7 Reasons Every Writer Needs to Be on Twitter

Original image via Rosaura Ochoa via Flikr Creative Commons

Original image via Rosaura Ochoa via Flikr Creative Commons

While I’m taking a much-needed break, our WANA Maven of Twitter is here to help you understand Twitter!

Marcy Kennedy, WANA Instructor Extraordinaire

Marcy Kennedy, WANA Instructor Extraordinaire

Twitter often gets a bad rap by people who don’t understand it, misunderstand it as full of spam and celebrity stalkers, or don’t know how to use it to its full potential to build an author platform. When used correctly, though, Twitter can be one of the best tools for meeting new readers and increasing traffic to your blog. Not to mention it’s fun!

Don’t believe me? Well, let me prove it to you then. I have seven reasons why I think every writer should be using Twitter.

Reason #1 – Twitter has over 100 million active accounts and growing.

Whether you’re seeking traditional publication or plan to self-publish, whether you’re a non-fiction author, a novelist, a poet, or a short story writer, you need a platform to sell your work. Your readers are on Twitter. You just need to know how to meet them.

This is true even if you write children’s books or YA. If you write for kids, your readers might not be on Twitter, but their parents and aunts and uncles and even grandparents are, and your books might just be the perfect gift they’re looking for.

Reason #2 – Twitter allows you to build a following faster than any other social networking site.

People who find you on Facebook usually already know you. People who find you on Twitter are more likely to be complete strangers (at first) because of the ability to participate in conversations through hashtags.

Reason #3 – Twitter makes you a better writer.

Twitter gives you 140 characters to work with. Not 140 letters or 140 words, but 140 characters. Spaces count, and so does punctuation. Links count as well.

Working within those constraints forces you to write tighter. No purple prose allowed. No weak verbs modified by adjectives. You need to figure out exactly what you’re trying to say. Those skills translate directly into better writing elsewhere.

Reason #4 – Twitter brings you the news faster than any news site can.

Twitter is real time, which means that while reporters are putting together their stories and getting approval from their editors, normal people on site are tweeting. In August 2011, Twitter lit up like a firefly on crack about the 5.8 earthquake in Virginia before the news stations could catch their balance. My husband and I were able to call my mother-in-law right away to make sure she and the rest of the family there were safe.

In the plague of tornadoes that rolled through Texas in April 2012, Twitter might have even saved lives. So many tornadoes hit the Dallas area at once that meteorologists couldn’t keep up, even if people still had electricity and the ability to check their television, use their computer, or tune in on the radio. But what everyone could still do was tweet using their phones. People banded together to warn others and report sightings, keeping all involved safer than they could have been alone.

Reason #5 – Twitter allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of the publishing industry.

Twitter is like a writer’s mecca because you can quickly find out about interesting and informative new blog posts (already vetted by others), get tips on writing and publishing from agents, editors, and bestselling authors, and keep up on industry trends and new releases. No searching involved. It comes to you in a bite-sized 140 character nugget. If you decide you want more, you click the link.

Reason #6 – Twitter helps you research.

In her bestselling book We Are Not Alone: A Writer’s Guide to Social Media, Kristen tells the story of how she needed information on bounty hunters for her novel. Rather than wasting hours trying to sort through results on Google and still not coming up with what she needed, she tweeted about it and received replies from actual bounty hunters willing to answer her questions.

But it’s not only facts you can research on Twitter. If you’re not sure your main character’s name is a good fit for his personality and job, ask. If you want to know what writing software other writers actually trust, ask. (I did and fell in love with Scrivener.)

In my co-written novel with Facebook expert Lisa Hall-Wilson, we mentioned Sodom and Gomorrah, and we debated whether enough people would know what we meant. So I asked, and we ended up leaving it in the book.

Reason #7 – Twitter gives you a support network of friends.

I’ve left this to last because, to me, it’s the most important. Writing is solitary. We sit at our computers and play with our imaginary friends. Which is great, but also leaves us without the support network we need if we want to make writing a long-term career.

