'm always interested in hearing what you have to say. Contact Me, I'd love to hear from you.

Don't forget to join in on the conversation in the comments section below.

2 Comments(2 Pending Approval):

By Stuart Whitmore on Mon 9 Sep 2013 11:38:38 pm [ Reply ] I can't imagine ignoring DMs. I don't follow people just because they followed me, so maybe my management of my "following" count keeps me from having a problem with DMs, but still... if I followed someone and I became annoyed with their DMs I would just unfollow them. Problem solved. As to the core point, I agree 100% that being social on social networks is much more valuable than just treating them as ad tools or ego boosters.

By Thomas A. Knight on Tue 10 Sep 2013 12:11:05 am [ Reply ] Absolutely, Stuart. I'm the same way. I tend to unfollow anyone who spams me, or who becomes annoying. I enjoy my social media experience, and hope to add value to other people's.

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