Everyone should be on twitter. It is one of the best ways to promote your blog. Even if you just join to read other people’s tweets and make occasional comments, it is a good way to make connections.
Who should be on twitter?
- Aspiring Authors
Twitter can build great followings. It builds real-time relationships and promotes interaction between readers, authors and bloggers. It also draws people into your site, or onto other platforms for promotion. You should always be aware though, that it can also get you in trouble. Twitter should not be off-the-cuff, especially with promotions. Unlike regular conversations you have with readers, fans and authors, imagine that this is a conversation that is being recorded and made “searchable” for all eternity. You should also never to over promo, keep in mind twitter should be 80% social, 20% promotional.
A Public Forum
Twitter is not like any other social media outlet. It is a public forum. Anyone can see it. You have only two options, you can keep those tweets private, protect your tweets (from everyone) or go FULL ON public. Being a public figure, blogger or author, you probably don’t want to protect your tweets. If you do this, everything you tweet will be able to be seen and searched. Remember this every single time you tweet.
Learn the language or you’ll get really confused.
Twitter has a Glossary here but the basics are as follows:
# or hashtag – It is a keyword, always without spaces that can be searched through the twitter interface or twitter apps. Hashtags can be used to demonstrate strong emotion or emphasis. You can stick a hashtag anywhere, most like to include them in the end — but you can use them in a quick sentence. For example, a common Friday hashtag is #FF (Follow Friday twitter meme), so you would tweet: Happy #FF Everyone! Check out my Friday To Do List: http://myblogrocks.com
@ This is used, much like on Facebook to mention someone. When you @someone it goes in a separate stream, called the Mention stream and will go directly to the user. If you would like to get in touch with that person the easiest way is to @ them.
Direct Message – or DM is a private way to contact someone. You would type in: D username and it will DM someone. But, the person has to follow you in order to be DMd. If not you will get an error message. This is how twitter cuts down on spam.
Retweet or RT – You will see something like Plz RT — meaning Please Retweet. Users are asking you to spread the message for them. A retweet means you are tweeting another users tweet. A lot of users will retweet news agencies or authors to spread info to their followers.
Trending Topic – Twitter determines what everyone is talking about by using an algorithm. They will post what trends on the home page.
140 Characters – That’s It
Short is Sweet. A tweet is 140 characters. Once you get used to it, you won’t know how to go over 140.
80% Conversation / 20% Promotional
Don’t spam. Don’t @ someone with links to your stuff. If it is relevant to the conversation, by all means. If not, they can report you for spam.
Don’t Be Boring, Don’t be Unoriginal
Be original. If you are tweeting someone with massive amounts of followers/followees (is that a word?) they might not recognize you as Jenny124!Yo with an avi of vampire teeth. The best thing to do is stand out. Have an original username that matches your blog and an avatar that looks different from the rest. Don’t be caught with a twitter egg…you will look like spam.
@Parajunkee + Tweet Only Tweets @parajunkee & @parajunkee + @your followers
If you begin your tweet with @username it will be a reply and will only be viewable to people that follow you and that person. It will show up on your profile page, but your follower stream will not be able to see it. If you want the rest of the world to see the tweet — stick a character in front. A lot of people will use a period.
.@username is the best freaking person eva! Plz RT #asskissery
Use a Twitter Program
Sometimes twiter.com is not the best place to use twitter. Apps like HootSuite and Tweetdeck make me happy – they might make you too.
Grab New Followers Easier
It’s easier to get twitter followers than blog followers. Utilize this fact. Say hi. They say hi back with a follow — usually.
Speak now, or Lurk later. Literally you will start out with no one following you. The key to gaining new followers is to follow people. Follow your favorite bloggers, authors or family members. (Maybe start with me @parajunkee hint hint) Say hi, tell them you are new to twitter. Join a twitter social hop (another hint hint – one is hosted on this blog).
Watch Your Spam Words
Know that certain things used in a tweet can bring on the dreaded Spam bots…don’t use things like: Free, Coupon, Weight Loss, iPad, iPhone, porn — if you insist on using words like this type stuff like eyePad, p@rn etc.
What gets you going on twitter?