Out of a modicum of boredom more than anything else, I conducted a little experiment last week.
I have a pile of copies of my first book, Up The Creek Without a Mullet (I may have mentioned it here once or twice), and decided to run little competitions on each of the social media platforms I am on. Nothing too complicated: just a case of asking for suggestions as to who should receive a copy and why, with the best idea in my view winning. No second mention, no reiteration or reminders, just one little message, transmitted once into the busy streams of social media land.
What were the results?
The first day I did it on Twitter. I had a grand total of zero entries. This was, I thought, a mild surprise. I don’t have a huge number of followers on Twitter, but enough to render a handful of half-baked or even half-joking responses. At least that’s what I thought. But fair enough, it’s a free social media and frankly it saved me an ever-increasingly expensive stamp.
The second day I did it on Google+. There was one reshare, but again, no entries.
The third day, I tried my page on Facebook. I got one entry, which of course won by default.
What does that say? Well, perhaps nobody pays attention to me. Or those that want to read the book already have done so. Or that (in the case of Twitter or Google+) people didn’t know enough about the book to want to put in for it. Or maybe it’s easy to miss things and simply not keep up with the contant stream of bumph that’s out there in the world of social media.
If it’s the latter, it suggests that people are trying to absorb too much information and the only way to get folk to notice what you’re saying is by repeating it. One thing that mildly annoys me on Twitter is the number of people who will write an article or post and then tweet the link to it a number of times. “I get the message”, I want to say, “I follow you for a reason and read your tweets, so there’s no point telling me four or five times about the same thing you’ve posted!” If you are following someone whose stuff you don’t notice or don’t want to read, then you’re following too many people. Or the wrong people.
I don’t mind that there weren’t many responses. It was, after all, just an experiment. But it proves what a funny place the world of social media can be.