How to Make the Most out of Twitter

I did a write up about Twitter for somewhere else, and decided I’d share it on my blog as well. Many of you have probably found your way here via Twitter, however perhaps you’ll read something you didn’t know before! Again this geared toward Authors or aspiring authors, however you can adjust for whatever you do!

 

Twitter is a wonderful networking tool, particularly when used properly.

Getting Started
Go to and bookmark www.twitter.com

Sign up, creating a user name.
Now you want to fill in all the little details. Click on Settings and then go to Profile
Upload a nice photo of you or your book. Include a link to your main website/blog
DO NOT forget to add a short bio. (Many people will not follow those with no bio)

Now you are all set and ready to get some followers, and follow people as well. Many people have links to their Twitter names on their websites, click to follow. Once you get a few you can check out their followers or who they follow and add them.

DON’T forget to follow back! You don’t have to follow everyone. If they look like a spambot or just a marketer I often don’t.

Now what?
Once you start getting followers, TALK to them. Say hi, interact. Post about what you are writing.
Don’t just promote your book or blogs. You need to be social as well. To talk to a person hit reply or type @theirusername so the message will go to them.

How do you tell if someone has posted to you?
There is a list of tabs above posts. Timeline shows all posts by everyone you follow.
@mentions will only show you posts which have mentioned your twitter name.

Retweeting
When you click the retweet button under someones post it is then tweeted by you as well. This is a very important way to spread information.
Things to retweet: helpful links, fellow authors blog posts, book promos etc.
People can tell if you have retweeted, you can also see if your tweets have been (Click on the Retweets tab above posts)

Lists
Twitter has a function which allows you to create lists (more on making these below)
They are especially helpful in finding new followers, many people will have some lists titled authors, writing, publishers etc. Check these out and follow away. (You can also follow a persons list in general)

How to create a list:
You will see a line of small links above tweets. Click on ‘Lists’
Select ‘Create a List’
Name your list ie favorites

How to add people to your new list:
Click on a persons twitter name
You will then get either a side view popping out, or their page in full
In the line which shows you are following them, click on the first little picture (looks like a list)
Your list name should be there, click the box to add them.

Now what?
To view your list go back to home.
Click on the ‘Lists’ link again.
Your list name should be there. By clicking it, you will then see all posts from those on your list and ONLY theirs.

Helpful isn’t it? Now rather than weeding through hundreds (or more) of other follower posts you can talk to, encourage and retweet your favorites.

Hashtags
Hashtags are a community-driven convention for adding additional context to your tweets. You create a hashtag simply by prefixing a word with a hash symbol: #hashtag. Start using hashtags in your tweets, preceding key words. It can be helpful to do a little research first, to find out if the subject you’re tweeting already has an established hashtag.

You can also search for a hashtag, or click on one in someone else’s link and all posts using that hashtag will come up.

How are these helpful? Sometimes they are used as a form of twitter chat. Ie the #ufchat (urban fantasy chat) occurs at a certain time and those interested talk back and forth using this tag in each tweet.

They are also a great way to find and collect new followers. Some great ones to use are #amwriting, #amediting, #WIP
Try adding these to your tweets, or clicking/searching the hashtag and see what others are doing!

Another way hashtags are used is for ‘follow’ days. These are days when you list people you follow so others can follow as well.
The most popular of these is #Followfriday or #FF
However pretty much any day can be a follow day #MM, #TT, #WW, #SS etc.
One writers often use is #WW for writer Wednesday.

There are 2 ways to participate in follow days. Quite commonly you see (for example) #FF and then a list of tweeters.
A more favorable way (but done less often bc it takes longer) is to #FF one tweeter and WHY a person should follow.

For Follow friday help check out this cool application: http://followfridayhelper.com

Here are some ways to most efficiently use Twitter:

When to Tweet:
First of all, you don’t have to tweet constantly to build a following. Tweeting a few times a day can still work. The great thing with twitter is you don’t (well can’t!) write a lot. Take a few minutes a couple of times a day to pop in.

What to Tweet
The trick is to manage your twitter time wisely.
Create lists of authors, favorites etc so you can easily read through tweets you’ve missed.

COMMENT BACK! I can’t stress this enough. Just posting links or quotes or what you are doing will not make you friends.

Check your @mentions. If someone talks to you TWEET BACK!

You don’t need to have an in depth conversation. Say thanks or how are you doing, hope you have a great day etc.
If you see and interesting tweet- comment- encourage others with a Yay! Good for you! or support others with That’s too bad, hope you’re feeling better soon. Etc.

Retweet interesting tweets, whether they be interesting posts, links to blogs, promotions etc.

Actually participating on twitter will make you friends. There are a lot of awesome and helpful people out there!

Why do you want twitter friends? A number of reasons:
You have the joy of interacting with some really cool people! :P
Promotion-wise:
They will retweet your posts- gaining you exposure to your site/blog etc and also gain more followers. When someone else retweets your post it then goes to ALL of their followers.

Make friends who are authors/bloggers- a great way to find people to co promote with- making friends can lead to blog interviews or book reviews. This is also a great way to find other authors to interview for your own blog.

You can also try doing a Call Out. Need more promotion? Tweet you are looking for others to review your book, that you would love to be interviewed on a blog, or are looking for authors to interview.

I will now stress again- COMMENT BACK and RETWEET.
PARTICIPATE and watch your followers and promotional ability grow!

Happy Tweeting! 😀

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About jlwylie

Stay at home mom of 2 boys, avid reader and writer. Published by Untold Press

10 thoughts on “How to Make the Most out of Twitter

  1. Trisha Wolfe says:

    Thanks for this post. I honestly didn’t know about the programs that help, sweet! This is going to make my life much easier =)

  2. […] Jennifer Wylie’s Blog by Jennifer Wylie – “How to Make the Most out of Twitter“ […]

  3. Anita Wakeham says:

    Thank you for this Jen, now I understand Twitter a bit more. I shall come back a bit later and read more of your writings.

    Anita.

  4. I usually don’t post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful …

  5. That was great! You know I’ve never used the “lists” thing. Maybe I should…

  6. […] 7.  Facebook and Twitter.  Initially, I did everything on Facebook.  If you want a great blogger’s Twitter tutorial, there’s Jen Wylie’s fantastic post How To Make The Most Out Of Twitter […]

  7. Jen,

    Thanks for the info. I’m so new to Twitter (just signed up the other day with Karen’s guidance) that I was literally lost. I’ve been stumbling around to catch up and this was just the thing to help me. I’m cutting and pasting so I’ll have it available for my dim-twit moments.

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