Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wit vs. Self-promotion: A Quandary

This is the third day of #SummerBlogSocial 2011, and this post is for prompt #6, which asks: Tell us about an element or two of your blog or social media presence that you are unsure of and would like opinions on.

I love twitter.  No, seriously, I think I have a little bit of a man-crush on it.  It's like every single one of my tweets is a mini-blog post that I get all giddy and excited over hitting the "publish" button on my computer.  And the fact that I've gathered together such a great mini-community that sometimes will respond to my tweets that I think are so clever and amazing with adulation and praise - that's awesome. 

But, as with all great loves, I've got a little bit of a quarrel with my crush.  Sometimes, I just don't have anything to say.

So my twitter account will sit idle, waiting for some twit-spiration to arise and per-twit me to be clever and twitty for a couple of days.  And all my followers will get in the meantime is a couple of tweets a day that say,
"hey - I know you're super busy and all, but I just wrote this really long diatribe about nothing of any importance to you.  By the way, what's the difference between a monologue and a diatribe?  I know what a dialogue is, but can you have a monotribe?  Haha, I really love these kinds of linguistic questions, don't you?  ok, anyway, here's the link for my blog, come see me, please?  no seriously, come!"
Although not in so many characters.

In addition to the lack of inspiration when it comes to funny and clever tweets (we can't all be Marinka @motherhoodNYC) I have a phone that is about as current as those massive brick phones of the early 80s, so even when I DO have something awesome to say, it takes me about 30 minutes to type it out.

So my question to you all is really two-fold:

First, how do you all manage your twitter account in terms of actual substance and tweets that promote real connections between you and your followers vs. self-promotion.  And second, how do you perceive those people who will, for days, do nothing but self-promote (albeit sparse self-promotion, but absent any real content). 

Writing that last sentence, I feel like I should add a disclaimer: if someone follows me, and I look through their history and all I see are links, I will not follow.  What does that say about me?


  1. Ah Twitter. My current favorite subject.

    1st question: For every tweet of a blog post I do, I try and RT at least 5-10 of someone else's post. Now, that may sound like a lot of link tweets/ day, but take into consideration the fact that the majority of my tweets are chats with people. So I like to think that makes me less annoying.

    When someone follows me, I do have a quick look at their profile. If it's a business/ company, I usually don't follow back, unless it's a brand I actually like/ use. Don't feel obliged to follow anyone. And if you do and don't like it, just unfollow.

    Is that helpful?

  2. The best self-promotion is no self-promotion, or very rare self-promotion. I have an RSS feed set up so that it spits out blog posts whenever I write them, but I try not to tweet about them otherwise, because that's lame.

    If you (general you) tweet your blog posts every time you have one, twice a day, I will never go read them. If you tweet Only blog posts, I won't read them. If you write funny things and have cool links (but not too many) and interact with me, I'll check out your site. COME SEE MY BLOG! and all these linkups and etc. are kind of stupid to me. If people value your tweets, they'll want to read more. But that's just me, and I HATE gimmicky stuff. All the online writers I love the most are not gimmicky, or very rarely so.

    I don't RT peoples' posts just to get them to notice me, I only RT if I really like the content.

    HOWEVER there are of course exceptions to everything, and everyone has success in social media in different ways.

    /end snobbery
    /nose in air

  3. #1: I tweet new posts out at 10, 12, 3 and then sometime in the evening. I never ask for a RT. I never expect a RT. I thank for every RT I get. I put the people who I engage with most on their own list called Chatty Cathys. I jump into as many conversations as I can. I look at my stream and for every random crap tweet I post, I want to see at least 3 or 4 @ replies. I think the key is to follow the people who follow you. I know it's tempting to be like a celebrity and say, have 1000 people follow you while you only follow a few, but it never hurts to stick that person on your list (as long as they aren't' spammy)and see if you can start some conversations with them. Also, use an app to Tweet...Hootsuite or Tweetdeck are both good choices. I use Seesmic on my phone.

    Oh, and a smart phone helps, but play the cards you're dealt, Zach Morris phone over there.

    Anyway, I try to balance promoting others, conversing with others and promoting myself. With the last being the LEAST likely way to use Twitter.

  4. (^haha! I love a good Zach Morris phone reference.)

    Well, I'm similar to you. Some weeks, I think I really rock twitter out with entertaining tweets and solid interaction. Other weeks, I completely forget Twitter exists. So I'm no help. I appreciate the other comments, though!

  5. Tools like TwitCleaner actually note people who tweet too many links.

    I was giggling at your dia/mono/tweets in much fewer characters ramblings.

    Do you use TweetDeck? And do you use lists? I think those are both key in managing and filtering out some people.

  6. I so need to use some lists. I'm like Alison and Amanda. I tweet my own link a few times throughout the day, but I'm clearly also on Twitter interacting with people and retweeting things that I love.

    As for actual content, I just tweet stuff that I think is funny. I honestly think Twitter has made me a funnier person. You have to be really clever in 160 characters.

    I don't automatically follow back someone unless I have heard of them or unless I look at their stream and think I would like interacting with them. On the flip side, if they interact with ME a few times, then I'll follow back.

  7. Sorry, I meant to add something...You may want to look into adding a Twitter widget on your sidebar. You have your handle, but readers like something that they can click and immediately follow you. But Imma look you up the old fashioned way anyway.

  8. I guess you can unfollow me if you want. I'm mostly links on Twitter coz' I really don't have the time to chat on there. I do, occasionally, but what I've noticed is that people just tweet whatever comes to their minds at that moment - a question, what they're doing or eating; and conversations just develop from there. I usually tweet my posts, the most twice a day (because of difference in time zones) and when I come across a really good post I read, I'd tweet that to share. So, I won't be angry with you if you decide to unfollow me.

  9. I think as long as you balance tweeting your links to having actual conversation with people then you're good. I tend to tweet my posts 3-4 times a day but spread apart by a few hours. In between that time I am usually having conversations with people.
    I don't think you necessarily always have to come up with something witty to say, you can just jump into any conversation that you find interesting and tweet that way. Takes some of the pressure off of having to be entertaining all the time.

  10. I really, truly, try to keep from using Twitter as a billboard for what I've written. I automatically post blog posts (from daddyrunsalot) to Twitter, and if I'm particularly proud of a post, I'll "pimp it out" via a tweet or two.

    But, for the most part, Twitter, to me, is just a big old sounding board (and it takes more inspiration for me to come up with a Sunday's worth of #inappropriateChurchTweet theater than it does for most blog posts). I kind of hope, if someone follows me & finds me interesting, that they'll stop by & look at the blog . . . but twitter is for joking about, flirting, and, well, whatever the hell else I do there.

  11. I tweet my blog posts 2-3 times a day. Other than that, I'm replying to others, tweeting whatever comes to mind or retweeting things I like.

    As for following people, I follow those who will interact with others and not just tweet links.

  12. It is hard to provide like a schedule, sometimes we post things and other days there is just nothing to post about.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.