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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I've joined Twitter last week, despite deciding I'll avoid that platform previously. The main reason I did this was that I realized that some of the KBoards member interactions are via twitter. I have a serious FOMO tendency (a most ridiculous trait that I'm trying to curb, and failing spectacularly), so, after panicking about missing out on all the fun twitter action, I've joined in.

I don't know that I'm happy about it.

First of all - and that's just me, Twitter gives me a reflection of myself, as seen through a 140 character limit, and I don't like what I'm seeing. I instantly become someone who's trying way too hard to be amusing, which I hate. There was always that guy in school who destroyed the joke by trying to hard, or pushed himself forward, saying things for the sole reason of wanting to be heard, and it occurred to me that I've become that guy where twitter is concerned.

Second... Well, some twitter feeds confound me. They seem to be merely repeatedly posting link to books. Does that work? It doesn't with me, I automatically filter those out, and when it becomes too overwhelming, I create a list without those feeds and read only that list. I admit to understanding nothing about marketing, so maybe I'm missing something.

Then there's this: http://michaeldaltonbooks.com/2014/12/19/tweeting-amazon-links-may-be-killing-your-book-sales/ (this actually popped in my twitter feed). It's an interesting experiment, and for the authors who have sales and a healthy twitter account, it's worth the look.

Does anyone else have those thoughts, or am I the only one?
 

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This discussion pops up from time to time here, but general consensus seems to be that constant "Buy my book" spamming does next to nothing to actually sell books and turns off a large number of Twitter users. I certainly don't follow people who post nothing but "Buy my book" and quickly unfollow them, should I have accidentally followed one of them.

I think the Twitter spamming and other problematic behaviour such as automated "Thanks for following. Buy my book" DMs come from outdated marketing advice. For example, I recall that John Locke attributed much of his success to Twitter. And indeed, they may have worked once upon a time, when Twitter wasn't full of authors who tweeted nothing but "Buy my book" every ten minutes. But if you do it now, you'll just get lost in the crowd and you'll annoy many/most of your followers. And those who still follow you may well mute you and only follow you to bolster their follower numbers or because they hope you will respond to their "Buy my book" tweets.

Some author still claim that the Twitter blast technique is working for them. At least one KBoarder uses a variation of this technique and claims it contributed to his success, though personally I suspect the fact that he writes cracking good books has more to do with it.

Twitter is about interaction. Of course, you can also tweet about your book on occasion, but not all the time and not always the same three tweets either.

 

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smikeo said:
Well, I've joined Twitter last week, despite deciding I'll avoid that platform previously. The main reason I did this was that I realized that some of the KBoards member interactions are via twitter. I have a serious FOMO tendency (a most ridiculous trait that I'm trying to curb, and failing spectacularly), so, after panicking about missing out on all the fun twitter action, I've joined in.

I don't know that I'm happy about it.

First of all - and that's just me, Twitter gives me a reflection of myself, as seen through a 140 character limit, and I don't like what I'm seeing. I instantly become someone who's trying way too hard to be amusing, which I hate. There was always that guy in school who destroyed the joke by trying to hard, or pushed himself forward, saying things for the sole reason of wanting to be heard, and it occurred to me that I've become that guy where twitter is concerned.

Second... Well, some twitter feeds confound me. They seem to be merely repeatedly posting link to books. Does that work? It doesn't with me, I automatically filter those out, and when it becomes too overwhelming, I create a list without those feeds and read only that list. I admit to understanding nothing about marketing, so maybe I'm missing something.

Then there's this: http://michaeldaltonbooks.com/2014/12/19/tweeting-amazon-links-may-be-killing-your-book-sales/ (this actually popped in my twitter feed). It's an interesting experiment, and for the authors who have sales and a healthy twitter account, it's worth the look.

Does anyone else have those thoughts, or am I the only one?
First, stop looking at it as Marketing tool. It is not helping and just building up expectations. It's a place to meet new people. Some of them will buy your stuff, some won't. Twitter is a great palce to discover new people, new articles, news and chat about interesting topics. It's a long-term play not instant results.

