Monday, September 27, 2010

Don't Be A Twit Be A Twitter

So you thought Twitter was just something to procrastinate on while you were thinking of what to write? Wrong! It's a valuable networking tool, but only if you learn to use it properly.

After the fun I had last week I was glad to learn more about Twitter and how it can be used for the forces of good, so here I am passing that information on to you to help you get the best out of your Twitter experience. Twitter is a great way to collect news and tips about writing, or even opportunities you wouldn't normally come across. That is why it is important you learn to use it properly, as it is a powerful networking tool, and you don't want to become a networking fool.

I very rarely use Twitter on my computer as I mostly use Twitbird on my iPhone. But what I'm going to show you should be cross-platform related. Hold on, here it comes.

  1. Be aware of hash tags (which is not on the ruddy Mac keyboard) these are your fastest links to topics you will want to read about. You can click on these hash tags to create your own list of topics which most interest you, that way you're not searching through the whole time line to find one post. It's also a great way to drag people into discussions on your favorite topics. Hash tag topics can also be searched for.
  2. You have found a post you want to remember? Then add it to your favorites, that way you have it for as long as you want.
  3. Give your feed a personality, preferably your own. Be kind, funny, helpful, considerate and aware of other people's feelings at all times. You want to make friends, make valuable contacts, you don't want to lose them. Don't be nasty and always treat people like you would want to be treated yourself. Being nasty or stupid is the quickest way of getting blocked. If you get a reputation for being a nice person, or even better that you have something interesting to say, then more people will follow you. And try not to slag of the industry, films, TV programs, or even companies, and especially not individuals. They all have Twitter accounts and might just be following you. Watch out!
  4. Use Twitter to remind people of what is going on in your working life and in the industry in general, even if someone else has already done this two minutes before. You cannot over tweet about what interests you.
  5. Click on your FOLLOWERS list, see who is on there, follow them, send them a message of thanks, let them know you've noticed.
  6. FOLLOW FRIDAY important people, your new followers, or someone you want to follow you. People like to be mentioned, it appeals to their vanity. If someone mentions you then thank them for it.
  7. Retweet relevant tweets from people you follow on a regular basis. Keep active. You can't over retweet.
  8. If people ask a question, or just comment on something, then send them an answer, write them a little tweet back. If they are well known then don't be a nuisance, just tweet them occasionally. Over tweeting will get you blocked. If you actively respond to people's tweets they'll notice and and may even give you a follow.
  9. There is a LISTED button, usually on your profile, which when clicked on will tell you which lists people have linked you to. This is a very helpful tool as the owners of the list, and the people on it, will have the same interests as you do. So follow them...all. Check this at least once a week.
Remember be polite, helpful and active every day. Get the best out of your Twitter experience, don't let it get the better of you.


Steve Barker said...

Nice One, Dom;

Not sure I agree with retweeting those we follow unless one has a like-minded group of followers.

I have lost the odd follower following an off-topic (from their perspective) tweet from me, and I stop following some people for the same reason.

We all have different interests and there is a case to be made for different Twitter accounts for friends & family, for business and for our own interests.

Above all, I find the challenge of communicating a mood, a sentiment or a piece of interest in just 140 characters is the challenge and appeal of Twitter, but that's just me.

Perhaps sometimes less is more?

Lucy V said...

Be polite? Really? I love the the baiters, the ranters, the I-don't-give-a-fuck-ers (oo er).

What I don't like:
- People moaning about how depressed they are (that's what Facebook is for, LOL)
-People who only use Twitter for PR
-People who only retweet
-People who only use Twitter to boast about how busy they are
- People retweeting bloody Stephen Fry - everyone in the known universe follows him anyway, surely? (Except me it seems).

Dominic Carver said...

Yes well, there are some who can get away with insulting others on Twitter and actually make it part of their career, you being one of them, which is why I follow you.