Sunday, January 8, 2012

Social Media Dilemmas

social media

God, I love Twitter. As an author, social media is one of the best ways to get your name out there. I experienced this last night when a couple of my tweets about the New Hampshire debate got shared beyond my wildest dreams.

Let me start off by saying that I don’t write anything simply for the sake of a retweet or a share. I’m a passionate person and everything I say comes from the heart. So, with that being said, how do you handle showing appreciation for a retweet?

When I first began to get retweeted, I thanked people, but they seemed a little put off by this. By thanking them, I felt like I was being pushy and making them feel obligated to retweet my content in the future. No one likes to feel obligated to do something, so I backed off and didn’t say thanks when I got retweeted. I thought this route was best because I didn’t want it to seem like I was doing what I do for a retweet. (This applies to sharing on Facebook as well. I don’t mention Facebook as much because I’m rarely put in the position of thanking anyone on Facebook. Perhaps it’s because most of my Facebook friends are actual friends and family and it’s not often when they share my stuff.)

Anyway, once I backed off thanking people for sharing my tweets, I began to notice all the others who did and, naturally, the wheels in my head started turning. “Maybe you should thank them, TC.” “You don’t want to seem rude, TC.” So, what did I do? I began to thank people again. But I didn’t want to come out and say “thanks for the retweet” so I came up with phrases like “much love to…”, “dropping thanks to…”, etc. This process felt a little awkward but it seemed to work for me. Until Saturday night.

“Yes, Ron Paul, those racist comments that you claim to not have written 20 years ago do matter. U bring up Obama's past. Y are u different?” I tweeted as I watched the GOP debate. I went to get a snack, came back to my computer and saw that the numbers had racked up on that tweet and another one.

So, there I was wondering if I should thank all the people one-by-one for the retweets or not. In the end, I decided not to. I didn’t want to be intrusive. Sometimes someone just wants to retweet a tweet and keep it moving. I just gave a shout out to the person who started the avalanche for me and gave a general thanks to the people who followed me because of that retweet.

No one can deny the power of a retweet. While I don’t do anything for a retweet, I did notice sales for my book went up on Amazon and I’m sure it was because of the tweets that got my name out there. So, I have decided to keep thanking the people who follow me for retweets and mentions. After all, they are doing me a favor.

Which brings me to the “follow dilemma”: Do you individually thank everyone for a follow or give a sweeping shout out? To be honest, I can’t imagine thanking each person individually. I’m the kind of person who will leave someone out and end up feeling (and looking) like a heel. So the group acknowledgement works for me.

Am I 100% confident in my system? Definitely not. But until I adopt a better one, I’ll have to keep doing what works for me.

P.S. I hope people realize how grateful I truly am for their support. As a new author, it really does mean a lot to me. Have a sublime Sunday, ya’ll. Find something that makes your heart sing.


  1. Wow, I have never thought about it like this. I don't really know the twitter etiquette for all of this, I guess I just do whatever feels right lol...congrats on the increase in book sales.

  2. I'm just like Dietta, I don't know the etiquette, but I do thank people who follow me who re-tweeted me. It was nice of them to promote my stuff to their streams.

    Other than that, I'm just as clueless. I can say just do what feels right.

  3. Thanks, ladies, for dropping by and for the feedback. It makes me feel better about the way I'm handling it. And thanks for the congratulations, Dietta. ;-)

  4. P.S. It would be nice to maintain the increase in book sales rather than ups and downs. But hey, I'll take what I can get.

  5. This really got me to thinking...I'm bad about thanking new followers and people for Retweeting me...actually, I very rarely do it...***hangs head in shame***

    My personal opinion is that your thanks to your new followers and for RT's help get your name and face out there even more and people will be more likely to remember you for being so gracious - which is great while you're promoting your new book (anyone who hasn't read it is truly missing out!!!).

    Just my two cents :0)

  6. Hey, Michelle. I try to be as gracious as possible because I truly appreciate my followers and the folks who support me. Whether or not I'm successful at it is another story. LOL Thanks so much for the compliment on my book, honey! It really means a lot. ;-)

  7. I guess Im not hip to Twitter protocol, lol, I thank people for visiting my blog but never for a retweet.

  8. Thanks for stopping by, Talula. You know, I started doing it because "the experts" said it was a good thing to do. Now that I started, I can't imagine not doing it. ;-)

  9. Hey T.C. - let me first start by saying that I don't know Twitter protocol and consider myself to be more of a voyer to stay in 'the know'. That said, I like to see celebrities (for an example) respond to their followers. I would imagine however, that after a certain point, doing so would become unmanageable as you have so accurately pointed out. A group response of thanks certainly seems reasonable, and so does a personal thanks if you are so moved.

  10. NilaJay, I like you a lot! Great points.

    I like to see celebrities respond as well when they can. I lost my mind when Terry McMillan responded to me. LOL Thanks for your feedback.