Many bloggers have written many blog posts containing many points regarding the many things authors should not be doing on Twitter if they want to sell their books (there’s a mathematical formula in there somewhere). So, why should I add to it?
Well. Because it’s quite obvious that nobody has been bloody listening; that’s why. (Another reason is that having alluded to this post a number of people asked me to publish it. So now.)
Fine. You Don’t Understand Twitter? Get Off It, Then
Before 2011, there was a window – for about 45 minutes, one Tuesday afternoon – in which people (authors especially) had an open forum on Twitter upon which to promote themselves. During this time, pretty much any old tweet could gain some traction. Some did very well out of it. But times have changed.
There are now too many folks tweeting mindlessly, and too much. And the result is the equivalent of an ad agency trying to sell detergent in 2015 by showing a wife in a skirt and apron dancing around a kitchen. Times have moved on. I wish tweeters would too.
We’re coming up to the first anniversary of Twitter’s Mute function, and I’ve spent some very productive waiting times lately (at the bus stop; in the dentist’s waiting room, and during that interminable time between the bread going into the toaster, and the toast coming out) doing nothing but a satisfying little job I like to call Muting You On Twitter. This is because my Twitter timeline had become 90% torrential guff (and that’s even before you count pathetic ads now thrown at you by Twitter itself). The other 10% – the stuff I’d like to see – drowned.
Sure, I could have unfollowed all these people. But the sad thing is that I feel like I worked hard to get my followers, even if they never ever ever ever read my tweets and only want to clog up my timeline with total and utter shite. I don’t buy followers. I try to play by the rules.
So, with regard once again to this post on how not to sell your self-published book, not to mention this one on author behaviour online which would earn them a slap in real life, here is the list of things which makes me mute people – mainly authors – on Twitter.
I might add that I am supremely confident that I won’t upset anyone with this list, because not one of the people I have muted has ever read this blog, or interacted with me in any meaningful way.
15 Reasons You Have Been Muted From My Twitter Feed
- When I followed you, you sent me an automatic direct message telling me to go to your Facebook page/buy your book/check out your blog (I don’t know you yet. I don’t care.)
- You have more than 1 hashtag in your Twitter profile (so you read an SEO-optimisation article one time, and think that by using 10 hashtags you will get 1 million readers.)
- You use too many quirky symbols or capitalised words
- You have the words “I follow back”; “I promote” or “I retweet” in your Twitter profile (I make about 2 exceptions for trusted indie promoters I have interacted with elsewhere – e.g. on my blog or theirs. Generally, incessant book promotion tells me that you never employ any type of vetting process. Meaning your recommendations are irrelevant.)
- The first 3 tweets I see from you are inane promotions of your own work
- I see any tweet containing the words “buy my book” or “check out” or “another 5 star review!”
- Any more than 2 of your last 10 tweets quote reviews of your own books (they are meaningless)
- You have sent out more than 3 tweets in 10 minutes (stop clogging my feed)
- You have sent out more than 10 tweets in 24 hours (I said, stop clogging my feed)
- You have the words “motivation” or “inspiration” in your profile (sigh)
- Any of your tweets order me to do something (Seriously. You think that works??)
- You tweet banal quotes from your own books all the time (in some mistaken belief that 160* characters could hook someone who has never heard of you before)
- A significant number of your tweets are made up of those group #FF followback messages or retweets of same
- I see any tweet containing the words “Please RT” for anything other than public information, missing persons, or charity purposes
- Anything about your tweets suggests to me that when it comes to Twitter, you believe in quantity over quality
As a slight antidote to the vitriol I feel about timewasters on Twitter, I will say that if I see tweets from you containing personal thoughts from your own head, anything funny, specific replies to other tweeters or even clickbait, I won’t mute you. These things say you interact, not just bombard. Sadly however, there are few enough people out there tweeting this kind of stuff.
Also, if you were to send me a tweet telling me I’m lovely, I wouldn’t mute you either.
Just kidding. I wouldn’t believe a word.
What are your triggers? Anyone else think the mute function on Twitter is the greatest thing since the flush toilet?
* or 140. But who’s counting? 😀