A Twitter One Night Stand?

I kept reading that an aspiring writer needed to have an on-line presence.

I joined Twitter last September and read articles and blog posts about the different strategies you could adopt to build your following. After a few weeks I had a massive following of 20 people and my strategy was to start following other writers and readers. Most followed back.

I’ve met some great people on-line and Twitter made me buy a Kindle. I’m serious. I’d always resisted buying an e-reader, but I met these people and their books sounded interesting.

I’ve downloaded more than a dozen e-books (several have made me part with my hard-earned cash, not just freebies) and double that number in samples, all from Twitter connections, all books I wouldn’t have found otherwise.

Recently, I’ve had a number of people who follow me in the evening. I get the email, check them out and follow straight back because I’m kind like that.

The next morning I notice my numbers have fallen. They have already unfollowed me.


They didn’t even stay for breakfast.

A full English breakfast with scrambled eggs, ...

This was not my breakfast. I eat cereal, banana and soya milk, very healthy! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seriously though, I don’t have a problem with people unfollowing me. I would never unfollow someone who followed me as it doesn’t seem in the spirit of things. This social media merry-go-round is about mutual support and I’m all for that.

I do take exception to the people who take advantage of you by duping you into following them only to ditch you once you’ve returned the favour. They are simply doing this to boost their numbers and make themselves look more popular. That’s uncool.

If you’ve found the same thing happening to you then there is a good Twitter utility programme out there called who.unfollowed.me. It shows who unfollowed you, who doesn’t follow back and who you don’t follow back.

I don’t want a one night stand and I am on to their game. 🙂

Thanks for reading and, be careful out there!

About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
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41 Responses to A Twitter One Night Stand?

  1. Linda Govik says:

    That’s funny… I’ve recently gotten some followers on Twitter – followers that are probably good for my networking and for “building my brand” – and started to wonder if I now have to start being more active on there (so far, I only have my blog linked to my account, but other than that, I never update). I’ve never really been interested in Twitter, nor have I seen the point in it – but obviously, there IS one, since it’s so popular… Your post makes me – once again – ponder this delicate subject: shall I become more active on Twitter? Why? How can I make it useful for me as a writer? (How do I avoid unscrupulous people who just wants to use me for a Twitter one night stand? *g*) Thanks for a good post – as always 🙂

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Linda.

      I do enjoy twitter and I can see it is a very useful resource to get the word out about things. There are some spammers on there but that is the same about all social media. The genuine people outweigh the negatives for me.

      I’m just glad I can find the one night standers so I can unfollow them. 😉

      If you do decide to expand your Twittering, enjoy.

  2. mrbrainsplat says:

    I tend to get a lot of spam followers on my blog twitter account so I just block them. I also don’t always immediately follow someone who follows me unless they are someone I’m really interested in. I usually wait a day or so just to see if they disappear again.

    I do also wonder what the point of it all is!

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Mrbrainsplat. I think that is a good tactic. If they don’t hang around then they aren’t worth following back. Thanks for your comment and advice.

  3. Writing Jobs says:

    This was a very wonderful post today. Thanks for sharing this. Have a great day.

    Love writing? We would love for you to join us!

    Writer Jobs Available

  4. I am sorry about your experience. Have been unable to tell you how much I enjoyed the eBook you and your group published. It was the first I downloaded and will not be the last.

    There have been a few I have unfollowed and got a few angry responses! Two others were closed by the powers that be, perhaps because they sent an ugly message? Many reasons for choices. Anyway, glad you have a kindle and are not discouraged from writing.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks for the comments. I’m glad you enjoyed our ebook. I use twitter to get some good contacts for new ebooks. The ones I’ve read so far have been worthwhile.

  5. Kourtney Heintz says:

    I love your one night stand metaphor. I’m pretty willing to reciprocate and follow back on Twitter. But I hate when I follow someone and then they spam me with check out my book, my blog, my website emails. That should be a natural evolution to out interactions not a slam on day one. It really turns me off and makes me less inclined to engage with them.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Kourtney.

      I think you make a great point there about building the interaction. People are more likely to engage if done slowly rather than in your face.

  6. EllaDee says:

    I wouldn’t take it to heart. My experience is Tweeters are about as deep as their Tweets are long. Maybe you can use Twitter as a tool for self promotion and brand building but I can’t find the passion for it. I created a Twitter account as part of the criteria of a blog competition, and my lack of enthusiam was founded. Just as you and the commenters did, I got spammed, and as I’m uninterested in “celebrity tweeting” my Twitter account log in & password languishes… well… somewhere. Don’t waste a thought on those that unfollowed you, they’re not worth it.

  7. Ava Alexus says:

    Hi Pete,

    Unfortunately like everything else, Twitter is a tool that can be abused. I would like to utilise it more to interact with others, but it can be difficult when many users have similar goals, which is mainly to garner as wide an audience as possible to market their wares to. (Which in their strategy, there really needs to be a daily limit.)

