So many people complain about Twitter. “I don’t get it” or “it’s a waste of time” or “why does anyone want to know what I’m doing” or “I don’t see how it can sell books.” Yeah, that was me, too, a while back. Then I decided to grab Twitter by the…eh, well, whatever one would grab it by and use it how I wanted.
Honestly? I get most of my news from Twitter. It’s fast and easy and I can glance down my home page and see headlines on subjects which interest me. Not what Yahoo! or CNN wants me to see – what I want to see. And it’s easy.
I like hearing about hockey, whales, satire, and human rights. I also like to know what book bloggers and reviewers are talking about. So I searched on those topics and picked out a few people to follow. Twitter then gave me suggestions of subject-related people I might like to follow. I checked them out. If they were my style – basically NOT tweeting every thirty seconds, I followed them. Bingo – I’m now following 20 or so people who will keep me updated on topics which interest me. Nice. As they tweet and retweet, I’ll learn about more people I’d like to follow. And so on.
When it comes to tweeting, think about what you see that annoys you: hard sells, constant tweeting and spam, right? Then don’t do that. Did you just see a good movie? Tweet it. Did you just try a new recipe? Tweet it. Did you just take a funny picture of a drunk person? Tweet it. Are you listening to some rockin’ tunes and chair dancing? Tweet the name of the song. You’re doing a book event? Tweet it. 5-star review? Tweet it. Did someone else post something you like? Retweet it. Really, it’s not that hard.
Spread your tweets out through the day. Don’t do them all at once. You never know who is paying attention when. Tweet random musings which reflect your personality. Tweet statistics you find interesting. If you think it’s neat, someone else probably does, too. That’s a good way to find people who think like you do. And believe me, they’ll find you – although it will take time.
There is Twitter etiquette. Don’t ask me about that. I’m a hermit. Supposedly it’s nice to thank people when they follow you, and supposedly you should follow them back. I would probably have more followers if I did such things.
One of the things people like about Twitter is it makes celebrities accessible to them. Granted, many of us aren’t celebrities yet, but it puts us on the same playing field with them. Just buy a smoking hot pair of shoes? Tweet a photo. People who like shoes will follow you. Guess what, I bet they can read, too.
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K.S. Brooks is an award-winning author and photographer, and Co-Administrator of Indies Unlimited. For more information, please see the IU Bio page and her web site: http://www.ksbrooks.com/ You can find her on Twitter at @AuthorKSBrooks.[subscribe2]
36 thoughts on “Oh, for Tweet’s Sake”
Good article KS, and I agree totally. I, like you, believe that the quick news blurps come to you faster on Twitter. I have about 4 groups of people I follow and that follow me and it's really neat to hear little interesting bits from them. I don't try to read every tweat I receive but fortunately can pick and choose the ones I want to read. Presently I have 675 following me and I am following 538.
That's great, Bud. Sounds like you're better at it than I am!
I'm slowly building up a list of folks to follow on Twitter. I retweet anything I think is interesting and have connected with some folks that way. I'm still trying to find an easy way to use the lists. Right now it's too cumbersome to add them one by one and I'm following about 400 folks. So be sure to start your lists early. LOL!
Excellent advice Donna! I did the same thing with lists, and now I'm paying for it. 🙂
To me, maintaining a Twitter account IS that hard. I must live a cloistered life, because, aside from the occasional blog post announcement, I've got nothing.
You could tweet this blog link, Chris. There are handy little buttons at the bottom of the post to make it super easy. LOL You could also tweet "I've got nothing." Do you have coffee in the morning? Ever stub your toe? Develop your own style of tweets – if you can write a book, I think you can handle it.
Okay … I'll keep trying … even if I feel like a five-year old who has just had the training wheels removed from his bike.
Glad you brought thsi up. I've just started on twitter and am finding it a bit fascinating. You can find insight into anything in this amazing world. Need to do some research for an upcoming book, find a few folks on twitter in that area and voila you get pointers to websites with awesome facts. I am still learning about twitter and blogging but am enjoying my time I allow myself daily in these fields. Word of caution though, like everything else, it could become addicting and we wouldn't want it to cut into our real work of writing.
Blessings to all,
Nicely said, EJ. I'm glad you're enjoying it. 🙂
I am still very much in learning mode with TWITTER, too, so I am with you Christopher. And I need to learn how to balance my time with all the networking as well. And still maintain a LIFE. So, we'll learn together, eh what?
One surprise happened when twitter blocked me from following any more until I build up MY following. All part of the learning curve.
Yvonne, you may want to check the people you follow to see who hasn't tweeted in the past few weeks, then delete them to make room for others. 🙂
Er, um, yes, I'm one of those 'don't know what to do with a tweet when I get' person……Will resume wearing my dunce hat right now…..
Cathy, just follow the logic above and I think you'll be fine. It took me a while to figure that out. Just use it the way it works best for you. 🙂
KS, great article. I wanted to share some additional thoughts on the subject of 'lists'.
