Writers, how do you use Twitter? Are you using the 80/20 rule? The 80/20 rule is that you provide 80% valuable information to followers (entice new followers) and 20% promoting you and your products and services. Unfortunately, some writers aren’t using Twitter properly or don’t take advantage of it.
Twitter doesn’t have to be a chore … it can be fun!
You don’t have to spend hours trolling your Twitter stream. Check it out in the afternoon as a way to take a break from writing.
Personally, I love Twitter for many reasons such as:
- It helps me to hone my writing skills because I only have 140 characters to use.
- I connect and learn from other writers.
- It’s a great way to find resources for articles, white papers, eBooks, etc.
- It’s fast, easy, and free.
How Not to Use Twitter … 5 Annoying Habits to Avoid
1. Creating a ho-hum bio. What’s your image? What’s your brand? Writers don’t struggle with writing your bio for Twitter page. Include your name, awards, publishing credits, affiliations and organizations, education, and Facebook fan page (if you have one). Avoid adding irrelevant details that have nothing to do with your profession. Many people include personal information, which is fine if your families and friends are the ones following you. However, if you want to truly grow your brand and business, keep your bio professional.
2. You don’t tweet information that’s of interest to your audience. If you’re always ‘tweeting’ “Buy My Book Today” or “Sign Up For a Free Teleseminar,” this constant stream of salesmanship may turn-off your followers. Remember the 80/20 rule. Tweet interesting information. Retweet your followers and those you’re following. Show them some Twitter love.
Tidbit: I’m not a big fan of the ‘personal’ tweets, especially when I’m following a business. On occasion, I’ll tweet something personal such as “Completed the first three chapters of my novel. WooHoo!” but that’s it. I do my best to stay in alignment with my ‘writer’ Twitter page.
3. Not using hashtags (#). The # aka hashtags helps people when they’re searching or researching a topic. Don’t overuse them because they can become annoying.
4. Too much downtime between tweets. Some writers have a lot of downtime on Twitter. When I receive a request to follow, I immediately look at a person’s Twitter stream. If they provide a link, I check out their website. Speaking of websites … I’m shocked by some of the ‘bare bones’ writers’ websites I’ve seen. WordPress is easy to use, although it helps if you know some HTML. If you’re not sure how to ‘tweak’ a WordPress theme, find a high school or college kid to help you. They’ll need samples for their web design portfolios.
5. Not following magazine publishers and other potential clients. If you want to write for a particular publication, follow them. If you’d like to be published by a particular book publisher, follow them. If you’d like to be a guest blogger for a particular website, follow them. Keep your finger on the pulse of these and other potential clients. Visit their websites and make comments on blog posts and forums. Be helpful and be sincere.
Twitter is a free and easy online marketing tool to grow your writing career. In order for it to work you must be active on it. Spend 15 minutes per day or every other day tweeting and retweeting. Check out a ‘Twit Chat’ here and there to meet other writers and editors. Before you know it, you’ll have quite a presence on Twitter.
How do you grow your Twitter followers? Share.
- Looking for People to Follow on Twitter? We’ve Got Some Recommendations (blogs.constantcontact.com)