Friday, January 15, 2010

My Top Five Twitter Tips

Although I don't consider myself a Twitter expert, I would like to offer the five following tips, based on my personal preferences:

Tip #1:  Show your real picture.
I see many tweeters using random pictures, such as an Avatar or an animal, as their profile pictures.  Let me see what you look like in real life. It's easier for me to connect with someone I can picture in my mind.  Show your face, however ugly or old you may look. Haha!  Oh, one more thing: don't include your children or your dog in the picture.  I'm interested to see who's behind the tweets, not your family members or pets. Keep those for your blog, however sweet they may look. : )

Tip #2:  Mind your manners.
In general, I don't follow people who use swear words or insult others publically.  Express yourself, but remain professional.  Who knows who may be reading your tweets?  A future employer?  A child?  A literary agent?  I may overlook an occasional inappropriate post if I know you already, but if it's the first tweet I see when I look you up, I probably won't follow you.

Tip #3:  Be specific.
If your tweet says, "Take a look at this" followed by a link, most likely I won't click on it.  Why should I?  But if you say, "Ten tips for writing better" with a link, I might.  I want to write better and I'm curious what the tips may be.  It's also better to summarize what a blog post is about rather than post the beginning of the first sentence.  Rephrase it so that it catches my attention and intrigues me.

Tip #4:  Use #FollowFriday tags.
#FollowFriday (or #FF for short) is a great tag to use.  It shows your favorite tweeters you like their posts, and it points your followers toward tweeters they may like to follow.  One thing that bothers me is someone who just retweets someone else's #FF list.  Create your own!  Personalize.  Save your list on Word and update it regularly, to make it easier.  There's no need to re-think the whole list each time.  It also helps if you describe in a word or two what kind of people are in your #FF list.  Are they writers? friends? co-workers? funny or interesting tweeters?

Tip #5:  Interact!
I had some very interesting conversations lately on Twitter.  Sometimes it started with someone replying to one of my posts.  Other times answering someone's question sparked a whole dialogue.  I also met interesting people through participating in a twitter chat, such as #kidlitchat (Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. for those interested).  I almost always decide to follow someone who responds to my tweets.  Very often, responsive people end up in my #FF list as well.

Happy tweeting, everyone!  If you're not yet on Twitter and have no idea what I'm talking about, I suggest you read Inkygirl's Writer's Guide to Twitter.  She offers great tips and other links to get you started and make the most of your Twitter experience.

I'm @dutchhillgirl on Twitter.  Feel free to follow me!

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