1000 True Fans – Is Twitter a Waste of Time?

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We’re jumping into month two of my quest to find 1000 “true” fans, focusing on social media. If you would like to get caught up on last month, check out the 1000 “True” Fan Landing Page.

Review of Past Week (Mission 4: What’s your Platform?): ??? Success.

Last week was all about determining your platform. The homework was to go out and make some contacts, do some guest blogs, basically, network. It’s hard to say if this was successful or not, since the payoff is in the future.

What I have lined up:

  • January 30th  – Spotlight on Amateur Sleuths for Mystery/Thriller Week
  • February 19 – Guest Post for Mystery/Thriller Week (Article I wrote on “Medications as Murder Weapons (in fiction writing, of course)”
  • February 26th – Author Interview
  • March 10th – Author Interview
  • March 17th – Author Interview

We’ll see if it turns into much of anything–at the very least, I really enjoyed writing the article “Medications as Murder Weapons (in fiction writing, of course)” Okay–before you judge me, remember, I’m a pharmacist.

How did this week turn out in terms of mailing list growth (my measure of success)?

Drum Roll…Ready?

Current Mailing List Subscriptions: 31 fans / 1000 true fans (No change from last week.)

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This Weeks Mission: Optimizing Twitter I’ve been using Twitter for less than a year. I never really understood what this crazy blue bird meant. Everyone’s tweeting–well, so what? It wasn’t until I attempted my first Kindle Scout campaign that I created an account and tried for some followers…which quickly grew into 2000+ of them.

I thought, GREAT! Two-thousand people will hear my message. I should be able to get votes for my campaign…or sell my book…or get mailing list sign-ups, right?

Wrong.

I had formed the opinion that twitter is useless…a waste of time…BUT many people are saying that it’s quite effective. My conclusion can only be I have no idea what I’m doing. I began doing my research.

So, what is twitter’s purpose? Twitter is more of a social gathering. A blogger friend of mine gave the analogy that twitter is a bar. (Check her blog out here for more twitter information.) I’ve also heard it’s like a party. You go to meet people. Make connections. Many writers (unfortunately, me included at times) tweet promotional tweet after promotional tweet. If somebody showed up at the bar or party and sat besides you, chatting nonstop about the product they were selling, you’d get up and move pretty quickly.

How can I use this to my advantage? Think of those people you want to hang out with. What makes them attractive? Common interests? Humor? Great charisma? Full of useful information? You want to capture this in your twitter posts. I’ve read multiple opinions on a good ratio of promotional information vs. quality content, anywhere from 5% to 50% of tweets can be promotional. I think this depends on what you have going on at the time.

How much time will this take? I don’t want social media to take over my life…but, at the same time, I do enjoy the connections and learning new things. My struggle that I want to overcome this week is effectively using my time to create QUALITY interactions…MEANINGFUL conversations…TRUE FANS. Plus, I want time to write…and enjoy my family…and maybe the outdoors, if summer ever comes back.

My goals this week: After reading through the books listed in the “learn more” section below, I’ve come up with the following game plan for myself. My goal is to get a handle on twitter, begin to form some relationships, but don’t get caught up in a time sucking adventure. I want to form a sustainable method to continue to grow my reach. There are so many things that can be done, but this week, and into the future, I just want to focus on a few easy steps.

  1. Grow quality followers: I guess you can follow 1000 people a day before twitter jumps in and wonders if you’re a robot or not. I can’t imagine the time this takes. You don’t want to randomly follow people. Ideally, connecting with people with similar interests or those that will be interested in what you have to offer. So…how do you find these people? There’s many ways, but I’m going to start by looking at the lists others have added me to. I know I’m on some scifi/fantasy lovers, indiepublishing, and blogger lists. Those are the people I’m looking to connect with. I’ll follow some…with hopes of meeting somebody new. Perhaps the goal of befriending 30-50 people per day. (Goal: Spend 5 minutes per day on this.)
  2. Engage in quality conversations: Start building a list of those people you want to watch and frequently converse with. I’ve learned, with 2000 followers, my twitter stream is a mess and that’s not the best place to go. I’ll create my own lists, perhaps: Fans, Writing Buddies, Fun People. (It’s a good enough start.) Also, follow certain hashtags. I’m starting a Kindle Scout campaign, so I’ll follow that hashtag. I’ll also watch #writetip, #indiepub, #twittertip THEN, I’ll get chatting. Perhaps a goal of starting 3 to 5 conversations per day. (Goal: Spend 10 minutes per day on this. Don’t have to do it all every day. Just some here…and there.)

Of note, twitter is an interesting platform with lots of little nuisances (like setting up your platform, who can see conversations, visibility of lists, etc.) If you don’t know anything about it, I’d recommend diving into a how-to guide to get the basics.

Key takeaway: I had been tempted to do some account automation to make this whole process easier, but I’m glad I didn’t. I don’t even look at Direct Messages, so why would I expect my followers to? I’m very genuine and wish to continue that platform.

Learn More: You can find out more about twitter in these books I read to get a handle on what the heck twitter was.

Next Week: Facebook!

Let’s learn from each other. What twitter tips do you have?

 

About Joynell Schultz

Writer & lover of all types of speculative fiction. I'm shivering in northern Wisconsin. Learn about my novels here: http://Author.to/JoynellSchultz
This entry was posted in 1000 True Fans, Marketing, My Writing Journey and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to 1000 True Fans – Is Twitter a Waste of Time?

  1. Lana says:

    Interesting! I’m not one for social media really (except blogging, of course) and so I don’t have a twitter account and I honestly have no idea how it work, so I can’t give you any tips. 😛 But it sounds like you had a pretty successful week with scheduling posts and things like that. I’m really interested to read the “Medications as Murder Weapons” one…that sounds really interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I still don’t know if twitter’s worth the effort. I do know, I’ve been doing it wrong all this time. Hmmm… we’ll see. I’m glad “Medications as Murder Weapons” caught your interest. I’m interested to see how that goes over. Either it’ll offend people…or they’ll really like it.

      Like

  2. I love twitter, I have two accounts. I check trends regularly as I find the news on there is way more accurate and up to speed than news web pages. I travel so follow alot of travellers and sites such as earthquake warning sites too.
    I like their recent ‘moments’ section where you can join in and share a deeper chat. It’s hard to keep up however I dip in whilst watching TV etc. I”m far from a ‘professional’ tweeter and refuse to buy followers.
    I contact all my followers or retweet their work for them, just as a courtesy. I wasn’t this engaged at the start so am now clearing out using tweetdeck.
    I’ve automated all my posts to go on Twitter, and have very recently joined Buffer todo the same.
    I just like its immediacy, especially when watching TV or sporting events, there are some real comedians on there.
    My advice? Don’t be scared to unfollow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I’m focused on playing with it more this week, I’m starting to like it too. I found Hootsuite (which is very similar to tweetdeck) and that makes it so much more user friendly. I’m going to explore the “moments” section next, I hadn’t ever looked at that before. Yeah, I can’t believe people purchase followers–especially since it’s not hard to get some. You have 4000 followers, how do you keep up??? Thanks for the advice and the insight! I love focusing on one platform a week to get a handle on it.

      Like

  3. I recently got twitter and I agree that sometimes it seems pointless. However I have made some good friends there and it is good for building a more personal connection with fans.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I’m learning that. Twitter is for fun & friends…not advertising (though, so many people send a constant stream of advertising, that I didn’t really know.) Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  4. I’m still figuring out Twitter and what place it has in promoting my books as well. At its best, Twitter is a chatroom you can customize. I’ve gotten into some epic conversations there, but not recently. Now I use it mostly to cross-promote while I’m blogging, using the share buttons.

    Don’t know if you’re interested or not, but I’ve shared a bunch of Twitter info on my blog recently, on my social media conference for writers. A lot of it is merely trying to focus my own thoughts. Too much of my effort has been throwing mud against the virtual wall and hoping it sticks.

    Like

    • Hi! Oh, twitter. I’ve changed my philosophy on it since this post. I’ve tried and I’ve tried and still think it’s a time sucker. I’m moving more towards simply using it to interact with people (“fans” & other writers) rather than a promotional platform. I also get a lot more traction from my blog posts on twitter than I do my books/writing and feel I throw a lot of mud too! I’m heading over to your blog to explore your posts now. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      Like

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