Why Social Media Etiquette is Important…
Branding is extremely important when you are presenting yourself online. How you act on your social media accounts will determine how people view you — and subsequently your blog. While all publicity is good publicity if it is intelligent, it is important to ensure that what you are conveying on social media is the way you want others to perceive you. There are many social media websites and using them all is important, especially using them correctly. We will be doing a series of these Social Media Etiquette posts to help bloggers realize what their downfalls might be when interacting on social media websites. Today’s post is going to focus on Goodreads, the website that everyone uses to catalogue their reading and their personal library.
Goodreads (Today) | Instagram (July 28) | Blog Hopping (Sept 1) | Twitter (Sept 8)
Goodreads: The Book Blogger’s Best Friend
There are so many good things about Goodreads. You can keep track of your reading progress, find new books, recommend books to other people and generally just gush about books. Goodreads has a lot of features that make doing all these activities very easy. You can see Brittany from Book Addict’s Guide post on how to use Goodreads. This post today is going to talk about the ways to use Goodreads to your advantage while not doing something that could cause someone else to not have an enjoyable experience using the website.
One of the best features of Goodreads is that you can update your reading progress to state the specific page (or percentage) in the book you are currently reading and comment on what is happening at this point in the novel. And this is great, it helps you keep track of your thoughts along the way for when you are writing a review or just to update people on what you are currently thinking while reading. I love reading status updates to get a feel of what people think at a specific point in the novel. However, a lot of people post spoilers in these status updates. And that is a faux pas.
Whereas in reviews, you can hide spoilers with a simple code, you cannot do so with status updates. That means whatever you type in this status update gets seen by everyone who is a friend or who follows you on Goodreads. What seems liek a blessing is actually a curse if someone is at a certain part in a book and tells you about the plot twist or a character death in their status update before you had a chance to experience it yourself. It is one thing to make a status update saying “OMG” and another to say “Character X just DIED!!!” With the first, I understand that something exciting and interesting happened at this point in the novel; with the second, I know what happened at this point in the novel.
Do your best to keep your status updates spoiler free!
As mentioned above, spoilers are no fun. But Goodreads gives you the option to hide spoilers in your review by placing the spoiler text in between brackets like so, <spoiler>SPOILER TEXT HERE</spoiler>. This will create a click link for people to determine whether or not they want to spoil themselves about the topic you are discussing. This is a great place to put character deaths, plot twists and the reveal of the murderer. It allows people the choice to know the spoiler.
Another good habit to get yourself into, whether reviewing on Goodreads or on your blog, is to put Trigger Warnings. If the book had instances of something that may trigger someone, such as mental illness, suicide etc., it is best to label this immediately at the top of your review to let others know.
Lastly, if you received a free copy of the book for review, you must put this in your review. It is part of the legal guidelines for advanced copies or to distribute free books. This is even the case if you borrow an ARC from another blogger. It can be as simple as “Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion towards the book and what I have put in my review.”
Friending vs Following
Interacting with people is the best part of any social media site but there are two ways to do so on Goodreads: Friending and Following. Straight from the Goodreads website, “A friend relationship is two-way. You see their reviews, and they see yours. A following relationship is one-way. You see their reviews, but they don’t see yours in their feed.” General rule of thumb is to Friend people because once you “Friend” someone, you are automatically “Following” their reviews. The other person can then decide whether or not to accept your friendship.
If the person you are Friending has a secret question, answer it. Most of the time, people just ask them to learn more information about the person who is requesting rather than using that answer to determine whether or not they will accept your friend request. If you do not respond, chances are they will ignore your request.
If the person does not accept your friend request, do not send multiple friendship requests. This will not wear them down until they finally accept, but will most likely lead to them blocking you.