Sunday, August 03, 2008

10 Twitter Tips

Here are a few things I’ve learned since I started Twittering. Some I gathered on my own. Most I learned from others. If you’re thinking about taking up Twittering, I hope these will help.

1. Don’t get frustrated if you try to sign on and you get a page telling you there are too many people already tweeting. Try again in a minute or so – a lot of times I just hold Ctrl and click the refresh button and it comes right up.

2. If you’re just tweeting family, co-workers or friends, tweet whatever you want. But if you’re promoting your book, try to always include a URL. And make it a different URL, not always the same one.

3. Give URLs for other people, not just yourself. If you get a good review, mention it and link to the review. If you’ve found an interesting blog or listserv, tweet it and give its URL.

4. If you have Follow Me On Twitter widgets on your blog (I have them on my blog and on my website), you’re going to have to be a bit more “professional” than if you were just tweeting friends and co-workers. What you tweet shows up in those widgets. Although your buds might think it funny that you drank so much last night you fell asleep face down in your sugar-free chocolate pudding, your blog readers may not.

5. Don’t go weeks without tweeting. People will drop you off their follow list.

6. You only have 140 characters, but try to make a little sense. I have one person I’m following and all she ever writes, it seems like, is a name and a URL, name and URL, name and URL. I have no clue what it’s about and it doesn’t in any way compel me to click through and find out.

7. If someone says something interesting, give them a quick reply. This is, after all, a site designed for interaction.

8. Find people to follow. You can search by topic. Or you can find someone who you’d like to follow and who follows a bunch of people, then scroll through the list of people they’re following. You’ll probably find some people there whom you’d want to follow.

9. Don’t worry that you’re following a lot more people than you have followers. I know that when I searched for people to follow, I liked the people who were big followers. I figured they were more likely to follow me back.

10. Check with people you already know, either in person or online or in listservs or discussion groups. Find out if they’re tweeters. If they are, add them to your list. And give them your Twitter address:


  1. The fastest way to follow and get followers is to find one tweeter you like... then search through all their followings and choose who looks interesting. Make sense?

    In other words - follow me on Twitter at See my icons at the right for folks I'm following? Let your cursor hover over each icon. Any look interesting? Click on them if so, and follow them. You can pick up 30 friends from me easily, and about half will follow you in turn. And you're off! Happy tweeting!


  2. I love Twitter. I only wish I'd discovered it before I had my business cards made. Next batch of cards, it's going on.

  3. Good idea -- putting Twitter on your business cards. In the meantime, I've added it to my sig line and put a link on my website.

    And, yes, Dani, Happy Tweeting.

  4. Some of these seem like common sense, but I see so many people, authors especially who have not really given some these things much thought. No name calling or finger ointing, but I was suprised by some of the twitterings of folks at RWA National.

    Karen Syed's Blogapalooza Day #3 (Book Festivals and the Hometown Appeal)

  5. I don't think I ever posted really dorky stuff, but I didn't really think about it until I realized who was following me and then when I put it on my blog and on my site, I realized I needed to be a bit more conscious.

  6. Velda Brotherton8/04/2008 10:58 AM

    Hi Helen, Thanks for the tips on twittering. I must admit that I'm often at a loss when I get on. More preparation would help me. It's fun, but needs to be productive as well, huh?

  7. I agree Velda. If it's all productive or promotion, then others will tire of it, plus you will. Ya gotta have some fun with Twitter, too!

  8. Great tips, Helen! I'm still learning how to utilize Twitter, but am having fun with it. And good point re: business cards, Other Lisa!

  9. Another thing I've learned is to try not to tweet too many times in quick succession. I try to spread them out over the day. That way, instead of my tweets all disappearing from the board as others tweet behind me, they show up throughout the day.

    But I know others like to tweet three or four times one right after the other, so maybe I'm the only one who thinks spreading them out is good.

  10. Very nice tips, Helen. Thanks for posting these.

    Jonathan Maberry
    Multiple Bram Stoker Award winning author
    Co-Creator/Consulting Producer ON THE SLAB (ABC Disney)

  11. You're welcome Jonathan.

    Went and found you on Twitter. Gotta follow a Bram Stoker winner, donchaknow!


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