Don't go into Broadcast mode and try being amusing, you're just pressuring yourself instead of enjoying Twitter. Stick to reading tweets and replying first.
What works on Twitter is Hashtags and reading and answering, it's similar to any forum in this case (hashtag is a topic and a sign that people with the same interest are talking there), it's just in short form of 140 characters.. Go to Twitter Search and use hashtags of your favorite TV show, or #NFL or #NBA and read what people are saying. Go to #amwriting and read what other authors are tweeting. You will see many tweets, most you won't relate or like but some you will find what to comment on. You will see good articles shared, so read and comment on those, you'll see inspirational quotes so comment on those if you like, you'll see other authors expressing their current mood about writing journey (from struggles to being happy about writing 3k words today etc). Answer those, it starts good conversations.

BUT don't get stuck talking to just authors. It's bad to talk with only writers on Twitter and not go where your possible readers are. That way it ends up writers pushing their books to other writers.

And yes, tweeting ''Buy my Book'' doesn't work. It's spam. Retweeting compliments about your book from other tweets is also slippery slope. Do it once in 20 tweets. Other tweets should be @ replies to other people and sharing cool articles, videos, book recommendations etc

And as far as managing information flow - you're doing it right by using Lists. That's the best way to filter Twitter. Each list should be given a topic. So if you are looking for Thriller fans collect them into a List of ReadThrills, if you talk basketball collect people into Basketball list, separate Writers into their own list too. That keeps it simplier and easier to manage so many tweets.

So don't worry about trying to come up with clever tweets, amusing jokes etc, just find people to reply to, build up the followers like that. Once you have many people following you, you can start worrying about coming up with what to tweet.

To keep it simple, create a goal of tweeting 5 new people a day.. So you go to hashtags you're interested in and answer 5 people you haven't talked yet. Some of them will reply and conversations will happen, some won't. Doesn't matter. So in a month's time, you will be actually brushing shoulders with 150 new people. That's where Twitter's marketing power is, you can meet new people with a simple tweet and get a chance to build up coversations and relationships. Which can eventually end up in sales.
 

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I hate Twitter, but I use it. Not for being social, I rarely post anything other than "Buy my books" spam. That's what I set it up for and that's what I use it for. I have over 13K followers now, only one year later. I use an automated program that sends out more than a dozen canned tweets per day. None of them with pictures of cute kittens. All of them with a link to one of my books. I have another automated program that retweets my followers who use certain words in their tweets, like book, writing, author, and so on. This program retweets 6 times per hour. I spend nearly zero time on Twitter. I use it as a marketing tool only. Some people hate that and that's okay. They don't have to follow me. However, according to Twitter analytics, my links are clicked on about 50 times a day on average. Does that equate to purchases? No way to tell. But I sense that if someone clicks on an Amazon link for a book, there's at least a 10% chance they'll buy, so I'm guessing I sell 5 books per day on Twitter.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wayne Stinnett said:
I hate Twitter, but I use it. Not for being social, I rarely post anything other than "Buy my books" spam. That's what I set it up for and that's what I use it for. I have over 13K followers now, only one year later. I use an automated program that sends out more than a dozen canned tweets per day. None of them with pictures of cute kittens. All of them with a link to one of my books. I have another automated program that retweets my followers who use certain words in their tweets, like book, writing, author, and so on. This program retweets 6 times per hour. I spend nearly zero time on Twitter. I use it as a marketing tool only. Some people hate that and that's okay. They don't have to follow me. However, according to Twitter analytics, my links are clicked on about 50 times a day on average. Does that equate to purchases? No way to tell. But I sense that if someone clicks on an Amazon link for a book, there's at least a 10% chance they'll buy, so I'm guessing I sell 5 books per day on Twitter.
Thanks for replying Wayne. I'm wondering what would happen to your sales if you stopped the bots for a week. I absolutely don't hate your usage of twitter, it just confuses me ;) If you say you get 50 clicks a week, that sounds like an impressive number, though I'm betting some of those are some sort of twitter crawler bots as well.

