Monday, January 23, 2012

Twitter Tips for Writers

This weekend, I tweeted some tips for writers on how to use Twitter effectively. I got a lot of great feedback, so I'm sharing it with you guys. As authors, it's important to establish your online presence. How involved you are is up to you, but I find that Twitter sucks the least amount of my time yet somehow builds amazing communities. I can post tweets easily from my phone when I'm out, and it gives me a platform to find others of like mind.

Community is what social networking is about, and it should be your central focus when you reach out to readers. Build a community for them to share space with you and others of like mind, and you've built your platform. Engage with your community, show them you're interested, and the readership you build becomes a happy bonus.

Keep these tips in mind when you tweet to most effectively build your community:

Tip 1: Don't hashtag . It's and doesn't unless you're . Even then, 't .

Tip 2: If your tweetstream looks like a billboard, you're doing it wrong. We're not here to look at ads. If we were, we wouldn't get angry about spam.

Tip 3: Social networking is about building relationships and extending your tribe. It's about community. Your content should reflect that.

Tip 4: Respond to people who @ you. Otherwise, you're using Twitter as your bullhorn, and your followers will consist entirely of spambots.

Tip 5: If you want to build community through (#followfriday - a list of recommendations for your followers to follow) or (#writerwednesday - a #ff type of list but of writers only), don't make a list. Give people a reason for following your recommendations. E.g. #ff @theresarizzo b/c she's snarkily delicious and tweets photos of Crested Butte.

Tip 6: Twitter is a constantly evolving conversation. Jump in and take part. Don't holler at us about your book from the corner of the room.

Tip 7: Peppering your tweetstream with tips that don't add to or start a convo is pointless. ;)

Tip 8: Ditto for copy/paste tweets/auto-tweets we've seen every day this week.

Tip 9: If you avoid Twitter too much, we'll find you. Actually, we'll unfollow you at the next housekeeping round.

Tip 10: If you're on constantly, you'll clog our stream, and then we'll either unfollow you or put you on tweet mute.

Tip 11: If you clog our stream with awesome, you can ignore Tip 10.

Tip 12: To come up with agreeable content, figure out who your community is. It's like writing to an audience. Give it a try.

Tip 13: Don't expect every tweet to start a convo, but tweet as if it will.

Tip 14: If you're a serial retweeter, you're doing it wrong. Again, offer real content between accolades and reviews.

Tip 15: Don't tweet about your breakfast unless your community involves food and your breakfast was notable.

Exception to Tip 15: When your breakfast is coffee. We all want to know about your coffee.

Tip 16: Don't tweet about your book unless it's an announcement. We'll buy ALL your books if we feel like we're part of your community.

Tip 16.2: And by announcement, I mean big news, not that you were just thinking about your book and felt compelled to tweet your squee.

Tip 17: Twitter is a noun. Tweet is a noun or verb. Mix this up, it's grounds for shanking. This tip is not directed at writers alone.

Tip 18: It's okay if you do more than write. Your community wants to know what else you do. Overlapping communities means cross-pollination.

Tip 19: It's okay to do those "In case you missed it earlier" re-announcements. Once. Not once per hour.

Tip 20: Recommend authors you love to your followers. You'll strengthen and broaden your community by helping others.

Tip 21: If there's something important you want to stay around, don't tweet it. Blog it and tweet the link. Like this list!


AnnK said...

Excellent post, KL!

Lori Corsentino said...

Great list! Thanks so much for sharing these Tweetisms. : )

Donnell said...

KL. Thank you! Sheesh. :)))))

KL Grady said...

My pleasure. :)

Larissa Reinhart Hoffman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Larissa Reinhart Hoffman said...

Going to save this post. Great list. Thanks for sharing!

Caryn Caldwell said...

Love this! I've had my Twitter account for ages, but have only started using it lately. I'm soaking up articles like this so I can get as much out of Twitter as I can. (No, not for advertising! For fun and for making new friends.) Thanks for the tips!

Rita Monette, Writer said...

Love your list!
Will retweet.

Zara M. said...

Thanks for this list - its simple and to the point - just what I need (I can never quite get the hang of Twitter, but I may be getting there... slowly...)