What’s a Tweet Team?
We recently tried an interesting tactic called a Tweet Team to help promote one of our books. This promotional idea comes from the World Literary Cafe, a well-known site helping authors and readers to unite. Simplistically, a tweet team is a group of 10 authors/publishers/marketers that want help in getting word out to the public about their book. The way it works is that you join a team of 9 other tweeters. Each of you writes your own tweet and then you tweet each others’ tweets during the course of the day. The obvious benefit is that your tweet will get to not only your followers but the followers of the 9 other authors. You can also do this as many times as you want. There are only a few minor rules that most people could easily follow.
Why it wasn’t for us
Conceptually, it was an intriguing concept. We spent a little time reading about it and watching their video. We thought we had a good handle on what to expect so we did it twice. That was enough to make us realize there are too many drawbacks for us to use it as a publisher helping our authors get noticed.
- We joined a team later in the day and we only had a couple of other people join our team. Therefore, we didn’t get as much help as we expected. On our second try, we did it earlier in the day and we got a full team. So if you do this, start earlier in the day.
- We can’t control what other people write as their tweets. This was a big issue for us. One of the tweets implied that we had read their book and loved it. That is disingenuous to our followers.
- Our initial impression was that people use this service to tell people about possibly a free or discounted opportunity to buy their book. There are many sites out there that do this and we think there’s value in that. However, these tweets rarely reflected that type of promotion. People just want others to help them get the word out on their book. Period.
- Because you have to tweet 9 other authors, it gets a bit spammy in my mind. Again, if there was value we were providing to our followers, that would be one thing. But we were really turned off by some of the tweets we were sending out.
- This is untargeted marketing. If the World Literary Cafe upgraded their service by connecting authors in the same genre and target audience, that would a nice step.
After doing some more research and following some of the other tweeters on our team, some of them do this several times a day for multiple days. Therefore, their twitter stream is just constantly pushing other books that they have no relationship with whatsoever. Personally, if I was following them, I would immediately unfollow.
All in all, it was a great learning experience. Within 2 tries, we realized that this was not a marketing practice we would do again. It may be great for some people but not for us. We want to provide our followers with the content they expect from our brand. Just because we are a publisher does not warrant tweeting about any random book and suggesting they buy it.