How the heck does this Twitter thing work?
So, I’ve been on Twitter for years, following a few friends and some celebs I was interested in. Not that I used it a whole lot – Instagram seems to be the place for following the Hollywood elite these days. Recently, though, I decided I need to take Twitter more seriously.
The reason for this was one of purely selfish interests, and the same reason why many other writers flock to Twitter. A need to boost your social media footprint in the hopes that one day you’ll get published and have a following.
That was the plan anyway.
However…what I found when I dipped my toes deeper into Twitter’s waters was not exactly what I expected.
Firstly there was the issue of how to get started. That was a biggie! How do you reach out and find people on Twitter that have the same interests as you, and might be interested in becoming your follower?
Well, it’s not easy at first when you don’t know WTF you’re doing.
So, at first I did it all wrong.
I started looking for Twitter users by finding those with #Writers on them or #Author. Then I’d follow them in the hopes that maybe they’d follow me in return. This was a bad strategy.
After a few weeks, I was following about 500 people, but had gained no traction in raising my own profile. It was languishing somewhere down around 70 followers. I wasn’t sure what to do. Didn’t know where to get help or advice… I was lost.
Then l got lucky. Really lucky.
I stumbled across a Twitterer who was using the hashtag…
It suddenly felt like the doors had swung wide open, admitting me into a community I didn’t know existed. Writers, writers everywhere!
What’s more… they did this thing called a #WritersLift
Now, about a month later my numbers are starting to even out. I’m following 1,816 people, and have 1,368 followers. Now I know that this number is still a negative equity, but the gap is closing slowly, and my tiny sphere of influence is growing.
That’s because these #WriterLift tweets encourage Writers to put up a list of writers on their lists that you should follow. You participate by following them all and putting some of your own on that list. The hope is that everyone follows you too. It’s a mutually beneficial (and frankly brilliant) way for writers to support each other and help each other get those all-important follower numbers.
This… is where it gets interesting.
Because what I thought was just an exercise in practically raising your profile actually is A LOT more.
There are some wonderful figures in the #WritingCommunity, and if you’re a writer reading this you’ll probably have someone like them on your list. These are the people to keep your eye on and jump in with whenever you see them appear in your notifications.
But… I still don’t fully get it?
So, after reading all that, you should know that I am in NO WAY a Twitter expert. All the above is only my experience.
I have questions and problems.
Firstly, I feel bad that I can’t contribute as much as I’d like. Most of what seems to happen on there, happens on US time. Being in the UK, I seem to come to much of it late. Plus, I’ve been working on this eclectic website, trying to edit book 1, writing book 2 and preparing for agent queries. Add to that a full time job and the need to have time with my wife… It feels like there’s not enough time in the day to also be engaged with Twitter as regularly as I’d like.
Secondly, and I was talking to @Nikki_Twisted the other day about this, I have no real idea of the proper protocol for the different type of lifts. I simply pitch in where I can and basically wing it! For instance… What’s the difference between a #WritersLift and a #FF (Follow Friday)
Am I supposed to just follow people? Or throw people up for a lift myself?
Thirdly, because of the first issue, I tend to wake up – or come back – to roughly a billion notifications. Okay, maybe a small exaggeration, but you get the point. There are too many for me to sift through, and because I’m looking at replies to replies to replies to retweets to a reply that I was once tagged it… I have no idea where to even start looking at them.
So again… I just wing it.
I feel I’m probably not the only noob on Twitter that has the same problem. Bless @Nikki_Twisted for taking me under her wing and trying to teach me the ways of the Twitterverse, but this boy ain’t catching on fast. LOL
So… I open the comments here up to discussion.
- How do you guys handle all this Twitter stuff?
- Have you wily veterans got any help or advice you can offer?
Love & Books