    If I’m followed I do like to check out the person’s Twitter, website etc. to see if it is someone I’d be likely to interact with in some capacity, otherwise what’s the point? Sometimes I feel like I’m just a voyeur watching others people’s conversations. (Which I do anyhow with the users I choose to follow. 🙂 )

    • Pete Denton says:

      Hi, Ava. I know what you mean about voyeurism. Sometimes you do stumble across a lengthy conversation, which doesn’t seem right 🙂

      I use the lists to keep people I’m interested in interacting with on a more regular basis. You reach a point where you have too many people to read their tweets.

  8. djpaterson says:

    You seem to have boosted your numbers, Pete! One more now.

  9. Yes, I don’t automatically follow someone back if they follow me – I don’t do a great deal of investigating, but I briefly look at their profile and their recent tweets before deciding. There aren’t enough hours in the day to read all the tweets from the people I really am interested in, so I don’t want to fill up my stream with drivel from those I’m not. What I can’t stand is when people have circles of tweets that just keep automatically repeating throughout the day, and it’s all about the numbers game for them, what’s the point? What I love about twitter are the odd moments when you have a fun little exchange with a virtual stranger.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Vanessa. I like the exchanges with people too, but it is impossible to keep up with so many people. I’ve been sucked into Twitter before where it just takes over your life. I didn’t have time to do any writing. Thankfully, I stepped back from that and dip in and out. Much better 🙂

  10. Janet O'Kane says:

    Great post, Pete – I love your one night stand comparison. I’ve been on Twitter for a year now, and have found it very rewarding in terms of making contact with other writers, published and unpublished (inc. you!). I recently blogged about how I feel this is going to help me make the most of real life events this year, when I might otherwise be hindered by shyness.
    As a few of your earlier commenters have said, you get the most out of Twitter by going for quality not quantity. I never automatically follow, but check out people’s tweets, websites etc first. And I ruthlessly block any spammers. Only one person has ever DMd me asking me to RT one of his tweets – I immediately unfollowed and told him why.
    As in real life, good manners matter on Twitter too. And as in real life, some people forget this.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Janet. I’ve read your post and you are bang on. I hope you enjoy your journeys and I’m sure most people are as nice as their on-line persona.

      And good manners are always welcome 🙂

  11. Jeannie says:

    Pete, I want my interactions to be genuine–a follow to me doesn’t guarantee one back. There has to be some interest and like-mindedness in there somewhere. And I have unfollowed some people when I discover after a few posts that some things are amiss or we come from completely different ‘planets’. 🙂 Mutual support I’m all for; building numbers for the hell of it, not so much. I’ll come over for breakfast! 🙂

  12. Jen Reg says:

    i’ve been twitter-wooed-then-dumped too! although my twitter life is not all that interesting. lol.

  13. Setting aside the human/social side of it, I believe there are technical issues in which Twitter “unfollows” people you’ve followed. I’ve had it happen and so have others I’ve been in touch with. So it’s possible to annoy somebody you’ve followed by apparently “unfollowing” them, when you haven’t (well, you have, but not by your own choice).

    I also get the impression that a lot of people use twitter as a kind of classifieds column (“Me – me – me – me – my book – my blog – me – me…” – sometimes even automating it, when the real rule is pretty simple – type messages personally, chat, be friendly…and be nice.

    Matthew Wright

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Matthew. I have had many DMs from people within a few seconds of following. If I DM someone I at least take the personal approach and hopefully engage it a bit of dialogue.

  14. robincoyle says:

    Yes! I thought I was the only one that happened to! Great post Pete!

  15. handustry says:

    I’ve experienced this same follow-unfollow scheme on Twitter. I find this funny. The first time someone unfollowed me, I was a bit sad, now I really find this funny­.

    I should give who.unfollowed.me a try

    Sometimes though, people start following me and I just don’t have any clue as to why, but I see this as an opportunity for discovery.

    Still following you 🙂

    Have a great day

  16. I haven’t joined the Twitter croud yet, though I think the little blue birdie is pretty cute. People really unfollowed you that fast? That’s pretty rude, huh?

    I got my kindle about a year ago and still love the thing. Hope you’re having fun with yours, and deleting anything by your ‘unfollowers’. 🙂

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Tina.

      For some Twitter is just a numbers game. It can be easy to get sucked into that for a while.

      I LOVE my Kindle. I’m alternating real book/e-book at the moment though I’m building a bigger list of e-books at the moment.

  17. I had a Twitter account way back, but I really didn’t like reading short, cryptic messages telling me that they were tweeting from the men’s stall at Pizza Hut. TMI. I canceled my account and have not looked back. I’m barely at Facebook. It used to be just as bad but has gotten better because many people are now using it for business interests. I still don’t want to see pictures of your hernia scar, your son’s 18 stitches from the hockey fight, etc. Some things really need to remain personal and private.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Hahaha, I know what you mean. I don’t do Facebook, but Twitter can be fun and it is the type of thing you can push to one side when you don’t have time. I have met some good people on there and without it wouldn’t have come across their books. That’s the upside for me.

  18. Pingback: Murder mystery one-night stand, anyone? « My corner of the world

  19. YourHobby says:

    That breakfast photo is just tops Pete, can I ditch the fried tomato for an extra sausage though…..Cheers…..YourHobby.

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