On Twitter, you’ll find someone to talk you down off the ledge when one too many rejections or poor reviews leave you wanting to quit writing altogether. On Twitter, you can make writers friends who’ll run word sprints with you to help you keep on track. On Twitter, you can make reader friends who’ll be excited to go out and buy your book and tell everyone about it.

Twitter is like the workplace water cooler. Come, chat, and get back to work. It doesn’t take all day to make Twitter a valuable place to be!

If you’re not on Twitter yet, what’s holding you back? If you are on Twitter, what do you struggle with?
[Jay here: if you comment, add your Twitter handle so we can meet each other there. I’m @jaytechdad]

On Saturday, August 24, I’m teaching a 90-minute webinar called “Twitter: 10 Essentials Every Writer Needs to Know” where we’ll talk about how to create a profile that lets others know you’re a writer and a real person, how to stay safe, why automation can be a fast track to hating Twitter, how to decide which tools work the best for you, how to use hashtags, how to use lists, what to tweet about, and more.

Even if you can’t attend the live event, the webinar will be recorded and sent to all registrants. The webinar normally costs $45, but you can get 15% off by entering the discount code MarcyTwitter10. Click here to register. (If webinars aren’t your thing, I also run a self-paced Beginner’s Guide to Twitter and Advanced Guide to Twitter.)

P.S. I’ve put together something special for everyone reading this post today. I’m offering a free PDF called “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Hiring a Freelance Editor.” Click here to sign up for your copy.

About Marcy:

Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) is a speculative fiction writer who believes fantasy is more real than you think. Alongside her own writing, Marcy works as a freelance editor and teaches classes on craft and social media through WANA International. You can find her blogging about writing and about the place where real life meets science fiction, fantasy, and myth at www.marcykennedy.com.

I LOVE hearing from you and ma sure Marcy does too!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of July, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

NOTE: My prior two books are no longer for sale, but I am updating them and will re-release. My new book, Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World is NOW AVAILABLE. 

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  1. #1 by Elke Feuer on July 30, 2013 - 8:08 am

    I didn’t like Twitter when I started using it, but I warmed up to it after meeting so many amazing people. Great post, Marcy! It shows that Twitter is your friend and not some fiend out to get you.🙂

    • #2 by Marcy Kennedy on July 30, 2013 - 8:20 am

      Thanks! I think you made a great point too. Everything we try has a learning curve to it, and we won’t usually enjoy it while we’re in the struggling-to-figure-it-out phase. Once we get more comfortable, that’s when the real fun starts🙂

      • #3 by malindalou on July 30, 2013 - 8:41 pm

        Agreed, and I think one of the best things about Twitter is that you don’t necessarily need to figure it all out at once in order to use it effectively (unlike Facebook, which can feel scary until you master all of the privacy settings.) For example, you can safely chat on Twitter while you learn about hashtags and vice versa.

  2. #4 by Joe Owens on July 30, 2013 - 8:21 am

    Twitter is a strange beast to me. I am trying to understand and utilize it to extend my author platform. Can you suggest any writer centric hashtags to use to connect with others in the craft?

    • #5 by Marcy Kennedy on July 30, 2013 - 9:43 am

      The best one is obviously #MyWANA, but I also like #amwriting. A lot of people will talk about what their working on or share word counts or tips. There are also genre specific hashtags you can find, and they host weekly chats.

  3. #7 by pancakelady3 on July 30, 2013 - 8:21 am

    T W I T! Get them to change the name and I might.Words do have great power which is why I do not like to hear the word pimp used supposedly to describe making something cool because a pimp is ,and always has been and will be, a scumbag who deals in human misery. To be called a twit, in my mind ,is not a good thing .Not denigrating those who do but I just can’t!

