Tuesday, January 15, 2013

More on Tweeting

I have been using the social media increasingly over the last few months, and I think I have enough experience under my belt now to make a few observations about Twitter.

When I first started using Twitter, I had an account under my own name, I chose to follow just a few people (no more than 20) and I usually had between 15 and 20 followers of my own. Very small scale – nothing I could brag about at Twitter parties. But it worked in this sense: I could read all the tweets. Recently I have started another Twitter account for the proofreading business, and for this account I have been trying a different tactic. I have been following many people, mainly writers or those connected with the writing business. As a result, many more people are now following me.  However, because I am following many more people (still a fraction of the number that some people follow) I actually see very few of their tweets. If I am away from the computer for a while, there are hundreds of new tweets waiting when I return, and I generally only look at the top five or so (by then there are always more waiting). Of course, I realise that the same is true for all of the people who are following me: what are the chances that they actually see my tweet? Very slim, I imagine.

Then there is the question of the content of the tweets. Actually, “content” might be too grandiose a word. Many tweets look like this:

RT @jpLANEauthor Powerful players, ruthless people. A TANGLED WEB of passion & international intrigue. viewBook.at/B007Z5Y3ZQ#WLCAuthor

Do I have any incentive to follow this up, especially given that I have just received dozens if not hundreds of others just like it, and perhaps even this very tweet several times before? No, I have no incentive at all. Similarly, I doubt that those receiving my tweets have any inclination to follow them up.

So what is the point?

The only thing I can see that might work, given that my ultimate objective is to promote my business, is the process of following new people. There is often a direct message in response when people are added to my “following” list – at least I know that they have noticed me (except, of course, that some of those responses are automated). When someone new follows me, I send them a direct message (not automated). I also use direct messages if I happen to have looked at some of their writing and noticed errors that I, as a proofreader, would have picked up.

All in all, though, I remain unconvinced about the effectiveness of Twitter, at least as a promotional tool. And that is certainly what almost everyone that I follow is using it for. I doubt that the return is worth the investment. I will, however, give it a while longer. I hope to be proven wrong.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure of the value of Twitter either Philip, though some of the tweets can be entertaining. One advantage of social media might be that breaking news can now travel very fast around the world.
    If one combined My Space, Twitter and Facebook one could start a new social platform called My Twit Face. :-)