Please Make Twitter Fun Again

What has happened to Twitter, the platform that actually launched me as a comedy writer?

It was December 2010 when I first joined, tweeting random thoughts and observations, treating it the way I felt a social platform should be treated - socially. Within a short space of time, people began following back, marking my witty comments as 'favourites' which saw me on the Favstar.fm boards, where I was able to connect with a plethora of similar comedy accounts all over the world, sharing a love of the ridiculous and gut achingly funny. Twitter was fun!

One day, The Huffington Post UK voted me as one of the funniest women to follow on Twitter - and I thought, 'hey, I might be able to write comedy!' Fast forward a couple of years and I am now the author of a best selling comedy novel, 'The New Mrs D' and have just completed my second novel, 'I Hate That You Bloody Left Me' which I hope to have out in 2016. So here I am, an author launched by Twitter. So why don't I love it anymore, six years on?

You're Doing It Wrong

If you are on Twitter now, take a look at your timeline. How many promoted tweets do you see? How many links to business pages? Things people want you to buy? Charities people hope you will give to? Books people want you to buy?

Now, think how many of these links you are actually going to click and PAY.

Want to know my answer? Almost NONE. If you are a business or author attempting to market your work or business through Twitter, spending countless hours doing so, I would ask you to think about that for more than a moment. People do not want to be sold to on Twitter. Period.

That's not to say people aren't being sold to on Twitter of course, just not in the way that you might imagine.

I follow a lot of authors of books similar to my own or in genres that I particularly enjoy and I read a lot. But my reads for the past few years have come from friend recommendations, perhaps a comment or two from people I follow through social media saying how much they have enjoyed something, or because the book is from an author I already know and love. As for things I purchase, more often than not these days I read reviews from online platforms I (believe) I can rely on to show the reviewers as genuine people.

In short, I, and I believe most consumers today, do not buy from people who constantly market to me on social media platforms like Twitter where I go to connect and be sociable.And all of those that do are killing the networks. For the first time in almost six years, I am avoiding Twitter like the plague because it isn't fun any more.

So Do It Right

So why am I going to spend time (or pay someone to spend time) having fun on Twitter? Because people buy from people and companies they can relate to. So you need to be affable and entertaining - then and only then will people buy your product.

It's a fine line but the most important thing is to engage, engage, engage! If you want the benefit of word of mouth marketing, you need to use your own words - not real off links to your products like a corporate robot. And use hashtags (#) to categorise your tweets so that other users searching for that keyword will find the tweet - and you - more easily. Studies have shown that tweets with hashtags receive twice as much engagement than those without, but if you use two or more then it can lead to a decline in engagement. So be careful.

Back in those halcyon, early days of loving Twitter, I simply posted thoughts and jokes, which led to people with a similar sense of humour to mine (because they obviously enjoyed them) following me back and being only too pleased to see more of my writing by reading my book. And that is how it began on the road to being a best seller, with the ebook being downloaded over 33,000 times to date. I will post the occasional promotion - well, it would be rude not to - but if you follow me on Twitter, you will not be treated to a barrage of tweets imploring you to buy my book. Because that's not how I roll. I will, however, tell you of some of the books I have enjoyed as well as celebrating other authors successes. It's called 'being social'.

So come on people, let us cheer up Twitter! And get selling. Then I might go back and Tweet more of this:

Tweets to Tickle Your Funny Bone

Turns out I'm right guessing that nads means 'nearest and dearest.' I found out by kicking a guy in them.

I wonder what happened to the guy that penned the phrase "you've got to fight fire with fire" after the fire brigade sacked him?

Just discovered I have a Klout score of 48 out of 100. So I need 52 more people to hit.

There's a thrush on my windowsill staring at my nest of tables saying, 'that'll never work.'

You know that trumpet noise you make when you blow your nose? That's you playing the catarrh.

There's a free colouring book with our paper, warning 'choking hazard for under 3's.' Now I'm scared to eat it as well.

You know when you're determined to be right? Me: There's people on that hill top. Him: No, it's trees. Me: OK, it's people waving branches.

I've just seen a woman go in the baby changing room and she came out with the SAME ONE!"

I'm not saying I'm behind with the housework, but the dust mites left me a great review on Trip Advisor.

I've been reading Trip Advisor comments forever, and I still keep falling over stuff.

SOS, I'm stuck in a field & the only thing between me & freedom is this huge gate, but I can't think how to escape. Over and out.

I've decided I'll die a lonely, sad, old woman. Purple or bright orange might cheer her up a bit.

If you love something set it free. Your house will be much quieter & you don't have to buy toys and school uniforms.

Lets cheer up The Godfather by making the guy that finds a horses head in his bed burst into a chorus of 'There May Be Trouble.. A Head!'

Taken my iron tablets this morning. Still don't feel like doing any


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