    • #8 by Marcy Kennedy on July 30, 2013 - 9:42 am

      Friends on Twitter are actually tweeps, not twits, but I don’t suppose that’s much better!🙂

  4. #9 by Lisa Hall-Wilson on July 30, 2013 - 8:28 am

    I’m on Twitter, understand it – have followed people and been followed. Still just not my thing. I don’t like that it moves so fast – get frustrated in needing a thousand tweets to have a conversation. Don’t like the way photos are displayed. Don’t like the anonymity of it where anybody can trash you from the security of a ridiculous Twitter handle like JesusGirl427. I understand people really like it, tried it, just not for me.

    • #10 by Marcy Kennedy on July 30, 2013 - 9:46 am

      There is a lot of personal preference involved. I prefer the real time, small bite, conversations on Twitter because I feel they’re more like talking in real life (but the short word count forces you to not monopolize the conversation). Sometimes, to me, Facebook feels like people can go on a soapbox and talk at each other rather than to each other. I love the photo display in TweetDeck!

      Anonymity is an issue, but you have the option to block people who don’t treat you with respect, and I think you’ll find trolls on every social media site.

  5. #11 by saundrafox on July 30, 2013 - 8:29 am

    Maybe I should give Twitter a try. Thanks for this post, really it was great!

  6. #12 by M E McMahon on July 30, 2013 - 8:44 am

    Reblogged this on A Dream Come True and commented:
    Excellent article on social networking.

  7. #13 by LucyPireel on July 30, 2013 - 8:48 am

    I absolutely luv to twitter.🙂 Sending nifty facts and found blogs/articles into cyberspace hoping to give my followers something to think about, or to discover. I must say, those tweets which time and time again tell me to look at a book, or how great a review it has got … Well, to be honest, I skim over those and hardly ever follow those links.
    I feel if an author has nothing more in them than “buy my book” how imaginative is the book?

    • #14 by Marcy Kennedy on July 30, 2013 - 9:49 am

      Those constant “buy my book” tweets drive me crazy too! Spam gets ignored and should get ignored. We can share our excitement over our book, but we need to do it in moderation and good taste, like we would in person.

      You’ve named one of the things I love so much about Twitter. I feel like I can help people find good content, or I can help them by answering a question or pointing them in the right direction on something.

      • #15 by LucyPireel on July 30, 2013 - 10:29 am

        Which is so much more useful than keep telling people you have a book out there. They will no doubt find that if they find the author interesting enough.🙂 At least that is my thought behind it.
        And sharing good content is great! There is so much available these days, it just has to be shared through Twitter and the likes to be seen, or it gets buried under the rest!

  8. #16 by dianegates on July 30, 2013 - 9:01 am

    Kristen, thank you for this post this morning. I’ve been scared to try twitter. I’m still struggling with the computer. And Marcy writes with such confidence and energy, I’m willing to give it a try. Thanks again. Love your blog.

  9. #17 by Amy Keeley on July 30, 2013 - 9:10 am

    Twitter is good, but I like Tumblr better. At its best, Twitter is like Tumblr with a lower word count.

    I first found out about the recent happenings in the Texas Senate through Tumblr, not Twitter. Because there was no character restriction, folks who were reblogging could explain what was going on and why it was important. I only used Twitter to keep up with the absolute breaking news, after I had already heard the basics through Tumblr.

    That said, Tumblr has a very strong sense of community and an informal requirement for sincerity (which, btw, I LOVE). If you only get on Tumblr to market, you will become very hated very quickly. It’s all about the love, especially in the fandom tags.

    • #18 by Marcy Kennedy on July 30, 2013 - 9:50 am

      I’ve never tried Tumblr. Thanks for the recommendation🙂

  10. #19 by Nicky Moxey on July 30, 2013 - 9:17 am

    Definitely agree with #3, #4, and #6. I’ve got info from twitter followers that would literally be unavailable through any other route – and it is fun!
    Not so sure on this one:
    Reason #5 – Twitter allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of the publishing industry.
    I follow a few agents, but so far have got no useful posts from them (via twitter; more joy on blogs). Perhaps I’m just not following the right people – can anyone suggest suitable UK people in the publishing community?

