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Marketing Tactics > Dealing with Twitter Ads ban

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message 1: by Sean (new)

Sean Shannon (seanshannon) | 1 comments My first novel got a pretty awesome review from Kirkus last month, and I wanted to advertise the review on social media to try to drum up more sales.

However, when I placed an ad buy on Twitter that linked to the review, I was quickly told that my tweet violated Twitter Ads' ban on "adult products and services." I was told this despite the fact that Twitter hadn't had any problems with me buying ads last year that promoted and linked directly to the Amazon page for my novel.

I presumed that this might have been a mistake, as a Twitter reviewer could have seen that my novel's title includes the word "prostitutes" and assumed that my novel was erotica. I filed an appeal with Twitter, pointing out that my novel was literary fiction (which the Kirkus review makes quite clear). Not only did Twitter reject my appeal, but they then further prevented me from buying ANY advertising on their service, apparently due to the fact that I mention the title of my novel in my Twitter bio.

I can only assume that the recent passage of SESTA/FOSTA has made Twitter, along with other companies, incredibly sensitive when it cones to any subjects that touch on sex work. Still, that Kirkus review isn't going to do me a lick of good unless people see it, and not being able to advertise the review on Twitter is a huge hindrance to a self-published author like me. More to the point, I'm worried about the effect that this kind of action by Twitter will have on other authors and artists whose art touches on sex work in even the most tangential of ways.

I've tweeted and blogged about this, but I haven't gained any traction that way. I wrote the ACLU, but they haven't gotten back to me (and, let's face it, they have thousands of more important things to worry about right now). I also pitched a possibly piece about the issues I'm facing to the Huffington Post, but I've yet to hear back from them as well. I don't think that changing the title of my novel would be wise at this point in its life cycle, nor do I believe that removing any mention of my novel from my Twitter bio would be helpful to my career.

Does anyone have any other ideas for how I can raise awareness of the issues I'm facing with Twitter right now, and/or find other ways to promote my novel on Twitter? Thank you.


message 2: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 364 comments Couldn't you simply tweet about your book instead of running ads? Honestly, I find Twitter ads more annoying than anything else, and I tend to ignore them.

One of my pen names gets around 40% of sales through Twitter, but I don't do a lot of promotion. My tweets are mostly about engaging with readers and other authors, and promotional tweets account for 10% or less of the total.


message 3: by V.K. (new)

V.K. Tritschler (vktritschler) | 31 comments I think you might have misunderstood the premise of Twitter - I like to think of Twitter as the friends you don't know, and Facebook as the friends you know but don't always catch-up with.
Twitter can be an effective marketing tool, but as Ken mentioned, engagement is the key. If you spend your time spamming twitter you will get nowhere. I hate spam and ads on Twitter, but I love to connect with people who write and read. My goal on therefore is to build a relationship where they WANT to read your books because they feel like they know you as a person. That is the best marketing you can get from Twitter.


message 4: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Echoing what Ken and VK said. Twitter ads and even people who just post promotion are basically spam. But regardless of that, I don't think trying to bring attention to your cause by reaching out to the ACLU or HuffPo is the right way to go about it. First of all, Twitter is a privately owned business who has the right to decide what they will and won't allow in their ads. Their terms of service likely state that this can change at any time. The ACLU only takes cases where a person or group of people's actual civil liberties are at stake. Huffington Post might allow you to write an opinion piece, but we've seen this backfire on authors who've thought they were in the right before. Your best bet is to look for more targeted marketing options that will get your product in front of the appropriate audience.


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