Monday 23 January 2017

Catching up on Twitter...

The nasty winter bug finally caught up with me last week, and my brain went on go-slow until the antibiotics started to get control of the infection in my lungs.

In fact I don't think my characters got out of the imaginary beds/chairs that they'd got comfy in.

As I was quite tired after my couple of brief trips out (essential appointments) I really didn't have the energy to do much beyond a quick trip into the kitchen (next door to my office) to replenish the mug and browse.

So I used the time to catch up on reading blog posts, self-publishing related items, and giving a little more time to Twitter.

Usually I pop into Twitter a few times a week for ten to fifteen minutes a visit, and the regular #writingchat session on a Wednesday night for an hour between 8 and 9 pm- when I'm not at the writers' club. At the weekend I can take a little longer.

When I finish this blog post the link will be tweeted and I'll pin the tweet to the top of my Twitter page feed.

(If you don't know where to find it, just click the little down arrow symbol on the top right of your chosen tweet and choose the pin tweet option- or unpin to change it. It used to be found when you clicked the three dots symbol.)

Do you pin your
I only started to pin my tweets in December, after it was mentioned at the Leicester RNA Chapter meeting during the book blogger discussions. It gets over having to keep tweeting a link, and if someone looks at your profile and the tweets, my latest blog post link is the first tweet seen.

It can easily be retweeted from your profile too. And with a few clicks you can unpin one tweet and replace it with another- especially useful if you're promoting a book you've got on special offer...

Now the following isn't a rant, and I'm talking generally here.

I spent some time looking at what irritated me with tweets, so I don't do it myself.

Obviously writers need to reach readers all over the world. It's just when the book cover and buying link are posted not just once but four or more times in a row, one after another- no gap between them...

Maybe that works for some people, but it just makes me scroll by very quickly.

I have bought e-books after seeing them on Twitter, but that's been because of an intriguing cover image and/or tagline that makes me click the link to find out more, then once I'm there an interesting blurb that convinces me to buy. (Plus those books were a couple of tweets spaced apart by a few minutes.)

Now I am not a prude, but I do not want to be scrolling down my twitter feed and see a full-length book cover that probably wouldn't look out of place in porn- it doesn't happen often, but one from the other week has still not been scrubbed from my retinas!!!

Neither do I automatically follow back; which seems to be the only reason some follow, and then within 24 hours they've unfollowed you because you haven't followed them back. I suspect they work their way through the alphabet of twitter names...

Yes, I follow magazines and companies, but I have a different @name for those. No one wants their twitter feed full of cosmetics, clothes and home decor when you're a writer and time is valuable.

Tweetdeck is useful to schedule tweets and I've begun to use it more. It never worked well on my previous computer, so when I had to replace my desktop I decided to download it and try again, and I'm glad I did.

I've not used Twitter lists-yet- but will have to soon.

Hootsuite, I've heard of, but that's all. You can find out more about it on the Story Empire Blog.

Is there anything you like or dislike about Twitter? Any useful tips to pass on?


Teresa Ashby said...

I like dipping in and out of Twitter - much prefer it to Facebook now which I hardly use at all. I agree with you about the identical tweets appearing one after another being irritating and counter productive. I think what I like about Twitter is that you can be on and off it in a couple of minutes and tend not to get sucked in.

liz young said...

I haven't got to grips with Twitter yet, apart from copying a link to my weekly flash fiction. I know I have some 'followers' on Twitter, so I ought to get started!

Patsy said...

Like you there are some things which irritate me about Twitter – and I'm trying vert hard not to do those things myself – but mostly I think it's great.

Carolb said...

Yes, I agree, Teresa, you don't need to spend long on there, but can easily dip in and out without losing track. :-)

Carolb said...

Start small and work up, Lizy. Though it's a good way to keep track of people, and organisations you're interested in. :-)

Carolb said...

I think like any social media it has good and bad points, but for writers it's very useful. :-)

Maria said...

I really like Twitter and prefer it over other social networks.
Thank you for the tip about the pinned tweet, I've had a go in the last week. Pinned my latest blog post, and have seen an increase in traffic!

I'm not sure about Twitter lists myself - Probably ought to look up what they're all about as I know I appear on a few.

Helen Laycock said...

Pinned tweets are great. I have noticed that some people RT my pinned tweet over and over, which I don't understand. I can only seem to RT pins once.

Lists are good, Carol. I categorise everyone who has stuck with a follow. I have lists of writers, agents, publishers, writing opportunities... The list goes on. When I use Tweetdeck I can then select a list to peruse.

Of course, if someone does then unfollow, I strike them off the list! Serves them right.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I like twitter too, Carol, as it's quicker than the other social media but I had to block someone recently because of the awful picture that streamed through my feed (not a book cover) bordering on porn!

Angela Barton said...

Hello Carol
I will have to try the pin technique - sounds like a positive move for writers.
For a while I couldn't find the impetus to write on twitter, but since I've sent 3 chapters to a publisher and they've asked for my full manuscript and twitter, Facebook and blog addresses, I thought I ought to go back to it, and I have to say I'm enjoying it more this time round. I agree that many people unfollow if I don't follow back, but they're obviously just looking to increase their followers.
I'm glad you're feeling better - it'll soon be spring.
Happy writing.
Angela x

Carolb said...

Glad the pinned tweet tip has been useful, Maria. :)

Carolb said...

Angela- The pinning technique is so simple to do and has such a positive effect, and doesn't take long either.

Fingers crossed for your submission, Angela. Hope you hear positive news. x

Rosemary-that is the one problem with Twitter, not everyone wants to see pictures like that, but they do get through. I reported a very explicit book cover & blocked the person a couple of months ago. It wasn't someone I followed either, but because of the way the system works it showed up.

Helen- you can undo (click on the symbol) the RT bit on your post and then RT it again. As I discovered late last year, many people will RT your pinned or top post as a way of saying thank you for your RT them.