There’s No Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card for Twitter Jail!
How to stay out of Twitter’s overuse jail.
After I published my first book, She’s Not There, it wasn’t long before I became overwhelmed by how many social media sites there were and how many I was “supposed” to be active on. It quickly became frustrating trying to keep up with with them all.
Then I found a book recommending that an author, rather than do a poor job on all of them, pick two and do them right. This spoke to my state of angst, and I quickly settled on doing the two things I actually enjoyed: Twitter and blogging.
I clipped along on Twitter for more than a year, acquired 5000+ followers and a long list of folks I regularly exchanged RTs with. It became a comfortable routine.
Imagine my distress the first time I received a Twitter message informing me I’d gone over the allowed transaction limit and wouldn’t be able to tweet or RT for an undisclosed number of hours—a dilemma quickly dubbed “Twitter Jail” by someone much more clever than myself.
Twitter “tweet allotment” facts:
1. Twitter allows an individual user 1,000 tweets a day. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, not really.
2. Those thousand tweets permitted, which include RTs, are broken down into semi-hourly intervals. What does this mean to the user?
3. You cannot use more than the amount allowed for a semi-hourly break down without risking having your tweeting ability frozen for hours. If you use automated tweets, they will not be run.
4. Twitter doesn’t give exact details, but if you divide 1000 by 24, that means roughly 41 Twitter transactions allowed per hour.
5. To be safe, I limit myself to 20 every half hour since Twitter’s descriptor is “semi-hourly,” which defines as twice per hour.
What this means for authors who practice a regular RT exchange with other authors and readers, is you can’t sit down at your computer in the morning, run a huge number of RTs, and consider yourself done for the day. Not if your own scheduled tweets are important to you! By scheduled tweets, I’m referring to those that you set up on sites like Hootsuite and Gremlin.
The only way to beat the system is to stagger your RTs. Don’t groan, I know it’s a lot more work. On days I’m home, sometimes I set a small timer to remind myself to do my 30-minute RT allotment! Unfortunately, the end result on busy days is I just don’t get to give back as many RTs as I would like.
Use your transactions wisely. When RTing for someone, find one that will help his or her cause. And if you want people to RT for you, make sure you have something there you’d like RT’d, other than a long list of thank-you’s.
I decided to address this topic because I’m often disappointed that I cannot always RT for everyone who does it for me. There is just not enough time in a day to do it with the new restrictions. Hope this helps you understand Twitter Jail--I've been there--the food is awful!
Have a great week,