Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Daydreamer's Ramblings: What do you use Twitter for?

The Daydreamer’s Ramblings is a weekly(ish) discussion post about bookish things. I love to hear your opinions on all topics, and if there any topics you think I should talk about be sure to let me know!

The other day I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and I saw a few tweets by a so-called 'social media expert'. She was talking about how authors should always keep their tweets professional and how people shouldn't have conversations on Twitter because it "clogs up peoples' feeds and annoys everyone"

After my own annoyance passed, it got me thinking: what do I use Twitter for? I'm an author, book blogger, and general rambler, so I use it for a lot of things. Am I always professional? Pfff. No. Do I have conversations on Twitter? Hell yeah, and long ones sometimes too. But isn't that the point? Isn't Twitter a place to connect with people, share your life, your passions, your idiosyncrasies, your random thoughts?

Some of my uses for Twitter:
  • Advertising my books
  • Advertising my blogs
  • Talking about the book(s) I'm reading
  • Sharing pictures of random things
  • Talking about my nephews
  • Having conversations with friends (usually authors or bloggers)
  • Talking about music
  • Talking about TV and movies 
  • Sharing observations about anything, everything, and nothing

As for being professional...I don't think an author should have to be professional 100% of the time. Why? Because we're human. I actually like seeing authors being silly or random on Twitter because it shows they're normal people. I especially love when authors engage readers in bizarre, hilarious conversations about totally random things. I like it when they have tantrums or swear or talk about what they're eating or watching or reading or listening to. Authors are like our rock stars, and these little things make them human, make them accessible and relateable.

Plus there's the fact that if you asked most people their biggest pet peeve about authors on Twitter, it's probably when authors do nothing BUT talk about their books. The authors who repeat the same few tweets 24/7 that are quotes from their books or reviews with a link to buy it. I won't lie, I do this occasionally myself, but it's maybe one out of every twenty tweets, unless I'm running a promotion or sale or it's a release week (like next week...WAITING FOR THE STORM comes out next Tuesday, and I'll probably be talking about it a lot...fair warning!). But authors who only talk about themselves are BORING. People in general who only talk about themselves are boring. If I'm trying to decide whether to follow someone, I look through their tweets and see not only what they're talking about but who they're talking to. If they never have conversations or never retweet anyone but only ever talk about themselves and ask for RTs, I pass. Not only is it boring, it's self-serving, and I don't think anyone likes that.

What about you? What do you use Twitter for? What are some of your Twitter-related pet peeves? Do you think authors should be professional all the time?


  1. I pretty much completely agree with you (and no, I don't agree with the social media expert. People use social media differently).

    My reasoning is that I don't believe any person should have to be professional 100% of the time. No one. I feel this way about politicians, celebrities, doctors, and as it pertains to me - lawyers ;) This came up in a discussion on legal ethics actually. And it's tricky - there's a fine line. I know what people expect of me, and I have certain standards for myself. But for anyone else, I never expect them to be professional 100% of the time. Because we're people at the end of the day. Sometimes people won't catch you at your best or most professional. And I'm totally okay with that!

    Brenna from Esther's Ever After

  2. I agree. I think it's good to be aware of what we're saying on twitter, but I think people also like reality. Conversations are one of my favorite things about twitter. I love being able to connect with people.

  3. I think that people need to be very careful with what they believe falls under professionalism. Random conversations on twitter are, or should be, the point. People just posting links to an endless stream of crap turns it into a glorified classified ads section for crap nobody really wants. (Because no one is going to sit there and wade through it minute to minute to find what they *do* want.)

    If twitter were the radio, the random funny conversations, the interactions between people, rather then businesses or "professionals", would be the music. The professional and financial stuff would be commercials. They're gonna be there, but it's not really *about* them.

    Besides, isn't the first thing every twitter noob is taught NOT to focus on self promotion? To talk to others about general stuff they like, try to entertain and be funny... have a personality, not a product?

    I won't lie: I've been on Twitter for nearly two years and I still don'r understand it's etiquette because no one can make up their mind what it is. If two people are talking, am I butting in by adding to that conversation? Am I suppose to balance the number of things I say randomly, with what I link, with what I RT? At what ratio? I'm still just doing this as a blogger--I'm *scared* of this as an author. Heck, I don't even know whether I should be using a program for twitter? I know they exist, but the idea that I can pre-program tweets seems... artificial? *is confused*

    As far as author professionalism, I'd say a person is doing good so long as they aren't bad mouthing other writers, linking to discouraging crap to scare new writers, whining about bad reviews or badmouthing bloggers, etc. If they wanna tell a silly story, link to a favorite recipe, ask a random question or tell me what song's on their iPod right now, that's fine.

    After all, isn't that the point?

  4. I basically don't use Twitter, though I keep meaning to use it more.

    I think authors should stay professional in the sense of not calling people ugly names or throwing a temper tantrum on twitter. But chatting about things other than their books is perfectly fine.

  5. I agree with you Marie. Twitter is about more than promotion. I will more likely follow someone who tweets random things as opposed to constant links to various things. Long conversations by others can get annoying (they do have chat programs after all!) but is it really that bad? OMG PEOPLE ARE BEING SOCIAL ON SOCIAL MEDIA!!!!! LOL

  6. Always be professional, SAY WHAT. Who is the lady, anyway? Authors are people too, yo, and we deserve to have fun, and have conversations. You do need to have TACT, true - I wouldn't use Twitter to bomb people with "read my book," tweets, or go off on bloggers, other authors, and so forth. We've seen too many authors behave badly.

    But professional? Sometimes professional is necessary, and sometimes professional is BORING. *makes buzzer sound*

    I use Twitter for everything: discussing books, promoting my blog posts, talking about shows, politics, LIFE, posting pictures... I can't imagine being professional on there all the time.

    *makes silly faces on the Twitters, just because she can.*

    Nice post, Marie. In all seriousness, you've got great points. :)

  7. I'm a Twitter fail most of the time. I'll get on a kick and post a ton of random tweets, amusing thoughts and quotes and things going on... then I post nothing for days or a week, lol. I agree there should be a balance for those who are writers/authors/professionals between promoting their work/business and the fun side of them. I like to hear about the non-professional side of my friends. It makes having them as friends awesomer. :)

  8. I totally agree with you Marie! I like for authors to talk about other things than their books! It shows they aren't robots! The quirky, off-the-wall convo's is why I love twitter. Sometimes the obsessive links become too mundane. I blame triberr. Sigh.


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