Behind the Tweet

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It’s been a while since I’ve written about social media or book marketing topics, but I decided to come out of poetry-land to address the issue of Twitter-automation services. I’ve never used one of these services that promise to save you time by retweeting, so I can’t comment as a customer. I can only comment on my experiences as a recipient of such automated tweets and Retweets.
In my humble opinion, here are the most compelling reasons to rethink the use of some Twitter Automation services:
  1. You are giving the service provider access to your Twitter account. Maybe this isn’t a big deal. Or maybe it is. Just be aware you are giving up control of your account.
  2. Some of these services send out automated Tweets advertising their service. As I’m scrolling through my feed, I often see the same Tweets over and over again. “Tweets are contributed by XYZ service.” Or, “I unfollowed such-and-such number of people today thanks to XYZ service.” These posts let everyone know you’re automating Tweets. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re not active and engaged on your account, that isn’t really an incentive for people to follow you. People want to follow YOU, not a automated service. They want to know WHO is behind the Tweet.
  3. Automated RTs (Retweets) may not reflect your values. Do you want to RT porn? How about graphic pics of animal cruelty? I’m not telling you what you should and should not RT, but if you want any say in the matter, handing over your Twitter account to an automation service might not be the best solution for you.
  4. You might be appearing to endorse a person or product you would NEVER choose to endorse. Sometimes I’m in a weird mood and I’ll post random stuff about my back hurting. Or political posts for or against certain candidates. These Tweets are inevitably RT’d by my automated friends. I wonder if my Conservative friends will ever realize they endorsed Bernie Sanders? Not unless they scroll through their feed and see what their automation service has been up to in their absence.
  5. You might be making it difficult for people to RT you. When someone RTs one of my Tweets, I like to reciprocate. I usually RT whatever Tweet they have pinned to the top of their profile page (as long as it doesn’t involve naked people or political candidates I despise). If I’ve already RT’d their pinned post, I can scroll through their Tweets and find something I would like to pass on to my followers, such as an interesting blog post or special sale they are having on one of their books. Many of my automated friends have been absent from Twitter for so long, their most recent original Tweet is from two or three months ago. I’ve already Retweeted it. If I scroll through their Tweets, it all a bunch of RTs or advertisements. Sometimes, it’s just too much work and I give up, hoping they’ll have something new to RT the next time I visit.
  6. People might think you’re a spammer. If your service sends direct messages to your new followers, please be aware there are a lot of people who consider these types of messages rude. Many will promptly unfollow or even report you as a spammer.
Not every Twitter Automation service is the same, so shop around. Know what you are paying for. And if you’re NOT paying for the service, be aware they are receiving compensation in some way – by using your account to advertise their service. Always be careful when allowing someone else to have control over a social media account.
What do you think about Twitter? What time-saving services have you tried?

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