More Twittering

Ten days ago, I published a post about how I found Twitter baffling. It was a very popular post, and received many views, and some comments. It also inspired quite a few tweets in return, some of which favourited my tweet, then the tweets about my tweet in turn. Then there were numerous re-tweets, of the tweets that had been re-tweeted, or favourited. Are you still with me?

I asked some questions in that first post, mainly about how people manage to keep up with all this barrage of tweeting and re-tweeting. I also wanted to know why they do it.

I got some very constructive feedback, mostly from some valued blogging friends, and also from my new Twitter friends, who were keen to help. One good thing about all social media, is that besides all the bad stuff you hear about it, there are many people who will genuinely help you, with almost anything you want, or need to know. I am still vague about those tweets that feature my ‘Twitter name’ in a big list of others, but seem to have no subject attached, or purpose in tweeting. There are lots and lots of them, so they must mean something.

Most of those responding were very honest about the main reason for all this activity though. It is promotion, of whatever they need to promote. In my case, it’s my blog, for others it might be a book, or a product. A few others who got in touch were like me; bemused, and wondering what it was all about. Those up to speed with the whole Twitter thing, kindly explained how the idea works. You follow a lot of people, and they in turn (hopefully) follow you. They re-tweet your tweets, and you return the favour. You don’t actually have to read their tweets, or even see them. It can all be done automatically. That’s right. There are companies that will provide this service, many of them free of charge. You send them a list of your regular tweeters, and they re-tweet all their tweets for you. You never actually have to see a tweet again presumably, except your own.

I can sort of see the point. It gets you noticed. You are considered to be a reciprocal tweeter, get more followers, who you then follow. You all favourite and re-tweet all the tweets in your circle, until your message, comment, photo, or whatever, gets huge coverage on the Twittersphere. But if they are all using proxy re-tweeters, does anyone actually ever see it? I am back to my dilemma again. Having received all this kind advice, help, and information, I am really none the wiser as to ‘why.’

Do you get it, or is just me again?

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22 thoughts on “More Twittering

  1. Yes, Twitter is confusing. Funnily enough, I’ve met lovely people through Twitter. The long lists with only your Twitter handle are usually things that only exist in Twitter world. On Wednesdays you have #WW (Writerly Wednesday) that you usually send to your writer friends. On Friday #FF (Follow Friday) where you usually collect handles of people who interact or retweet your stuff and it’s a way of say thanks. There are others for blogs, etc. (I don’t know all of them). Of course you have trending things (Twitter will tell you what they are in a list) and you can search by topic if you’re looking for something in particular (people will use # to tag items… books, topics, etc) if you can use them for your tweet to get other people to find them. It is true a lot of people interact little, but I’ve had people asking me about my translations, etc. The problem is the rhythm is so fast that the likelihood that a single tweet will be seen is minimal. That’s why tags and all those things. But it’s a complicated world and I’m not sure it does much for sales, at least in my case.

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  2. What’s strange is that you get followers for no apparent reason. It’s obvious when someone is just trying to sell a product or service. And, yes, most of the time, new followers are simply people who like something you’ve tweeted, or who appreciate the fact that you’ve “favorited” something they or someone they follow has tweeted. But there are also new followers who seemingly come out of nowhere. It’s baffling. The numbers fluctuate daily. Whether they generally go up or down usually depends on the extent to which you participate in the game. I started last summer, and, at this precise moment in time, have 227 followers, which is 75 more than I’m following. At times, you can actually engage in conversations. There are “live” people on Twitter. But you have to wade through all the promotional tweets to find them. Is Twitter worth the effort? I honestly don’t know. I really, really, honestly don’t know….

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    1. I suppose it must work for a great many people David, or would not be so popular. I don’t put a lot of effort into it, just enough to remain polite, and to promote the blog posts. Perhaps for those who treat it like a job, or one part of a job, the hard work brings returns.
      Best wishes as always, Pete.

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  3. Pete, I’ve had twitter for years, but I really have no clue as to why.. Personally that is.. I’ve been tweeting my blog post for a year, and I have followed a great deal of publishers, and lately some are following me back and a select few have asked for me to submit some of my writing to them. So, I suppose if you’re a patient they will come back to you..

    Take care and happy blogging/tweeting to ya from Laura ~

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    1. Good to know that it worked for you Laura. I am not running it down, just trying to get across my inability to get to grips with it. (And trying to inject a little humour on the way…)
      Good luck with those publishers! Best wishes, Pete.

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      1. Pete, Oh I didn’t mean to imply you were running it down at all.. I still don’t understand twitter at all… I just joined in to follow the masses who were all talking about it.. I spent a few years with no followers at all, while I watched the stars in Hollywood racking up millions .. LOL it’s actually funny .. anyway I’m too long winded for twitter..

        Take care from Laura ~

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        1. I wasn’t suggesting that Laura, it was just a general ‘disclaimer’ for any Twitter-lovers who might come across these comments.
          In many ways, I would love to be able to grasp it. Something tells me that I am missing out!
          Best wishes, Pete.

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  4. Quite honestly, after telling you about a couple of the free services, I can’t see any valid reason for you to ‘fully engage’ with Twitter. Even though I use it to promote my art, I’m still not entirely convinced it has any effect on sales. Hey ho!

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    1. Thanks for that Sarah. Sound advice, and commonsense from you as usual. It seemed to me that I was missing out on being able to use something that was beyond my capacity to grasp. You put it nicely into perspective. x

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  5. Great post Pete! I use Twitter a lot and you’ve enlightened me. Twitter is very noisy but does seem to capture peoples imaginations on big issues although as you say through proxy-retweeting how much is being read?! I find it a great way of following organisations I’m interested in and keeping up with their news though. Happy tweeting, you have a new follower if you let me know your twitter name? Very best wishes, Jane x

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  6. I think it’s a bit like money Pete; it doesn’t really exist except as random characters depicted on a screen somewhere with it’s worth determined by the reader. Personally I’ll leave the tweeting to the birds, it’s the kind of reward I’m looking for.

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    1. Still fast-paced and confusing Gretchen. I’m not criticising all those who use it well, just highlighting my own confusion.
      It’s like waiting to cross a busy road, and never finding a long enough gap in the traffic.
      Regards as always, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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