I’m a writer in my free time, but at my 9-5 I’m a Marketing Manager. I deal with social media a lot throughout the day, and most writers don’t have that experience. I know because I see tons of no-no’s as I scroll through my Twitter Feed. As a writer, you are your brand. Twitter is a fantastic way to spread brand awareness, and build relationships with both readers and writers. However, there is a right and wrong way. It’s up to you as the writer to figure out the perfect formula that compliments your personality and keeps your followers engaged. Here are the 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Twitter that are working for me:
1. Do Follow Back
Following back is great. I support 100%. You don’t have to follow everyone, but it’s always good to follow back people with similar interests. It is a very effective way to retain followers and expand your brand.
2. Don’t Follow Blindly
Take a quick look at their bio before you hit that follow back button. It will save you a lot of headache. I have a process. When someone follows me, I click on their profile. I look at their bio and the 10 most recent Tweets. If their bio sounds personal, that’s a green light. If their Tweets are 70% original content, and not all Spam, RT’s, and Book Promotions; double green light. Followed.
3. Do Promote Your Blog
Tweet about your blog! This is so important. Usually when I’ve written a new blog post I will Tweet the link TWICE that day. Only twice. If you are a writer and you don’t blog, I highly recommend doing so. You want people to use your blog as a resource. This will build credibility and trust for your “brand.”
4. Don’t Over Promote
Stop direct messaging to promote yourself. Especially if the person just followed you. This method is terrible. As a marketer and writer it makes me cringe. I have never clicked on a link through a DM, and I never will. You know what I have done, though? I bought a book from an unknown, self-published author because I liked her. She never Tweeted a single book promo, but she did Tweet and Blog about Writing. She built a relationship with her readers through Twitter, and built trust through her blog posts. Let that sink in.
5. Do Tweet Often
The more your followers see you in their feed, the better they’ll remember you. You are your brand. Also, you really can’t “tweet too much” as long as it’s interesting content.
6. Don’t Pre-Schedule All Your Tweets
I am not anti-scheduling. Not everyone has time to sit on Twitter all day. Especially companies. You can use apps like Klout or Hootsuite to schedule three or four tweets a day. Ie: Blog posts, articles, quotes…etc. Just don’t overdo it.
7. Do Interact
Talk to your followers! Answer open questions and RT when you enjoy the content. Lift others up and they will do the same. You are part of a great community, enjoy it! I’m going to be honest and say this was not easy for me at the beginning. I had to break out of my shell to start chatting it up with fellow writers, but I’m glad I did!
8. Don’t Spam
Stick to 3 or 4 RT’s in a row, then switch it up. I have unfollowed people who just RT over and over again. It looks very spam-y. Is that a word? We’re being candid here, so it is now. Also, keep the promos to a minimum. This is about building relationships, not shoving links through your follower’s timelines hoping they’ll click.
9. Do Be Yourself
Be genuine. Don’t hide any part of yourself. The ones who matter won’t care and the ones who care will unfollow. Make sense? I’ve been known to share personal information about myself on Twitter. I don’t have a filter. If I’m sad that day, I’ll probably share. Twitter is my outlet and my emotions are what make me human.
10. Don’t Over-share
There is a fine line, but it is up to you to decide where your line is. “Over-sharing” is going to look different to every follower. It’s best not to over-think it. Usually if I don’t want my parents or grandmother to read it, I won’t tweet it.
Obviously these points are debatable. I’m still learning every single day I post a Tweet. The point is, use trial and error to figure out what works best for your personality and your brand. Twitter advice is just like writing advice; the rules are meant to be broken. Don’t obsess over followers. Don’t try to be perfect. Be yourself, be kind, and the followers will come.