Facebook, Twitter, BranchOut, LinkedIn, Google+, and tons of other sites encourage you to build up your numbers, followers, friends, whatever, and when you do, you supposedly obtain more visibility. But cranking up those numbers is where my dilemma lies.
They don’t mean anything.
Just this weekend, I got two invitations on my wall to “like” someone’s Facebook page immediately after accepting the two people as “friends.” Having a large number of “friends” is nice–it’s that many more people you can connect with. But liking their pages seems more like endorsing their work. It’s safe to say I won’t be reading all their books, attending all their conferences, buying their speeches on CD, so having my name on their page doesn’t mean anything except that I’m another name on their page.
I’ve noticed it’s a big trend on FB now–going to strangers’ walls with a link and a line to “please like my page!” It’s done so frequently that the numbers have no meaning. Not everyone who “liked” my Give the Lady a Ride has actually read it or are they likely to. I did solicit a “like” from one person who solicited one from me, and I’ve debated doing that more often, because, after all, I can use the numbers, too. But what do they mean?
Recently I discovered that my automated Twitter service–the one I’d completely forgotten about–has accepted a host of followers I wouldn’t have accepted. Now I know how all those embarrassing tweets are winding up in my feed. I have a meager 700+ followers on Twitter, and know probably around a hundred of them. Many of them have thanked me for returning their follow by sending me their must-read blog address, or telling me about their books or how they can change my life because they’re such great coaches. All this prompts a quid pro quo from me, “I know you’re not likely to read a Christian contemporary western romance, but hey–you sent me a link, so here’s mine.”
I haven’t seen any indication in my site stats that they look me up.
I’ve been up since around 1:00 with an upset stomach, so maybe I’m just cranky, but today’s Facebook invitation to “like” the page of someone I don’t know, extended by someone else I don’t know–not even the page owner!–rubbed me the wrong way. I deleted it from my wall. Maybe later today I’ll be more in the mood for the quid pro quo game where their empty “like” on my page will be returned with my empty “like” on theirs.
Or, maybe I’m in the minority–maybe I’m being naive. Is this the way to promote my book? Is this what I’m supposed to be doing? Is it all part of marketing?
I can’t help but to feel there are others who feel the same way, though. If it irritates me, I’m sure it irritates others. If it really is part of marketing and promotion, maybe I need to rethink my career choice.