5 Things I Hate About Twitter (And Tips For Indie Authors)

indie author handbook

Indie Author Handbook

I know that it’s the in thing for indie authors to use Twitter for marketing and making connections.  That’s all fine, but there are some things that drive me crazy about Twitter, and they’re things that may ultimately contribute to Twitter’s downfall.  Why?  Twitter, at some point, has to start making money (they currently have funding keeping them afloat).  How many users are going to use the sponsored tweets if they can’t get help when something goes wrong?  You need happy users.  Read on…

Twitter Doesn’t Have Tech Support

This is my biggest beef with Twitter (and Facebook, too).  Yes, I know that Twitter has forums and a help center, but have you ever tried to use it?  Here’s my experience with their help center: I’ve got an old account that I want to get rid of, but I can’t remember the password associated with this account.  I spent an hour going through forums, trying to reset the password, etc. to no avail.  I finally emailed tech support, explaining the issue, and never got a response…

You’d think Twitter would want an inactive account deleted, but apparently not, as they are so unhelpful when one tries to delete an account…

Twitter Auto-follows Accounts For You

Now, I do know that I have many third-party apps connected to Twitter, but they aren’t set twitter for authorsup to auto-follow accounts that I didn’t follow.  So how is it that I’m following Japanese accounts, or doctor’s offices, and so on?  The only thing I can figure is that Twitter is doing this for me…and it’s annoying, especially when Twitter doesn’t want you to auto-follow or auto-unfollow accounts.  Doesn’t seem right…

If You Follow A Certain Type Of Account, Twitter Auto-Follows More Of Those Accounts For You

More along the auto-following lines: ever notice that if someone follows you who is, say, a social media marketer, then suddenly you have a bunch of social media marketers who follow you and you’re auto-following them back?  I know this isn’t my automated software because the types of accounts I’m talking about aren’t ones I’ve set up to follow.  Furthermore, at this point, I’m doing no auto-following, so it has to be Twitter.  So the same company that goes after apps that auto-follow and unfollow does what it doesn’t want others to do…

Twitter’s Email Functionality Isn’t Good

Back when I first started using Twitter, when I received an email letting me know someone has sent me a message, I could click on the message part (the @whoever in blue) and send this person a message.  But if I just wanted to see their profile, I could click on the picture and get the person’s profile.  Now, no matter where I click on the email, I get taken to the message screen.  Why did they change this, it was better before…

Twitter Has A Lot Of Spam

Spam I can live with, but when Twitter tries so hard to keep me from automating things (because they don’t want spam), they should do a better job of weeding out spam accounts.  Twitter just isn’t good at this.  They should either really tighten the screws, or just let well enough alone.  They’re not going to get rid of automation, so stop trying.

User Things That Annoy Me

As I’ve said, I don’t have a problem with automation, and I’m not one that takes offense to social media being used for marketing (it’s the way it goes, might as well accept it).  But if you’re going to use automation, check the settings and do productive things for yourself.  For example, why have your automation software send your new follower something like this:

I just unfollowed 23 accounts using {software you’re using}

Or this one:

lost at least an inch off my waist in the last week from this {link}

Come on.  Somewhere in the settings you can change the message – it behooves you to do so, because this is the type of stuff that annoys your potential followers.  Also, why send something that helps the software you’re using versus promoting yourself, or connecting with your new follower?

On a funny side note, I got spammed by a follower who kept sending me a message about his website.  I messaged him, telling him to check his software, but the auto messages continued.  What do you think I did?  Yep, I unfollowed him.

I know that many say Twitter is the best tool for marketing.  I’d be wary.  It’s a great place to connect, and yes, to tell others of your books, but Twitter’s future is not assured (as I said above, they are struggling with how to fund the site).  At some point I think we’ll see ads on Twitter, just like on other sites, because Twitter needs to make money.  And I doubt paying for tweets is working (if anyone’s tried this, I’d love to know what you thought of it).  If you’re using social media for marketing, don’t put all your eggs in Twitter’s basket.

