On Facebook — Are you a Human or a Machine?

Facebook community

I spent a part of the morning, while the build­ers are working on the changes happen­ing in our bathroom, looking at blogs published by a variety of people and one post set me think­ing. As writers we wish for every­one in our circle to see out latest blog post and we post it in a multi­tude of places soon after we have published it to our blog. In anoth­er post I talked about making your latest mater­i­al more visible, but also about creat­ing a publi­city sched­ule in order that you maxim­ise your reach, especially to make your mater­i­al attract­ive to new follow­ers.

Suffering from Over Publicity?

One of the greatest challenges with using social sites, like Facebook, as a part of your publi­city strategy is that there are times when you can sound more like a machine than a human being. Think about it for one moment, here are a few of the things you may do in rapid succes­sion in order to tell others about the new mater­i­al you have just published:

  • Post it on Facebook.
  • Post on Twitter.
  • Post it on each Facebook Group that you are a member of.
  • Post on other Facebook pages that you have.

This is good isn’t it? Well you would think so, but it may not be.

Facebook community

My Facebook page is setup to re-post everything that I post on Twitter, this is a feature that has long existed that most people have even forgot­ten it exists. Think about  the impact on your follow­ers of the above four actions as you take each step. What do they see?

  1. Your initial Facebook post,
  2. Your Twitter post repeated on Facebook,
  3. One post for each group you post the link with,
  4. They see the post that you add to each other page.

Over a period of two hours the person follow­ing you on Facebook may see ten or twelve versions of your post being publi­cised, they feel overwhelmed and tune out, then what many writers do is post it all again tomor­row and perhaps the day after as well in an attempt to maxim­ise the number of people viewing their work immedi­ately after it is published, but these continu­ing stream of posts may actually be turning people off. Was that what you inten­ded? No it isn’t! You want them to read your post and go to your website, discov­er other things that you have written, then become a loyal reader. The net impact of all this activ­ity is that you seem more like a machine than a person, and the problem of appear­ing like a machine in the social world is that people switch off and may even stop follow­ing you.

Think about the publi­city depart­ment for a large corpor­a­tion, I have worked with many, it is true they advert­ise, but they also do a lot of word of mouth activ­ity which is not neces­sar­ily directly associ­ated with sales but it all works to boost their stand­ing in the market­place. The same is neces­sary for the writer, they need to get the word out without advert­ising, and sometimes that is about posting a quote, sometimes it is about answer­ing someones question, sometimes it is about inter­act­ing with others. There is a need to ration­al­ise your activ­ity and ensure you are not an advert­ising machine.

Rationalise Your Posting Actions

There are sever­al things you should be doing to seem human and have people wish to see your mater­i­al, includ­ing:

  • Post content (3 or 4 differ­ent pages with links) in the morning and again in the after­noon.
  • Publicise other people’s mater­i­al, whenev­er you find a good blog post mention it and praise the mater­i­al.
  • Facebook emotionsShow your emotions to other people’s posts (Facebook now only has “Like”, but also love, haha, wow, sad, and angry icons now) and not just your best friends..
  • Hold a conver­sa­tion about work or other things of interest to you, this shows you are not simply about advert­ising.
  • Be involved in discus­sions that your follow­ers find inter­est­ing.
  • Use Facebook in 10 to 20 minute stints, this way your posts are not all on top of one anoth­er and go away for 1 hour or more between sessions.
  • Post your content in one group per day, draw up a sched­ule of group posting dates and times and wherever possible avoid duplic­at­ing any posts on the same day.
  • Your publi­city efforts for a single post may stretch over 4 to 6 weeks, do not condense it into 4 to 6 days.
  • Expand your network every day, follow new people who may be inter­ested in the subjects you write about.

The reason for ration­al­ising your posting efforts is that you are using social media as a means of advert­ising your articles, but you are doing it in a way that makes you human. Much of my work is as relev­ant today as when I first wrote it so I often post links to old articles that bring with them a lot of visit­ors.


Buy Peter B. Giblett a coffee as a thank you for this article.




  1. It is true there are a lot of people that don’t realise they are over doing it.

  2. Great article and great tips! I always find it hard finding the right way of promot­ing my blog since I usually don’t like the idea of self-promtion at all. I guess there is no other way though if you want atten­tion for your work.

    • I think we all feel that way, Ideally we want the thousands who share an interest in our topic to magic­ally publi­cise it for us, but the truth is we have to be our own publi­city machine

  3. I find myself posting the work and blogs of others as well as some educa­tion­al content. I barely share my work or blog, I share the feeling of Karo. I don’t promote myself as much as I should.

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