The online world is awash with stories about Twitter and how it’s going to revolutionise the way we interact on the Internet. No matter where you look, Twitter is there in your face. Newspapers, radio, TV, your grandmother. Everyone is talking about Twitter.
As regular readers will know, I jumped on the Twitter bandwagon comparatively recently and, in the comments to that post, people have asked me how I was getting on with it and, crucially, whether I was making any money on Twitter.
Now if you’ve been reading my occasional ramblings on Twenty Steps for any length of time, you’ll know that one of the underpinning foundations to this site is that I blog the mistakes I make trying to make money online. Don’t presume that since I haven’t posted anything for a while that I haven’t made any mistakes. Quite the opposite. I regularly fuck up. I just don’t tell you every time it happens.
However on Wednesday 13 May 2009 I did something so monumentally stupid that it warrants a blog post.
As you may or may not know, I work in the independent film industry and I’ve been working on a zombie movie for the last few years. I once posted a request for stuff for the movie and got a lot of really good people helping me out including the guys at Digg, Mashable, Delicious, SMX, Aviva, SEO Chicks, Modern Gent and ePromos.
Today, I decided to launch an Amazon aStore for the film. The way I see it is that any independent film needs to find ways to fund their movies. The film establishment aren’t going to help you so why not look for alternative ways of making a few dollars? So I trot off to my Amazon affiliate page, create an aStore and publish it. Once I check to make sure everything is working OK, I decide to announce it to the world via the recently created zombie movies Twitter profile.
Here, in no particular order, are the three things I right royally screwed up on.
- I didn’t use a single keyword, #hashtag or anything that people might be likely to use to search for on Twitter. Outside of the handful of people who are following either me or the movie page, nobody will ever see that tweet
- I linked to the blog post about the launch of the store rather than the store itself. I thought I was so clever using the “zombieshop” part of the shortened URL that I forgot to actually link to the shop itself
- I decided to tweet at 7.55pm UK time. 7.55pm=11.55am some US time. 5 minutes before the scheduled maintenance that had been advertised on Twitter all day which led to Twitter being unavailable for the next hour or so.
What a complete and utter clueless fuckwit I am. You’d think that after tinkering with online marketing for the last few years that I would have got the hang of it by now.
You’d be wrong.
In all of my…ooohhh…let’s see…four months of using Twitter, I’ve not seeded my tweets with many affiliate links or been overly aggressive about promoting any of my blog posts. The one time I do it, I screw up.
How many clicks have I had from that one post?
I got more clicks from a link about a homosexual elephant than I did from this one attempt at using Twitter to market something. Still, in the spirit of Twenty Steps I have learned a number of things today.
Firstly make sure you check to see when Twitter is going down for maintenance. You might want to hold your best stuff back.
Secondly, look beyond your immediate audience when composing a tweet. Y’know, like you do when you’re writing your web copy and stuff.
And finally, no matter how much of a twat you think you are, there are always opportunities to prove you’ve been underrating yourself.
Sometimes 3 reasons just isn’t enough to illustrate why I’m a clueless numpty so here’s another one for you:
4. Rather than do the sensible thing and schedule this post to come out around midday UK time on Thursday (i.e. when anyone might be up to read it), my Kronenbourg addled brain thought it would be a splendid idea to hit publish at 4am, send a tweet and then crash out for 7 hours of alcohol induced coma. Needless to say when I threw woke up this morning, the traffic to the post was less than inspiring. In fact it was less than 1.
Lesson - drinking and blogging do not mix well together. Step away from the keyboard, you drunken bum.