Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Inflating Your Platform by Andy Scheer

How do you earn the attention of your followers?

Last week on Facebook, one of the hundreds of friends I’ve never met posted this:

I have a publisher's meeting in July. I need to build my platform on my Facebook page, [Impressive-Sounding Name.] I have invited my friends to like my page today to gain numbers, if you have a moment it would help me out to have a personal like. Thanks for the support.

Doubtless you’ve seen many such requests, maybe even sent them.

Perhaps they increase an author’s number of likes. But I doubt they fool publishers into thinking these authors really have a large following. More likely, they’ve calculated the average percentage of “ask-a-like” numbers—and accordingly re-figured the size of most authors’ real social media platform.

As for me, I seldom respond to requests to like a page. Why? Most times I don’t know the person. So I’ve never seen a reason to visit their page, let alone like it.

I restrict my likes to people I know—through working with them, meeting them at an event, or regularly seeing their posts that actually contain content of value. (I don’t consider a pitch to buy their book to be content of value.)

Still, a handful of writers have actually earned my likes. Some I’ve known for years. Others have earned my attention because they post regularly and memorably, with content that fits their brand and reinforces interest in their work.

And that work includes well-planned communication on social media—not just begging for empty likes.

I’m sure publishers notice that, too.


Adam Blumer said...

Yes, this happens. I've seen it myself. I was in a certain authors group, and somebody decided to hold a "LifeFest." "You like my Facebook author page, and I'll like yours." The problem is, I didn't know (or read) more than three-fourths of the authors in the group. So then it became an issue of honesty for me. Could I really "like" an author I'd never read? That's like saying you like the Facebook page of a mechanic who has never fixed your car. And then followers who saw my likes would have assumed I liked the books of these authors I'd never read. Nope. I coudn't do it. Honesty is still the best policy.

Andy Scheer, Hartline Literary said...


I appreciate hearing I'm not alone in thinking that "like" means "like."

Edie Melson said...

Andy, I love your post. That kind of request makes me uncomfortable. I won't LIKE someone I can't endorse, but I feel bad for ignoring them. Truthfully, if I LIKE an author, I write a review on Amazon. My FB life is busy enough without more stuff from more pages I don't care about.

Andy Scheer, Hartline Literary said...


Thanks. I'm tempted to like your page ...

Heather Marsten said...

Facebook makes it so easy to leave a non-comment. Occasionally I'll "Like" a photo of a friend or something that makes me smile. Value comes when someone takes the time to relevantly comment on something posted. Like is easy, a well-thoughtout comment takes some effort.

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