Saturday, July 19, 2014
BECOMING A TWIT
Last month was spent in Facebook jail, unable to post book blurbs or comments on Facebook for some Facebook rules infraction that was never explained to me. Since I had a whole month of free time for alternative book promotion modalities, it seemed to be about time to join the legions of 140-character maximum obsessives who participate on Twitter. This blog will share some of my experiences as a neophyte entering this brave new world.
The first thing about twitter is absorbing a whole new vocabulary and a 140-character limit to all tweets. Both of these things come with a little bit of practice and the built in counter on the twitter software. I haven’t figured out yet how to automate sending scheduled messages without paying someone else to do it for me, but so far going over to tweet on a hit-or-miss basis seems to be good enough for now.
There are dire warnings that you need to keep a balance of Followers to Followings or Twitter jail looms on the horizon, so I’m still strategizing the best way to do this. I try to follow people who seem to have common interests, like mystery readers and writers, people who follow me and aren’t obviously trying to sell me something, and people who retweet my tweets. Anyone who wants to follow me spontaneously is welcomed with open arms at this stage (several hundred followers), so my followers remain at about 75% of the total I follow. I try to remember who my followers are, and retweet their tweets whenever I see one. It’s also easy enough to thank people who retweet my stuff, and I try to do so, at least the first time or two.
There are codes you can slip into the tweets to get automatic retweeting by individuals and groups, and I try to use some of these when space allows with the 140-character limit. The result seems to be so far, so good with this approach.
It’s impossible to know if the 400+ tweets (I am pretty sure this includes at least half retweets of others’ messages) I’ve tweeted thus far have sold any books for me, but conventional wisdom says probably not. It’s more about branding the author and the books, less about direct sales. That’s OK, you meet some very nice people along the way and in some ways Twitter seems more social to me than Facebook. The limit in length of messages suppresses the urge to rant or rave, and effectively prevents the possibility of doing so coherently, and that’s probably a good thing.
Signing off: @JeroldLast