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BEA 2014: The Worst Social Media Marketing Tips

Michael Moccio / Emertainment Monthly Executive Editor

It’s no surprise that book publishers and authors are forced to—more and more—innovative and think creatively when marketing as budgets for marketing grow less and less. As such, publishers and writers have turned to social media to use as an integral tool to promote new works, build communities, and achieve set objectives. Of course, everyone’s always interested in hearing about the best tips to make the most out of their social media experience, so experts Bill Barnes, John Scalzi, Maureen Johnson, and Ron Hogan decided to stir the pot and change things up a bit. This amounted to the Worst Social Media Marketing Tips panel at BEA 2014.

The highlights of the panel included:

  1. You MUST be on social media.
  2. ALWAYS promote your brand.
  3. Promote yourself CONSTANTLY.
  4. ALWAYS let people know what you’re selling.
  5. Try to make EVERYONE happy.
  6. NEVER take positions on anything, always do what you know, and never take risks.
  7. NEVER take stands on social issues or talk about current events; IGNORE them.
  8. Respond to EVERY criticism and win EVERY fight.
  9. BEG for likes, retweets, faves, etc.
  10. Be who you think consumers want you to be! Conform to the consumer and NEVER be true to yourself.
  11. FOLLOW EVERYONE THAT FOLLOWS YOU!

Of course, in context, all of the above is pretty terrible advice. The basic gist of the panel, in its conclusion, was its good to be who you are, represent your core values, beliefs, and don’t be afraid to take stands, generate conversation, and engage!

Related: BEA 2014: “Girls Books, Boy Books, Gender Hooks” Panel

However, the highlight of the entire panel was the surprisingly large attention to detail in diversity. One of the panelists John Scalzi (at least we’re 90% sure it was you, John!) took on the role of the “Straight White Male.” BEA had been under fire prior to the show about a lack of diversity and to see publishing professionals actively engage in a conversation about power, privilege, and voice was absolutely refreshing. This satirical approach broke down and portrayed the dangers of how invasive and caustic the majority can act over social media when they don’t—forgive the hackneyed expression—check their privilege and remember the majority can’t inherently empathize or relate to the experiences of any minority.

You can follow all of these professionals via twitter linked to their names at the beginning of this article.

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