45 Twitter Tips: Part 1Posted on March 21st, 2012 4 comments
Do you use Twitter effectively? Or are you ticking people off or not optimizing what you are doing on Twitter without even knowing it? Here are some Twitter tips that will help you get the best out of your time spent on Twitter.
Here’s how this post came about: Writer Kela McClelland asked me to share 15 things about myself on my blog when she presented me with the Versatile Blogger Award the other day. For some reason, I thought I had to share 15–it was only 7. And since I’ve been studying Twitter a lot lately, I decided to share what I’ve been learning and applying about Twitter in hopes that these things can help out other writers hone their social media approach. So really, it isn’t about me so much as it’s about what going around in my brain right now. Use my brain to your advantage!
Well, I ended up with 45. Since this was a lot, I’ve broken it in half. Today I will cover some basics (even experienced Twitter users have been known to make these errors) and tomorrow I will cover more in-depth tips for the more experienced Tweeter.
1518 Twitter Tips and Tricks All Twitter Users Should Know:
- Pick a short handle if you can. @MegaWriterDenver is too long. Try to use your real name/pen name so when people search for you they can find you. Note that your handle and your real name don’t have to be the same. For example: @KidsPlay is one of my tweet handles, but it also says “Jean Oram” so people know who I am.
- Use a picture of yourself as your avatar if you are comfortable doing so. People like seeing who they are dealing with. They don’t want your blog logo or your dog. They want a human. Remember: it is easier to connect with a person if you can see them, and in turn, it is also easier to trust them.
- If your avatar image isn’t something you have personally created, make sure it doesn’t fall under copyright. This is especially important as you grow from aspiring writer to published writer. And if you are using a professionally taken photo of yourself–make sure you have the rights to use it as you wish!!
- Use the same avatar as you do elsewhere online. It helps people find you and recognize you. That’s branding at its easiest, folks!
- Individualize your profile blurb. Yes, it is only 160 characters, but make it you. How many of these have you seen?: I’m a fantasy writer and my book XYZ is coming out Summer 2012.Seriously. You are a writer. That’s all you’ve got?
NETWORK IT BABY:
- Add a link in your profile to other forms of media whether it be your website, blog, Facebook, or Pinterest page. Make it easy for them to find you elsewhere. Twitter is about Networking.
- Add the social media Twitter icon on your blog so people can find you (and follow you) on Twitter.
- Add a tweet it button so people who like something (like this post) can easily tweet it to their followers.
- Don’t add a Twitter stream gadget to your website. If you haven’t tweeted in awhile it looks bad to have the same content there. If you are tweeting a conversation with a friend it is now on your website and may make you look like you are cliquey. Basically, it can give the wrong impression. Generally, it actually deters people from finding you and following you. The mystery just isn’t there any longer.
- Change your background. If you have the time, jump on a free background creation site like FreeTwitterDesigner.com and build a background that includes your branding images (like a logo) as well as more URLs. (Example.) While I’m not completely dazzled with FreeTwitterDesigners quality, it worked out better than me trying to build my own. If you know of a good background designer site, please share it in the comments.
- Network. They say Twitter is best for networking, not selling books. If you want to sell books–get your book on people’s shelves on Goodreads. (More on Goodreads later in the week.) Use Twitter as a place to network, connect with readers, and yes, share your book title. But don’t delude yourself into thinking a bulk of your sales will come from tweeting. Use Twitter to drive traffic to places where you can sit and sell–like your website. Use Twitter to connect with your audience.
- Find out when your audience is on Twitter. Are they weekend users? Schedule some tweets for that time of day if you can’t be online. (Free Twitter programs like TweetDeck, HootSuite, and SocialOomph are great for this.)
- Busiest Twitter days are early in the week and generally crest around midday and early afternoon (Eastern timezone). This is when you will find the most folks on Twitter, but also when you are most likely to get lost in the noise.
- Use your smart phone. You can tweet on the go–especially important if your audience is most active when you are least likely to be near your computer. There are great apps for iPhones and Android. Since I have two Twitter accounts, I use two different apps on my Android and leave them both signed in. This way I get notices for both accounts while I am out and about. I believe you can also use TweetDeck on your phone if you are a TD aficionado.
- If you know you aren’t going to be on Twitter for a few hours, don’t post a conversation starter before you log off. There’s nothing worse that someone asking a great conversation starter and then ignoring you when you reply.
- Always reply. If you put a conversational question out there and someone replies, acknowledge it. Even if it is a simple: Lol. It will go far with that person. Especially if you are ‘big.’
As an experiment, I’ve been tweeting big companies to see if they reply. So far, they haven’t. I even replied to a social media expert who says it is essential to always reply. He did not reply back.
- Learn from others. What do you like–do it. What don’t you like–don’t do it.
- Don’t use auto-DMs. Auto direct messages are soooo see through. And there is nothing more annoying than having a twitter conversation with someone just before you follow them only to have an impersonal DM sent to you moments later that make it obvious that this is an auto message. It’s insulting and leaves a bad impression.
If you are looking for some printed resources, check out these two books: Likeable Media by Dave Kerpen and Twitter Marketing: An Hour a Day by Hollis Thomases. You can see my reviews by clicking on the links.
How about you? Why do you tweet? What are your pet peeves? Things you love? Tweeple who have rocked your world?
P.S. Be sure to come back tomorrow where I’ll share many, many more tips!Quick and Dirty Social Media Tips, social networking How to use Twitter, Twitter, Twitter for authors, twitter for writers, Twitter Marketing, Twitter mistakes, Twitter tips, Using Twitter for creating book buzz
Right now my tweeting is limited. I try to get on for a bit in the morning, and maybe early evening, but that’s about it.
I’m not a big fan of suggestion hashtags (WW, FF) for several reasons. Hmm…think I’ll do a blog post about that.
The thing I love about Twitter is the instant connection I get with other writers. I LOVE to talk about writing-related topics, and I did follow a few hashtags, but they got bogged down in people’s self-promotion, so I dropped them. I haven’t found a good hasttag yet that’s JUST writing. 🙁
#16 cracked me up! I’ve stopped following a few folks who are too big to reply to pleasant conversation or a compliment or a question. Once in a while is no biggie, but some never reply. Guess they’re too important for me 😛
Twitter is fun – but I’ve never put much thought into it really. You’ve got my brain going with these. I’m going to have to do some tweaking… 🙂
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