Recently, I’ve started trying to be more active on Twitter. I find it hard to stay with it, because it seems like everything that pops up on my twitter feed is advertisements for someone else’s book or book service. I have to scroll through 20 or so posts to get to something that’s not a retweet of a retweet about a book that someone is marketing. It’s frustrating. But I have to try to use it more often.
So, I started investigating why my feed is always full of advertisements. Low and behold, I am the culprit. Turns out, I completely missed the point of Twitter. It wasn’t that the platform is boring, it was all the people I have followed. Twitter etiquette says that if you’re not a celebrity you have to follow back anyone that follows you, right? I thought so.
Turns out I was wrong. Turns out I was wrong about a lot of things, so I thought I would share them with you. Without further ado, here are the top 6 things you’re doing wrong on Twitter.
- You grab a handle and assume that’s all you need. My friend. If you’re on Twitter and you’re not tweeting, you don’t exist. Furthermore, if you haven’t taken the time to fill out your profile – completely – then even when you do tweet, it’s not getting the attention it deserves. Fill out the profile. And yes, you have to upload a picture. If you don’t want to use your face (Why? You’re beautiful.), then make it an interesting picture of part of your face, or something that’s very customized to YOU.
- You grab a handle that’s completely esoteric. Don’t select a cute name that you think your readers will figure out. They won’t. Use your real name. Or your pen name if that’s the way you roll. And if one of those isn’t available, then use something that your readers will know is associated with you.
- You follow no one. Unless you’re a celebrity, if you’re not following anyone on Twitter, then chances are, no one is following you. Well, your Mom maybe, but she follows everything you do. The first thing you should do when you create (or revive) your Twitter account is follow a few people. Not just anyone. Follow people who are influential in your field. People you know will have interesting information to share. People that have interests that are relevant to your own. Don’t go crazy, but find some like-minded tweeps to populate your news feed.
- You follow everyone. This is the trap I fell into. I followed everyone who followed me. What I ended up with was a feed full of advertisements and information that help no interest for me at all. As a result, I never wanted to spend time on Twitter because it was boring. I mute the ads on television, why would I willingly wade through them on Twitter? Instead of following everyone, follow only those people that interest you. If they’re following you, great. If you’re not, that’s okay, too. Sometimes you don’t follow the people that follow you.
- YOU CONSTANTLY USE YOUR TWITTER FEED FOR ONLY MARKETING POSTS. Yes, I’m yelling! The biggest mistake you can make is to post only marketing tweet about your books (or other people’s). Maybe you’ll eventually amass thousands or even tens of thousands of followers, but they’re going to be followers just like you. They will also only post advertisements, and guess what? You won’t read those posts, either. Don’t get me wrong. It’s okay to post the occasional marketing bit about your book, or even to share someone else’s marketing post. But if it’s all you’re doing, then you miss the point of Twitter.
- You pass on the chance to engage. Twitter is about engagement, 140 characters at a time. Sure, that’s short, but when forced to be succinct, writers and authors should be able to come up with some world changes sentences. Give it a shot, it’s fun. Most of all, just connect and engage with the people you follow and the ones who follow you. Have short conversations. Take part in 6 word stories. Ask a question. Respond to one. Just get involved, because that my friends, is the point of twitter.