Saturday, February 8, 2014

8 Things I Learned in 1 Year of Twitter

This past week I have mostly been working on contest stories. The current chapter on the Virtual Wars needs an almost complete rewrite. I have four long paragraphs that may end up being deleted. They are boring exposition pieces that don't help move the story along.  The first round of The Writer has begun. I am to write a story about a character that escapes from a hospital. That story is due on Tuesday, so I may have two stories to post on Monday.

In today's blog post I wanted to talk about a few things I have learned about twitter and promoting on twitter. It has been about a year since I first joined, and it has been quite an interesting journey.

1.) Don't Spam! 

Spamming is bad! Your advertisement posts look just like everyone else's. Most people are going to ignore them. Even if it's something they may enjoy and want to look into. The ads will get lost in the sea of twitter spam that comes across our feeds every few seconds. Automated response messages fall under this category too. All automated messages are bad!

2.) Don't Re-Spam!

What is re-spam? Reposting the same ad over and over again will get you a bit more visibility. More often it will annoy the people who enjoy your other tweets. You don't want to drive your fans away. Retweeting a retweet of your original tweet counts as re-spam overkill.

3.) Follow Back!

Following your followers back will get you opportunities to meet more people, and expand your circle of influence. You want to look at their tweets first. You may not want to follow back if all they do is spam or their account is a fake account made to promote a service. Those people won't help you, so be sure to make sure you are following a real person and not a bot. 

4.) Lists are your friend! 

Make lists from the beginning. There are some people you follow who you may want to read all of their tweets. Lists for friends, other authors you like to chat with, or news sources you enjoy. There are going to be seas of spam all over your main twitter feed. You want to seperate the spammers from your other tweeps. You may not want to unfollow some of those spammers for various reasons, and they aren't going to stop spamming. I've tried to get them to stop before. It's not worth the arguement. Most of them are not going to stop.

5.) Engage with your followers!

Reply to their tweets. Retweet with comments. Respond to tweets that mention you. Be engaging with your tweets. Entertain, inform, and chat with your followers. This is the best way to get them to care when you are trying to advertise something.

6.) Unfollow those who don't follow back

There are obviously exceptions. I wouldn't stop following some of my favorite authors unless they gave me a compelling reason not to. If they don't care about your tweets then why should you care about theirs? The answer will tell you if you should unfollow or not. You want to constantly maintain your list of people you are following as well as your lists. I usually give these people a week or two before I unfollow if they don't follow back.

7.) Keep an eye out for new people to follow

One of your tweeps retweets someone else.  Why not follow them? I'm always trying to expand my circle of influence. If you are an aspiring or are currently an author then you are most likely trying to do the same.

8.) Use Hashtags #

When it comes time to make an advertising post, always use hashtags. They are useful for reaching people outside of your circle. You can also read posts in specific hashtags to find more people to follow. One I have found useful is #reading or #amreading. There are several others you can look into.


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