This is the basic format I intend to follow today as I help some friends get comfortable with Twitter.
First, sign up.
Now add a picture and bio. Make sure your bio links to your blog.
Follow some people. Use hashtags #writing or whatever interests you to find like-minded people. DWW conference hashtag is #aWritersWorth. I did a thing where you sort of claim the hashtag, but anybody can post with that hashtag attached. Whenever you see that hashtag or anything about DWW, hit retweet.
Follow each other.
Twitter is unlike Facebook in that it is considered polite to follow back. But you have to weigh the follow. Look at bio, check out blog, see what the follower tweets. Don’t follow bots. Don’t follow anyone who only retweets or only quotes. Don’t follow people who say they can give you a thousand follows for $10. Etc.
To follow, simply click the name @CynthiaHarriso1 and then click follow. Try to keep your follows and followers about the same number. “Just Unfollow” lets you see who is not following you and allows you to unfollow a certain number of folks for free.
Links are great. But with 140 characters to work with, sometimes links can be too lengthy. Bit.ly is great for condensing links. Twitter condenses links to some websites.
I spend the most time on Twitter on “connect” not on “home” ~ home is not really home-like at all. It is a bewildering stream of nonsense unless you understand Twitter.
Read blog posts on “What Not To Do” on Twitter. @bodiciasapple and @mollygreene are two of my favorite bloggers. Molly does a lot with Twitter and Bodicia is a book blogger. Writers need book bloggers, and Bodicia is the best. When I first joined Twitter, I read “The Tao of Twitter” and it was quite helpful.
Why tweet? It’s supposed to be a marketing thing. But I don’t do a lot of “buy my book” posts. I do link to my blog if I think the topic may be interesting. I do talk about my books, but mostly I just connect to other writers.
I like to balance original tweets (or as my friend @JohnLacey says, carry on monologues with myself), quotes, books I’m reading, blogs I like, retweeting (RT) valuable or fun tweets or links. If you venture into home, you can always butt into a conversation. Most people will let you in. Sure, there are snobs on Twitter just like anywhere. Ignore them.
When I first met Linda Anger, I asked her to tell me the biggest marketing secret. She said “name recognition” and this is why I tweet, so people recognize my name, and maybe they’ll buy a book “Oh yeah, she’s funny on Twitter” or “She wrote that great post about bragging.”
That’s why if you are building a platform for marketing your work, you want to use your own name on Twitter. @CynthiaHarrison was taken, so I got @CynthiaHarriso1.
Check in daily with Twitter. Just to see who followed you. Follow them back. Who RTed you. RT them back unless they are a silly bot who RTed something stupid, like a line in the middle of a conversation that makes no sense out of context. Check in with your friends. You can put people in lists, it’s pretty easy. Then you just go to lists and check on your pals. What are they up to? What are they blogging about? If it’s helpful to you, RT it. If you think it will be helpful to others, RT it.