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Promotion/Networking: Twitter for Writers

Continuing the series on social media for writers, today I’ll share what I’ve learned about Twitter, the micro-blogging tool. If you are not familiar with Twitter, go to this article on Wikipedia now.

Instead of having friends as on Facebook, Twitter users have followers. I’ve used Twitter for several months now, following people mainly in the Christian publishing industry. Some of the same people are friends on Facebook. As of today, I am following 49 people, and 56 people are following me. Some say that you should follow everyone who follows you, but I don’t follow people unless it appears that their content will be of interest to me.

What I Like About Twitter

  • Posts (tweet) are short and often provide links that I can access if I want to know more. It doesn’t take me long to scan the list and read the things I’m interested in.
  • I can post announcements about new blog posts to help build my readership.
  • I can follow people I want to know more about and ignore the ones that are following me in order to sell me something.
  • The new Lists feature allows me to separate my preferred follows from the ones I’m just following as a courtesy.

What I Don’t Like About Twitter

  • Some people resort to text message language in order to get a longer message in the 140 character limit. Besides having trouble interpreting some of it, I see this as cheating!
  • Some people must just tweet all day long. There’s a limit to how much I want to hear from any one person, no matter how much they know about writing and publishing. If you have that much to say, use a blog.
  • I’m following publishing professionals for information about writing and publishing, not about where they’re going, what they’re having for dinner (breakfast, lunch, snack), or what the weather is like where they live.

Twitter Marketing Effectiveness

Although there are things I don’t like about Twitter (and other social media, for that matter), I have to admit that they can be effective. I do see an increase in the traffic on my blogs for a day or so after I tweet about a post.

Recently, a family in Vermont needed funding for medical treatment for their special needs baby. The mother let friends know about the problem via Twitter. Someone set up a page on her Web site where people could make donations through Paypal. The message went out on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. See the details in this article, “How Social Media Saved Jaeli.”

Other Articles About Twitter

Seven Twitter People Every Author Should Follow

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