Sunday, July 8, 2012

Twitter Twaddle

Recently, there has been a glut of 'How To' posts on increasing your twitter followers. I've been reading these with great interest. Not that I'm actively trying to increase my Twitter followers, but I'm always curious about how people who have sent only a couple of hundred tweets containing information of little value have managed to amass hundreds of thousands of followers.

These blog posts are full of instructions on how you use loop holes in the Twitter follow rules, to follow as many people as possible in any given day, and then unfollow anyone who doesn't follow you back, while being careful to not trigger the Twitter Spammer net that gets your account blocked for following too many people. Or they coach you on ways in which you can purchase your Twitter followers. Yes...purchase!

In the comments of these blog posts you see people thank the bloggers for this valuable information and they are going off to do the exact same thing.  And now in Twitter profiles people are putting in warnings that they will unfollow you if you don't follow them. And this is where I get confused.

What is Twitter for? What do you want to get out of it?  For me, Twitter is a tool that enables me talk to readers, fans, bloggers, and industry professionals that I wouldn't necessary ever get a chance to converse with.  It's also a great tool for meeting like minded people, interesting people, people with exceptional view points that trigger controversy/conversation/deeper thought.  I follow people who I like, who challenge me to question myself and my beliefs, people who make me laugh. So why on earth would I unfollow any of these people just because they didn't follow me back? By unfollowing someone of interest just because of a lack of return follow, I'd be only denying myself potential knowledge or laughs.

I do follow a lot of people who follow me, especially those who tweet with me regularly. They're interesting, and I'm invested in what they're up to in their lives, but if they tweet in a language I don't understand, or don't tweet at all, or perhaps are the biggest Snooki fans in the the world and only post beach pictures of Snooki's bum, the chances are I won't return the follow.  It's not because I don't appreciate them following me, but I'd rather not have my twitter feed full of Snooki's butt and the like, if you know what I mean.

When it comes to writers, readers, bloggers, and anyone else in publishing world, I think the quality of your followers far outweighs quantity.  What's the point in having millions of followers if nobody reads your tweets? You're just sending your 140 characters into a dark void. I just don't understand the current obsession over who has the most followers. It means absolutely nothing. And I'm pretty sure high follower numbers does not equal better book sales.

Anyway, that's my twopence worth on what's occupying my mind on this stunningly beautiful summers day. I really should stop perusing twitter and reading all these blog posts and instead, head off to the beach or something. I strongly encourage you to do the same, but if the weather sucks where you are, or if you can't tear yourself away from your computer, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the importance of follower numbers. Or if you have have any statistics that contradict my thoughts, I'd LOVE that too.

Have a wonderful day.
All the very best and talk soon.



  1. This is a great post. I know tons of writers (myself included) want to increase their followers number, and this puts it all in perspective. I think all Tweeting people know those people who constantly ask for follows, or do such stuff like that. It's funny, but it is so true. A great post!

  2. The people I dislike the most on Twitter are the people who tweet celebrities saying "OMG please RT me it will make my LIFE" or "Please please please follow me I'll love you forever." Ugh. I hate that. What saddens me though is that my best friend is one of them. While I would love to have my favorite celebrities, authors and even some bloggers to follow me, I think it's silly to act desperate to get their attention.
    Thanks for this post. :D

    1. You are very welcome. Thanks for posting your comment. <3

  3. I'm a blogger, so I hope it's okay I'm here. I reviewed Chanelle's book recently and we had fun (or I did anyway) emailing back and forth. I loved her book. But on the Twitter thing. I don't understand the big thing about having a lot of twitter followers. Bloggers are under that pressure if we want to get ARC's even from NetGalley. We have to show our stats. But what do the numbers mean? Nothing. I'm barely on twitter. And usually only to promote my post, giveaway or maybe to reply to someone.

    If you want to contact a blogger, just do it. We really are a very friendly group with some minor exceptions. The bigger bloggers I know are so friendly and so approachable. The only one I don't know is TSS. You're on your own there. But SS, BBW, TUR, BaT, CBB they are all very approachable.

    You can always tweet me and I'll introduce you if it's any of them.

    1. Thanks for your comment and for your contact information. I'm sure there are many who will appreciate it. All the best. Leigh

  4. I agree. I'd rather have followers who I can get to know and they in return can get to know me than a high number of spammers who only care about those figures.

  5. I've found that the best way to increase your true amount of followers (i.e. the ones who will actually read your tweets) is to say something intelligent or funny (or, ideally, both!). I got 50 new followers in a few hours because of the #badtwittertips hashtag - they were all people who saw my tweets retweeted and responded or retweeted and then followed me.

    My standard advice to any twitter newbie is to not listen to any advice from someone who calls themself a "social media guru" or any similar term.