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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Do's and Don't's of Twitter

If you are a writer working on your platform and you decide to add Twitter to it there are some things you are going to want to take into consideration. The wonderful thing about Twitter is that it is like the adult coffee shop version of Facebook. On Twitter you'll find agents, editors, authors, and all manner of publishing industry people, and they'll find you. Be aware of that when you tweet. The image you portray can hurt or help you. Here are some do's and don'ts to help.

Do post something under your bio. People won't follow you if you don't tell them a bit about yourself. Something as simple as 'aspiring author' along with the genre you write will work.

Do upload a picture. It doesn't have to be of you. It can be anything that you feel represents you as a writer. A quill or pen will work.

Do add a link to your blog or website. People are more likely to follow you if they can find out more about you through a blog or website. Plus, it looks good to an agent or editor.

Do be yourself. It's social networking after all and to attract the kind of people you want to hang out with and will work well with (agents, editors) you must be yourself. Just be careful about using profanity or talking politics (unless that's your thing).

Do make your tweets public if you want to draw people to you. Otherwise when someone looks you up they won't be able to see anything about you and they won't be able to follow you.

Don't post knee-jerk responses or tweets. Sometimes people will say things that will get you fired up. Remember, if whatever you say would embarrass you to see on the front page of a newspaper, then you shouldn't say it.

Don't allow a page or application access to your account without checking with someone you know to see if it's trustworthy. There are a lot of application and pages that you can get onto through Twitter that will look legitimate but they aren't. This is how a lot of people get their accounts hacked. Ask one of your friends if a page is legitimate before allowing it access. Such as Tweetchat. If you go onto it you will have to log in and it will ask you if it has permission to access your account. You can hit allow or not allow. Tweetchat is a safe application. There are others that are not.

Don't ignore your followers. Go through and check them when you can. Report and block spammers and check for creepy types. This way you'll know everyone that follows you is a legitimate follower and a solid part of your platform.

Most important, do enjoy yourself. Twitter is a blast and it's filled with the most amazing people I've ever met! Anyone have do's or don'ts?

18 comments:

  1. Hi Heather,
    Great post! That whole ‘application access’ thing bothers me. I hate saying yes to even the ones I know I can trust.
    I totally agree about not talking politics or anything that can get under someone’s skin on Twitter. I also try to not touch religion either, not unless it has something to do with my book. I don’t want to hurt, upset, or offend a potential reader, or anyone at all for that matter.
    :-)
    Sarah

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  2. I always like reading twitter dos and don'ts because it's like learning a new language. It's good to be reminded of the "rules."

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  3. I know what you mean Sarah, me too! I wish there was another way to access the pages. I always look forward to your tweets on Twitter because of your high standards of tweeting! Thank you for that.

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  4. This is a good Twitter checklist. Especially the one about the public Twitter account. I tend not to follow people who have closed accounts.

    I do understand the reasoning for people who just want certain people following them and keep their account closed. But if you are a writer who wants to network, you should definitely a public Twitter account.

    I definitely agree that tweets should be about things that you can put on the front page of a newspaper. You definitely shouldn't tweet secrets. And I've seen some secrets spilled. Ha.

    But I LOVES me some Twitter. It's what gets me through tough patches at the day job.

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  5. LOL! So true Karen. Twitter is kind of like a new language.

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  6. I don't follow people with closed accounts either Karen. I like to find out something about a person before following them back.

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  7. All very true things about Twitter. Great post! I'm a YA/MG and freelance writer on Twitter (@NatalieCMarkey) and I can't help but notice that the writing world seems to be taking the social media platform over!

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  8. I'm brand new on Twitter and truly appreciate this post. Thanks for the awesome tips!

    :)) Nicole

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  9. Hi Natalie. We do seem to be taking over social media don't we? I love it!

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  10. Nicole, I'm so glad you found it helpful! Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. Great and thorough list! I love it. I guess I'd add that you should check out and participate in some of the online chats like #kidlitchat #yalitchat and #scribechat

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  12. I just recently joined Twitter, and this is really helpful! I've got a little works to do...thanks, Heather : )

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  13. Great point Lisa! The chats are a must! I love them, a little too much sometimes. ;)

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  14. You'll get there Kari. It's just a matter of playing around with the site and getting comfortable with it. Be sure to drop in on Scribechat Thursday nights. You can always find me there!

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  15. Thank's Heather. This is just what I needed today. I've just started bukding my platform...yikes. I had put all this off a long time because I just wanted to write book before getting the cart before the horse.

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  16. I know the feeling artravis. I went about it the same way. There's nothing wrong with finishing your book first! Glad to see you've joined the ranks now!

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  17. The only suggestion I could add is to keep your tweets short enough to re-tweet because it's a pain to have to edit them down if you want to pass along something you've found interesting or helpful.

    Terry
    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

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  18. Hi Heather,

    I have a post at The Blood-Red Pencil called Tight Writing for Good Tweets that addresses Terry's suggestion. I'm a big Twitter fan, so I enjoyed your post. Every bit of info helps.

    Patricia

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