Monday, December 19, 2011
how to twit
1. Join up with a purpose.
It's not like Facebook, where you just show up and make fun of your high school friends and dead dictators. You need to be there to talk about something you like. For me, that's books and publishing. I know other people who are in there for marketing, for food blogs, for Disney, for hockey. But you need a reason to communicate, an ice breaker to start conversations.
2. Post an avatar.
When you join Twitter, your default avatar is an egg. No one follows eggs or talks to eggs. Everyone hates eggs. But your avatar is tiny, so choose something interesting, clear, and intriguing, preferably not something that looks like a porn star. Unless you are a porn star.
3. Choose an @ name that doesn't sound like a spammer.
Spam accounts on Twitter tend to have lots of numbers, lots of capital letters, or could possibly be the name of someone in a foreign country trying to trick you. Recent annoying people spamming my account include QriiOCpquom1 and FredericaHauz348Q2.
4. Don't follow a bunch of people but never post.
You will look like a spammer.
5. Don't post a bunch of links to your book/blog/website and nothing else.
People will think you *are* a spammer.
6. Don't follow people and immediately @ them with a link to your book/blog/website.
At that point, you *are* a spammer.
7. When someone follows you, don't send them a generic or automatic Direct Message.
If you'd like me to unfollow you, send me a DM along these lines: Thanks for the follow back LOL!:-) Check out my book HOW TO SPAM for Kindle LOL!
8. When you follow someone and they do not immediately follow you, NEVER send a DM demanding that they follow you immediately.
That's a recipe for being unfollowed/blocked, my friend.
9. Don't be boring or complain constantly.
I mean, complaints are parts of social media, but your tweetstream should be a mixture of interesting updates, retweeted posts that you found amusing or helpful, and conversations with other tweeps. When someone follows me or joins a conversation and I'm considering following them, I look at the first 3 tweets in their stream. If those 3 tweets don't entice me, I don't follow. That's your first impression, right there.
10. Don't follow, then unfollow, then refollow someone hoping for a follow.
That's like walking up to someone and saying, "Hi, want to hang out?" And they look at you and say, "Sorry, I don't think we have a lot in common." And then you walk out the door, wait five minutes, and walk back in, then say, "Hi, want to hang out NOW?" No one falls for this gambit.
11. Remember that the whole point of Twitter is to have conversations.
On Twitter, the best advertising you can have for your book/product/brand is by being so interesting, helpful, or funny that people retweet you or recommend that others follow you. If you're annoying, repetitive, disrespectful, or whiny, no one will ever want to read what you're saying. People are pretty smart, and hitting them with 20 links a day to the same thing doesn't come across as socially savvy. It's spam, and we know it. Entice us. Intrigue us. Help us. Join us.