Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Writer's Wednesday: Twitter To-Don't list or a rant.

Okay, so we’ve talked a bit about social media on here.  Not my post, I think it was Nikki’s. Anyway, last week on twitter, I went on a semi-rant about DMs and self-promotion and, to my surprise, there were a LOT of twitterers who felt the same way I did. One such person even said I should do a blog post.  Since it was a great idea, here it is.  :P 

This post is going to be a “to-don’t” list about twitter.  Some, heck maybe even most, of these are going to be my personal pet-peeves, but I figure if they annoy me, they’re probably going to annoy someone else.

1)   self-promotion: 

Yes, it’s a great idea to promote your book on Twitter, but please DON’T make every tweet about your book.  If someone follows me, I check their stream. If I see that most of it is self-promotion, then I don’t follow back.  Period.  Even if I LOVE the book and have already bought it, I’m not going to follow back.
            In that same vein, if I decide to follow you or follow back and you send me a DM that says something like, “Thanks for the follow. Please check out x, y, z for a list of my books, “ or whatever. I’m probably going to unfollow. If you want to say thanks for following, great. Do it. I do that, too.  But don’t follow that thanks with a link.  Chances are I’ve already followed all the links you’ve provided and have looked at your website, fansite, blog, whatever.  If I wanted to buy a book, I’ve added it to goodreads or went out and bought it.  Don’t make me feel like I’m at a used car lot.

Another thing, don’t fill your stream with stupid stuff, like so and so vs so and so, so it appears you are not constantly promoting your book.  Reach out to your followers.  Say Hi. Tell us about your crappy day at work, so we know you’re human and not just a bot.  Tell us you have a secret and can’t tell us what it is.  LOL. Social media is a conversation. People follow you, because they want to say they “know” you. 

2. Following people so they follow back.

            This happens a lot to me, probably others, and it really makes me angry.  Someone will follow me for whatever reason.  I look at their feed, their website, whatever they have listed, and decide for whatever reason, not to follow back ( I can’t follow everyone, as much as I’d like to.).  Then a few weeks later, they’ve unfollowed me.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out they unfollowed me because I didn’t follow back.  And honestly, it hurts my feelings a tiny bit.  Not that they unfollowed, but that they didn’t follow me because I was interesting or because they wanted to hear what I had to say, but that they just wanted me to follow them back. 

3. TMI

            Yes, peeps, there is a thing as too much information in Twitterverse.  I don’t want to hear you stink and need a shower, or about your underpants.  I don’t want to know about your sexlife, or how gassy you’ve been lately.
            Sure, I’d love to hear about your kids. In a non-personal sorta way (i.e. don’t use their names. We don’t want them hurt because you shared too much info. about them online.)

            On-line fights with other people.  Take that to personal email folks.  As entertaining as it might be, those things get ugly fast.  If you have a disagreement with another twitterer, keep in mind all this is public.  Everyone who follows both of you will see the whole thing and whatever you say could come back and haunt you or them.

As I’m writing this, I’ve realized this list can go on and on and on, so I’m going to stop here.  But basically, use common sense with all this stuff.  The Internet is one giant Big Brother.  They’re watching you all the time.  You’d better be on your best behavior.  :D


  1. Best. Post. Ever!! I especially loved the one about TMI. I was thisclose to unfollowing a person because they kept tweeting about a rather graphic procedure they had done. I'm sorry, but I don't want to be all up in your business like that!!

  2. Great post. There are a few people out there who could do with reading this!

  3. Good stuff to know if I ever decide to dive into the Twitterverse. Though some of this seems to translate well to the blogosphere also.

  4. Amen, sister! My biggest pet peeve is getting followed by half-naked chicks before they get blocked for spam. Do you not see my profile picture? I'm NOT a dude. Your boobs are not interesting to me.

  5. Thanks, guys. It's nice to know I'm not the only one bothered by some of this stuff. LOL. And Jennifer, you are abs. right. It def. carries over to the blogosphere.

  6. hmmm... interesting post!

    I am brand new to Twitter (like 4 days twitter old)

    Getting my feet in, so to speak.

    As far as things go.... i follow who i want :-)
    who i WANT to listen to (so all good there)

    I don't shamelessly promote my book (as i don't have one - yet)

    I keep my more private habits to myself *grin*


    What is your opinion of sending back a personal message , "Hi NAME, thanks for the follow, love your blog this is me --> ENTER ABOUT ME PAGE."

    It's not book promotion (i don't have one yet) just a link to more info about me as you can't say anything much on twitter.

    id LOVE to hear your thoughts :-)

    It is a twitter faux pas, or just acceptable as it isn't asking you to buy anything:-)

    thanks for your blog by the way! it is awesome. I love the background!

    Hope to hear your thoughts:-)

  7. I agree with your what not to do's. I check out people who follow too.

  8. I completely agree with you on all counts, but especially on #1. I've unfollowed at least two authors because seriously, every other post was BUY MY BOOK!, and they were posting that sentiment approximately every 30 minutes. Annoying!

  9. @Constance - I think directing someone to your blog is acceptable. If they're interested enough to follow your tweets, they may want to follow your blog too. Of course, doesn't hurt if you've found the link to their blog as well and checked it out first. Like: Your blog is so cool. I'm a new follower. Love if you stopped by my blog sometime --> LINK

  10. Hi Jessie,

    thanks for your reply, glad that in your opinion i have committed no faux pas.

    Yes i normally do check out their blog / link first and join up and show an interest. It's just polite i think. once again thanks for the blog.

    its awesome!

  11. Hi! Glad I found you via the Adventures in Children's Publishing blog. I love Twitter--especially connecting with fellow YA writers and readers--and, generally, I agree with what you say here. You make some good points, especially about TMI.

    The situation you describe in #2 is interesting to me. It never occurred to me that people would follow someone JUST to have them follow back. (I'm not disagreeing with you, just wondering who has the time and energy for that? LOL.)

    I choose not to know if someone unfollows me. I think knowing would only make me feel mad or sad or weird. But I recently discovered the "Friend or Follow" app that lets you see who is following you among those you follow, and, I have to say, my feelings were a little hurt in a few cases. There were a some people with whom I had had regular, positive interactions on Twitter--including me promoting their books--who were not following me back. I'm not really sure what their thinking is--and it could be that they never even thought about it one way or another--but I unfollowed them. It's not because I expect everyone I follow to follow me, and it's not because I follow everyone back (I don't). It's because, for me, Twitter is about connections, and when I make those with people--and it happens a few times and we know each other and are friendly, I think we should follow each other. That's what Twitter is, right? (At the same time, I try not to take it personally. Some of the people I follow who don't follow me are my friends IRL, and I know it's not personal...maybe they don't even realize they're not following me. Who knows?) That's the other thing about Twitter, it's important not to take things personally, because we just don't know, esp in 140 characters.

    Back to the writer thing: I understand that most mega-bestselling authors can't follow everyone --though someone told me Meg Cabot does--(heck, none of us can follow everyone) but I also think that debut authors, especially, need to be careful about their decisions to follow or not. They can shoot themselves in the foot and turn off readers (that is, book buyers) if they come across as cliquish.

    Wow! Didn't realize I had so much to say. Thanks again for the post. Glad to have found you.


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