Saturday, 28 September 2013

Re-tweet those who re-tweet you

Do you as an author help people who help you? I do. I keep track of those who help me and make darn sure I help them. Here's how I do it.

Keep an eye out for those who re-tweet posts useful to you. Those tweets you make which lead to your books in some way. Pick out and re-tweet posts they make which will help them – you owe these people and you’ll want them to continue to support you.
Here’s how I keep track of this – I use the Thunderbird email client (It’s free) However most email clients will allow you to do this so you don't have to use Thunderbird.

How to keep track

Every time someone re-tweets you Twitter will send you an email (if you have not turned this off in settings). I set up an email filter to collect all these tweets in a separate folder.
Periodically I step through the emails in that folder and pick out those tweets which mention my books or blog posts and add a star to them.
Want to see my post about the Last Supper painting? Just click.
I don’t add a star to those re-tweets which won’t help my book promotion. For example news items I tweet or quotes.

Use #FF Follow Friday

On a Friday I then sort my folder of re-tweets first by sender’s name and then by star by clicking the column headings. This sorts everything and I can easily see who has helped me the most. At the time I wrote this here are my top Tweeps who re-tweet my promotional tweets the most.
Click to go to Niki Savage's Twitter page
Of course I make sure to repay the favour and these people are the ones I add to my tweet list for regular re-posts.
Of course that’s not to say I’m not grateful for all the other re-tweets since anyone re-tweeting my posts helps grow my following. I often re-tweet other people's posts like that which I have found entertaining. Sometimes I'll add those too to my tweet list.

Does this seem a little calculating? Perhaps not in the spirit of social media? Perhaps, but if I don't do everything I can to promote our books then they'll remain unknown, no matter how good they are. If that means I must help others because of profit rather than altruism then so be it. .oO(...but it does make me feel good to help others where I can.)

What do you think? Is preferential  re-tweeting the promotion of those who help you being too mercenary?

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Taking advantage of spammers on Twitter

I really hate spam and when I get spamish followers on Twitter I don't follow back. Can you make use of them though? Yes you can. Here's an extract from a guide I'm working on:

How Twitter posts work

Whenever you go to Twitter you see a snapshot of recent tweets. As the number of people you follow grows that snapshot becomes a tiny window through which you look at a huge panorama. You will not see the vast majority of the tweets people you follow post. Neither will your followers see most of your tweets unless you put their twitter username in the post. 
My Twitter friend Aaron Hatman - @aaronhatman probably won’t see a post like this:
‘New topless Rhianna picture! (pic)’
 (For those of you who are shocked – it’s not quite what you think).
Aaron would see it if it was posted as:
 ‘@aaronhatman New topless Rhianna picture! (pic)’
 Even if Aaron is not using Twitter when the post is made he will see it when he clicks ‘@Connect’ on the Twitter toolbar.

Not only will Aaron see the post but it will also appear on the Twitter feed of anyone who follows Aaron and that’s useful! (Dirty Twitter trick coming up)

Twitter Spammers

Some Twitter users set out to build a huge Twitter following by following everyone they come across, waiting a few days and un-following all those who have not followed them back. If they run out of follow rights then they make space by un-following even those who have followed back. These people just want followers – they are not interested in taking part in conversations in the Twitter community. Once they have built up thousands of followers they will usually start posting nothing but links to products for sale – Twitter spamming. 

Dirty Twitter Trick

If you identify such a person is now following you - let's say their Twitter handle is @selfishtweep - don’t follow them back – respond to their following message with a message such as:
‘Thanks for the follow @selfishtweep. Check out my pyramid #technothriller
Stones,Stars & Solutions

Not only will this appear on their feed but it will also appear on your feed as an 'un-spamish' post and the feeds of all those who search for @selfishtweep. 

Now the question is 'Is this ethical or am I adding to Twitter spam?' What do you think?