Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Navigating Twitter: 10 Tips

Navigating Twitter: 10 Tips

Twitter. Facebook. LinkedIn. Instagram. Pinterest. YouTube. 

There is an abundance of social media platforms. And, while, being on all of them isn't really feasible - writers tend to do a lot of their promo themselves - it's fun to introduce a new platform into the mix every so often. You may find new followers, discover that a certain type of content suits you, and form collaborations you would not have encountered otherwise.

If one of your goals this year is to explore a new social media platform, there's still time. Trying to figure out where to go next? I recommendTwitter.  Twitter has different functionality than some of the other socials. Learning to drill your thoughts down to that 280-character limit is like taking a master class in short, to-the-point content. 

Plus, people are super-accessible on Twitter. If you want to write for a specific magazine... or have your book reviewed by a journalist ... or interview someone in the filed of your niche, you can likely connect with them through a tweet. They won't always reply, but engaging in social is one way to get on their radar.

To make the most out of your time on Twitter, it's essential to get the lay of the land. Here are ...

10 Twitter Tips

1. Get an account. Your username, which can be your actual name, should reflect your personal brand or your business. 

2. Fill out your profile. You have 160 characters to share who you are. You can also update your name to add a title and emojis.

3. Upload your headshot. It should actually look like you.  (400 x 400 pixels)

4. Upload your background image. Use Canva or another graphics program to find or create a banner image (1500 x 500 pixels) that, again, represents who you are, what you write, etc..

5. Follow accounts. Find people and businesses within your area or niche to follow. At a loss on how to get started? See who your friends and peers follow, and go from there. You can also create Twitter lists of groups of people, so you can categorize the people you follow. This will make it easier to find content to retweet and people with whom you want to engage.

6. Research. Make a list of 5 to 10 complimentary or competitor accounts. These are people in a similar genre or niche. Then look at what they tweet to see what gets good engagement and what falls flat. Use these as inspiration for your own content.

7. Tweet. Share your blog content, create graphics images, interact with friends and target accounts. And use relevant hashtags. Also, remember the 80-20 rule: 80% of what you share should be value, and 20% is promotion. 

8. Engage. Start conversations. Reply to questions. Make new friends. And see which ones turn into fans and engaged followers.

9. Join Twitter chats. First do a Twitter chat search, find some chats that interest you, and put them into your calendar, so you remember to check them out. Go to a few, until you find the ones that you want to attend on a regular basis.

10. Continue conversations. When you do enough consistent tweeting - and take part in regular Twitter chats - you will meet peers and make friends. Connect on other platforms, such as LinkedIn, and develop a relationship. You never know where a new connection may lead.

Social media is an essential part of the writer-life. Although platforms differ - and since these are just the basics - you can use these tips as a guideline for all your new social media platform goals.

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On November 18, I will be speaking at the Agorapulse #SocialPulseSummit: Twitter edition. Topic is Twitter chat goals. Learn more and get your free ticket.

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So, what do you think? How are you enjoying your Twitter time? Please share your thoughts and experience in the comments.

Debra Eckerling is the author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals. A writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of the D*E*B METHOD and Write On Online, Deb works with individuals and businesses to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and #GoalChatLive on Facebook, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Terry Whalin said...


What a terrific series of Twitter tips. Thank you. I've been consistently on Twitter since 2008 and it has been a terrific platform for me.


Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks, Terry! Twitter is one of my favorite platforms, so happy to encourage others to embrace it/embrace it more!

Karen Cioffi said...

Debra, great tips on using Twitter. I've been on Twitter for a long time too. I'm not as active on it as I use to be, but it does help draw traffic. Thanks for sharing!

WiseOwlFactory said...

Thank you so much for a step by step approach. I shared this on social media.

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks you both so much! Much appreciated!

lastpg said...

Hi Debra, I have a Twitter account but haven't followed it. Your post will help me get more active. Thanks!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Penny Sansevieri once said, “on Twitter everyone is equal!” So, friends or not, you can reach out to communicate with a celebrity you are seeing right now! They also welcome marketing which is a Boone to anyone with, say, a BOOK! Ahem!

Debra Eckerling said...

Awesome, lastpg! Good luck.

And, Carolyn, so much YES!!!

deborah lyn said...

Debra, your tips are right on, clear and very helpful. Thank you!
I'm off to join a chat and get my ticket to yours!

Debra Eckerling said...

Awesome. Thanks, Deborah! Happy Tweeting!

Cathy Cade said...

Thanks for the tips. I have yet to get involved with twitter - I'm not sure how. Maybe I will jump in... sink or swim!

Karen Cioffi said...

Cathy, just jump in! Thanks for stopping by!

Debra Eckerling said...

You can watch my session on #TwitterChat Goals from the #SocialPulseSummit, until December 18: https://summit.agorapulse.com/talks/twitter-chat-goals-setting-your-twitter-chat-up-for-success/

There are other fantastic Twitter sessions, as well!

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