    Find me at @moxeyns

    • #20 by Marcy Kennedy on July 30, 2013 - 9:59 am

      Unfortunately, I can’t suggest anyone for the UK. Being from Canada myself, I’m more familiar with North America. Some of the industry pros that I follow who regularly tweet good material are James Scott Bell, Rachel Gardner, and Porter Anderson. There are a lot of others, but those three are a good place to start.

  11. #21 by kristinamathews on July 30, 2013 - 9:27 am

    I joined Twitter to participate in a publisher sponsored writing contest. I’ve found submission calls, great blogs on writing and other things, I watched the events of the recent airline crash in SFO unfold while sitting on a mountaintop. A lot to love about it.

    I do scroll through the zillions of reviews, book launches, and cover reveals, There are just too many of them. I also tend to ignore political stuff.

    I would like to figure out what to tweet about, instead of just re-tweeting or responding to another person’s Tweets. I think most of my Tweets are about sports, because that’s my other passion. And I’m sure I’ll hear about trade news on Twitter before I get the official alerts from the team.

    • #22 by Marcy Kennedy on July 30, 2013 - 3:01 pm

      What to tweet about is a whole post in itself, but that is something I cover in-depth in my Twitter lessons and which will also be covered in the webinar🙂

  12. #23 by Natalie Aguirre on July 30, 2013 - 9:37 am

    I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m not on Twitter, but my goal is to sign up in August. Thanks for all the reasons I really need to sign up.

  13. #25 by Janice Heck on July 30, 2013 - 9:41 am

    I’m off and on again with Twitter. It moves so fast, it is hard to keep up with it. TweetDeck helps to organize the tweets so I can follow certain hashtags and connect with my writer friends. I do like to meet new people with vastly varying interests and talents, and Twitter helps me meet them. It helps to see that we all have a part to play in making this world go around. Thanks for the article, Marcy.

    • #26 by Marcy Kennedy on July 30, 2013 - 9:51 am

      Lists can be helpful in slowing down the speed. I have followers organized so that I see fewer in one stream/column at once, and it moves at a more manageable pace.

      • #27 by malindalou on July 30, 2013 - 8:50 pm

        Agreed! I have two small lists of “important folks” whom I follow tweet for tweet, but I also peek at my general stream from time to time. NOBODY expects you to read every tweet, I promise! We just want to know that you see us by chatting with us every now and then.

        • #28 by malindalou on July 30, 2013 - 8:53 pm

          Oops, sorry Jay. I am @malindalou.

  14. #29 by sjmatthews74 on July 30, 2013 - 9:46 am

    Reblogged this on sjmatthews74 and commented:
    Excellent advice on using Twitter

  15. #30 by Lisa Chesser on July 30, 2013 - 9:47 am

    Okay, so, Twitter it is. Thank you for the low down. I’ve avoided it for a long time.

  16. #31 by sjmatthews74 on July 30, 2013 - 9:48 am

    Great article on something I used to be very scared of. Reblogged this for my blog

  17. #32 by Heather on July 30, 2013 - 10:05 am

    I love the chats through hashtags that I’ve had. I’ve even had some (pretty) famous canadians follow me back cause I was brave enough to comment, and make them laugh. I don’t do it enough though.

  18. #33 by Jon Rieley-Goddard on July 30, 2013 - 10:06 am

    Tnx for a helpful review of TwitterLand. I check in daily and block the spammers and follow the writers and editors who follow me. Still have not gotten a handle on the next level. Being picky has stalled me at 700 for a while, but I decided to block or unfollow anyone who DMs me.

    • #34 by Marcy Kennedy on July 30, 2013 - 2:59 pm

      Hopefully you mean anyone who sends a spam DM😉

      I wouldn’t worry too much about the numbers. It’s more important to have genuine interactions than big numbers.

