Friday, June 12, 2009

What Twitter is Not by Joyce Anthony

What Twitter Is Not

Twitter is not an end in itself. While some people may find themselves attracted to Twitter simply for the high-paced interaction, most people are trying to get more from it. Twitter is a means to get your name in front of others. The most successful Twitter users see it as a stepping-stone for others to find their way to blogs and websites. To make Twitter useful, you need to consider it as a tool. Get your name out there. Let people get to know you as both a person and an individual with something to say that is worth listening to. Encourage followers to visit your blog or website.

Twitter is not a competition. Yes, you want to increase your list of followers on Twitter, but you want followers who are interested in you and what you are saying. It is much better to have a hundred followers who actually read your posts and visit your blog or website than it is to have a thousand followers who skip your posts and have no idea who you are or what you are about. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to gain followers simply for sheer number.

Twitter is not the school playground. Many people fall into the trap of saying “I’ll follow you if you follow me.” Even worse, they end up unfollowing people who don’t follow them. With this kind of attitude, you are apt to miss out on important information and a lot of interesting people. For example, big publishers are not likely to follow unknown writers, yet by following these publishers, you can gain insight into their needs and what they are looking for. If you have a specialty, following leaders in that area is a good thing, even if they do not follow you. Don’t fall into the trap of only following those who follow you. It is a sure way to miss out on a large benefit of Twitter.

Twitter is not all about you. Yes, you are asked the question: What are you doing? This should not be taken literally. People want to hear about you, but they also want o know that they are heard by you. A good rule of thumb is that for every ten tweets is to make no more than two self-promotion. Of the other eight, mix re-tweets, answers to other’s tweets and informative links or information. This will allow others to see you as someone who actually cares about them. In the end, this is what will make you a success at Twitter.

Check out Joyce's blog at http://joyce-anthony.blogspot.com/

19 comments:

Jan Verhoeff said...

Good post Joyce. I use Twitter, and love it, but they don't follow you if you're self-consumed.

Blessings,

Anita Davison said...

For all the reasons stated above - I keep well clear of Twitter. I have enough diversionary tacticts that keep me from writing than I need already! What with blogging, writing forums, critique groups, IM, book reviewing etc.etc.

unwriter said...

A very informative post. All too many don't understand the true meaning of twitter, including me, for a long time. I've read other information you've put out on how to use twitter and I am trying to follow those instructions.

Thank you for all the information.

Jennifer Gladen said...

Great tips, Joyce! Thanks for sharing.

Ginger Simpson said...

Great post. I subscribed to Twitter but don't have the time or inclination to read what my followers post. For that reason, I feel guilty if I post. What have we become when we consider our communications 'tweeting?'

Donna M. McDine said...

Katie: Thanks for this informative post. Great tips.

Regards,
Donna
Children’s Author
Write What Inspires You Blog
Donna M. McDine’s Website

conarnold said...

Really good advice, Katie. Thanks!
Connie

JanetElaineSmith said...

Good thoughts, Joyce. My biggest problem with Twitter is that a Twitterer must Tweet, just like a Blogger must Blog. Anyone have any extra hours for sale--cheap? Thanks for the good advice.
Janet

The Belle in Blue said...

Good insight, Joyce. I'm still on the fence about Twitter, but your post made me swing my legs to the Twitter side! :-)

Deb Hockenberry said...

Great advice, Joyce! I'll have to remember your advice.

Kristie Leigh Maguire said...

Informative post, Joyce. I really know nothing about Twitter and do not have the time nor the inclination to learn. I don't text or receive texts on my cell phone either. Perhaps I'm missing out on a wonderful opportunity but I am passing on these 2 things.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Thanks for sharing Joyce. It's all too easy to sign up to follow others' tweets and then not have time to read any of them, let alone post some of your own!

Karina Fabian said...

Good post, Katie. A couple of notes I'd like to add in response to comments:

I prefer Twitter to blogging because I can be brief. It only takes 10 minutes a day to tweet a little something (like a review, an interesting blog, a funny link), and to reply to 3 or four people's tweets that I see on the page. Meanwhile, a blog can take me an hour to write, and if I had to keep up on other people's blogs like I do Tweeple, I'd never get offline, much less write.

In fact, this summer, I'm "tipping the sacred cow" and have stopped blogging. All I do is Tweet once or twice a day when I have a chance. Afterwards, I'll see how that's affected my website stats.

Joyce Anthony said...

What wonderful comments! Thanks everyone. Twitter can be fun and useful, but it can also be time-consuming if you don't use it the correct way. Kristie--I also don't text. I have gotten a bit lax at Twitter also, but am getting things back on track :-) Again, thanks for all the comments--and thank you for posting this, Katie!

Cheryl said...

Excellent post, Joyce. I love this comment, "Twitter is not a competition." This is so true. How can anyone really follow 2000 people? I've started being more selective of those who follow me and who I follow.

I use Twitter almost every day. It's a quick way to share a lot of things.

All my best,

Cheryl

lionmother said...

Great post Katie. Joyce, I am not on Twitter since I can't even keep up with my email. I like to write too much and would be sending too many tweets for only one idea.:)

Dianne G. Sagan said...

Well done, Joyce. I Twitter, but probably not as often as I should. Your tips on how best to use it make a lot of sense and will help me put it to better use.
Thanks,
Dianne

irishstrawberryshortcake said...

Awesome post, Joyce! I'm the same as other people in that I couldn't see the benefits of Twitter. I'm a fan now! :)

vrleavitt said...

Great post. As a new 'Twitter-er' this was very informative.