Being Human – The Crux of Social Media Savvy

You wanna know something that DRIVES ME MENTAL? I can’t count on one hand how many of my writer friends have admitted to me that they use some kind of bullsh*t service to provide tweets for their Twitter stream. Their confessions usually go something like this:

THEM: “Twitter. Yeah. I still have an account. I don’t tweet, though. God, I haven’t actually been on Twitter for months!”

ME: “But I see tweets coming from your account precisely every 13 minutes, all day long every day. What do you mean you don’t tweet?”

THEM: “Oh, those. I just set it up to tweet automatically for me. No fuss, no muss.”

ME: *&%$(*&^%&*^)$*%)(*%)*$)^*  %U$#)^U$)^  %U#)^U ^$)U^ ^)U%)$U%(*$&&^$#

For argument’s sake, I’m talking about WRITERS. Most of my social media contacts are writers. As are most of my real-life friends. I am a member of an extremely vibrant writing community. We are about 300 members strong and we meet on a regular basis. It’s not always the same people meeting up, so over the course of a few months I easily cross paths with 200 members of the community. Some of them are extremely tech savvy. Some of them are not even online. The spectrum is WIDE.

Don't be a dumb-ass bird! Be personable, not an automated clutterbug!
Don’t be a dumb-ass bird! Be personable, not an automated clutterbug!

From time to time I see some of these people on Twitter. Let me say right now that I’m quite active on Twitter. It’s my go-to social media network. It replaced Facebook as my fave quite a while back. I try hard not to inundate my followers with blah, blah, blah…otherwise known as verbal diarrhea, but the truth is that I’m addicted. I love the instant connection ability that Twitter has. You agree with a follower, you say so…you RT them. You engage in conversation.

So when I hear that some of the writers in my community have mindless programs spewing out a WHOLE LOT OF CRAP ABOUT NOTHING on their behalf, it irritates me beyond comprehension. They are basically SPAMMING me and all their other followers. Twitter, when used properly, is for communicating. Yes, it’s a great marketing tool. But sometimes the best way to market yourself as a writer is to engage. What Twitter doesn’t need is people hooking up to computer generated tweet-feeders. Please, God! If you do this, STOP!

Some writers think their fellow Twits are too stupid to figure out that their tweet-stream is actually unmanned. Guess what? They’re WRONG. I can tell just by looking at a user’s tweets if they are behind them or not. You’re not fooling anyone. Log in to Twitter once or twice a day. Compose personal tweets and send them into the stream. Read a few of your followers tweets while you’re there, and respond to them in a thoughtful way. This is how Twitter was meant to be used. Don’t clog up the tweet-stream because you’re far too important to actually create 140 character tweets yourself. NOBODY thanks you for doing this. Eventually, you will be labelled a BAD NEWS BEAR, if you continue to use Twitter improperly.

So, in case you didn’t get the gist of this rant…please schedule some ACTUAL REAL-LIFE TWITTER TIME and interact with people.


ETA: One of the BIGGEST no-nos in the land of Twitter is the DM Welcome Message. When someone follows you, please-for-the-love-of-God-and-all-things-holy-and-unholy…DO NOT Direct Message them thanking them—or sharing your links. That’s not what DMs are for. There is NOTHING more useless than a SPAMMY DM thanking for a follow…and asking the person to read your books or follow you on Facebook. JUST DON’T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Interact with people! Don’t be a Twitter Spambot!



As you were

By Kevin Craig

Author, Poet, Playwright. Author of The Camino Club, Billions of Beautiful Hearts, and Book of Dreams, all from Duet Books, the LGBTQ Young Adult imprint of Chicago Review Press. Other books: Pride Must Be A Place, Half Dead & Fully Broken, Burn Baby Burn Baby, The Reasons, Sebastian's Poet, and Summer on Fire.

1 comment

  1. heheheheh … I love it when you get all ranty.

    Seriously, I wish I “got” Twitter. Darn thing moves too fast for me. I always feel like I’m standing at the corner of Yonge and Bloor watching the traffic roar by.

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