A few days ago, I was reading a series of posts on Jenn Greenleaf's Wearer of Many Hats blog (http://jenngreenleaf.blogspot.com/). She writes about many things as a blogger, from cutting coupons to becoming a better writer. The topic that I want to talk about, that she covers quite well, is how to find a balance between promotion and interaction on social media.
I appreciate Jenn's blog most because of her honesty. When she's trying new things, even if she is unsure of the outcome, she keeps her readers updated and gives them her opinion through each step of the process. I was recently inspired by her posts that involve Twitter and other social media outlets. Like many other people in the publishing world (writers, editors, etc.) she is trying to find the best way to use the Internet to her advantage. Now, this doesn't mean she is abusing it; that's not what I mean at all. I just mean that she is trying to find a way to interact with her readers while staying true to herself and her published works.
I think this is a question that all writers are trying to find an answer to. Where do you draw the line? You don't want to push people away by promoting yourself too much, but you also want them to be interested in buying your book. How much is too much? How much is too little? How much personal information do you share? How often should you post? You certainly don't want to crowd the page of your followers, but you don't want them to forget you exist either. How do you find that middle ground?
Due to the new nature of all this, it is hard to determine. The best way is to experiment and keep track of your progress. Ask a few trusted colleagues or friends to give some input and feedback. Keep a close eye on your followers and interactions. When your friends and Tweeps aren't happy, you'll know it. You just have to pay attention and stop looking for a blanket answer.