The Seven Deadly Social Media Sins, and Why Authors Should Avoid Them

Authors and publishers are frequently told that they should engage with readers on social networks, but sometimes it’s not easy to know the right way to go about it. And so when this video from Pittsburgh ad agency Brunner crossed my desk this morning, I thought it was worth watching and sharing.

The following video (found via Digiday) was written with brands in mind, but I think most of the points apply just as well to authors and publishers. After all, when we’re on Twitter, we (and I am including myself) should conduct ourselves with a similar level of care.

The video explains what we shouldn’t do, and it details why. According to Brunner, the top 7 sins are:

  1. Speaking with multiple voices
  2. Paying for likes
  3. Liking your own content
  4. Taking too long to respond
  5. Disappearing negative posts
  6. Taking undue credit, and
  7. Overselling

I won’t ask if you’ve committed any of the sins on this list so long as you promise not to point out my errors. Sound good?

TBH, I am guilty of number four, and one could argue that I am also a frequent violator of number 7, but that point would be up for debate. One of the competing schools of thought for social media promotion says that news sites are supposed to be pushy, and by that standard I am not nearly pushy enough.


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Greg Strandberg17 October, 2014

    Oftentimes you’ll have to sin to become a saint.


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