I will admit right now, Twitter has become a significant part of my day-to-day life over the past couple of years (thanks to fellow writer/blogger/tweeter Margaret Scott D’arcy for getting me hooked) and it has been a great help / means-of-networking-with-fellow-scribes / source-of-entertainment in that time. It also helps to stave off cabin fever that comes from being a stay-at-home writer.
I’m happy to say that I have about the same number of followers (who I hope find me interesting on some level) as I have followees (yes I know that’s not technically a word). How-and-ever, I am finding that what I am doing all-too-often nowadays is un-following people. Not because they tweet once a year or their profile photo is of Wiley Coyote, but because almost everyday I look at what they tweet and say (out loud) ‘Oh-for-fuck-sake’.
So to cut my diatribe as short as I can, here’s what to do if you want one less follower (that would be me).
- Only ever tweet promotions for something you’re trying to sell. If you’re a writer, as a lot of my followees are, this will includes links to your amazon page, reviews (only the good ones obviously), that passage from chapter-whatever you reckon is a ‘hook’. If you’re using Twitter purely as ad-space…buh-bye.
- Repeat-tweet – post the same tweet more than once. It was interesting/funny/insightful the first time, after the 2nd or 3rd time (or 7th time) , it just shows how interesting/funny/insightful you think you are. Newsflash – you’re not.
- Tweet unsubstantiated or under-researched ‘facts’. I have to admit, i find out a lot of what is going in the world on Twitter and, for the five seconds before I google it or pick up the newspaper, I assume that it’s true. Tweeting that ‘OMG Tayto Cheese-and-Onion give you cancer’ will be quickly proven incorrect, show you up to stupid or naive or both and direct you quickly to my ‘unfollow’ bin, do not pass ‘Go’.
- Tweet an opinion based on an unsubstantial fact – a certain F1 driver recently dissed his team-mate for unfollowing him on Twitter, suggesting that it was a sign of disrespect and unprofessionalism. Then he found out that said team-mate had never followed him in the first place. Oh dear.
- Tweet-report your everyday life (in a non-funny/interesting/dramatic way). I don’t need to know that you just put the bins out. I do that myself a few times a week – it’s not worth talking about. Unless of course something interesting/funny/insightful happened while you were doing it…then I’m all ears – ‘Just put bins out…got attacked by a bear. Didn’t know there were bears in Longford. Typing this with my left hand, feeling light-headed.’ Now that’s tweetable.
- Tweet-report your child’s/pet’s everyday life. I definitely don’t need to know that ‘Eldest’ just went number two or that your cat is ‘chasing a bottle-cap around the kitchen floor LOL’. Unless of course, it’s number two in the singles-charts or said cat then picked up the bottle-cap and put it back on the bottle.
- Repeat-tweet the link to the amazon page of your book about your child’s/pet’s every day life. Yeah, unfollowing you won’t be enough. I might just have to send the boys round.
By the way, I assure you I’m not being hypocritical and if I ever do any of the above, feel free to send the boys round. In the meantime, why not follow me on Twitter.