Monday, January 19, 2015

Teaching an Old Dog New Twits...

Or something.

So this weekend I made a decision that where I really fall down is on the social media. My marketing has been ineffective, and while I am CLUELESS what would be most effective, I've decided to make Twitter my first domain to conquer.


Followers. Followees. I spent a couple HOURS Saturday cleaning these up. One of the reasons Twitter fell off my list of things to do was it was overwhelming. I dived in too fast and without thought. I hit the limit on how much I was allowed to follow, so I couldn't 'follow back'... which was discouraging. And my FEED was too full to really see what was going on with anyone.

Well the good thing about disappearing is people drop out. Both followers and followees... those lists plummeted and I felt a little liberating in having the flexibility to clean house.

With followees... I went through the entire thing... 1900 or so... and I DROPPED anyone who did not fall into any of the following:

Following me (stayed there except a very few I really saw as distractions)
Industry people (I kept the agents and publishers)
KNOWN to me on another format—here or Facebook

I DID end up dropping several authors, but like I said, nobody I knew and they weren't following me either (I left a few that had common genres with me... but hey... Children's books? Erotic romance? I need to know you).

My list went down to about 1500.

Then I went to my followers and FOLLOWED anyone who I wasn't that was following me (except a few oddball cases that looked like they were shopping for followers—the social marketer “experts” and music or movie sites that usually didn't look relevant)

So now I am at about 1650—room to follow back and closer to manageable.

So How About This Checking It Out?

I found it relatively overwhelming.

My impulse was to ignore... A LOT. Anything with links? I was NOT going there. I was committing a half hour twice a day to learning this and I was NOT going to go read.... really much. One or two things enticed me, but mostly I just cruised past. I ALSO ignored ALL “look at my book”. I believe had they come from people I KNEW that I would have looked—retweeted. But NOT unfamiliar names.

What DID catch my eye? Statements to which I could make a pithy response. (I responded). Good news (I favorited).

I probably would have tried to console bad news...

There were a few pictures I liked (that is new since last time I was there regularly).

I don't know how typical I am, but I think I may not be that unusual, so I offer up this advice, which I plan to follow:

And look. An Oscar Wilde quote illustrating my point...
Keep it a little personal. Let people see YOU. Not your requote of Oscar Wilde, much as I love Oscar Wilde quotes.

I think I am going to try to be a bit like I am on FB with my time available... just lay low and respond to people... retweet their good news, give friendly (humorous when possible) responses when I see personal stuff... I am going to try to make friends. Maybe then I won't feel like it is just a black hole of narcissists.

So... does anyone have good LISTS of agents/industry folks that could help me do this friendly thing with people who I NEED to be connected to? (do they do lists anymore?)

Any tricks you want to share with using Twitter that won't make me hate it? (I do NOT want to approach this as a marketer--it is incompatible with my personality--I want to PLAY, but in a way that is effective)

If you are on Twitter and want to find me I am @hartjohnson


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I recently found TweetBe and it helped with the final stages of organizing my lists on Twitter. (I have four.) I also use WhoUnfollowedMe to find those folks. Unless it's someone really big or a science fiction site, I won't follow if they don't follow me.
I do a lot of reTweeting, but I need to be more personal. Thanks for the reminder.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I'm probably not the best person to give advice on using Twitter because I'm very limited in how I use it, despite my profile there. I have lists of industry pros that Galley Cat other list is pretty good too, I think. if that helps.

It sounds as if you're on the right path! Use Hootsuite, only look at those lists you set up and it won't be overwhelming.

Hart Johnson said...

AH! Good resources to simplify this! Thank you both!!!

Chrys Fey said...

I'm not on Twitter yes, so this was actually very helpful. Now I want want to do and not to do when I join, which I plan on doing later this year...when I can get my head around it.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

That was a lot of work! Good for you, Hart. I talk too much to be on Twitter, plus, I have made FB my place to be, but I do like your advice on being yourself. Lots of relatives have hidden me from their newsfeed (and I have therefore done the same to some of them), but I am happy with how things are now.

Hugs and have a super week,
Kathy M.

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

Goodness that must have been daunting! Twitter is still a foreign land to me. I find it funny that you didn't mention your twitter handle in your post.

Hart Johnson said...

D'oh! Good catch, Holly! I think I have it in a sidebar somewhere, but when the TOPIC is Twitter... fixed now...

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I finally started making lists because like you, I was overwhelmed. So much so, I'd go weeks without even looking because I was afraid to.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I wish I would try Twitter, but um...I'm scared. :)

Andrew Leon said...

I have found twitter to be less than useful so far in my year of using it (I recently posted about that). I'm not dropping it, but I don't see it as a viable marketing tool unless you're famous.

Andrew Leon said...

But I did go over and follow you.

Helena said...

Good for you for just wanting to play. Me, I signed up for Twitter a long time back and then never used it or even followed it. But I'd love to follow you so I'll check it out. Soon as I can find my password.

Tamara Narayan said...

Helena and I must be related. I signed up several years ago and then never touched it again. Password? Not a clue. I got an email that said I had 4 followers once and found that pretty amusing as they were no one I knew from personal life or blogging.

But good for you. I'll be curious to see how your plunge works out.

Arlee Bird said...

I already follow you on Twitter so I'm covered there. I'd recommend that you add Share buttons for your post. I was going to share this post so it might get more exposure but I didn't see a button to do so and I'm too lazy to make the extra effort.

I usually send out at least a few tweets each day, but I'm not overly active on the site. I try to clean up followers at least once a week using Who Unfollowed Me, but I don't pay for any extras regarding Twitter (or anything else social media wise for that matter). Moderate maintenance and little interaction has been my strategy. I pick up new followers by following recommendations Twitter sends me if they look worth following and if they don't follow back I usually x them.

I'm learning, but I don't know that Twitter has been overly helpful to me yet.

Good luck!

Tossing It Out