Toying with Twitter: A Week of Testing

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

First, check out War of Nytefall: Rivalry.  Now on to the topic at hand.

Last weekend, I mentioned that I was getting frustrated with Twitter.  There doesn’t seem to be any payoff to using it.  So, I did a little goofing off this week when I could.  Some was even on purpose.  I’m just going to put up my points:

  1. Twitter feeds are so clogged that it is hard to find promos.  Within seconds, I would see something I wanted to retweet has disappeared and I’m looking at either porn, politics, gibberish, or a trending comment.  You have to check constantly or specifically go to a person’s page to check them out.  This means only doing 1 unpinned tweet a day won’t get you very far.  Your own retweets to get attention will drown the tweet.
  2. My War of Nytefall: Rivalry tweets ended up not having an Amazon page preview.  I put the picture on the first one after I noticed, but I did the second through Hootsuite and rushed it.  So, I didn’t see where the picture went.  I decided to see how this one does with no image.  It was terrible.  Think it got into the 40’s by the next morning and I’m usually looking at 90’s and low 100’s.  Images are essential!
  3. Changing out the pinned post every day helps give regulars something to share and revives you in the feed.  Yet, it’s not easy to figure out what to do to keep things fresh if you’re promoting a book.  I left a pinned post up and saw things trickle in.  The initial day was busy and then it was a constant 5-6 every few years.  It would go up when I had time to retweet other authors.
  4. This means that shares are mostly coming from authors who are either returning the favor or wanting you to return the favor.  Nobody seems to really be buying if they don’t know the other author.  This is why blogging is a better platform because you can have better interactions.
  5. Too many people want to have public conversations that border on an argument.  I’m not saying this happened to me.  Just something I saw.

I didn’t get to test out the ‘Twitter question’ idea.  That will be for next weekend when I have more time.  What I’m going to try this week is set up one pinned post on Sunday and let it ride for the week.  Doubt this will get sales, but it will keep me active enough to retain some presence.  You never know when Twitter will come in handy.  Other authors get a lot out of it, so you don’t want to cut them off.

People talked about it last Saturday, but I’ll ask again.  What do you think of Twitter lately?  What kind of questions should be asked?  (I’m thinking author and silly.)

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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39 Responses to Toying with Twitter: A Week of Testing

  1. Marcia says:

    I’ll be following (and Tweeting) your posts on marketing via Twitter and anything else you are testing out. I’m struggling to regain the momentum I had going before Hurricane Irma blew me completely off course. It’s like I’m beginning from groundf zero, but I’m determined to come up with a marketing plan of some sort, and hopefully a stronger one than I had a couple of years ago. (It was okay, but I know it should be better.) Thanks for sharing this, Charles! 🙂

    Like

  2. I don’t believe Twitter sells books. I think it is a nice way to keep in touch with those you know. Love to hear if you figure it out.

    Like

  3. L. Marie says:

    I don’t do a ton of marketing on Twitter. But I retweeted your promo tweet.

    Like

  4. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Let Charles know YOUR opinion, using the comments under his original blog post 😀

    Like

  5. jwebster2 says:

    I’ve got a twitter account and my blog automatically posts to it. I stopped facebook automatically posting to it because it didn’t post pictures. I agree, pictures matter.
    But because I only look at my twitter account when i get the email telling me I have notifications, I don’t see it every week. I haven’t the time or the inclination to keep checking it.
    Way back, for reasons I’ve never really understood, one of my books was picked up and tweeted by some of the professionals. I think you set things up so the algorithms send you popular products and you tweet them to your followers so they buy them through your amazon account and you get the commission
    These people tweeted my book to 200,000 followers and I got one sale

    Like

    • I had a similar issue with Facebook. From what I remember, it always picked either my blog banner or author photo. It was never the picture that I attached to the post. Then they made it harder to get noticed, which killed it for me.

      That’s a really damning ratio for the platform. Seems it really doesn’t do much for sales. Getting even attention from it may be based on luck and preexisting fame.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jwebster2 says:

        Yes, I’ve always found that with my blog, facebook picks up the picture I want it to pick up. But when I share a blog post I’ve written for another blog, it seems to pick up their banner or author photo
        I’m not sure what I’m doing right
        I think you have to somehow game facebook, to get people looking at your page before you start dropping promotions onto it. But I suspect this is the same with all social media, it’s just you have to find one that suits you

        Like

      • I’ve been told Facebook’s strength is in the author groups. I used to be in a bunch of those, but left. I saw how they would get taken over by one or two authors who would transform the group into their online street team. Promos by other authors would get reported if they didn’t put more effort into pushing the ‘leaders’. Even then, your post got pushed down by another from that crew. Not helpful at all.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwebster2 says:

        not helpful at all
        I have the cunning plan of posting a few cartoons or funny memes every morning (which means people tend to ‘like’ them and even come looking for them. Which means facebook shows them more of my stuff
        And I slip a link to a review or a blog into the stream 🙂

        Like

      • I keep trying to interact there. Far too many politics.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwebster2 says:

        Yes, there are times when I have to slap my hand and just walk away
        Telling myself I’m just there to sell books, not win political arguments sometimes helps 🙂

        Like

      • I’ve yet to sell a book through political discourse.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwebster2 says:

        I suspect I’d put more people off!

        Like

  6. Ali Isaac says:

    I don’t like Twitter. Its not meaningful in any way, so far as I can see. Its like having a thousand people in a room all shouting their own message and not listening to anyone else, can’t listen in fact, because its so noisy and fast-moving. I don’t believe it sells books, or raises your profile unless you’re already famous in some way. But I’m interested to see your experiments, and delighted if you prove me wrong! Best of luck, Charles!

    Like

  7. Staci Troilo says:

    I try to include images with my Tweets. I use Buffer App, so when I click the “tweet” button on blog posts, I get the option to include a graphic with an easy click of a button. Even so, I’m not getting the numbers you do.

    I don’t think Twitter equates to sales (the messages get lost in traffic), but it’s a nice and easy place for me to share things from other writers.

    Like

  8. I don’t get much out of any social media. I use it with automatic blog posts like a trail of breadcrumbs to my blog. I manage to retweet those I can, but even then I doubt it helps them much. Ali’s description is pretty accurate from my viewpoint.

    Like

  9. Thanks for sharing your recent experiences with Twitter. 🙂

    Like

  10. Twitter can, indeed, be a shouting factory. You can make a minor comment that’s mis-interpreted and people pounce on you. I link my blog to Twitter and link Twitter to my Facebook author page. I don’t think I sell many books, but I keep commenting nicely on other authors and groups I’m interested in, just to build a following who will re-tweet my posts.

    Like

  11. Jaq says:

    Are you using hashtags? That’s really key on Twitter.

    Like

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