Monday, March 4, 2013

Twitterpated, Part 4

So I know you've all been dying for more about my mistakes on Twitter. I'm realizing I may have to do this one mistake at a time, because apparently I'm a bit long winded. But hopefully this will help any newbies to Twitter have a smoother time of it. Maybe it won't take you A YEAR (!!!) to figure it out.

My Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Mistake #1:  When I set up my account, I followed only a select few tweeps. My reasoning was that I didn't want to hear a bunch of random comments from people I didn't know.

Umm . . . so that's pretty much what Twitter is. But there are the good kind of stranger-tweeters and the bad kind. I think you will learn pretty quickly which is which.

So here are my suggestions about who to follow (speaking as one writer to another)

1. Agents: Summer Heacock (aka @fizzygrrl) has made this easy for you. I present Agents-to-Follow Cheatsheet 1 and Cheatsheet 2. You might even want to create a list of just agents so you can see what they are tweeting at a glance.

2. Editors: A couple of my favorites include: @the_SDB, @StacyAbramsEdit, @CarolineAbbey, @MKCastellani, @EgmontUSA, and I could go on. My focus is MG, but find the editors that work on the stuff you write. GalleyCat gives a long list of tweeting editors here.

3. Industry Groups: This would include publishing companies, writing magazines, and any group that might give information you're interested in. Twitter can help find the bulk of these.

4. Blog Friends: Gosh, I hope you know who this is for you. ;)

5. People who interest you: Heck, if you think Ryan Gosling is the bomb, follow him. Maybe Honest Toddler is your thing. Go for it!

6. People who follow you: This is the trickiest group. I know that most people who follow me do it to get a follow back. But that doesn't mean I have to give it. Usually, I glance through their tweets and see if they are a real person or just a tweeter of spam, then make the call. I know some people who only follow people they know. But I have met some cool people by taking a chance

7. Family/Friends: So no one in my family tweets, and very few of my real life friends do. And I'm okay with that. I use twitter as a tool in my writing life, and reserve Facebook for my family and friends. But if you do, you might want them on your feed. Your call. Just remember who follows you when you tweet. If you wouldn't want your mom to read a tweet, better not tweet it.

(And actually, that might be a good rule to live by whether your mother is on Twitter or not.)

So there it is. In a nutshell. My suggestion is that you take some risks. Try following some new people. The thing to remember? YOU CAN ALWAYS UNFOLLOW SOMEONE. If you don't like someone's tweets, unfollow them. And if they unfollow you back, so be it.

Twitter is a tool, and you should play around with it until it works for you. And for all you experts, how do you decide who to follow?

Next Twitterpated installment? What to tweet . . . and what not to.


Stina said...

I've been using a software program someone mentioned on my blog last week. It lets you see all the people who aren't following you back. And a lot of these people are individuals who initially followed me then unfollowed me once I followed them back. Well that's shallow. So I've been unfollowing them. I refused to be used to increase their following number!

Jess said...

Great post! Like you, at first I was hesitant to follow too many people. In fact, I was like, "Aach! Don't FOLLOW me! I'm just on Twitter to follow agents--I don't even plan on tweeting any tweets myself, so don't muddle my list of agent tweets to search through!" Then I realized how silly and futile that was. Of course I've started tweeting every now and then, and having a larger list of people to follow has resulted in finding some real gems in terms of advice and blog posts. Twitter is awesome--I mean, I get to see what Judy Blume thinks of Oscar dresses--how cool is that???

Anonymous said...

These lists are great! I've been exploring Twitter for the last few months and found it really useful.

Kenda Turner said...

Thanks for sharing your experience and tips--I'm getting closer to signing up and this will help me get started :-)

LTM said...

excellent primer, CUF! I made the mistake of only following a very few folks in the beginning. I've loosened up a lot since then. But like you, NONE of my IRL fly & friends are there. That's OK!

Yaay for meeting new tweeps! <3

Kelly Polark said...

I generally use Twitter to connect with writing peeps plus I use it to ask celebs about books for my book recommendation site. So I have a variety of people I follow. I love it!

Margo Berendsen said...

About once a month I remember twitter and visit my neglected account... I'm pretty sure if I used tweetdeck and started following hashtags more i'd love it, but I just haven't been motivated, even though I feel like I'm missing out on the party! (I guess I've never been a big party girl though!)

Unknown said...

These are good tips! I've had a twitter account for ages and I *still* haven't really figured it out. This is good motivation!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janet .. I must get on and use Twitter - I know vaguely how I'd like to use it .. now just need the time to get going - I will I guess in due time ..and then I shall follow fellow bloggers ..

Cheers for now and enjoy that tweeting - they've closed down with the snow here - they're back in their nests keeping very warm!! Hilary