I May Not See Your Facebook Post

Posting on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media is a fun part of my day. I enjoy seeing updates and comments, and sharing with a broad range of people. I read updates, but I miss a lot. Like many other publishing professionals, I’m in contact with far too many people on social media than anyone can keep up with.

Ever-changing algorithms…

I’ve noticed that Facebook algorithms have changed. I see posts from people I’m not in touch with elsewhere, but posts from many people I’m friends with offline don’t show up on my news feed. I can fiddle with the settings but then the algorithm will no doubt change again.

…mean I’m sure to miss an important update from you!

Some people post incredible life events on Facebook, such as health struggles, crisis situations, and deaths of immediate relatives. I agree social media is an excellent way to let a lot of people know what’s going on in your life, particularly people you don’t see often. But please don’t depend on your literary agent or editor to see your Facebook update, even if it garners 618 comments and 4,014 likes. Unless your agent responds to your comment, don’t assume she saw your post.

What to do?

Be sure your agent is clued in early to anything and everything that affects your ability to write. You two can decide how much and how to share information with your editor. Even if you aren’t writing under a contracted deadline, let your agent know if you’re no longer writing, or your self-imposed summer deadline might need to be moved to January.

When to do this?

In your professional life, your agent is the first person who needs to be told what situations currently affect your writing. Want even better results? Let your agent know what might affect your writing. It’s better for an agent to let your editor know you may need extra time on your book two months before deadline rather than two weeks before deadline. Of course, a sudden development that might mean short notice can’t be helped. But when an ongoing situation develops early, please let us know over the phone or through a personal email. Trust us, you’re not being a bother. And that strategy is much better than depending on any social media platform to do the work for you.

Your turn

Do you use social media for fun or to convey critical information, or both?

Have you ever missed something important on social media?

26 Responses to I May Not See Your Facebook Post

  1. Avatar
    Richard Mabry February 23, 2017 at 6:17 am #

    Tamela, Thanks for sharing this. I agree that changing algorithms make it tough for us to use social media the way we want to. As for your comment that we should talk or send a personal email to our agents when necessary, and that we’re not being a bother, I’m afraid some of us are unsure where to draw the line…and we do wonder when to “bother” our agents. Of course, that probably varies with the agent.

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray February 23, 2017 at 7:31 am #

      Richard, I imagine the amount of “bother” does vary with each agent. I would say that if you are bothered by something or your agent is the best person to answer a question, go for it! Don’t sit and stew. 🙂

  2. Avatar
    Loretta Eidson February 23, 2017 at 7:04 am #

    Thank you for this post, Tamela. I use Facebook for personal and writing purposes. I agree with Richard’s comment that some of us are unsure where to draw the line because we don’t want to bother our already overloaded agents. However, after this post, you’ll be hearing from me more often. Ha!

  3. Avatar
    Melissa Henderson February 23, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Great information Tamela. I use social media for fun and critical information like prayer concerns. Trying to keep up with everyone on social media is a hard task. Fortunately, that is not the only way to communicate. Letters, phone calls and emails are vital for communication. But, the very best way is face to face. 🙂

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray February 23, 2017 at 7:33 am #

      Melissa, I would say that just about the only disadvantage of being able to telework is that it does reduce face to face time. But as my daddy says, “You have to take the bitter with the sweet.”

  4. Avatar
    Patti Jo Moore February 23, 2017 at 8:14 am #

    Excellent post, Tamela. 🙂 Very good reminders for all of us, as it is impossible to keep up with everyone’s “news” all the time! I have a pastor friend who finally had to give up his Facebook page because several of his church members became upset when he didn’t comment on their posts (regarding major life changes/sickness, etc.). He explained that he wasn’t being uncaring – – he simply had not seen their posts!
    So I am going to remember your post today for when I *do* have an agent. 🙂

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray February 23, 2017 at 9:58 am #

      Wow, that’s a good example of how sometimes well-meaning and/or hurting Christians don’t realize how much pressure they put on their pastors. All of us want to feel special, because we are, but on the flip side, it’s hard for us to make all people feel as special as they are. Hope your pastor friend can eventually rejoin social media!

  5. Avatar
    Carol Ashby February 23, 2017 at 8:15 am #

    Actually, neither, but I know that has to change now I’m an author. I’ve been a very low-level Facebook user for the 6 years I’ve been on: look, don’t post. Life in the “need-to-know” world discourages sharing too much when you don’t know who’ll see it. My preferred info sharing method when details need to be remembered is by email. That way I know it gets into people’s inboxes, and the folks I email know better than to forward randomly. I also like email because it fits into the gaps in my friends’ over-committed lives. I love face-to-face and voice-to-voice, but it’s hard to match up our free times. I’ve got my Dummies book now to help me figure out how to deal with all the old private info posts of my friends and the privacy settings on my profile so I can get my author page started.

