Mind Your Twitter Manners

Creating Effective Posts

You’ve work hard to grow your Twitter following—one that is focused on your writing—don’t lose your follower base by creating uninteresting or repetitive tweets. Be original in your posts; users will soon ignore or unfollow you if you use the same posts or pictures again and again. In the same vein, don’t flog your book constantly. Instead, be humorous and informative, entertain and teach. Maintaining a blog is crucial for authors.  Exploit your expertise, create captivating blog posts that hold value to your readers and post the links on Twitter.

Make sure a link to your book is in your bio and if you must promote your novel, only do so once a week. Change things up, feel free to post your book cover, but also use photos of your settings and images of your characters. Entice your readers and skip the hard sell.

It Takes a Village

The most effective tactic in using Twitter to best effect is to be active in the Twitter community. Interact with others and be supportive, especially to other authors. I’m not much of a schmoozer in person, but I can schmooze the shit out of folks on Twitter. To that end, use the like button frequently. Retweet (RT) posts that you find striking, but don’t overuse the option. If you retweet a ton folks will ignore you. Contribute to conversations, be engaging and friendly. If someone responds to your post, either like their response or continue the dialog.

Trolls and Direct Messages

Twitter is the land of controversy and trolls. Be controversial, but don’t be abusive. If you’re active, sooner or later you will be trolled. Realize that trolls are hoping that you’ll get upset and respond emotionally. In fact, they’re counting on it. Your two best options are to either ignore the troll or if you must respond, don’t be direct, instead use your wit. Trolls wither under intense sarcasm. Once I was attacked by a troll spouting racist ideology. Instead of challenging him directly, I went off on a tangent and hit him with a series of humorous tweets about racists being wife beaters and adult bedwetters. He shut up and never returned.

Twitter Troll

Twitter Troll

The Internet lets us interact with others without seeing their faces, observing their body language, or hearing their voices. Misunderstandings are frequent, harsh words come all to easy when you’re not fact-to-face with the other person. Remember that and temper your responses. Don’t be a troll—well, unless they’re knuckleheads and really deserve it, then skewer them with wit and style.

Direct Messages or DMs are overused by many authors. For security reasons, I never click on a link in a DM, nor do I respond to cookie-cutter DMs. People’s inboxes are full of trash messages, don’t add to the litter. Reserve DMs for personal messages to other users that have a real purpose other than flogging your book or promoting your website.

Good luck with your venture into Twitterdom. Keep your cool and strut your stuff.

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