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: http://twitter.com/MermaidHel
5 weeks ago