Monday 22 August 2011
Five Top Twitter Tips For Writers
But how can you get the most out of your twitter account? The micro-blogging site can be a really effective tool at any stage of your writing journey, but only if you you it correctly. That's where these ten tips come in.
1) Have a small focus: Twitter is at its best when it's used to track a particular industry. If you are looking to become a professional writer, then you should primarily follow other writers, publishers, agents, and aspiring authors. If your best friend is on twitter, then yes you can follow her too. But if you follow widely and indiscriminately, then the tweets in your feed will be mostly useless to you.
2) Follow people who give value: This links in with the first point, but there are many people who tweet useful links for different professions. Elizabeth Spann Craig is a published author who tweets links to useful advice from people at all stages of the writing cycle. I've found her links (and her own posts) invaluable.You can find her at @elizabethscraig.
3) Go for quality, not quantity: It's true that the more people that you follow, the more people who are likely to follow you. While you should bear this in mind, following people just to up your own follower count is counter-productive. First of all, as I said before, if you don't enjoy the person's tweets then you get no value from the follow. Also, if a person is only following you because they want you to follow them then they won't be interested in the content of your posts. This will be a particular problem if you intend to tweet links to your blog, or build a buzz about a book release. It's better to build meaningful relationships, rather than shallow connections.
4) Keep self-promotion to a minimum. Yes, twitter is a good vehicle for promoting your book/blog/published short story, but keep it polite. There's a difference between telling someone at a party that you have a book coming out, and jamming the title into every topic of conversation, from the price of baked beans to Kim Kardashian's wedding. Have some news that you think would interest your followers? Tweet with a link, no more than twice in one day. And that second time is only to account for different time zones.
5) Have fun: Twitter is a fun medium. You get to find out news as it's happening through a cascade, often before the main news sites and channels have released it. You get to read pithy takes on current events, find out random facts and meet some very entertaining people. Who doesn't want to follow a person who's having fun? Enjoy yourself and the rest will take care of itself.
Oh, as writers we hear a lot about developing a platform, but sometimes it can be difficult to do. Luckily, Rachael Harrie is holding her third Writer's Platform Building Campaign. It's a great chance to meet new writers, and you can sign up until August 31st. Head over here now to take part.