      @MarcyKennedy

  19. #35 by Jennette Marie Powell on July 30, 2013 - 10:09 am

    After two years, I still can’t get into Twitter. Partly because of how fast it moves, but even if I separate out a hashtag like MyWANA it seems like most people are on during the day while I’m at work, and hardly anyone’s around by the time I show up, and I’m just shouting into the ether. The few times I’ve actually conversed with people it felt very surface and ephemeral – hard to form real relationships in 140 characters, especially when it’s gone so quickly!

    • #36 by Jay Donovan on July 30, 2013 - 11:03 am

      Jennette, I’ve made some very close friends on Twitter, a few of which I couldn’t imagine -NOT- being a part of my life.

      This includes a big troublemaker named Kristen Lamb and the other WANA folk. It can be very overwhelming at first, and takes a while for someone without followers to achieve enough of a presence to feel a part of the community. To get past that, be bold. Twitter is a safe way for introverts to be social.

      Don’t shout into the wind, jump into conversations. Say hi, be friendly, add your thoughts, and think of it as the Internet’s water cooler.

      Also, use lists to keep the Tweet stream from moving too fast. I have lists of friends, close friends/family, people I e-stalk, and clients.

      (Everyone posting comments on this thread should include their Twitter handle.)

      -Jay
      @jaytechdad <- WANA's Tech Guy

      • #37 by Marcy Kennedy on July 30, 2013 - 2:54 pm

        I said this a little farther down the stream, but relationships have to start somewhere. I look at Twitter as a great starting point because of how easy it is to meet new people. The conversations start there, and then carry on to blogs and email and, as others have pointed out, into in person relationships. So many if the great people I now chat with regularly in other venues and have met or look forward to meeting live are ones I wouldn’t have even known existed without Twitter.

        I can understand the frustration with not being on at the “ideal” time though. Part of that can probably be solved by experimenting with and following different hashtags. You can also look at it as a positive. You have fewer voices to compete with, so you can connect more regularly with the people who are on at that time🙂

        @MarcyKennedy

        • #38 by Leah St. James on August 1, 2013 - 4:19 am

          I feel much the same way as Jeanette. Tweeting during the day is impossible, and with family commitments, I only have about two hours a day to devote to all writing activities. I just don’t understand how to navigate the masses of tweets to find something to “jump into” in the 15 minutes I can spend on Twitter. I try reading the main stream and get lost in a sea of quotes and promo (which I guess is a sign I might be following the wrong people). I try looking at the trending items, and often none interest me. I do use HootSuite to filter my friends’ tweets. Maybe I need to spend some time creating additional lists of topics that interest me? Thanks for a great post.
          @LeahStJames

  20. #39 by Jennifer Avventura on July 30, 2013 - 10:09 am

    Great post, thanks! I’m still wetting my wings with Twitter.

  21. #40 by cynthiagrstacey on July 30, 2013 - 10:57 am

    I never thought I would be on twitter but now I’m addicted. I love it. Great Post!

  22. #41 by Jay Donovan on July 30, 2013 - 11:16 am

    It would be good for people to add their Twitter handles to their comments.

    If you want me to edit your previous comment and add yours, let me know – preferably by sending me an @ message on Twitter. 🙂

    -Jay
    @jaytechdad
    WANA’s Tech Guy

  23. #42 by Jessi Gage on July 30, 2013 - 11:33 am

    I love twitter. I’ve made a lot of great friends there. I use hashtags a lot and find little communities (and not so little communities, ahem, #mywana, ahem) to interact with. I especially love #1k1hr and #askagent

    Bits of advice for authors seeking to build an author platform on twitter: Ask yourself if you are willing to discover new authors and new books on twitter. If you are not clicking on links and buying books from people on twitter, what makes you think people will click on your link and buy your book? This is not the way to build an author platform. Be a person. Interact with people. Don’t be a salesman. And for the love of all that’s holy, don’t put the title of your new release in your twitter profile/handle. Talk about the genre you write, sure, but don’t try to sell me your book before I even decide to add you to my stream.