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray February 23, 2017 at 9:59 am #

      Indeed, one of the hardest things to do is set up a lunch date with a friend!

  6. Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser February 23, 2017 at 8:43 am #

    Effective use of Facebook is kind of a d of mysterious to me. I use it to publicize current blog posts, and that’s it. I don’t share anything about my life there.

    I do share things in the blog, though, and feel that it’s a better medium, because experience can thus become the grist for effective exposition. It’s not that I enjoy the sharing; much of the experience is unpleasant (dying isn’t like Hollywood!) and having to relive it, and to further give it meaning for an audience, can be exhausting.

    Odd thing is, that I get most of my blog visits these days from the Facebook posts. I have no idea why (and only rarely see a comment on FB). (I also post the blog links to Twitter.)

    If I had an agent, I’d surely not depend on FB or Twitter as a primary avenue of communication. Email would be my choice.

  7. Avatar
    Richard New February 23, 2017 at 9:50 am #

    I use FB mainly for fun. Plus, trying to build my platform on a separate page, which is a slow process, so far.

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray February 23, 2017 at 10:01 am #

      Richard, I find that I see a lot more activity and interaction on my Facebook profile than on my business page. I think that’s pretty typical. Hang in!

  8. Avatar
    Jeanne Takenaka February 23, 2017 at 10:26 am #

    Great post, Tamela. Facebook is an interesting beast. I don’t tend to share my most personal information there for a lot of reasons. If I want to make sure friends know certain updates in my life, I’ll text them, or possibly private message them through Facebook.

    I do mostly use social media for fun or lighter ways of keeping in touch with people. I like to post memes and share a bit about them, and I usually end with a question. This gives openings for interesting conversations.

    Since I’m not on there a ton, I’ve definitely missed updates from others.

  9. Avatar
    rochellino February 23, 2017 at 10:42 am #

    Tamela, “I May Not See Your Facebook Post” isn’t necessarily a bad excuse because in some cases it will seem that the post for today’s date will not be posted until about three years from now.

    All kidding aside, unfortunately some author facebook pages, websites and blogs look like “one car funerals”, that is, nobody cares, not even the author. So many times I have come upon an author with a title that interested me only to get to their website or other communication to find the last update was in 2012 or so. I usually lose interest in their book(s) at that point and never check back to see the “latest”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1M8zvmQPb4

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray February 23, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

      Oh my goodness — I’m pretty well versed in music and I had never heard this song! So sad.

      Editors and agents look at blogs and we do caution every author to keep blogs updated!

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray February 23, 2017 at 3:36 pm #

      Rochellino, I listened to several songs by the Gibson Brothers and though I’m not a hardcore bluegrass fan, I really enjoyed their music. I might buy their CDs. Thank you for introducing me to them.

  10. Avatar
    Sheri Dean Parmelee February 23, 2017 at 11:15 am #

    HI Tamela:
    I do post important events in my life via Facebook from time to time, but I don’t expect my agent to look there. Agents are too busy to check my individual postings there- if I want to contact him, I email him. It would be better for my agent to be seeking publishers instead of keeping up with my stubbed toe or the death of my goldfish!
    Best,
    Sheri

  11. Avatar
    Glenda February 23, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

    I’ve used social media for fun and to keep up with family and friends until recently. Modern times call for modern measures: building a platform. Though I’m still navigating best practices, I understand the importance of these communication boulevards.

    Thank you, for your help!

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray February 23, 2017 at 3:37 pm #

      Of course! I advise writers to spend about a half hour a day, and to focus on one or two platforms you enjoy. Have fun!

  12. Avatar
    Jerusha Agen February 26, 2017 at 7:43 am #

    Thanks for this great post, Tamela! The title caught my eye because I often warn my friends that if they have something important to share, they better tell me in person (or via text/phone/snail mail). I’m on Facebook every day, but I primarily use it for writing/business-related activities. And, like you, I have too many “friends” on Facebook to keep track of all their posts. I tell my friends that I’m not a good enough Facebook stalker to always see their big news. 🙂

    I appreciate your advice as it relates to contacting agents. I wasn’t sure if agents wanted to know about things that delay our writing, even when we’re not under a contracted deadline at the time. Very helpful to know that they do! Thanks!

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