Day 1 – no idea at all what to do or how to go about doing it.
Hashtags? DM’s. Lists. On and on with the lingo.
Days 2 – 9 – I waited and watched and still absolutely nothing happened. My mother told me a watched pot never boils so I walked away for a few days and checked back to reap the rewards that had befallen my patience.
Day 10 – I did something novel. I sent a tweet. Then another. Then the strangest thing happened. Someone followed me. I followed them back.
A thought occurred to me. The people who were following me – who were they following? Who was following them?
Then I discovered lists.
People on twitter – Tweeps I’ve since learned they are called – spend their time organizing followers into categorized lists. Lists are a gold mine of information if you are looking for people who tweet about particular topics. Between the list from people you follow and people who follow you, you can find thousands of tweeps with similar interests. Many of these people have great things to say.
Wow the floodgates opened. I started following other writers, bloggers, publishers, readers, and loads of other people who had interest that touched on mine. Many in turn followed me back.
Since then I’ve found a few things helpful and have a few things that I believe are best avoided.
First, stay active on Twitter. I’ve found it’s a truly a “What have you done for me lately?” proposition. You want to remain engaged with your followers. If not you’re dead weight on the timeline.
Oh and engage in conversations, but if things get too detailed on a topic, send a direct message. This keeps other followers from getting confused or from feeling neglected and at the same time you’re engaging your followers.
Give your followers good content. Good content includes information about your book or work in progress, but it shouldn’t only be about that. Link to your regularly updated blog, retweet interesting tweets, share insight. Keep the mix productive and beneficial to your followers. If your followers are engaged they will help support you, you’ll be followed by others and so grows the network.
Help spread the word for your followers. If you have someone you find interesting, tell your followers about them.
I believe you should avoid tweets that only promote your book or platform in a sales pitch fashion. I also feel that you should avoid saturating the timeline with too many things on one topic. It’s okay to recycle tweets, but after a few appearances on the timeline, those tweets, like extended house guests or 5-day-old fish, may start to smell a bit.
Oh, and just be nice and treat other people with respect or perhaps I should say twitspect.
At the end of the day all it takes is a little planning and a willingness to dive into the deep end of the pool. Engage your followers; let them know you are interested in what they have to say. Thank them when they mention you or retweet something you’ve done. When people thank you return the favor. It’s pretty simple. What comes around goes around. Help out and you’ll be helped out.
It is like the high school dance. It’s fun to lean against the wall and be entertained by what everyone else is doing, but the real fun is out on the dance floor.