It’s been a couple of months now since I created my Twitter account. So, I thought I would give you a status check and let you know my current view of this social media platform. We have all heard that to be successful writers, we need to create our own marketing network because no one will market for us. In conjunction with this advice is a list of
potential recommended social media platforms. Tops among this list is something called Twitter.
To be honest, when I first heard of Twitter, two things came to mind, songbirds singing to attract a mate and little old ladies playing pinochle and sipping hard lemonade. After two months using this social media platform, I am pleased to report that my initial views were spot on! Let me explain.
Twitter is a communication tool. A good example would be the old-fashioned “party” telephone line, but on steroids. Instead of ten or fifteen people hearing what you say, it’s more like ten or fifteen million. Okay, maybe only Justin B. reaches 15 Million. Anyway, let’s just say you can reach a lot of people…IF…they follow you. We will not get to why someone would follow you, there are volumes of material on the mechanics of using Twitter. Let’s talk instead, about how writers are currently using Twitter.
I currently follow a wide variety of individuals. Actresses, famous authors, a comedian, a bunch or writer types I don’t know and even some of you are on my list of following. I
read skim through several hundred tweets a day. This takes on average 30 minutes. Thank God for train rides. If we throw out the comedian, (sorry Bill!) and the actresses, (Okay let’s set them a side gently. They are nice ladies) what I am left with is primarily writers and a few readers. Wow, that cut down the number of tweets by around 25! That leaves, let’s say 250 tweets. 99% of these remaining tweets fall into one of four categories.
The first category is the personal odd thought tweet. For example: ‘I need more caffeine this AM.’ Or maybe, ‘Just saw a great movie with one of my peeps.’ Or, a quote that you find interesting. These are just little gems to let the world know you are still alive and may prompt a RT (retweet) if it is particularly interesting.
The second, and by far the most prevalent type of tweet. Like a songbird singing sweetly in the tree, Twitter, for the most part, is about self-promotion. These are the ‘Hey I’ve got a great book/blog, come see/buy it!’ Book reviews also fall into this category. These tweets take up roughly 150 of the remaining 250 tweets
Third comes the conversation tweets. This is where two or more people carry on a conversation, 140 characters at a time. Keep in mind it is not a private conversation. People who follow any of the conversationalist can see the whole thing and even join in. Sometimes, it approaches the old women playing pinochle image. Although the language may be a bit too harsh for granny.
Lastly are the normal blog post links. I keep them separate because they are usually commentary in nature and are not trying to ‘sell’ you on something.
There is one other thing I’d like to point out. There are individuals out there who retweet EVERYTHING they see. Are they trying to help others out by giving the original tweet more exposure? Or, are they just interested in seeing their own name 150 times and hour?
If I seem a little cynical please forgive me. As I stated, I am still new to this and trying to learn how best to use the monster called Twitter.
I like the conversation feature and the blog links provide access to posts I might otherwise miss. Also, Bill M. just makes me laugh when I desperately need it. I keep asking myself, ‘What do I want from this?’ For me the jury is still out and I will continue to try new things in the Twitterverse. As far as my cat Marble, when he sees a Tweeter, He thinks, “LUNCH”.
You’ll find me at @langledd. Come, let’s play some pinochle and drink some hard lemonade.