    • #43 by Marcy Kennedy on July 30, 2013 - 2:56 pm

      Thanks for a great comment!

      I love #1k1hr. I recommend it to so many people because there’s something motivating about knowing you’ll need to report your word count at the end. it helps with focus, and it’s fun to feel like you’re racing the clock with friends.

      • #44 by Marcy Kennedy on July 30, 2013 - 2:56 pm

        And I’m apparently terrible at following Jay’s excellent suggestion🙂

        @MarcyKennedy

        • #45 by Jay Donovan on July 30, 2013 - 3:10 pm

          Where’s that *favorite* button?

          -Jay
          @jaytechdad

  24. #46 by Jessi Gage on July 30, 2013 - 11:34 am

    Oh, and I’m @jessigage
    Thanks for the suggestion, @jaytechdad!

  25. #47 by tkmorin on July 30, 2013 - 11:35 am

    Thank you for this post! You’ve convinced me to learn more about twitter .:-)

  26. #48 by korimiller on July 30, 2013 - 11:45 am

    Reblogged this on Kori Miller Writes.

  27. #49 by Crystal on July 30, 2013 - 12:43 pm

    Love this. As a tech publicist (and aspiring novelist on the side) – I know the importance of Twitter. For my clients, it’s the ultimate promotion tool and I know first hand, even without ever trying to sell myself or a book/idea on Twitter – how valuable it is to my clients.

    Also – some of my best friends are amazing women I’ve met through various fandoms on Twitter. Some of whom, I’ve gone on amazing trips and vacations with. Anyone who has ever underestimated the power of Twitter – just needs to spend a little extra time with it and discover how magical it can be.

    • #50 by Marcy Kennedy on July 30, 2013 - 2:50 pm

      I’ve met so many friends on Twitter that I don’t think I would have found any other way. I know a lot of people thing relationships there are shallow, but we need to remember that relationships start there, but they don’t end there. They move on to our blogs and emails and in person, but they have to start somewhere! Thanks for sharing🙂

  28. #51 by Kate on July 30, 2013 - 1:08 pm

    Reblogged this on Some of my favourite posts.

  29. #52 by Helen Landalf on July 30, 2013 - 1:48 pm

    I’m on Twitter, and I often enjoy the conversations I have there. The part I have most difficulty with, though, is knowing what to Tweet when I want to originate a thread on my own. I have a hard time coming up with something clever to say.

    • #53 by Marcy Kennedy on July 30, 2013 - 2:58 pm

      I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m not a particularly funny person, so for other people like me, I suggest not worrying about finding something clever to say. Ask a question. Reply to something someone else has already said. Just be you. Find what interests you to talk about, and I guarantee it will interest someone else too🙂

      @MarcyKennedy

  30. #54 by alexander johnny on July 30, 2013 - 2:24 pm

    Thanks a lot for this excellent feedback on Twitter. I am going through the process of updating and connecting all of my social media outlets as I build up my writing and my own artist brand and this is the perfect encouraging post I needed to jump back on Twitter. Cheers ladies. -Alexander

  31. #55 by Penelope on July 30, 2013 - 2:43 pm

    I love Twitter, and the people I’ve met there, but for sanity’s sake, have resorted to posting and autoscheduling the majority of my tweets into Hootsuite. That takes pressure off me to be present all of the time, but I go over to engage maybe twice a day. I can now actually get some writing done!

  32. #56 by Aerisa on July 30, 2013 - 3:29 pm

    Great Post, Marcy. I might look into joining twitter after all🙂

  33. #57 by Maryann Miller (@maryannwrites) on July 30, 2013 - 4:05 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I do enjoy Twitter for meeting other writers and readers. I need to get better at meeting readers, though. (smile)

  34. #58 by authorphilpartington on July 30, 2013 - 5:33 pm

    Reblogged this on Phil Partington, author page and commented:
    I’m just starting out with Twitter, and while I don’t agree with the idea that ‘Twitter makes you a better writer’ (you may have fewer characters to work with, but grammar is often ignored and even reduced to abbreviations and primordial communication methods😛. Still, Marcy makes some great points and they’re worth noting (that and Kristen wouldn’t put crap on her blog :)). Check out her article.

