Twitter Tuesday~Tutorial

Instead of featuring someone specific today I'm going to talk about Twitter for those who haven't taken the plunge yet because you just aren't sure how it works. After you read this post, you will have no excuse! Those of you who are already on Twitter might drop in on the comments section and let me know if there's anything I've missed. This last week at the NYC Pitch conference I made a lot of great new writer friends. The problem was, they aren't on Twitter! I'm making it my mission to remedy this. Much of this will be basic for their sake.

Twitter is unlike any other social network out there, which is part of why I love it so much. You don't have to follow everyone who follows you, it isn't like the 'friend' thing you see elsewhere. Those who follow you see what you tweet to everyone but they won't see what you answer tweet to someone else if they aren't following that person as well. The same thing goes for the people you choose to follow. If you don't follow someone who follows you, you won't see their tweets.

There is a direct messaging system on the bar to the right of your screen. You can only direct message someone you follow who follows you as well. You and the person you send a direct message to are the only one's who see it. As for regular settings, if you have your settings on public then everyone will be able to see what you tweet. For writers who are working on building their readership and platform I recommend this setting. Don't worry, as long as you're careful you won't get hacked like on some other social networks I won't name.

There are pages within pages of Twitter. Most are safe, some are not. Be very careful which one's you choose to log into because when you do so it will ask you to allow access to your account. There is only one page I will allow access and that is TweetChat. You'll need TweetChat to easily keep up with the chats you choose to participate in. Here is the link: I recommend saving it to your favorites so it's easily accessible. Why do you need it? For social networking of course! There are some amazing chats for writers on Twitter. There is a #scifichat, #thrillerchat, #scribechat, #litchat, #scriptchat, #askagent among many others. Not to mention you can create your own just by using the # sign.

The # sign preceding a grouping of words means it's a hashtag. Anyone on Twitter can follow a hashtag, making those chats a great way to find more people interested in the same things you are. Now go get started and get connected!


  1. I really didn't understand Twitter. I thought it was a total waste of time. But then I decided I would try it out in December and now I LOVE it.

    What I love about Twitter is the amount of information that I've learned from the writing community. If anything, join Twitter for that. I've met some great writers on Twitter.

    I think this is the way I met you Heather.

    Besides TweetChat, I use TweetDeck -- which I love because you can categorize your followers and it's easier to manage at a glance.

    I also love these chats: Tues 9pm EST #kidlitchat and Wed 9pm EST #yalitchat.

    Another good thing about Twitter is that you can just "listen" and follow people if you want if you don't want to tweet.

  2. Thanks for the info!

  3. Thanks for the input Karen! And for remembering those two chats. I love them, can't believe I forgot them! I guess my brain is still a bit fried from New York.

    You're welcome Fida! It's good to hear from you!

  4. Great post Heather! I've been on twitter for some time now, before it was as big as it is now. However, I've never participated in the chats much, mostly because of time constraints. TweetChat sounds like the way to go though--will have to check it out. Thanks!

  5. I am saving this for when I get home. I'm about as big a Twitter Novice as you can get, so bringing me up to speed is a mighty tall order!

  6. You should definitely drop in on a few of the chats Amanda. They're a great way to learn more about the writing industry and meet some wonderful people!

  7. I'm glad I could help Vicki! Once you really get into Twitter and get the hang of it you won't want to go anywhere else!

  8. Great post, Heather. Twitter is my favorite way to connect with other writers (besides face to face). It's like the equivalent of hanging around the water-cooler:-)

  9. Heather, I'm so glad you posted this. Last year I tried out Twitter, but was so overwhelmed that I quit within a day. A little over a week ago, I decided to give it a try again (with much more determination) and I've learned so much. I even posted what I learned (my thoughts as a beginner) on my blog--
    Hope your friends decide to join.

  10. It is isn't it Paul?! I like to think of it as the coffee shop I visit every morning, only it's filled with just writers! Love it!

  11. Thanks for the link Koreen! Every bit of info we can get out there for our non-Twitter friends helps!

  12. Heather, you know how I feel about Twitter. You pulled me into that pool... or pushed? Not sure, but the plunge was so worth it! I have met incredible people, have been presented with incredible opportunities... and understand the power of support.
    Thank YOU again for sharing this amazing networking tool with me. It's more of a tool... it's become life. lol.


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