The Art of Reciprocity

I believe in reciprocity. Returning what is given.

So if you follow my blog, I’ll check yours out and likely follow it too. (Unless it’s porn or in a foreign language I can’t read.)

If you friend me on Facebook, I’ll check out your FB page and friend you back. (Unless you appear to be a fake account.) I’ll probably like something or comment on a recent post of yours too.

If you follow me on Twitter, I will read your Twitter profile and likely follow you back. (Unless it’s porn or seems like a fake account.)

But here’s what will turn me off.

If I follow you and you immediately spam me with emails on FB or Twitter telling me to check out your website and like your book/music and give me a list of things to do for you.

You aren’t reciprocating. You aren’t putting in the time to build a relationship. You are screaming, “Look at me!”

It’s a major turn off.

In fact, I won’t visit your page and I may even unfriend/unfollow you. Especially if you keep sending these “Look at me!” emails to me.

Here’s the best way to get me interested in you, interact with me. Send me a tweet @kourhei that isn’t about self-promotion. Comment on my blog. Like something I post on FB.

Show interest in me, and I will appreciate it and reciprocate.

This entry was posted in Personal, Pet Peeves, Promotion, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to The Art of Reciprocity

  1. Cat Forsley says:

    HEY SWEET K —-


    TINY – !!!!!

  2. kford2007 says:

    Love it, though sometimes I do send a direct message that says something like “On my way over to check out your blog. I’d love it if you checked out my blog and hit follow if your cup of tea.”

    Some Tweeters don’t check out websites unless you direct them to the site. The only time I might tweet or fb a lot is if I have a short out for a competition and I need readers to stop by and vote. Even then, it’s a generic tweet to everyone, and I always reciprocate if anyone else hollers out for help or votes.

    • Jenny, that is more friendly than the demands I am getting to “check out my blog, like me on Facebook, download my book.” But it would still bother me.
      If there’s a website link in a profile, I’m ten times more likely to click on it than I am to check it out in a direct message. Because the info is provided and it feels like my choice to learn more about the person.

      I don’t mind what people tweet because I have the option to read or not read it, but when it’s a direct message that is pure self-promotion and it’s the first interaction I have with the person, that’s gonna stop further interaction for me.

  3. La La says:

    I hate that. People can be so demanding.

  4. crubin says:

    Thank goodness for Twitter lists, because all of those promotional tweets just look like white noise to me. With lists, you can pull up the tweets of those with whom you enjoy interacting, though, I must admit, I’ve not been too interactive on Twitter as of late. Only so much time in the day…

    • Carrie, I do use the lists, but I have to admit I’m not that active on Twitter. However, I always check the direct messages. Hence, my annoyance at these direct messages. I’d rather spend my online allotted time on blogs. I feel like I really get to know people there. That is also another reason these direct messages irk me, I have finite time to allocate online and they are wasting it with these direct messages. One guy sent me 2 in 12 hours. Very annoying.

      • crubin says:

        Agreed. Some people don’t use the DMs because of this, but I still like to check them, because they are useful for sharing more personal info like an email address.

        • I could see why. It’s annoying. I check them daily because my thought is if someone took the time to @ me, I should look at it. But it’s spam. And it’s disengaging me from Twitter more and more.

  5. Debra Kristi says:

    I am with you 100%. I don’t even bother to respond to such emails, but am always tempted to unfriend such behavior. I find it rude. You know most of them are automated and that is bad business. I find it surprising that they can’t see that.

    • Thanks Debra! ๐Ÿ™‚ I never respond to them, but I am starting to consider defriending them as a policy going forward. It feels so fake and aggressive to me. I guess it works with some people but the minute anyone tells me to do something, I usually do the opposite on principle.

  6. Yeah, you speak it, sister! (insert my applauding here!) Wish more people had your same standard of etiquette ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks so much! Appreciate your applause. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can’t make someone love you or be interested in you. It’s an organic thing. I’ve met amazing writers in person whose generosity and kindness made such an impression that I read and reviewed their books. I wanted to support them.

  7. 4amWriter says:

    I hear you, totally! I get so angry! I especially hate it when they ask me to review their book–after I download them of course. And 99% of the books are self-pubbed, which I already feel a strong aversion to anyway.

    People on Twitter are the worst offenders, by far. But I don’t use Twitter the way it is designed, because I’m more interested in building relationships. The main use for Twitter is to tweet when I’ve posted on my blog, but as far as using it to share a funny tidbit or some random thought–very, very rarely.

    I have yet to run into a problem on my website, but that is probably because I’m really careful to know who is commenting on my blog.

    I have a FB fan page but it is still so small and few people know about it, that I haven’t run into a problem there either. But I don’t really work that hard on the FB page because I don’t really have anything physical to promote, you know, no books or anything like that. Just my charm. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • LOL. Glad to know we agree on this one. ๐Ÿ™‚ That has to be an organic process. Let me develop an interest. You can’t force me to. I am a bit leery of self-pubbed books just because some people are more concerned with their name on a book than writing a quality book. And I don’t have the time to figure out which ones are quality and which are just name on book.

      I am on Twitter, but I don’t use it much. I’ll interact with a few friends and post my blog and a random thought. I do retweets often of stuff I liked.

      All comments on my website have to be approved, but I get spammed every week. So annoying. I only have an FB personal page but that’s pretty good in terms of no spammage.

