Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Are You Cheating Your Followers?

Occasionally I'll feel compelled to respond to something I see on Twitter. As you know, people use Twitter in all sorts of different ways; it's about free expression. Like many writers, I have a twitter account (@AisforAmie). I follow a lot of writers, most of whom are indie, just like myself.

As indies we're small and starry eyed by nature so a lot of businesses seek to profit from this by offering to do something called "contributed tweets." This means they post tweets for you. Sometimes these companies also follow and unfollow users in your name. Some writers will tell you this saves them time but honestly it drives me crazy.

I didn't follow them to read some marketing firm's tweets. I followed them to read their own tweets. The good, the boring, whatever: genuine they-wrote-it-themselves content. The whole point of Twitter is to connect and someone else shouldn't do your connecting.

One highly entertaining Twitter user is none other than Cher. You may have heard of her. Cher does all her own tweets. Sometimes with colorful language, often with all caps, usually filled with emojis. Hear me: Cher is a hugely busy person--"busy" probably does not begin to describe it--but she does her own tweets, and you could too. You are not busier than Cher.

If readers are following you, the least you can do is tweet your own stuff: the things you post and the tweets you're retweeting because you found them interesting. Maybe you haven't considered the fact that some of those "contributed" tweets may be offensive and people may unfollow you for them. Maybe those tweets someone else is posting for you--which you haven't even read yet--are going to offend the very people you're trying to win over.

So even though I hesitate to criticize other writers--we're all in the same boat, after all--having strangers post for you seems like cheating. It cheats your followers and it cheats you. If following you on Twitter is how your readers learn more about you, what message are you giving them by being too busy, too lazy, too disinterested to speak to them on your own?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

YES!!!! I was following an actress before both on Twitter and FB and every 5min "she" would post a link to her website...which is just a bunch of random links and quizzes nicked from other pages! I mean...seriously?!