How to Be Awesome on Twitter


Photo credit: leeander on Flickr
I was originally going to write a post about why writers need to be on Twitter, but I basically covered that in my Social Media for Writers post, and the vast majority of you reading this are already on Twitter. So.

Instead, since I know we all secretly want to be awesome on Twitter (it can't be just me, right?), this post was birthed.

Being awesome on Twitter is actually much easier than it sounds. It basically revolves around the idea that we're all here to support each other and share interesting things with our epically amazing followers (like mine). It also revolves around the idea that spam is spawn of the devil and must be destroyed with the spam gun of doom.

Some awesome things to do on Twitter:

1. Re-tweet things. You'd think this goes without saying, but if you see something interesting or you simply want to help your fellow writers (or other talented Twitter buddies), you need to re-tweet things. Not only does re-tweeting bring awesome content to your followers, but it's a way of saying hey I like what you said there, keep being awesome.

2. Be friendly. I've heard it said that Twitter is like an enormous cocktail party where everyone walks around schmoozing with each other and butting into random conversations and speaking in a fancy accent with their pinky fingers sticking up as they hold their crystal wine glasses (ok, so maybe only that first part). 

Point is, if Twitter is like a giant party, the only way people will notice (and remember) you is if you speak up and say hi. Make a point to welcome your new followers. Show them they're appreciated. Chat with your tweeples and make connections. That's what social media is all about.

3. Be yourself. I know I say this all the time, but believe it or not, this also applies to Twitter. If you want to tweet about random sugary deliciousness or throw virtual confetti everywhere for no apparent reason or pass out random virtual hugs or squee just for the sake of squeeing, by all means, go for it. Don't be afraid to be ridiculous— I once posted "Do you know the muffin man?" and got something like five responses in five minutes. True story. Randomness is totally acceptable (and awesome) on Twitter.

4. Be positive. People like positivity, period. Even if you're feeling crummy, I suggest trying to tweet positively— you might be surprised to find just how quickly it'll change your outlook. Otherwise, remember that rule you learned in kindergarten? If you don’t have anything nice to say…


Some NOT awesome things you definitely SHOULDN'T do on Twitter:

1. Spam. Being the person that I am, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and say that many times they don't realize they're spamming, so let me give some examples:

Tweeting (or DMing) someone a link they didn't ask for = SPAM.

Tweeting (or DMing) someone a link to your blog when they didn't ask for it = SPAM.

Tweeting (or DMing) someone you just followed with HI FOLLOW ME PLEASE = SPAM.

Moral of the story, be careful what you tweet, because no one likes a spammer.

2. Whine or Rant. I understand some ranting. The occasional rant can be understandable— even amusing at times. But if you flood the timeline with a really long rant or going on and on about your terrible day, well...chances are you're going to lose some followers. Most people can empathize with an occasional rant, but don't make a habit of it.

3. SCREAM CONSTANTLY. I understand an occasional loud tweet. Even I have on more than one occasional overused the caps lock because I was rather excited and throwing confetti everywhere or prancing around Twitter and giving out hugs. There's nothing wrong with that.

BUT WHEN YOU TWEET LIKE THIS ALL OF THE TIME, YOU'RE GOING TO SCARE PEOPLE AWAY, AND YOU DON'T WANT THAT, DO YOU?

I didn't think so.

So that wraps up my tips. What tips do you have for being awesome on Twitter?

25 comments:

Donald Cribbs said...

Nail. Head. Bullseye.

Ava Jae said...

Thank you! ^_^ 

Rik Davnall said...

I remember that muffin man tweet. I think I went completely the wrong way and didn't respond >.>

Ava Jae said...

Truth be told, I wasn't expecting anyone to respond. lol!

J. A. Bennett said...

Amen sister!

Daniel Swensen said...

Mention other people, offer (genuine) praise, don't expect reciprocity. I definitely agree that acting like a person and not a sales pitch is key.

A personal "don't" of mine would be tweeting trying to get more followers, or retweeting other people who want more followers. I don't really care how many followers you have, and for me, someone wanting more followers isn't a good reason to follow them -- quite the opposite, most of the time.

Ava Jae said...

Not expecting reciprocity is a good one. It annoys me when people tell me they've just followed me on Twitter or liked me on FB so I should return the favor. That's not really the point...

I'm a little guilty of occasionally RTing others who want followers (though much less so now then I was when I first started out) until I started to realize recently that I like following others based on what they tweet about and what they're like, not so much on follower count. You make a really great point!

Sara Leggeri said...

Awesome post Ava! Well said. :)

Susan Sipal said...

How about participating in Tweet chats? I've not done them lately because so busy, but chats have been a great way to meet new people with common interests. However, sometimes I wonder if it aggravates others reading my feed.

Laurapauling said...

Great tips. Something like Twitter is something a writer could possibly stress out about. But if we approach it as fun, friendly, relaxed but professional, community building, networking, insta-support group- then it all works out!

Ava Jae said...

Thanks, Sara!

Ava Jae said...

I haven't done a tweet chat in a while either for the same reason (I've been very busy), but I agree it's a great way to network with other people and get to know others in your niche. As for annoying others who have you in their stream, it doesn't bother me personally as I recognize it as part of a tweet chat, but I can't speak for everyone...

Cindys Mcdonald said...

I've been considering joining twitter, but have been too shy, thinking I wouldn't have much to add. But I think I may just give it a try! Thanks, Ava Jae!

Ava Jae said...

I was worried before I joined that Twitter would be a source of stress, but instead it's been a wonderful source of fantastic links, great people and encouragement. I love the community aspect of Twitter!

Ava Jae said...

Definitely give it a try! I was ridiculously nervous before jumping in, but I'm so glad I did. I really believe it's one of the best moves I've made for my career as a writer so far. :)

Susankayequinn said...

Great tips! I wish I knew more effective ways to use twitter, but I'm afraid that will suck all the fun out of it. :)

Ava Jae said...

I use Hootsuite and Timely to help Twitter efficiency. :)

Sidney Peck said...

You left out one important tip.  Be like Ava!

Ava Jae said...

Awww, thank you so much! That was so sweet. :)

Dasia said...

Great post! Just discovered your blog and I'm thoroughly enjoying all your good advice :) Keep rocking!

Ava Jae said...

Thank you! Hope you enjoy the other posts! ^_^

Amy Jarecki said...

Great tips! I retweeted. Thanks for sharing :-)

Ava Jae said...

Glad you enjoyed the post! Thanks for retweeting! ^_^

deborah walker said...

Thank you. I was just thinking about twitter. Maybe it's time to up my game.

Ava Jae said...

You're very welcome, Deborah! I do love Twitter. :)

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