With almost 40K tweets under my belt, I’ve realized that Twitter can be its own little microcosm of normal society. The problem is that Twitter is both a marketing tool and a social tool and to properly make your Twitter account work for your blog you have to mix both social interaction and marketing with a good balance, if not you look like either a spammer or a clueless tweeter.

You make your own rules, you find what works for you and what doesn’t, but there are some things that can be frowned on when utilizing Twitter. Twitter etiquette so-to-speak. There is nothing set-in-stone, but if you find yourself on the wrong side of Twitter etiquette you might also find that you’ll lose a good bit of followers.

Here are Eight Twitter Do’s & Don’ts

I always like to use the analogy of a party. Twitter is a big party and you are a guest. You are not the guest of honor, you are just 1 of hundreds or thousands. There are cliques, there are special groups and there are spammers circling the mix. But, you can have fun at this party, a lot of fun.

Twitter Etiquette1. Don’t be an Egg Head

No matter what, change the default twitter avi. An egg screams spam. Use anything but an egg. This would be like showing up a party naked.

2. Don’t Auto-Tweet During Tragedies

Do you have scheduled or auto-tweets enabled in a twitter program? My brother kindly pointed out to me that I looked like an ass when a few auto-tweets came through right when the Boston Marathon news broke. I promptly went and turned them off. This type of tweet would be like yelling, “hey check out my post” in the midst of an assembly remembering a tragedy.

3. Don’t Ostracize Your Followers

I understand you have social or political beliefs, and I understand you might want to give your opinion on these social or political beliefs. There is nothing wrong with stating your opinion, just don’t insult people that believe or act the other way. Your followers are most likely varied in beliefs and backgrounds, tweeting out insulting statements is never a good idea. I remember someone I followed tweeted out something like, “Anyone that let’s the water run while brushing their teeth should be taken out and beaten.”

Now, I’m one to make sure I don’t waste water, but everyone has their down-time. I don’t want to be beaten. So I unfollowed this particular tweeter. They might have had a bad teeth-brushing moment…but it made me feel uncomfortable. Would you yell out that you hate a particular type of person at a party? When that “type” of person might be in attendance?

4. Don’t Engage with a Link

The point is to socialize first, promote later. First you have to establish that you are not just there to market, you are there to cement a community and then feed cool links into the mix. If you haven’t had any interaction with a certain twitter user, don’t just tweet them a link. No matter how much you want to sell your book to them. Even if they are following you. First contact should not be a “Hey buy my book, it is .99¢” Would you walk up to someone at a party and just hand them an advertisement? You might as well be standing on the corner handing out flyers.

5. Don’t Take It Personally

If someone doesn’t follow you, don’t take it personally. They may not even realize it. Just engage them in conversation, ask them a question. The more you chat them up the more likely they will realize they don’t follow you back. Don’t tweet them “Why aren’t you following me?” Unless of course you know them really well and think it is an appropriate response. On another note, if you try to tweet someone and realize they are blocking you…obviously they have issues with something you’ve done or said, or maybe how you’ve interacted with them. Again don’t take it personally and go on the attack. If you value that friendship, maybe send them an email with an apology. I wouldn’t demand any answers though, or try to tweet them through other accounts. That just screams stalker. Would you chase someone around a party demanding answers as to why they haven’t returned your phone call?

6. Don’t DM Promo Stuff

Don’t even think about DMing anyone about your latest giveaway, the fact that your book is now .99¢ or even that you’ll be hosting a fabulous new feature and could they please participate. Spam is still spam, even privately. Would you walk up to someone at a party and whisper in their ear “buy my book”?

7. Don’t Forget It’s Still Social

Twitter is a Social program. Be social. But, engage like you are attending a party. Would you walk into a party and declare that — “Hey, I just woke up and life sucks!” And then continue to just make inappropriate statements…you’ll be the person in the corner talking to yourself and everyone rolling their eyes.

8. Don’t’ Be Annoying

I read this article via MediaBistro that mention “The 10 Most Irritating Social Media Status Updates”  I thought it was hilarious because everyone does it. It looks like it is mostly targeting Facebook and some things are a little out there…really 36% of people think boasting about your child is annoying? It just goes to show you that people annoy people no matter what you do. What I did get out of the article is very critical though. Share what you think your followers want to know about…don’t harass your followers with just a monotony of lame updates that no one cares about. Don’t be that person at the party that keeps repeating themselves over and over again, “I like books, I like books, did I mention? I like books…!”

Parajunkee, Urban Fantasy, Blogger Tips

Book Blogger News

Ender’s Game Trailer
The first movie trailer for Ender’s Game was released on the 7th of May. View it here. There has been some grumpiness about Ben Kingsley’s facial tats, but I kind of think it’s stern and imposing. Grr grr…movie sensationalism at it’s finest. What did we expect?

BFYA Nominations are in!
ALA published their nominations for BEST FICTION FOR YOUNG ADULTS. Congrats to a lot of books I have no idea about, but also to Ilsa J Bick, Gail Carriger, Robin LaFevers, Marie Lu, Tahereh Mafi and many more who so deserve these nominations and I actually have read… 😀 See the whole list here.

Tip of My Tongue
There is now a TIP OF MY TONGUE page on Reddit where you can find that book that you can’t quite remember…supposedly there are thousands of readers just waiting to NAME THAT BOOK! Considering there are a few other forums that do this same thing and a little thing called Twitter, this might be a little redundant. BTW, I read this book, it was science fiction. It was about a boy/girl that every year they switched sex. They were picked up by a space ship and then they came back another sex, so they lived their childhood as both a boy and a girl, until at their coming of age they are allowed to choose, Girl, Boy or Both. Right?? I can’t remember for the life of me the name of this book…and it was so bizarre I would love to reread it and review it here on the blog. Anyone know what book I’m talking about?

Parajunkee, Urban Fantasy, Blogger Tips

Question of the week:

I haven’t got many books to review from publishers yet but I was wondering how you’re supposed to contact the publisher the next time? Do you write request through publicity email or do you write to the person you got an answer the last time? Thanks 🙂 – Anon

I would use the person that answered you the last time. They are probably the ones that handle requests, so putting them as your contact from now on is a good way to move forward. If you doubt that they are the one, email them and just ask.

Happy Thursday. Talk Less. Read More. Blog with Integrity.

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