A Few Hints on Twitter
By now most people either know how to use Twitter, or they hate the whole idea of it and have sworn to never go over to the dark side. Wherever you stand, I’m not going to try to change your mind. But if you’re using Twitter, I have a couple of helpful hints, based on things I’ve seen lately.
1. If I see one more Twitter update that says “New blog post!” I think I will throw my laptop across the room. Please don’t do this. It sounds as if you assume we were all just sitting around waiting for you to update your blog, and now, thank heavens you’ve put up a new post so I can go over there and read it immediately. That’s not the impression you want to make. Are you a writer? If so, be a writer even in your Twitter updates.
If you want to send people to your blog, simply tweet an intriguing concept or a question, then your blog URL. For example: “Need a few hints on improving your Twitter experience? http://bit.ly/DFlM.” Don’t tweet: “New blog post! How to improve your Twitter!” Ick.
We are all sick of being marketed-to, all day every day. Don’t add to that feeling. Don’t be overly hyped. Just tweet the concept or topic, include the URL, and if people are interested they’ll click over.
2. While I’m on the subject of being a writer – part of the fun of Twitter is being able to post a complete thought in less than 140 characters without using a bunch of crazy abbreviations. Shortening a word here and there is fine, bt plz avoid goin ovrbrd. Use your writing skills to craft readable, interesting posts using actual words.
3. There is no earthly reason to use full URLs. For Twitter, use shortened URLs. Tweetdeck and other third-party applications do this for you automatically, or you can manually shorten a URL by going to http://bit.ly/ or http://tinyurl.com/.
4. If you’re using Twitter “directly” on the Twitter site, you’re being inefficient and you’re likely to miss the fun and usefulness of Twitter completely. Consider Tweetdeck or another third-party app that will help you manage your Twitter stream and use it effectively. My Tweetdeck has eight columns that allow me to quickly view tweets in categories: WordServe clients, other agents, publishers, favorites, etc.
Of course, this is all just my opinion based on using Twitter for oh, around 6,615 tweets. You’re free to take it or leave it!
Q4U: If you’re on Twitter, what apps have you found most helpful? What do you like most about Twitter? Any advice for newer Twitter users?
© 2010 Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent