Social media snake oil

Chris Syme of CKSyme Media Group has some advice for authors:

The book marketing sector, more than any I have ever worked in, is full of bad marketing advice.

In a guest post on Writer Beware, Chris takes on a few of the more popular scams.



Research shows that tweets containing one or more hashtags are 55% more likely to be retweeted than tweets that don’t. So the more hashtags, the better. Right?


Other research documents what you might call “hashtag fatigue”. When you use more than two hashtags, your engagement actually drops by an average of 17 percent.

Not a day goes by that I don’t see this scam retweeted by several authors, maybe because they promised to help promote the service for more free tweets that will “reach millions of people generating a truly astonishing amount of traffic.” All these hashtag-laden tweets do is annoy people. To the savvy social media user, they reek of stupidity.

Buy thousands of followers


Chris documents another well-known scam in marketing circles; fake accounts that lure thousands of u

nsuspecting followers. These followers are then on-sold as tweeting platforms with supposedly massive reach.

She tried a test. $19 for 375,000 followers. Result: zero sales and zero new Twitter followers.
<blockquote”>Scam artists know what they are doing. They are playing on peoples’ pain points and ignorance. They can build fake followings completely on accounts that follow back automatically. Keep in mind that all you need to start a Twitter account is an email address. It’s an ugly, dark business.

Book promotion — for a price

She also takes issue with some book promotion sites. There are good ones — she lists a few — and plenty of dodgy ones.

It is impossible to list all the suspect author marketing services out there … [but generally]these sites ask for money for their suspect services. There is no information on their “about” pages that validates their expertise or existence, just blabbing about the reach of their audience. They are not published authors or even legitimate marketing services. They are product-only.

Very much a case of author beware!

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