RBC said:
So don't worry about trying to come up with clever tweets, amusing jokes etc, just find people to reply to, build up the followers like that. Once you have many people following you, you can start worrying about coming up with what to tweet.

To keep it simple, create a goal of tweeting 5 new people a day.. So you go to hashtags you're interested in and answer 5 people you haven't talked yet. Some of them will reply and conversations will happen, some won't. Doesn't matter. So in a month's time, you will be actually brushing shoulders with 150 new people. That's where Twitter's marketing power is, you can meet new people with a simple tweet and get a chance to build up coversations and relationships. Which can eventually end up in sales.
Thanks RBC :) Though all what you've written probably sounds obvious to some (First you open your mouth, then you shove the food in. Chewing comes later), It opened my eyes a bit. I'll try the hashtag experiment for a bit, see how it goes
 

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I'm also new to the Twitter world. I'm using it more and more, and what I've learned is that it's a great place to have short conversations with friends. Most of those friends are authors here at Kboards, and I see a lot of joking around or encouragement between us. Occasionally someone mentions their book, but it's usually a cover reveal or a request for blurb help.

I think RBC is completely correct that you should use it as a place to meet people, not to market. You may sell some books as a result of posting there, but that shouldn't be your primary goal. If you enjoy tweeting it's probably worth your time. If you don't then it's probably not worth the effort.
 

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smikeo said:
Thanks RBC :) Though all what you've written probably sounds obvious to some (First you open your mouth, then you shove the food in. Chewing comes later), It opened my eyes a bit. I'll try the hashtag experiment for a bit, see how it goes
You're welcome! That's the crazy thing with social media. When joining Twitter or Instagram etc people often forget the 'Social' part of it. It is common sense, but it's not used. People start talking and it becomes he who screams loudest might win.

As you see, you can use Twitter as broadcasting tool, that gets some results but not great. What Wayne does can work but only because of brute force, outscreaming others. What I'm suggesting is actually trying to understand how Twitter works and then use it for enjoyment AND promotion. You can use brute force and it will work to a degree, but it will also just make Twitter worse for other people with more useless noise.

I would suggest having some scheduled tweets for balance! Not 6 per hour but few per day, 1 per day for book link in the mix of 20 real tweets of engaging is fine and can work well. If people actually talk to you for few times, they might actually pay attention to your tweets. Which means some of your Buy Book links will be actually seen and used.

@Wayne, What's making you hate Twitter? You just posted about Email list, the size and impact of it. Great points. But Twitter is the same thing, follower count is the same as list size, you can have many subscribers or followers but only engaged ones matter. So it's kind of interesting to see you Investing in relationships in email, but not applying the same principles on Twitter. They are very similar in that regard. Is there really a difference when person emails you and you talk with him and a person who tweets at you and you can chat with him? Twitter chats just increase the chance of them joining your email list..
 

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I've found that becoming part of the community your wanting to write for, is far more productive than a Twitter platform. It drives me nuts when I have to constantly defend myself and not my work, from people I'm not even marketing to.

And the tailoring the discover feed is a scam. Usually what I end up getting is the feed tailored to promoting only authors who spam at me with buy my book, buy my book.

It also tends to be trying to write my biography for me. I can write my own autobiography, stupid platform.:/ And you bet it's filled with ultra passive aggressive "being helpful" advice columns.

I've getting much more out of becoming part of the diaspora community.
 

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LWFlouisa said:
I've found that becoming part of the community your wanting to write for, is far more productive than a Twitter platform. It drives me nuts when I have to constantly defend myself and not my work, from people I'm not even marketing to.

And the tailoring the discover feed is a scam. Usually what I end up getting is the feed tailored to promoting only authors who spam at me with buy my book, buy my book.

It also tends to be trying to write my biography for me. I can write my own autobiography, stupid platform.:/ And you bet it's filled with ultra passive aggressive "being helpful" advice columns.

I've getting much more out of becoming part of the diaspora community.
What do you mean you need to defend your work etc? Where do you comment on Twitter? :)
 

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Not defend my work, defend me. I've mostly met people that are outright mean and deceptive.