  35. #59 by James Ramsey on July 30, 2013 - 6:50 pm

    I love Twitter. I am convinced that it is a bit like Google in that Twitter knows everything. Have a question? Ask…someone out there knows the answer. Great post. thanks for sharing.

  36. #60 by tonyroberts64 on July 30, 2013 - 7:13 pm

    Okay. You’ve convinced me. Tomorrow I will devote exactly 1 hour to building my Twitter following. But I’m setting an alarm.

    • #61 by Jay Donovan on July 30, 2013 - 9:10 pm

      You forgot to add your Twitter handle so we know who to look for.

      Personally, I find Twitter works better in 5-10 minute, okay 30-45 minute, blocks. It’s my coffee break.

      -Jay
      @jaytechdad

  37. #63 by V.L.M. on July 30, 2013 - 8:13 pm

    Great article! I totally agree. I am amazed at how valuable twitter is. Thanks for your ideas. Lynne

  38. #64 by Elle Carter Neal on July 30, 2013 - 8:21 pm

    Trying to move out of my comfort zone and use Twitter more. Like Lisa, I prefer Facebook, specifically because all my friends are there😉 But I need to meet new peeps/tweeps…

    @ElleCarterNeal

  39. #65 by Robyn on July 30, 2013 - 10:27 pm

    Hi – I am in my 60’s and have found social media the most wonderful medium to talk with friends and know everything that is going on in real time on Twitter – I would recommend it to all my friends in my own age group but they still resist their computers and won’t get onto Twitter or Facebook because they are aprehensive…….sad they have that attitude

  40. #66 by Richard Leonard on July 31, 2013 - 7:25 am

    Great advice once again. I’ve had twitter for about 15 months and I’m sure I’m not using it poperly. It seems I lose followers if I don’t tweet fo a few days. Also my ancient phone doesn’t help.
    @RichardELeonard🙂

  41. #67 by Jessica Burde on July 31, 2013 - 11:56 am

    I love twitter. I am much more comfortable on Twitter than Facebook or other social media. My biggest issue with Twitter is pacing myself – staying active on it and engaged with people, without actually being swallowed by it.

    I found an infographic recently that said only 5% of twitter accounts have over 100 followers. I know that in reality that is a huge absolute number, but I get a thrill out of having on of the top 5% of twitter accounts with what I think of as a small number of followers.

  42. #68 by Lisa B on August 1, 2013 - 3:04 pm

    Great tips! I love Twitter. I think what I struggle with is sifting through all the information that’s out there. I haven’t made too many lists or done much sorting. Do you have any tips for weeding through all the stuff that maybe isn’t as important and finding the things I want to check in on daily? @lmbartelt

  43. #69 by Tracy on August 1, 2013 - 8:11 pm

    I love Twitter! I just learned how to have two open screens on my Windows Surface and it’s the best ever. Twitter stays open all day, but quietly off to the side where it doesn’t take over writing time, but keeps me up to date and in touch. @A2ZMommy

  44. #70 by Emma Burcart on August 2, 2013 - 5:13 am

    OK, you have me convinced. I’ll go back to tweeting. And, I love the sound of the advanced class. My problem is really knowing what to tweet and how to make it different from what I post on FB. I’m going to sign up for the class this weekend and start at least checking my twitter stream today. I think I may also need to work on finding more interesting people to follow. I see A LOT of book spam on there and not enough to read.🙂

    • #71 by Jay Donovan on August 4, 2013 - 11:47 am

      Hi Emma, I avoid most of the book spam by not following “broadcasters.” I’ll happily follow anyone who is chatty, but if all you do is yell “buy my book,” I see no point.

