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Questions About Twitter

Discussion: Questions About Twitter

I Have Questions About Twitter

My confession: Twitter really confuses me! All through high school and college I avoided it like the plague because it was the snobby cool thing to do (sigh) and now when I want to join in the book blogging discussions, I don’t know what I’m doing D: . I’ve read the how-to’s and mostly understand what to do with @, but only kinda #. But now I’m left with etiquette questions about Twitter that pertain mostly to what all the awesome book bloggers that I’m trying to chat with expect.

Questions About Twitter

How I feel trying to talk to new people: awkward ;-)

Introduce Yourself or Just Talk?

So you know when you are watching your Twitter feed and someone that you haven’t talked to before (and don’t completely remember following, but evidently you did) says something interesting? It feels a bit intrusive to butt in to a pre-existing conversation with my thoughts, but I do want to join in. Or perhaps there isn’t a pre-existing conversation, the blogger is just making a statement, but I still haven’t talked to them previously so they feel like a stranger on the street with a cool shirt. It’s a little weird to just go up and start talking about their shirt ya know? So on Twitter, do you expect new people to introduce themselves at least briefly before launching in to a conversation? Or are you okay with completely new people just responding to you?

Replying After Hours/Days

Sometimes I’ll see that someone responded to a tweet hours after they did so, or even the next day. I get the email notifications still because otherwise I’m worried I will completely miss everything and seem more anti-social that I am >.>. However when I then respond back, I find that I barely every get a continued reply. I realize that Twitter isn’t really meant to be a place for drawn out conversations over the course of days, but sometimes I really do want to continue the conversation even though we aren’t on at the same time. Am I being completely silly by tweeting back hours later? Should I just send an email if it’s that important to me? Often it’s not that it’s important enough for an email, I just want to keep talking to that person. This is also a problem since I keep strange hours as a student and am often not on Twitter at the “hot” times of the evening. How do I connect with people when we’re never on at the same time??

Tweet Old Post

I started using the WP plugin Tweet Old Post a while ago because it seemed like a good idea and some bloggers swear by it. However, I’ve noticed there might be two opposing opinions on this one. If I see other people posting automated tweets too often, I get annoyed and I’m sure many of you do as well. I’ve even see whole blog posts about how annoying automated tweets are. I’ve tried to cut down my Tweet Old Post settings so that they only go two or three times a day, so that my overall automated tweet count is at a max of four (since I also have new posts auto-tweeted). How do you feel about this and other automatic tweets like Buffer? Is this a great way to get more blog traffic or a horrible annoyance? Have you ever unfollowed people because of too many automated tweets? How many is too many?

Post Announcements

This is related to the above, but from the other angle. Do you find tweets announcing new posts at a blog useful? Do you keep track of any of your blogs that way? Or are you already following a blogger through email/RSS/etc and a tweet about a new post is old news/annoying? Besides using Twitter to chat with other bloggers/readers, I have mostly assumed that it is useful to tweet about my newest post at least once a day so that people who don’t necessarily follow me another way can see if they are interested. However, this adds to the number of automated tweets that might not spark any conversation. Do you think this is a good use of Twitter or not the point?

All right, those are my main questions and I really would love to know what you think about them. What do you use Twitter for? Do you have any questions about Twitter that you want to add to the discussion?

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -A

© 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I’m still fairly new/confused about Twitter sometimes too. To be honest, I only started using it for the most part when I started blogging after some experienced bloggers raved about how it was a GREAT way to network, promote & make blogger & author friends!

    Giselle over at Xpresso Reads did up a post about it for her blogoversary last year saying like: don’t be scared to jump in and don’t be shy about tweeting bloggers & authors…and I think that really helped on my end. I risk it more now, sometimes you get a reply back and other times none. I definitely still have concerns though, like you mentioned about jumping into a conversation (I usually never do but often want to!) and it sucks when you tweet a blogger you like & they don’t reply but I try to roll with it :)

    Late tweets don’t bother me in the least, I just like getting a reply lol but I know what you mean,some people won’t reply after a certain time…not sure why though but I still tweet out sometimes to a day old tweet. >.<

    As for tweeting about older posts, I don't mind at all – in fact I love seeing your older posts promoted on there,sometimes I find good ones from before I was blogging & get excited haha And I have slowly started keeping track of new posts I want to visit by favoriting them on Twitter…but sometimes it backfires so I just end up losing track & wishing I'd kept track on my reader!!