I don't seem to encounter the same problem elsewhere. Most of the time I don't post, precisely because of this. I'm finding having to defend myself (instead of my work) an exercise in futility. So it's not worth communicating a lot the time on Twitter specifically.

And at 140 character, it removes a lot of context and you can't explain the context without double tweeting. I should be able to explain the post completely in an adequate character count. Otherwise I can't make qualifications.
 

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LWFlouisa said:
Not defend my work, defend me. I've mostly met people that are outright mean and deceptive.

I don't seem to encounter the same problem elsewhere.
That is completely opposite of my experience so far. I've been tweeting daily for last 40 days, never had one flare up. Mostly chats about self publishing with authors, how they write, learned that some of them found writer buddies on Twitter, editors, beta readers etc.

What hashtags did you use? Guess I'll avoid those ones if they are bad.

I'd say to start safely, use Twitter's #amwriting hashtag for first few weeks.
 

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RBC said:
That is completely opposite of my experience so far. I've been tweeting daily for last 40 days, never had one flare up. Mostly chats about self publishing with authors, how they write, learned that some of them found writer buddies on Twitter, editors, beta readers etc.

What hashtags did you use? Guess I'll avoid those ones if they are bad.

I'd say to start safely, use Twitter's #amwriting hashtag for first few weeks.
While it's sometimes hashtags, it's more some chats I go to sometimes. Oh and the discover feed.:/ (Not a fault of the twitter user base, it's just a very strange system.)

And whats gets me, I'm starting to wonder if I accidentally come across as mean myself in this discover feed. I've had to outright apologies to some people to clear things up.XD

It's hard to really explain, and sometimes wonder if its just me.o_O

An example that comes to mind, let's say ten people use a #diversebooks hashtag. Even though they have a perfectly valid hashtag, the discover feed crowds them all in one place, and makes it look preachy. The users aren't being preachy, Twitter is. I know how strange that sounds.

So like I've found it not worth using hashtags, because then the discover feed crowds it together so the multiple users saying the same thing are tragically ignored, because of this bizarre system.

I wonder if it only bothers me as an introvert.:/
 

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As a guide...your "Twitter time" should be 95% conversation/advice/free content and 5% promotional.

If you spend 50% of your time trying to sell...it will only work 1% of the time. If you build up a reputation for being an authority author with a friendly streak, you'll gain the trust needed so your 5% promotional posts work...every time.

I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but people don't visit Twitter to buy. You have to feed the pony before you can ride it.
 

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LWFlouisa said:
While it's sometimes hashtags, it's more some chats I go to sometimes. Oh and the discover feed.:/ (Not a fault of the twitter user base, it's just a very strange system.)

And whats gets me, I'm starting to wonder if I accidentally come across as mean myself in this discover feed. I've had to outright apologies to some people to clear things up.XD

It's hard to really explain, and sometimes wonder if its just me.o_O

An example that comes to mind, let's say ten people use a #diversebooks hashtag. Even though they have a perfectly valid hashtag, the discover feed crowds them all in one place, and makes it look preachy. The users aren't being preachy, Twitter is. I know how strange that sounds.
Twitter shows feeds from people who choose what they post. As you can see in this thread, some authors use brute force and post 'Buy my book', some don't. Twitter can filter some out but they are still working on it. It's fault of the users that their postings sucks. No one is forcing people to tweet 'Buy my book'. Twitter can do better work there too but give them some space, they group more by keywords and interests than content alone. So all people with the same interests will get shown, sometimes it means bad stuff. Discovery is still new so no wonder! :)

Stick with hashtags and Lists only. Pick people you like and have them in lists, then go comment on those. That will clean up your experience a lot! ;)

Def. experiment with more hastags. I think you're gonna do well, just started off in the wrong corner of Twitter etc. Maybe some communication adjustment too will help. But you're not far off I think.
 

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The other important thing to remember about Twitter is that...as a platform...it is far from perfect.

But, if you weigh it up against the fact that it's free and time is your only investment, it's awesome for what it is.
 

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I'll definitely do this then. I'm considering a Weird Contemporary hashtag or something.

Sorry about my overly long post earlier.;/
 
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