      As to the differences between Twitter & FB, Twitter is more of a water cooler where the interactions are faster and the conversation more free flowing. It’s not poor form to jump into a moving discussion.

      I’ll sometimes post similarish stuff on Twitter and FB, but add more detail in the FB post.

      Twitter:
      Stalking the kitten with kitchen tongs while singing in my Gollum voice about baked cat as TechGirl chases me is too much fun. #badDad #yum

      Facebook:

      Is there anything better than clinking kitchen tongs while stalking the kitten?

      Yes, yes there is, doing it while singing in my Gollum voice about baked cat.

      Is there anything better than that? Yup, doing all of the above while being chased by TechGirl who is trying to tackle Gollum and convince him there's a "raw fish delivery" waiting for him at the front door.

      We often peg the sillyometer.

      Don’t worry about always being ‘on’ when you’re using Twitter. If you have something magical to tweet, good. If not, you can usually find whatever conversation you’re looking for.

      -Jay
      @jaytechdad

  45. #72 by Samyann on August 2, 2013 - 4:29 pm

    Never thought of using Twitter for research. Great article. @Samyann_Writer

  46. #73 by Katy Mann on August 5, 2013 - 9:43 pm

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post. I hadn’t thought of Twitter as a way to connect with readers. I appreciate your insights.

  47. #74 by Sherri Cook Woosley on August 6, 2013 - 3:49 pm

    I’ve been resistant to using Twitter — thank you for outlining reasons to go for it so clearly.

  48. #75 by Geoff Huijer (@GeoffHuijer) on August 7, 2013 - 7:24 am

    I’m on Twitter but find it difficult to understand how best to use it, gain followers and even use hashtags. I will, however, try and up my game having read this

  49. #76 by Raani York on August 9, 2013 - 4:37 am

    Those really ARE excellent reasons to be on Twitter… even though I have to admit, it still isn’t my favorite Platform. *chuckle*
    Thanks for sharing!

  50. #77 by Elle Garner on August 12, 2013 - 8:46 pm

    This is a great article! Sometimes I find myself getting consumed by the Twitter time-suck vortex. Overall, I do enjoy it. Thanks for the encouragement to stick with it.🙂

  51. #78 by Claudia Cane on August 16, 2013 - 12:00 pm

    Umm…yeah. I’m trying to like it, but what do you do when you tweet all these cool questions, seeking feedback from the infinite knowledge of millions and get…nothing?
    @claudia__cane

  52. #80 by Linda Adams on August 24, 2013 - 5:16 am

    I’m finding that I don’t like Twitter at all. I’ve largely cut back on it because I have to get more writing out there first. All the promotion in the world doesn’t help without stories published.

  53. #81 by swiveltam on August 27, 2013 - 9:15 pm

    Mmmmm, can I ask a Pinterest question on a Twitter Blog? I seem to be having more success from Pinterest actually coming back to my site than Twitter. I know I must be not “using” Twitter correctly, but I am doing all the things you mentioned. Can you give a rough idea about how many “new” followers per day is below average, average, good, or outstanding? Also, twitter says the more you follow the more who follow you. I have not found this to be true and found it harder to make real connections to people with same interests. What do you think?

  54. #82 by Jennifer Lewis Williams on September 12, 2013 - 5:40 am

    This is good information. I’ve put a link to your article in my blog for this week at http://jenniferlewiswilliams.com

  55. #83 by WritersCaravan (@Writerscaravan) on March 6, 2015 - 1:06 pm

    I have used twitter before as an architect – in order to stay on track with news in the design world. Today, I am starting to use it as a writer to build my platform and communicate with like-minded people. Perhaps the thing I struggle with the most is to be consistent, to post regularly and to interest any followers (existing or new) with relevant/captivating content. I guess I can’t be the only one with these concerns…

    • #84 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 9, 2015 - 8:09 am

      We all do. Just remember the key to social media isn’t being interesting, rather InterestED😉 . Talk to people in areas of interest. We shouldn’t be the All Writing All the Time Channel.

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