The Twitter trickle

I’ve been pondering about social media recently. I became active on Twitter around this time last year and, according to a number of books, you can conquer the world this way. They paint a very tempting picture. All I need to do is sit back, throw a few tweets out into the ether and my books will become best sellers.

Well, I knew it would never be quite that easy but I’ve had a number of ups and downs with my social media journey and I’m still not convinced one way or another.

I’ve been active on Facebook for a long time – probably about 8 years or so – and, until recently, used it to keep in touch with friends and family who are scattered all over the world. Twitter is a more recent thing for me. I started to get active when I learned that a social media following would be of more interest to publishers than a book proposal sent in to them.

So, from around this time last year, I started blogging and posting regularly to both Facebook and Twitter about my writing. I’m careful about what I post – I very seldom put out a post that says “Buy my books.” In fact, I only do that in the period immediately after one becomes available. I post quotes from the books, make comments on my writing experiences, share my blog and remark on other things that matter to me in life.

And the results? Well, my Twitter following is slowly creeping up. I started with 12 followers and I’m now over 500. I’ve never sold a book to anyone via Twitter but I have come across a lot of other writers and learned a lot. Twitter-chats, in particular, are a great way to connect with others. It was also how I came across Marianna Mooney – an illustrator from Ireland who worked with me on the first of my charity books. I don’t use auto-responders or auto-following tools – I prefer to make my own decisions on who I follow and who I message – so all my interactions (beyond tweets – see below) are genuinely me.

In the same period Facebook has given me a few sales – mainly friends of course so far more inclined to ‘help out’ – and Facebook is where I focus more of my attention.

Which brings me to another aspect of this. The level of effort I invest. If there were prizes for consistency, I’d win something. Using a scheduler (Buffer) I tweet several times every day. My life is busy, however and, once I’ve set up my daily tweets, that is often all I have time for with Twitter.

I think that’s what has occurred to me recently. I interact on Facebook but I’m using Twitter at the moment. I’m expecting to get something back from it with relatively little input. It’s a fact of life, right now. I’ve got so much else going on that keeping my twitter account in more than a ‘holding pattern’ is more than I can do. I’m still here, of course, and I will carry on popping in when I can.

The moral of the story is, I guess, that to get something out, I need to put something (more) in.


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