    Great questions and concerns all around though, I definitely have wondered about all the ones you mentioned and I am still wondering for some too hehe so I appreciate the post!

    • yeah, I’m still working on the awesome networking power thing >.> But the don’t be shy is the advice I need to latch onto, haha!

      Yey, I’m glad it was useful. I agree that I’m still wondering a bit, but it’s all opinions anyway, it was just good to get an idea what some other people thought ;-)

  2. I love twitter! it’s great for announcing a new book review that’s up. If possible, tag the author in the book review tweet, and then they retweet it, and holy cow you get a ton of hits and RTs.

    Responding later/after hours I think is just fine. Twitter is a very international crowd, and people are in different time zones and different schedules. I use the “connect” thing all the time to see who has responded to something I said. I don’t think anyone minds if your response is 12 or more hours later.

    and as I’m scrolling through the feed, and someone mentions a book or author or movie or anything I’m into, I can tweet them back or click on the link. I have a few RSS reader programs I use, but the twitter feed has really become my go-to place.

    • Nice, that’s another thing I’m nervous about, hehe. I’m so afraid that I’ll annoy authors if I include them in tweets ya know? I’m sure they get lots of them! It’s something I would have to remember to do as well, since my automatic announcements aren’t smart enough to find the author’s account and tag them unfortunately, lol.

      Wow, I just realized that connect existed, that is so useful. This shows you just how illiterate I still am about Twitter, haha.

  3. I tend to be shy about tweeting about me and replying to a lot of bloggers on Twitter, and I usually don’t say much, but I’ve had some really fun conversations! It can be great to find bloggers who are new to something (be it blogging or a TV show or a book series) or who have the same opinions as you. I enjoy it when blogger’s tweet their most recent post because sometimes the title will just catch my eye or I haven’t gotten their post email notification yet. :)

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

    • I’m also quite shy on Twitter, which is funny since I’m fairly outgoing normally ;-). I think it’s something about not being able to see the person’s face so I don’t know how they are reacting to me, hehe. In any case, I agree that those random conversations that happen are awesome, I just wish I was better at finding them!

  4. I find Twitter a bit overwhelming because people most so much and often..but I use it just to socialize mostly!

    • Agreed, and I get a bit annoyed by people that are constantly advertising (like multiple times in the hour that I’m on!). I want to use it to socialize more, but I can never seem to find the time D:

  5. I love this post. I just hope someone answers all these questions because I totally don’t know, either. I feel just as awkward. My blog automatically tweets my posts, but I get a few RTs, so I don’t think it bothers anyone. But, I’m also not posting on my blog more than once a day.
    My friend is a twitter user through and through and she’s helpful because she’ll mention me in a bookish conversation. I don’t feel like I’m butting in since I’m invited. I’m so thankful because I can never tell if people are tweeting but meaning to only gather attention from their friends or if they’re really just putting something out there for all of their followers.
    It’s so hard to tell. (But then, I think about all the time people respond to my tweets regardless of who I was “targeting” and how I’m not bothered at all, but actually happy someone was interested in what I said.)
    And the whole twitter chat hashtag thing? I have no idea how to do it. I mean, obviously you just tweet and add the hashtag, but I never feel like I’m doing it right. Although I did do the Shatter Me rereadathon through PitchDarkBooks and that required a hashtag. But it was over a week period of time and not like an hour chat.
    Anyway, great post. Hopefully someone out there knows how to twitter LOL =)

    • Yey I’m not alone :D. I completely agree about figuring out if someone is trying to just talk to their friends or everyone. Though I guess people shouldn’t really tweet things if they aren’t open to all their followers responding, I mean that’s what twitter is for right??

