I’m a Twitter newbie. Signed up about a week ago. Under orders. Well, not exactly orders, more like strongly advised. Because I have something to sell — books, and the consensus is that Twitter, as well as the other usual forms of social media, are good sales tools.
What is unsocial media, by the way?
I joined Facebook a while back because I had something to sell. Now Twitter. Were it not for that need, I probably would have avoided both of them, as well as the rest of the kind.
Maybe social media sites do sell things. I guess they must, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many people selling things that way.
But I can’t figure out how. The only way I can imagine selling something this way is through volume — massively high volume. So if a hundred trillion people might see your twat go by … I’m sorry, twit … and .00001 % might take a chance on what you’re selling, then yes, you sell a few.
I couldn’t figure out my first twitting week how anyone could deal with this scrolling list of boxes containing a few words, and certainly one doesn’t actually read all that. And I was, and am, only “following”18 twitting people. Those 18 people somehow generated hundreds and hundreds of passing twats … I’m sorry, twits … virtually none of which offered one interesting thing. I didn’t understand at first that you not only follow the person you are following, but by default, you are also following all the people following the person you intended to follow, so that following one person can easily mean you are following hundreds of their shadows. What does a Twitter page look like for people who have a thousand, a million, or a trillion followers? Even if it were possible to read that many little boxes of a few words, who would bother?
So I presume most of it isn’t even getting a glance. And anyone who has enough time to read all those twits is not someone you would really want to know, is it?
It took a while, but I did finally figure out how to use Facebook, rather, how to make it useful. I “friend” rarely and thoughtfully. I de-friend often and guilelessly. Beside the obvious reasons to de-friend (flagrantly stupid remarks from followers of one or another of the usual religious mythologies, finding a dumb ass political conservative stalking you, uncovering a Tea Bagger, and the like), a more useful reason is avoiding people who make their lives on Facebook, who post dozens, even hundreds of times, a day, and who have so many following friends that each of their posts generates hundreds more, until, like twats … sorry, I mean twits, of course … your eyes glaze over and you stop reading the thing.
A couple of times I have de-friended perfectly nice and interesting people simply because they had too many friends, so the comments to things they post quickly clogged up any useful space I had. (One of these people claimed more than 9,000 friends. Holy Crap, Mr. Jesus!)
Here’s what this is about. This Twitter rant was generated by a marketing person asking me this question, in response to my reluctance to follow most of her advice: But don’t you want to sell your books?
That is one of those “of course” questions. You’re supposed to answer yes and then follow the advice of the person asking the question. Who would answer no, anyway?
But it’s one of those trick yes or no question, like: Have you stopped beating your wife?
This is the consideration: What are you willing to do to sell your books? How much time being a salesman and not being a writer are you willing to offer? How much sewage are you willing to wade through in hopes you come across a pearl floating by on a turd?
Each person has to decide this through their own frame of reference and their own needs. I am wondering if, in my case, the answer to the question must be: No, I don’t want to sell my books.