Using Twitter: Do You Have Tips?

After perusing this directory of publishing industry people on Twitter,
I finally created a Twitter account for the Writer’s Digest community
(@WritersDigest if you would like to follow, and @JaneFriedman if you
would like to specifically follow me).

I have been quite lax in using
Twitter; right now I prefer Facebook and blogging. If I consistently and thoroughly followed everyone
I’m interested in (probably more than several hundred people), I sense it would be like drinking from a fire hose—and would I be
able to accomplish anything if distracted every 5-10 minutes by updates?

I wonder how both unpublished and published writers are using Twitter.
Do you have a Twitter account? Are you actively using it? And if so,
has it changed anything about your writing and publishing life? What
tips do you have for other writers?

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0 thoughts on “Using Twitter: Do You Have Tips?

  1. Deborah Niemann-Boehle

    I use Twitter as a supplement to my blog. On Blogger, you can put all sorts of gadgets in your sidebar, so I added a Twitter feed. I use Twitter for things that are too short for a whole blog post, like "Porter the English shepherd did a great job herding the geese today! Looked like he knew what he was doing!" I also use it to give people a quick update on something that I don’t have time to blog about until later. Last week, my livestock guardian was limping, so I had multiple tweets about him. One said I was taking him to the vet since he was limping. The next day, I used my mobile phone to tweet from the vet’s office that he had a torn ACL. I had a busy day ahead so didn’t have time to write a blog post about that until the next day. To see how I use the two together, you can check them out: (Twitter feed is in the column on the left.)

    I have also used Twitter to get people to go back to old blog posts. For example, my top blog post is my chocolate chip muffin recipe because one day when I made the muffins, I sent out a tweet about it, and people went to the URL. (I know this through Google Analytics.)

    The only down side to this is that I am working to build a platform, so I suspect that numbers will matter to publishers when I talk about how big my audience is, and since I have the Twitter feed on my blog, I probably don’t have as many Twitter followers as my profile shows, since many just read on the blog. On the other hand, I know I have some duplicate audience members between Blogger Followers, Facebook Blog Network Fans, and Twitter Followers.

  2. Pia

    PS: I often see Tweets that simply state a new blog is posted and share the link. It’s a great way for me to get blog updates without logging in to several different sites only to be disappointed that no one has written lately. 😉

  3. Pia

    I’m still getting the hang of Twitter myself, but I did sign up to meet other writers (and because my best friend insisted I try it). It takes some experimenting to figure out who you want to follow. I’ve added people because I liked an idea they posted about writing but then dump them later when their next dozen posts consist of favorite beers or political rants.

    TweetDeck sounds helpful. Thanks to Bill for explaining that.

    Twitter ID: PiaVeleno

  4. Toronto

    There are so many social networking site out there it’s hard to keep up. I try to take them one at a time. I’ve mastered some but haven’t tackled Twitter yet. It’s on my list to master this quarter.

  5. Bill Peschel

    I’ve had Twitter for a bit and (now that I have broadband) I’m still trying to figure it out.

    Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

    1. You may find yourself getting a number of followers. Some people seem to collect them like books you don’t intend to read but want on your shelf. I suspect I’m going to collect and dump a number of names to keep the reading managable.

    2. Look into TweetDeck. You have to have Adobe AIR installed first. It lets you divide your feeds into a multi-column format. I have Network (people I want to follow regularly), Others (the rest) and Pros (people like Guy Kawasawki who are high up on the food chain). You also get a column for responses to your tweets, so you won’t miss one.

    That’s it so far.