Attack of the Twitter Zombies

A seated zombie tries to pull apart its head, looking for more brains.
Can I give a tweet a one brain review?

The Twitter Zombies out there — they stalk mindlessly through Twitter.  “Twwweeeetttts.  Must send tweet.  Must promote book.  Must promote self.”  And then we, the recipients of these brains tweets, end up with spam (not the kind you eat).

For the last few months, I’ve been overwhelmed by writer spam.  If you put writer in your bio, writers flock to you, and then they send link spam: Writing links; “My book got five stars”; and retweets of other writers’ spam.  It is insane!  How can people think this sells books?

I have bought books based on tweets, but it’s been when someone else other than the author mentions the book — and it’s a real recommendation, not the cheer leading squad of RTers.  But because Joe Writer sends out multiple tweets about his books — no, no, and NO.  I like my brains very much, thank you.


However, all my frustration with writer spam made me think about what I was doing.  That plus a class on social media I took.  The class was focused on the business side, but had the unique aspect of being by people who are still trying to figure it out rather than an expert.

So I looked at my Twitter timeline.  I was surprised as how unfocused the tweets were.  I’m a jack of all trades.  I like a lot of things.  When I was in college, it was, “You mean I have to pick a major?”  I ended up with 94 credit hours and an AA in General Education.  If I went back today, I’d still have trouble picking a major!  Platform may be a challenge for me because of this, so the first thing I did was narrow my focus a lot.  I took it down to three topics:

  1. Science Fiction and Fantasy
  2. Fiction/Reading
  3. Women in the Media
Dead hand reaches up from the group, one finger a bone.
“Retweets! Give me retweets!”

Then I cut the number of linked tweets I send out to 4.  Social media experts say you have to do at least 10 to stay visible, which is probably why so many writers are sending link spam.  Ten was hard to keep up with, so I originally cut mine to 7 — which was still hard to keep up with.  My intent was to find conversations, but that was difficult because one of the hashtags I was on was overloaded with writer spam (the hashtag owners started reporting them as spammers.  We’re now down to about 5 spammers, 3 of which are one person, and the other 2 are RTing her.  Like I said, Twitter Zombies).

But it’s the other thing I did that seems to have made a huge difference in the responses I’m getting with fewer Tweets.  Most people will send out the name of the page or post title as the Tweet, maybe with a short comment.  I used to do that.  But to help keep me from going off in the latest shiny direction, I delete the title and write my own comment about the link.  It has to stand up on its own.  With that requirement, a lot of links haven’t made it to Twitter, but the quality of what I’m sending out is much better.  The links are coming from major blogs I subscribe to and TrendSpottr (that’s from the social media class).  The rest of the Tweets are conversations.


And the results have surprised me.  Before, with 7-10 link tweets using the post title, I would get maybe one Tweet clicked on, often by one person.  With fewer links much more personalized, I’m regularly getting 5-7 clicks per tweet.  My Klout score’s also jumped up (it had  been declining).

Maybe things are changing.  Sending out so many links might have worked early on, before so many writers got online and starting repeating where early successes were.  Have you reassessed your role in social media?  What things are you trying?

Images are from

2 thoughts on “Attack of the Twitter Zombies

  1. You’ve done a site redesign since I was last here! Love the colors!

    Thanks for sharing your social media strategy. I’m all over the place when it comes to Twitter, I’m afraid. I have to sit down and rethink what my goals for that are. I do agree that a personal comment on a link is better than tweeting whatever the headline is. I try to do that, except when I don’t (in a hurry, can’t think of something snappy or attention-grabbing). But writing your own comment does force you to think about what message you’re trying to get across. How does this inform or entertain my followers? How does it tie into my platform?

    Good ideas here. 🙂


    1. Rabia, I was amazed at how many links I ended up not tweeting because I couldn’t say anything about them. Maybe that’s a good screening process to filter out what might not work as well.


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