When I opened my twitter account @KD_Rush late last year, I did so knowing that I would be following a large number of people. From previous experience with other twitter accounts I knew that a list would be important.
To help build your platform, you need followers on twitter spreading your tweets to their social network. The best way to get followers is to tweet interesting things, and follow those that have similar interests. However, you will soon find that following a large number of people can be hard to deal with.
My solution is that I keep the people I most frequently interact with in a list. Each day I check that list to see what my tweeps are talking about. That list, as well as the Interaction/Mention pages are a great way to keep your sanity as the account grows.
One of the things that you mentioned KS, and I'm afraid that I'm guilty of, is the number of tweets going out at one time. Typically while going through my list I will retweet any number of posts. It didn't occur to me that some people might find that a bit overwhelming. In the future I will try and make it a point to spread out the retweets during the day. 😉
Thanks KS, great tip!
Wondering what interface everyone uses? Since I have two Twitter accounts (one for me as me and one for my erotica pen name), it was a pain to log in and out all the time. I am using the web interface at Seesmic.com and it has really helped. I can display both accounts, tweet from one or both, easily follow incoming tweets as well as monitor any tweets mentioning me (multiple columns that you define).
But I still go directly into Twitter to see who is following me and if I want to follow them back. I did opt into TrueTwit for my main ID, $20 a year and it saves me time when I want to follow someone who requires verification.
I also have blocked several spammers…especially on the erotica account. Thinking about doing TrueTwit on that one, too. My time is worth something….
On the computer it's a cross between the twitter main page and HootSuite. On the iPhone I use TweetBot (which allows multiple accounts like HootSuite does). On the Kindle Fire I use Tweet Caster.
When the iPad 3 comes out, then I'll pick up a cheap iPad 2 and use Tweetbot with it. It's by far my favorite twitter app.
As for the TruTwit validation service, I have a few thoughts on that, but will expand on them at another time. Not a fan though.
The good thing about paying for the account, I don't sent any DMs out…the freebie version, you have to send them. I just use it to save time when people want me validated. 😉
OMG what language was that? LOL
(Buying Smoking Hot Shoes)
Nice article Kat. That's what I use twitter for. @sheronwriting. Just wonder what JD's shoes (see above) are going to look like? stiletto or cordovans?
Thanks, Sheron! I think he's got red stilettos, but maybe I'm thinking of someone else. LOL
Good article, Kat. I don't do much with Twitter, but I do Tweet or Retweet posts on people's blogs. I seldom write tweets anymore. I used to tweet good quotes on a daily basis, but once I started working on my blogs and then got involved in LinkedIn, I didn't seem to have much time for Twitter. I do still have people following me and once in awhile I DM them to say thank you – those that you can do that with. If you write non-fiction it might be a good idea to post little bits from your book(s). I have only 268 followers and am following 279, so it's not a big group. I have never done the list thing, either.
Diane, you can set up Facebook so that it automatically tweets whatever you post. So that might be a good tool for you – save you the trouble and get you twice the mileage! Thanks for stopping by – and BTW, you have more followers than I do! 🙂
You really made me rethink the way I look at Twitter. I thought I was doing a good job, but man, you really know how to rock it.
Thanks Jim. I dunno if I'm rocking it, but I'm at least enjoying it more than I was. 🙂
On the Twitter etiquette of indiscriminately thanking people for following, I personally find that annoying, because it clutters up my feed. And to open a direct message and just see "thanks for following me" with absolutely no other interaction is also a irritating waste of time. That's just my pet peeve.
I would suggest that if you really want to thank someone for following you, retweet something they wrote.
"an" irritating, not "a" (couldn't just leave that typo out there)
That works for me, Krista!
I didn't mean that comment to sound as snarky as it turned it out; I wish I could delete it! I also didn't mean "you" personally, in case that wasn't clear. Good grief.
LOL Krista, it certainly wasn't taken as snarky. Good grief? Hilarious. I saw you're giving away a lot of books on Goodreads coming up. You should let us do an announcement about that for you!
I just sent a query!
Krista, I have attended some webinars about using Twitter, etc. and I got the message that we should always say "thank you" when people follow us. I do usually make a comment with it, such as "I enjoyed your web site" or some such thing. I try to make it a habit to check out the web sites of everyone following me.
Diane, the way you do it wouldn't bother me at all. =) By the way, "A Graveyard of Dreams" looks very inspirational; I look forward to reading more when it comes out!
Thanks Krista. I'm just working on the final edit for "A Graveyard of Dreams" now. I don't think there is much more work to do. My only problem is that I keep losing my back cover. I just re-did it again, and hope it stays there this time, because it took a lot of work and frustration go get it back. The book will be in a PDF format when I do publish it. It is in full color and it definitely wouldn't work as a paperback. I'm not sure about Kindle and SmashWords as I haven't checked out how they work. I will be getting one copy printed off for myself, though, just to see what it will look like.
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