Twitter, especially for a new user, can be overwhelming. Followers appear from the strangest places (I have 40+ German hotels and resorts following me). Trying to communicate in the cacophony of chirping is reminiscent of attempting conversation in an overactive aviary.
Here are Five tips gained from a couple of years living in the birdcage:
- Be Your “Relevant” Self: “I had two pieces of toast, an egg, and orange juice for breakfast,” is only relevant to your mom (she is happy you eat). Tweeting about a good day working on your latest story genius to other writers, relevant and inspirational. Tossing a question puzzling you at the appropriate crowd – relevant and often highly informative. Tweeps (the inhabitants of Twitter Land) are generally good folk that love to help. Just don’t spill your orange juice on them.
- Never Negative: Never, ever, use Twitter to vent your bile over anything (unless that IS your platform, then vent as your audience allows). Actually, I’d apply this same thought to all social media. Here is why: After twenty plus years online (started with AOL 2.0) I’ve learned that tone, expression, body language, and intent are easy to misinterpret in text. Especially at 140 characters, or less. While it may seem funny or justified in the mind as it’s typed, always consider how others will interpret it without your internal insight. Social media presence is a precious treasure that can melt away in moments from a spray of acidic remarks.
Hashtags are not Shotgun Pellets: #Writers #Learn to #Edit in five #Easy steps, link, #writing #writetip #areyoustillreading. While I do, on occasion, add a few more hashtags than I should, doing so is not the most effective method. Sending out two or three well-placed and time-spaced tweets, each with a single hashtag, adds a special feel to the tweet. It is saying, hey, the tweeter was thinking just of “me” or “us.” When people find relevant information and feel special they are more likely to retweet and typically will add new hashtags, thus spreading the word in a healthy manner. Which leads me to…
- Don’t repeat Hashtags: Retweeting to the same hashtags is a redundancy that can (by annoyance) have an oppositional impact. Use new hashtags to keep information moving along to fresh eyes and groups of people that will find it interesting. Whenever possible, do yourself and others a favor and shift things up.
- Tweet it ONCE and then Lock the Bird in its Cage: Yes, tweets vanish like a parakeet jailbreak making it easy to indulge the compulsion to keep dropping the same tweet over and over (and over and…). This is a fast way to get ignored. There are exceptions, however, once per hashtag works best. Imagine if you were watching your favorite show and during every commercial break the station repeated a single commercial – for ten solid minutes – during every, single, break (aluminum siding companies tried this in the 80’s – it didn’t work). Same thing here – tweet it once then step away.
Bonus: Blog Tip: This post is all about my announcement of blog and writing adjustments. Here is the tip: Every post should have a value add for the readers. Up above is the value add. Down below is the announcement. Learn it. Live it. *smile*
Four quick things and then I promise to release you back into the wilds of the matrix.
- Blog Schedule: Writing Resources (formerly Blog Treasures) will continue to be on Saturdays. Other than that, I plan to post between 2-4 times a week, but am not setting specific days or subjects at this point. Because…
- Blog Site Change: I will be shifting to a wp.org site by the end of March (or first week of April) at which time I’ll consider setting up a formal schedule.
- Writing Focus: After watching a story bleed to death in triage (one character is still gnawing his own ankle in the corner), I’m back at work re-imagining and working a new, and better, incarnation. The experience *smacks forehead* exposed what I should have known all along: I love legend, mythology, folklore, perhaps a dark fable (or five) – and this is what I’ll be focusing on moving forward. New mythologies, folklore with a twist and fables to tease the mind. Once I do the site shift, I’ll be putting up progress bars and talking in more detail about projects-in-progress (PIP for all you acronym fans).
- For My ROW80 Peeps: Yes, I am taking this round off – to regroup, reorganize and well, just re-things. Planning to return in round two. With you all in spirit – always.
Have any Twitter tips, experiences, horror stories to share? Agree with my tips? Don’t agree (because orange juice IS relevant)? I’d love to hear your thoughts.