      I tried out each form of social media, but for me blogging comes most naturally so that’s where I focus my energy. Then a little FB, and a smidge of Twitter. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      BTW, you are very charming and keep me coming back to your blog and Limebirds blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. jmmcdowell says:

    None of this makes me want to start tweeting anytime soon! I know part of our blogging is to help create a fan base for our novels, but I much prefer the real interaction with other bloggers and really don’t want to do anything like “marketing” until I’m much closer to having a real book out there.

    My FB presence is limited to a personal page, too. And that’s only with friends and family that I actually know in life. Someday, when the books are closer to availability, maybe I’ll create a fan page. But I really don’t “get” Twitter, and if I have to do it someday, it will be accompanied by much kicking and screaming. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • LOL. I try to think of it as an experiment. Try it and see what happens.

      Back in 2010 I went to several writer’s conferences where they drilled in the importance of a website, blog, FB, and Twitter. I had no problem creating a website and blog. I love blogging and interacting. I dragged by feet for several months on FB. Then I figured if I’m going to not do something, I should at least try it out for 6 months and then quit. I ended up liking FB or at least learning to mildly enjoy it. Twitter was a bigger challenge. I never got into instant messaging and this was mass instant messaging. But I set up the account and played with it. I don’t do much active reading of tweets because I just don’t have that much time to kill online. It’s good to play around with these things though because there is a definite learning curve. I still remember my excitement when I realized I could insert a picture in my blog posts. *Head desk*

  9. Great points here, Kourtney. Self-promotion is often as annoying to the reader as it is to the promoter.

    Interaction definitely wins my interest, though I value great content just as much. The combination is a win-win. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. CC MacKenzie says:

    I hear you!!!!

    And I really enjoy your blog even if I don’t always comment because I’m writing! Keep up the great work!

  11. It's the little things that make life great.berry says:

    Ok. I don’t blog or tweet. Like ur stuff. Keep writing.

  12. Ottabelle says:

    I love the sentiment but I’m afraid I don’t do the same thing. If you come to my blog I WILL go look at yours and probably comment. If you follow me however I won’t follow you just cause you did me. I simply don’t have the time for more blogs, I’m already having trouble keeping up as it is!


    If I follow you on Facebook, every post is read.
    Same for Twitter.
    And blogs? I read as many as I can. Which is normally every one except when I let myself get that behind.

    I have had a post similar to this planned for ages!


    • I think everyone has to set their own standards in terms of reciprocity. If I follow someone on FB, I don’t read everything they post. If I follow someone on Twitter, I don’t read the majority of posts. Blogging is my main platform so that’s where I focus my energies. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I think it balances out. You funnel your support back on FB and Twitter. The point is you reciprocate. ๐Ÿ™‚ And that’s what matters.

      It was something that I wanted to talk about as more and more of those emails came through my Twitter account.

      Look forward to reading your post on this topic. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I have to say I never read anything on twitter anyway – so I do use it for promotional purposes, assuming that nobody else ever reads it either. That doesn’t make sense. Whatever.

  14. Pete Denton says:

    Very well said. Good manners are free. I agree about a DM having more weight than a tweet. When you follow a lot of people tweets can get lost unless you set up lists etc, whereas a DM I tend to see (I have them emailed). You’re much more likely to interact with someone who is pleasant and interested in what you are doing rather than just being me, me, me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks Pete! There is such a huge stream of tweets, and I can isolate them by Tweeter and by list, but with a DM, I feel I should look at it. I’m much more likely to take an interest in someone who takes an interest in me or bonds with me over a common interest or takes the time to interact with me. The me, me, me mentality just turns me off completely. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Agreed. Granted, I’ll post on Facebook when I post a new blog post and ask people to check it out, but I won’t single out specific people or post it more than twice a week. I just recently created my blog and don’t have any followers yet, so the only way people know if I posted is if I say something on Facebook. But it’s all good. And from what I’m reading so far, I might follow this. I like it. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • My blog also links to my FB and Twitter accounts. But I don’t send individuals messages to people telling them to follow my blog or do anything. It’s totally fine (and good marketing) to put the info out there as a tweet or FB post. But when you direct message, email or message someone, I think it should be a conversation not a bunch of requests for them to do things for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      And thanks I’m glad you liked my blog! The name of yours is very intriguing. I’ll have to check it out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Well said. Blogs have been a community where people exchange ideas, discuss, and stuff – but it seems recently some feel it is a marketing tool for promoting themselves, their stuff, or their company – it’s really annoying (and you wonder why they visit, when it’s obvious they aren’t reading or discussing anything to do with the topic..and prominently give links to all their blogs and company media). I’ve noticed some bloggers are getting rather pushy and demanding about promoting their site – sometimes it’s not even a subject or content you would normally read. I want to be polite, but nagging is just annoying.
    Maybe some people are more about the stats and hits than just writing?
    Always enjoy visiting here, though!

    • Aw thanks! I’m glad you like it here. Your blog is lots of fun too! I think people forget to think big picture. Nagging someone isn’t going to get them to invest time and money in you. Giving them something they enjoy or providing them some entertainment or sharing knowledge–that’s what people appreciate. And allowing time for things to develop. I notice who takes the time to read and comment on my blog or retweet my tweets or comment on my FB posts. I know that person’s time is precious and I am grateful that they allocated some to me. So I check out their stuff and try to reciprocate. That’s how I’ve found and made some great friends online. But you can’t just walk up to a stranger and say “Buy my book, tweet about me, tell everyone I’m fabulous, be my best friend.” I mean you can, but does that ever work? ๐Ÿ™‚

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