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Tips on Use Twitter Effectively

Now, I’m not a professional. I’m just a girl who sends out tweets and asks you to love her.

However, my tweeting has resulted in some exciting opportunities:

  • It has aided me in obtaining new writing opportunities.
  • It has connected me with editors at publications where I wish to publish, as well as fellow authors who have become my online (and real-life!) friends.

So, here’s my best tip for making the most of Twitter.

Choose your followers carefully.

You have more content to sort through in your Twitter feed every time you follow a new person (unless you intentionally silence people…then…why follow them at all?)

Choose your followers carefully so that you spend your time on the platform connecting with and viewing material from individuals you appreciate (rather than having a feed full of junk and noise.) Seek out your peers, clients, people you wish to collaborate with, and authority in your industry as you look for new people to follow.

Every few months, I also go through my followers and unfollow accounts that haven’t tweeted in a few weeks, that I don’t routinely connect with, or that are no longer relevant to my interests. This helps to keep my feed interesting, fresh, and engaging.

Participation and interaction should be planned carefully.

When it comes to Twitter, it’s simple to sit on the sidelines and not contribute. You may spend a whole day consuming and reading stuff without ever sending out a single tweet.

But keep in mind that it’s called social media for a reason. That means you must be thoughtful in your interactions with others and in your participation in the conversations that are taking place.

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Many people struggle with this because they overthink their tweets or are concerned that they may run out of things to say. However, by overcoming your self-doubt, you open the door to new relationships and conversations that you probably wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Here are some suggestions if you’re stumped for what to tweet about:

  • Share any observations you have about your work or any patterns you’ve noticed in your niche.
  • Give a behind-the-scenes look at the production. Take a look at your daily routine.
  • Comment on and share a recent article, podcast, or documentary that you found interesting.
  • When you have something useful or interesting to say in response to other people’s queries, comments, or shares, do so.
    Discuss your ideas or planned initiatives, as well as why they’re intriguing to you.
  • Share accomplishments in your personal or professional life that you want to celebrate (but don’t boast).

Make the most of your time.

Twitter serves as a virtual watercooler for me. When I need a break from writing, I use it as a location to chat with others throughout the day. If Twitter, on the other hand, appears to be a major time sink, there are some strategies to be more deliberate about how much time you spend there.

  • Make use of lists: Create a list and examine that tailored feed rather than going through the postings from everyone you follow on Twitter if there are certain people you know you want to chat to or build relationships with.
  • Adjust your timeline: The ‘top tweets’ timeline is one of my favorites because it allows me to catch up on relevant content from people I follow on Twitter. You may disable this option if you want a chronological feed, but I prefer the algorithm and find it useful.

Don’t bother folks by spamming or stalking them.

Maintain some healthy boundaries when it comes to your Twitter interactions, because no one likes the person who is continually like, reacting, and retweeting them. It’s unsettling (and easy to see through.)

People who do this, in my experience, want something from the person they’re connecting with excessively, and when that ask/pitch finally comes, it’s always a hard pass.

Instead, engage in genuine discussion and consider how you would conduct a face-to-face conversation with the person you’re conversing with on Twitter. That ought to be your compass. When we feel too comfortable behind the anonymity of our computer screens, it can lead us to do or say things we wouldn’t do in real life, so keep that mental model in mind.

Consistency is key.

If you’re going to use Twitter, stick with it since consistency will help you acquire traction over time.

If you go silent for a few weeks, people may assume you’re not using your account anymore and unfollow you, making it difficult for you to rejoin conversations.

That doesn’t mean you have to be on Twitter all of the time; it just means you should maintain some consistency in your usage. It’s fine if it’s only 15 minutes a day! It is not necessary to be a power user to benefit from it (how ever you define that.)

(Unless it’s working for you) Get rid of the planned material.

Scheduled material, in my experience, does not do well on Twitter. It’s clear that it’s been scheduled (typically due to a shortened URL from a scheduling service), and it has a marketing/salesy vibe to it. Plus, it means you’re unlikely to be available to answer to anyone in real time if they ask a question or make a comment.

If you have a post or podcast you’re pleased of, instead of blasting it out via a scheduling service, share it in real time with some commentary. When you communicate it personally, it feels more genuine.

That said, I’m aware that some people find that scheduling content works well for them, so the true answer is, as always, IT DEPENDS. Take a look at the analytics to see if people are engaging with your scheduled material.

It’s important to remember that this is a cocktail party, not a private talk.

As a PR professional, one of the best pieces of advice I ever received regarding social media was to remember that it’s a cocktail party—a public setting where others are observing what you say and do. Even while it may feel like we’re having a private conversation with others on Twitter, you must keep in mind that anything you write there is public.

Furthermore, deleting a Tweet does not make it vanish. Anything you publish on Twitter may be retrieved using screenshots and programs like WayBackMachine.

When discussing about things that could be misread or misrepresented (or that could instigate conflict) on Twitter, it’s always preferable to err on the side of caution, which is why I keep my interactions and content quite modest.

As frivolous or flippant as a tweet may appear, it has repercussions and cannot be undone; as a rule of thumb, ask yourself if your grandmother would be ashamed to read something before tweeting it.

Bottom line: If you really dig into Twitter, it can be a terrific tool for staying connected, networking, and opening doors to new opportunities. That said, it’s fine if it’s not working for you or if you’re simply not into it. Perhaps you’d be better off using a different platform. Don’t try to force it.