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. http://viewBook.at/B007Z5Y3ZQ
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.