Where's The Line Between Effective Marketing and Offensive Marketing?

In one of our shopping malls here in the Philippines, for some reason, the sales people in the socks department use aggressive marketing strategies. When you pass by their area, they push their respective brands at you, and converge on you like pigeons to feeds. My reaction? I move away as fast as possible... even if I need to buy socks for hubby. I want to be able to browse at leisure and not be rushed into making a choice. I'm sure you prefer that too.

Where's the line between effective marketing and offensive marketing when it comes to social media? 

There are 3 types of authors marketing their books on social media, and we'll use them as examples:
  1. Author A is shy and don't like marketing at all. They hate extolling the virtues of their book, almost as if they're ashamed to say anything positive about it, for fear of being accused of being biased... or something. So, they post vague messages along with their cover, if at all, and a link, and that's it. Oh, but maybe Author A is not really shy, but lazy. They don't think marketing their book is important, but friends keep telling them they have to. So they post sometimes, or when they have a book launch scheduled. Half-hearted promotions. Few or no followers. Don't really care.

  2. Author B is a social media presence. An irritating presence. All they talk about and post about is their book. They leave an auto-responder for people who follow them, telling their new followers to check out their books here or go to this site there. Their purpose is clear. Crystal.

  3. Author C combines networking with promotion. They take care of their followers. Instead of asking people to buy or review their book, or some other favor, they think of how they can be of value to their followers and peers. They are grateful for every second that people spend on their own campaigns, and they reciprocate whenever possible. The result? People gladly share their posts and tweets to their own followers.
Which author sounds more effective to you?

Subtle but consistent is good marketing. Pushy and annoying are not. You may even lose followers if you start irritating people - if all you're after is to take, without giving something in return.

On the other hand, if you only want to give, without a clear marketing plan to increase your sales numbers, that's bad business. Stay on the line.

You may read articles about how only 20% of our posts should be about our books, and 80% about other things.That number is not written in stone, and you shouldn't be too conscious about it. But the idea is there. Be a real person that people can relate to instead of just an automated advertising machine.

I don't follow that 80/20 rule to a tee, but some do. What happens is, they blab about things nobody really cares about, you know? 80% is a big number especially if you're always on social media. Maybe it works for some, but not for me. So, see what works for you. If talking about your dog or what you dreamt of last night gets you followers, by all means, talk about it.

Whatever it is you do, just remember to be of value to people. Include that in your marketing strategy. 

"Your product doesn't matter when you're marketing - YOU matter; how you present yourself, how you talk and communicate and how you make other people feel." 

There's a lot of good advise in that book. Many are eye-openers. I highly recommend that you get a copy. If you subscribe to his blog, you'll get a lot of freebies, and insights on self publishing. :) 

So, where's that line again? It's between being a robot and being a mosquito. In the middle of those two is a human being who takes time to connect and build relationships with people. That's where you want to be.

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