I was recently invited to a Twitter Community for lovers of Books. Currently, there are about 1,000 of us in this community. Twitter states that “Twitter Communities were created to give people a dedicated place to connect, share, and get closer to the discussions they care about most.” But is being in a Book Community as good as it sounds?
Everybody reading this likely has some sort of affection towards reading or books themselves (I don’t know, maybe you just like to sniff them.) Therefore, the idea that Twitter has created these areas on their social media channel which are dedicated to talking solely about books is really exciting, right? Well, yes mostly. Except for a few major flaws. And here they are:
You Don’t Get Notifications
So, I don’t know if this is a bug or not with just my version of Twitter/having Twitter on Android etc, but I can’t see the responses to the tweets I posted into a community on my notification feed. Now and then I’ve received them as an actual notification to my phone, but they’ve still not appeared in the notification area along the bottom.
Admittedly I often post the same tweet to both my main Twitter feed and into the Book Community too as you can access slightly different audiences (I’ll come onto this later).
It’s Not Bespoke Content
Now I know the idea of Communities on Twitter is to have an area where when you click into it, it’s only going to have certain content. They have rules which are written by the Community creator but these can’t be enforced in any way other than being written.
However, wouldn’t it be good if when selecting a Community you could choose a category that would suit that community? For example, if you chose one for hobbies or books or something, you’d be able to then embed certain widgets from different areas. You could embed a Goodreads review directly or offer an interactive view of a couple of pages of a book that viewers can flick through. This could be adapted for the different areas – though would likely involve Twitter working with a lot of companies.
As a result of it not actually being much different to regular Twitter, I can imagine it’ll be somewhere where people quickly forget exists. You post into a Community when you go to the tweet area and then in the top left, there’s an option to choose the Community instead of posting to all of our feed. Adding this extra tap makes it a little more cumbersome.
You Can Access A Whole New Audience
One of the huge advantages to Communities is being able to access a whole new audience. In a Community, when you post, you’re posting to everybody in that group. Therefore, if somebody in that group doesn’t yet follow you, they may choose to do so so they can see your content in their own feed instead of having to head into the Community every time.
This works out well for both types of Twitter users – for those like me who use it as a way to promote my content, it offers me a whole new audience of those dedicated to the field I post most about – books. This means I may gain a whole new wave of followers who see my content and what to follow it more closely.
For those who use these Communities for their pure passion for books, you may well make some new friends or people you’d like to follow that you wouldn’t have found by manually searching for fellow book lovers.
It Promotes Engagement With Like-Minded Folk
Being able to scroll through a feed of content purely of a topic you’re interested in is brilliant for Twitter users. For years I’ve been trying to get my own personal Twitter feed down to people I actually want to follow (basically just news outlets and sports stars). However, now I can have certain areas on my Twitter app that are dedicated to things I actually care about – BOOKS!
With this comes a much keener interest in the tweets you’re seeing. Yes, it’s great to see Sky Sports News have posted that some footballer has moved to some club and I care about that, but I’m not going to respond as there’s no point. However, if Jane Bloggs posts asking what fantasy book she should start with or the fact she’s just finished This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay (go read my review of it here) I’m going to be way more interested in responding to her – even though I don’t know her personally (she’s fake by the way… made her up!) This, in turn, creates a more engaged audience if you’re looking for a place to get responses to questions or comments on your own tweets.
So in summary, Twitter Book Communities have their Pros and Cons. On one hand, they’re a great place to find and read tweets from like-minded people, but on the other hand, they’re a slightly flawed user experience where you won’t get notifications and it’s not that easy to then find your tweet.
When you post to a Community, if someone is part of that community, it will appear in their feed. However, I imagine, like a lot of social media channels, these are placed into some sort of algorithm to stop you from just seeing purely those tweets (I’m in a Community with over 1k users, so I don’t want to be seeing over 1,000 more people’s tweets in my main feed.)
Feel free to join the Book Twitter Community I’m a part of or the newly formed “Book Blogger” Community that I’ve created to help promote Book Bloggers and their content. If you think any of the above sounds intriguing, feel free to join!