Now by virtue of the fact that I have a blog and I’m pretty active on Twitter, one could assume that I’m a whizz at this social media malarkey. However, I have to admit that at the moment I feel a bit of a dope!
I know many of you will have followed my recent trials and tribulations, and yes even successes, in trying to develop my career in my “day job” as well as the challenges of trying to pull a novel out of my poor, tired brain. It’s all turned out quite well and I’m taking on a new post for 12 months focusing on external communications. It’s all very exciting and will build on the voluntary comms/PR role I undertake for a charity.
Compared to most people I know, I would consider myself relatively knowledgeable about Twitter with a good following who I delight in ranting and sharing ideas with. I particularly appreciate those who really engage and interact, rather than just follow to get their numbers up. I must admit I’m a big fan of listing people and do cull my “Follow” list when I keep getting these tired , recurring “Buy my book” tweets, day after day in my timeline. Besides, I’d rather carve up my the accounts I’m interest in (not literally) into lists which make the whole thing more manageable, particularly given my very disparate interests. I tend to use these, making my Following list pretty redundant and really only an easy mechanism for dropping people into lists on things like Twitlistmanager. Some people are on lists and I don’t even follow them.!
However, imagine my surprise when I find out there is so much more to Twitter. There’s the HT, for hat-tipping. In order words, you want to comment on a tweet, but doing so would take you over your 140 limit. You embed the text and add HT (rather than RT) to give a nod to the original Tweeter. This is just of many things I’ve picked up on a “beginners guide to Twitter” which I picked up on a website, along with putting full stops before the @. I’ve probably made all sorts of faux-pas.
Another good tip I’ve picked up recently is from the lovely @RayneHall who writes the most wonderful writers craft books. I noticed recently that she uses Socialoomph to help schedule tweets. Now I share her view that recurring tweets are annoying on the whole, but I signed up for it to see what it was all about. The basic tool is free and is great for scheduling tweets to suit your audience, for example by timezone. I see nothing wrong with this if you are mixing it up with genuine interaction. Rayne seems to manage this magnificently. As I manage a twitter feed for a charity, in addition to my day job and the writing, this has freed me from having to be at computer at the “right time” to tweet about events. I’ve got lots set up months in advance, which means I won’t forget them and frees me up to tweet about the impromptu and “real time” stuff.
So today, I’m not ranting – I’m suggesting that you have a go at using some of these resources and see what works for you. At the very least, perhaps have a stock take of how you use Twitter and other social media sites and question if you are using them in a manner that meets your needs and achieves your goals. As a starting point, I’d recommend checking out a recent post by @Nicholas_Rossis. He mentions some great tools for writers on his blog… why not check them out and take a walk around his website while you’re at it.