Okay, I’m off my Twitter rant :).  I’ve written a number of posts on how to use Twitter effectively.  You can find them on the Promoting Your Books page.

About Renée Pawlish

Award-winning author Renée Pawlish writes the bestselling horror book, Nephilim Genesis of Evil, the Reed Ferguson mystery series, short stories and non-fiction ghost stories.
This entry was posted in Indie Author Handbook, Promoting Your Books and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to 5 Things I Hate About Twitter (And Tips For Indie Authors)

  1. Caleb Pirtle says:

    Twitter and all social media, for that matter, is the the great mystery for me. Does Twitter work? Does any of it work? Are we wasting time tweeting when we should be writing? I’m an inquiring mind, and I would like to know.

    • Renée Pawlish says:

      My take is that at one point Twitter did help sell books for authors, but now there are too many of us tweeting about our books for it to be very effective as a marketing tool. I’m sure it sells some, but not a ton. Another piece is to build a small, loyal fan base versus having anyone following you.
      I do believe Facebook can be effective, if one uses a fan page properly. I think the biggest piece for me is connecting with other writers and readers, just hearing what people are doing, reading blogs and that kind of thing. Marketing is tough…
      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Erin Latimer says:

    To be honest, I think it must be partly your third party apps. I’ve never had my twitter account automatically follow anyone for me, I’d be royally peeved if it did. Occasionally twitter “unfollows” a couple of people, from what I’ve heard. Again, it hasn’t happened to me as far as I know. But I’m pretty sure third party apps with an automatic features screw around with people’s twitter.

    Here’s another rant: authors that respond to ANY tweet and make it about their book. Like, I was complaining about writer’s block and some guy is like, “Got writer’s block? You should read *insert my book name here* to get rid of it!” Grrrr….

    • Renée Pawlish says:

      I know the apps do, but I’ve checked my settings. It’s weird, no doubt…
      Your gripe is funny, and I’d be annoyed too :)
      Thanks for your comment.

  3. I have 10k+ Twitter followers and I’d say Twitter is responsible for 90% of my book sales. That is with me tweeting about my book very rarely. I loathe those who just post links to their books all day. People tend to follow me from twitter to my blog or throw me into search once meeting me.

    A few little tips that might help, the best way to reach twitter is to TWEET them. Not kidding!

    In regards to the weird accounts you didn’t follow, there is actually another reason that could happen. Say you follow Joe Bob, the author. But Joe Bob decides he’d rather break into something else–he then sells his account to the highest bidder (or sales it to a company that will) AND BAM. @JoeBobAuthor(example) can now be renamed as anything else–but you are still following them! It would be nice to get a warning for this, but most name changes are silly things and nothing sinister.

    And last but not least SPAM! Even though I follow more, and have more followers than I did last year I actually get LESS spam. So they are trying! Also, most of the direct message spam I get are from people who have had their accounts hacked–but aren’t spam bots.

  4. Interesting how Twitter is so polarizing; some people love it and others really don’t or are confused by it. I like it and appreciate what it can do for my online efforts. Have to admit, I love when one of my tweets brings people to my websites or books or gets retweeted by followers. Those possibilities matter IMO, but I also totally understand the complaints about it.

    • Renée Pawlish says:

      I agree with you about the positive things, I just do get frustrated about the negatives lol.
      Thanks for your comment.

  5. ToscaSac says:

    Twitter is not perfect but nothing ever is…

    The reason to use the software and share about it is to advertise the software…

    Those do not annoy me at all. I use Klout, JustUnfollow, that one with the giraffe and the feet (length not the things with toes).

    I get very little spam and some times by the time I know I have gotten it Twitter has disabled the users account etc.

    • Renée Pawlish says:

      True, nothing is perfect – and no one social media site should be all one uses for marketing :).
      Thanks for your comment.

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