Monday, May 27, 2013

Nine More Twitter Tips for Writers Confounded by Twitter

These tips cover the gamut from adding and managing followers to working around a common error message to punching up your Twitter page design. There are also several more tips for better Tweets.

Adding Followers

If you follow too many people and don't have enough followers, Twitter considers you a loser and will eventually prevent from following more people. Also, other Twitter users will consider you a loser and may choose not to follow you back. Don't be a loser! Here are some things to consider as you follow people.

1) Will they follow you back?

Look at the number of Following versus Followers: If they're following too few people, chances are they won't follow you. In the example below, this literary agent has 14,000 followers and is following 187 people -- chances our she's not going to follow me. If she's someone I want to query about my book, I may follow her. If she's Tweeting fascinating insider publishing information, I'll follow her. Otherwise, she's may not be worth following.

2) Error Message "You are unable to follow more people at this time..."

Once I reached 2,000 following, Twitter wouldn't allow me to follow more,until my ratio of following to followers improved. (Twitter won't disclose the ratio. On a new Twitter page I started, I'm following 470 people and have 200 followers, yet I'm still able to follow more people. Maybe Twitter feels sorry for my pathetic little page.)

Solution: Use a free tool like Manage Flitter to dump people you follow who aren't following you.  Tip: Pick people who you've been following for weeks or months who haven't followed you back. Don't dump people you recently started following -- they may just be a little slow to respond. Note: The free version of Manage Flitter will only let you dump 100 people every 24 hours.

3) Manage the Mayhem by Creating Lists of Most Important People You Follow

It's been said that you can only have meaningful online connections with 250 people. I'm guessing the number is more like 50. So once you're following hundreds of people, how do you keep track of them? Organize your best connections into subsets using Twitter's List feature. Then you can check the list periodically and see only what your most important people are Tweeting, instead of skimming Tweets from hundreds of people. The feature is located under the gear icon on the Twitter toolbar. (double-click on image below to enlarge.)

Tweeting Tips

4) Brown-Nosing

Remember all those influential people you added to your lists? If they post something interesting, retweet it using a hashtag they didn't use. Be sure to include their Twitter handle, so they know you did them a favor.

5) Vary Your Tweets

- Include some full statements that don't include links.
- Include some photos.

6) Keep Tweets Short

Leave 15 or so characters at the end of each Tweet so people can retweet you without cutting off text. So, instead of using all 140 characters for a Tweet, consider using only 125.

7) Repost your own tweets at Different Times

Post one at 9:00 a.m. one week and at 5 p.m. the next.

8) A Good Blog Post about Tweeting

The 12 most confusing things about Tweets, Retweets, Replies and Direct Messages

Design Tip

9) Add a Background and Look More Professional

Go to Settings/Design, click Change background, and upload a professional photo of you or your book. I added a photo of me performing and clicked the Tile background check box.

More Twitter Tips

Is Online Book Marketing a Waste of Time?

Quick, Dirty Twitter Tips for Writers

More Quick and Dirty Twitter Tips for Writers

Art attribution: Twitter logo at top of post by ( [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


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