No Time For Twitter

Thursday, July 20, 2023

For those of you just joining the Twitter saga, a quick recap: 

1. My Twitter account was hacked in March. 
2. Said account was locked and suspended. 
3. I sent a mountain of documentation to regain access. 

This week, in the midst of website-building, I was debating whether or what social media buttons to use. But first, I figured I should check on the old Twitter account since I’d heard nothing from Twitter Support. 

In March, I could see my account in all its glory, waiting patiently for my return. Now, there is nothing but a vast white screen with the message: 

Account suspended 
Twitter suspends accounts that violate the Twitter Rules. 


So from my new account (that was created only so I could actually get into Twitter to see what’s going on in my old account), I sent Twitter Support a message: 

@TwitterSupport My original account was hacked months ago, I sent you ALL the info, but nothing since March 30. Now that account is suspended/gone and I'M left to start over? Not worth the trouble--and I guess my account w/700 followers not worth your time. 

 Notice that even though I’m livid, I’m polite. Within three seconds, the tweet was bombarded by bot messages, recommending that I contact other helpful bots who will retrieve my account. Honestly, I’ve never had so much activity on a tweet before—and the rapid bot response tells me that customer support on this platform is seriously lacking. 

Anyway, I was already leaning heavily into tossing Twitter; I assumed (correctly) that I’d never get my old account back and I wasn’t keen on taking the time to start over with my new account. But mostly, after researching social media of mystery authors, I didn’t see where Twitter is worth the effort. 

I just couldn’t find (cozy or general) mystery writers (followers from 200 to maybe 2,000) tweeting about their new releases or old releases or re-releases where the tweets garnered much if any attention. And I’m not referring to only indie-published writers; I checked authors who were with trade publishers, too. 

An occasional “Like” hardly seems worth all the Twitter trouble. So for me—and granted, I’ve never been big on Twitter—I’ll pass on spending my marketing time tweeting. But I’m curious about mystery readers…Where do they go to get information about books, about what to read next? Is it Amazon? Goodreads? Both of those behemoths are a given, and they seem the best bet for my time and effort.

But I’m thinking about a Facebook page…or maybe Instagram. I see both of these social media buttons on writers’ websites and I wonder about the payoff. I’m fine with Facebook and I know my target audience—we’ll call them the "Golden Girls"—are all over that space. But do they follow authors there? 

Instagram? I’ve never bothered with it but the Junior Halls are always throwing pics on there. I suppose I could give it a whirl but is it worth the work? Do photos promote books? 

So readers (and writers), I’d really appreciate your input. Where should I—as a mystery writer aiming to attract the mature female reader—put my marketing money and time? (And if you say the T word, I’ll scream!)


Sue Bradford Edwards said...

I'm not sure that I think it is one platform over another. I think that the nature of your posts makes a big difference. I just shared someone else's post about a picture book series on a Twitter. I don't know about the original because I can't access the data, but my post has been seen by 1400 people.

Is that typical? No.

But the post included an attractive photo. Think Pinterest worthy. And I was pushing someone else's book.

Wherever you use social media, it really helps to engage with the publishing community. And talk about other people's books. That's a big one and something that a lot of writers don't bother to do.

Just my two cents worth!

Angela Mackintosh said...

This is frustrating! I'm sorry Twitter wouldn't let you get your account back. I don't know what's going on with Twitter. If you notice in our sidebar, our Twitter feed widget that worked for years, suddenly broke about a week ago saying we haven't tweeted yet. I think that's due to Twitter making it imperative you log in to see tweets.

The good news is that if someone loves your book, they will share it on their own social media, even if you don't have social media. And that type of share is more powerful than you sharing it yourself.

Of course, readers will need to be able to find out about your book first, so I say go for whatever you feel comfortable with. Yes, there are lots of readers on Bookstagram and Facebook, and of course, Goodreads, Amazon, Bookbub, etc. I think what's important is getting some kind of plan in place, having media outlets and readers review ARCs, etc.

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