We stumbled across a tweet from Neil Fletcher last week and it struck a chord. Sonja and I have been talking about how we can promote our book, and the dangers of overselling ourselves on Twitter. Clearly we are right to be cautious about it, as Neil explains in his article, reposted with his permission here:
‘I was amused last week to gain another follower on Twitter. What tickled my funnybone was the fact that this guy has followed (and very quickly unfollowed) me at least half a dozen times before.
Clearly, he loves Twitter as he follows about 62,000 people. What astonishes me is that he has about 58,500 followers.
Why am I astonished? Why do I want every other tweet to say “read my book”, “do you know I’ve written a book”, “have you seen this quote from my book” and so on?
Yeah, we get it – you’ve written a book. Once you’ve told me that, you don’t need to tell me again – I can retain information quite well. Now tell us something new or, at the very least, wait a couple of weeks before you tell me again about your book.
No, I don’t mean the other half of your tweets should be “have you read my blog”, “what do you think about this article on my blog”, “thanks for retweeting about my latest blog post”. (Are you getting a feeling for why I’ve never followed this guy back?)
And, yes, I am fully aware of the irony of publicising this blog post on my Twitter stream!
Clearly, the guy is intelligent – he’s written a book – and, if his publicity is to be believed, he is or has been a pretty good salesman. Why then is he getting this so wrong?
I understand the need to publicise the book, I understand the need to publicise the blog but, please, show me something beneath the surface – who inspires you, what articles have you read and enjoyed, what bugs you, anything but constantly banging on about you!’
So, we have been warned! We share Neil’s belief that to succeed on Twitter you need to share more than sell – to have real two way conversations instead of pumping out a stream of one-way self promoting traffic. Whether it’s a book or a business, Twitter works brilliantly if you use it to connect with people. Strike the wrong note, and your promotion will backfire. We’ll be treading carefully!
But please do tell us if we overstep the mark….
Neil Fletcher is a product sales manager for one of the world’s largest engineering companies, trying to blend new selling skills with old. Friends and colleagues occasionally describe him as ’never knowingly under-opinionated’.
- You can find Neil’s original article ‘Dumb as a Post – how NOT to use Twitter’ on his blog
- Connect with Neil on Twitter at @neiljfletcher