The Misuse of Twitter

The Misuse of Twitter

I met up with a writer’s group tonight just so we could all sit down and write away while talking about writing. I was speaking with one woman there about how annoying Twitter is as a marketing platform, and we both came to the same conclusion: People have no idea how to use Twitter. A great majority of them, in fact.

I have over 900 followers. When I tweet about a blog post, guess how many people click on it? 2. Yes. 2. That is because my post drowns in all the other posts vying for attention trying to sell their wares. Apparently you’re supposed to tweet it a lot, but then Twitter becomes a dumbed-down advertising website that’s about as useful as Google ads.

Twitter is a social network like any other network out there. Use it to, I don’t know, socialize. Twitter’s purpose is not to dump your ads into it and expect a yield. I don’t care that your book is 0.99 cents now. I care more about your dog crapping on your carpet because I want to know the person in you first before I get to know your product. Otherwise, your product is going to drown in all the others crying for attention. And maybe every so often I’ll click on it, but I’m really searching for the posts where people are talking about themselves as human beings.

Twitter is great for hosting chats, but terrible for advertising your book. Apparently you’re supposed to advertise it every 20 tweets, and those 20 tweets are supposed to be either tweets from you or conversations with others. I don’t know. All I know is that if I’m interested in you as a person, I’ll click on you and your website. Twitter is supposed to be about selling yourself, in 140 characters, a basic pitch of yourself that explains why I should pay attention to you. And once you’ve sold yourself, we can go from there.

But, please writers, don’t flood your feed with ads of your books. I hate those. Makes me want to quit Twitter, but I’m sure I can’t.

7 thoughts on “The Misuse of Twitter

  1. I honestly feel completely stupid when I get on twitter! I don’t understand it… at all! I finally recently broke down and joined (alright I long since had an account that I never went on, lol) but all of the things that find there way there… its actually worse than facebook, which is turning into the same thing with the ability to post longer things!
    I loved seeing what people had to say about themselves! To me it “is” about who they are, not what picture they found and have to post, (isn’t that what pintrest is for?) I mean don’t get me wrong, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words (especially with what some people put out there) but when that is all you are doing is trying to sell, and not yourself, then what is the point of what you are doing? And do you really think anyone cares? They weed you out of their piles/lists because that isn’t important to them.

    1. It’s annoying. I love the chats though. Like I do #yalitchat and learn a lot about young adult writing from this. I also earn followers who don’t rabidly try to sell their wares, but talk about their lives and their writing lives.

  2. I don’t mind doing some clicking to help out a person once we’ve had a conversation, but, agreed, I’d like to get to know them first. I have had conversations with some interesting people I may not otherwise have ever met, and that’s the real fun for me.

  3. I honestly don’t understand twitter at all. I think that, perhaps, I’m just too old. For one thing, I don’t understand how it is that people expect for a comment of 140 characters or less to be at all meaningful. I’ve been told that, as a writer, I really need to be on twitter, to advertise my writing, so I’ve joined, quit, joined, quit, joined, quit, and recently joined again. Every time I try for a week or a month to get a little up every now and then, until I realize that I haven’t touched it in the longest time, and that the only people following me are friends already. And even if I do develop a ‘following,’ then what? I don’t want to be one of those jerks constantly posting, ‘hey, buy my book!’ But even if I could, what do I have that I can say in between those posts? My thoughts from day to day tend to be the same: ‘work is frustrating’, ‘man, I need to get more sleep’, ‘mmm lunch was tasty’ . . .

    Oh well, I may not get it, but there are apparently a number of people who love it. All you can really do, I guess, is give up on it, or keep after it. Apparently it isn’t going away (which is another thing I don’t get. how has it not disappeared by now?)

    1. If it weren’t for my publisher possibly wanting me to have one, I wouldn’t Twitter at all. I’d only use it for major chats and that’s it. Twitter is very useful for being able to hold important chats held by like editors or something who have topics, but it’s people have no idea how to use it outside of that.

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