Twitter Litter

I’ll freely admit to all that I am no expert on social media platforms for indie authors. What I document within this blog category are the things that I am learning as I plod along. Perhaps after reading this, you may even have a few tips for me.

Easy Clean-Up

I tried to use a free unfollow service that would list all those Twitter accounts that I was following, but not getting followed back. However, when I checked some of them, I discovered that about 25% of those accounts were indeed following me. It was time to try a different method.

If you don’t have 10.5K followers on Twitter, you don’t need any fancy subscription to an unfollow service. Just click on “Follows” on your Twitter homepage. It will list everyone you’re following. Under their name and right next to their Twitter handle you’ll see the gray text “Follows You.” If you don’t see those words, it means that you’re following them but they are not reciprocating. Now just click the big blue button and you’ve unfollowed them back. I have about 1,350 followers and I was able to “clean house” in about 30 minutes.

The “Twitter Litter” has left the building!

FB

Photo by Luc Legay used under CC License

The Disturbing Part

I’ve always regarded other indie authors as Fellow Travelers or Kindred Spirits. Although our genres and styles may be completely different, we’re still cut from the same cloth. Therefore, I’ve always made it my business to seek out other indies, follow and post on their blogs, Facebook pages, offer reviews and beta reads, and yes offer them a #folloback on #Twitter.

My biggest surprise was the amount of Indie Authors who followed me, waited for me to follow them back, and then they would unfollow. I would say that about 60% of the accounts that I had to unfollow were other Indie Authors. Sad but true. 😦

Disappointing Results

A while ago, I wrote a post called The Blog, The Tweet, and The Facebook Page. That post was inspired by my WordPress stats. I discovered that other blogs created the most traffic into mine, followed by Facebook*, search engines, Google +, and way last was…Twitter.

*Facebook has now taken over the top slot

Most social media gurus say that Twitter is a necessary component of an indie author’s social media platform. But I have to face a dose of reality, Twitter has not been a major generator of sales and blog traffic. I believe it serves as a double exposure.

Most people have Facebook and Twitter accounts, therefore, they may see you there and then see your name pop up elsewhere. That second exposure is what may prompt a click, and that’s the only purpose that Twitter can serve. I track my links through Bitly, therefore I can see exactly how many clicks a link receives. To be honest, it’s not that great. I don’t spam or make an annoyance out of myself. I basically tweet about new blog posts, the occasional ad for Ragged Souls, or contribute to a discussion.

Keep It Anyway

I don’t plan on cancelling my Twitter account, nor would I suggest that course of action to anyone. I recently read a great post by Kristin Lamb about the nature of books in the digital age. There are quite a few gems of wisdom within her words. My favorite eye-opener to indie authors within that particular blog post was, “Our greatest enemy is obscurity.”

Never were truer words spoken. Therefore, I’ll keep trying to tweak my tweets as best as I can, and hope for the best.

Ragged SoulsBlog

***Put Ragged Souls on your Kindle***

How About you?

If you’ve been successful with Twitter, please enlighten me (and some others). Do you see activity and clicks based upon your Tweets?

***I want to know when the new short story Night Flights is released***

Caution: Automated Tweets Can Make You Look Like a Twit

On January 28, 2014, President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech. The Twitterverse exploded with commentary from people representing every possible moniker in the political spectrum, tweeting after every major point. The pros, the cons, the accusers, and the supporters all put in their $2.22 (hey, inflation).  And the scrolling screen looked something like this (The following conversation is fictitious.  Any similarities to actual names or tweets is purely coincidental)….

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Republicant1 @rino
I noticed that the #POTUS hasn’t mentioned Obamacare #SOTU

Dumbocrat1 @moron
@rino  Why should the #POTUS mention it. The ACA website is fine now #SOTU

Republicant2 @conserve
@moron @rino Because #POTUS won’t remind anyone during  #SOTU how he bypassed the Constitution

Author1 @wannabe
Buy my book now! – The Three Little Violent Pigs – #Nook  #Kindle #ebook wp.linklink1

TeaParty1 @angryvoter
Will the usurper in chief #POTUS ever end? This is a long #SOTU

Republicant1 @rino
@angryvoter  #POTUS Usurper and liar!

Dumbocrat2 @libtard
@angryvoter @rino Can’t call #POTUS an usurper. He was legally elected twice.

Author2 @lovewrite
Another 5* #Amazon review for my romance novel – How I’d Love to Fall in Love.  Buy it now! wp.link2linky  #author #write

TeaParty1 @angryvote
@libtard You call that farce an election!?

Author3 @Hackysack
New spellbinding #thriller – Get Out of the Bathroom and Give Someone Else a Chance.  Available Now!  wp.4linklink3

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Are you getting the picture? When tweeters are conversing and debating a major live event, the book promotions are incredibly non-sequitur. The authors were either using a bot or just not paying attention, and it showed in a bad way. Do you honestly think anyone bought their books based on those tweets?

I know at least one person who’s bought one of my stories because I don’t tweet book promotions every few minutes.  For all the new authors out there, yes, Twitter can be a powerful tool, but only if you use it right.  Take part in discussions, and have something interesting to say about things other than your work.  It’ll pay off.

The Blog, the Tweet, and the Facebook Page

Building an author platform can be a difficult and painstaking undertaking. Chances are your writing time will be greatly sacrificed. However, blogging, tweeting, and updating your Facebook page does constitute writing, and does generate readers. Therefore, it is time well spent. I’ve noticed certain patterns emerging as I’ve began building my own platform.

Blog reciprocation has the highest ranking. When I hit the Like and Subscribe buttons or drop a comment on someone else’s blog, they generally reciprocate by doing the same on mine. Of course that only happens when the initial contact is done through blogging. If the initial contact happens through Twitter, full reciprocation doesn’t usually occur.

When someone follows me on Twitter, I make it my business to follow back, drop a tweet, visit their Facebook page and their blog. But the Twitter reciprocation rate is pretty low. I’d say about 1 out of every 35 who I make contact with visit my blog or Facebook page.

Twitter returns don’t seem that bad when compared to Facebook. I must say that my Facebook page is pretty much dead space most of the time. Although I really haven’t been “pushing” over there either.

In the same order up to now, The Blog, The Tweet, and The Facebook Page have become my own version of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

How are you doing with your platform experience?  Any tips you’d like to share?