By now you probably know whether you like Twitter, or it’s just not for you. I love Twitter – too much sometimes, but I can’t imagine not being there now. Here are my top Twitter tips, for quick reference (in no particular order):
– Use the name you plan to publish under.
– Keep your account unlocked, just censor yourself
– Fill out your bio and a blog or web site link
– Find other writers using hash tags for writers: #amwriting #writegoal #writechat #askagent #askauthor
– Introduce yourself with a note of congratulations or encouragement
– Spend a little time there every day
– Don’t try to catch up – just jump in, and then jump out.
– Follow everyone who you find interesting…don’t limit your following list
– Use Twitterfeed to automatically announce your blog posts to your list
– Build genuine relationships with people – don’t just use it as a promo tool
– Avoid politics/religious discussions, and if you just can’t, avoid slurs/name-calling (stay professional)
I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but these are the main things I do/have done to build my personal Twitter community, and I think they can be useful for anyone who wants to get involved.
If you don’t have the time to put in daily on Twitter, but you’re ready to branch out from your blog, consider the “in between” solution – Facebook. It moves slower than Twitter – you can update your FB status once a day, or every few days, or once a week. You can set privacy settings so that only people who “friend” you on FB can see your status updates – and that’s expected and encouraged, so it doesn’t appear “exclusive” as it would on Twitter. You can set up separate accounts for personal/writing if you want, or simply display your status updates to certain groups of people (the others in your friend list won’t see targeted status updates). You can maintain a personal account for friends and set up a separate “fan page” for your public persona if you’d prefer. It’s a much more full-featured platform than Twitter, and normally people who don’t like Twitter for whatever reason seem to get along with FB just fine.
Signing up for a Facebook account is just like signing up anywhere else. Your assignment for this week, should you choose to accept it, is to create a personal account at Facebook, and then add me as a friend. You can either search for me by name in the search box in the top right corner of your facebook page, or go to my facebook page – there should be an “Add as Friend” button under my name/photo once you’re signed up and logged in.
Are you on Facebook? If not, is there something that’s been holding you back from joining?
Next week: Friend lists, security, and messages.