      Omg hashtags, they confuse me so much! Am I supposed to go find hashtags that apply to what I am tweeting? Is it okay to just use them for events?? Agh *brain explodes* hehe

  6. What you said about opposite opinions is ALWAYS true on Twitter. I’ve read so many twitter how-to guides I can’t even tell you. And everyone says something different. You just have to do what works best for you. I schedule tweets in advance (not sure if that’s the same as auto-tweeting) but I usually don’t do the same one twice. I find different ways to introduce the same things instead. And I, like you, try to tweet my posts, annoucements, etc, at ieast 3 X per day. As for conversations, jumping in on one at any time isn’t usually a problem. That’s what twitter is for. If someone aims a tweet at a specific person, I’m less likely to jump in, but most people don’t mind if you do. They’re happy to interact with you. I’m sure you’ll find a few killjoy’s here and there that will be crabby about it, but it’s THEM that doesn’t understand how to use twitter. I do many of the things you describe here and, while I do have some people unfollowing me ever now and again, my followers have grown steadily since I opened my account. Those who unfollow you for dumb reasons like tweeting too many times in a day or jumping into a conversation, are not the types you want following you anyway. Hope that helps! Great discussion! :D

    • See, it’ll happen that I’m excited to talk to someone (often one of the bigger bloggers that I still fangirl over, hehe) but then they don’t respond ever. I was wondering if that’s because they thought it was rude that I was just jumping in, or maybe they get so many tweets it’s hard to keep track of them all?

      Hehe, that is a great point over all though, I keep stressing about if I’m “doing it right” and that is pretty silly ;-). I guess what works for me is having mostly post related tweets and jumping in for conversations once a week when I can :D

  7. I do auto tweets for my blog posts, and sometimes people retweet them. When I am super excited about something, and have the time, I tailor make some tweets with the post link.

    Primarily I use twitter for 2 things:
    Playful snark
    Drinkalong twitter movie nights hosted by Snobbery

    If someone responds to a tweet and it takes me a day or two to get back, I do so. At work, I am not allowed to twitter or fb or other social media, so that limits some of my interactions during the work week.

    If you wanted, you and I could pick a book to discuss via twitter each week, we would pick a # to capture the weekly conversation so others can easily join in. Let me know if you like the idea. It would also expose you to my followers and vice versa.

    • Haha “drinkalong twitter movie nights”??? When do these happen?

      Oo, that’s a great idea! It’d have to be not a weekend night though, since the bf doesn’t appreciate me not paying attention to him when he visits on the weekend, hehe.

  8. I know that my WordPress dashboard shows how many click throughs I get through Twitter, and I get a few everyday, so I think it’s pretty useful to Tweet blog posts. I’m pretty nosy so I randomly tweet people all the time and butt in. For me it’s just Twitter, it’s not like this hugely formal setting, and there aren’t rules for how you should interact with people besides being totally mean to them. Just do what you’re comfortable doing.

    • That’s an excellent point, now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve been getting many Twitter clickthroughs these days, huh.

      It’s good to know that you don’t mind people being informal, I’ll be sure to butt in when I see you tweeting! ;-)

  9. I’ll be honest, I have no idea on what others expect or of the proper etiquette either. I stayed away from Twitter as I wasn’t sure what it was, how it worked, etc. I only got into it just before I started blogging. I worked things out as I went, but etiquette? No idea.
    Personally, I’m ok with and happy with people randomly commenting back. No intro needed as I’ll work out who you are (well I know who YOU are, but …. yeah, I’m sure you get my meaning). In fact I love it when people random tweet me back on my tweets as I have no idea what I’m doing but I’m fine with replying! lol
    I’m concerned with the hours/days thing too. I get emails but unless I’m at my computer I don’t see them, and my phone makes the same noise for direct tweets at me, and tweets I’ve elected to notify me on my phone about. So unless I’m looking at my phone I wont see the tweet straight away. I feel awkward replying late as I see tweeting as an instant kind of communication so I’d love to see what others think and feel towards this.
    I haven’t unfollowed for auto tweets. Like I said I only get certain tweets on my phone, and unless I’m staring at Twitter I don’t notice post tweets.
    I do however like seeing new post tweets, and often (if I remember) do it myself. I think it’s handy, though I normally only tweet the post once but that’s because I do it manually and normally forget to do it twice, or three times throughout the day – I’m lucky to do it once!
    I’d love to be more active on Twitter, and I don’t know how people do it. I just don’t find the time. :/

    Great discussion post though. I’d love to see what others say as I have some of the same concerns as you. :)

    • Hehe, I know completely what you mean! I still don’t use hashtags ever since I just don’t think of it ;-)

      I agree that tweeting feels like it’s only in the moment, but I don’t know how to talk to people in a casual environment otherwise, so I kind of like a prolonged conversation over days if that’s what it takes ;-) Feel free to reply to me late if it ever comes up!

      If you ever want to set it up, Buffer lets you schedule tweets in advance so you could automate your post announcements, make life a little easier ;-)


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