Friday, July 1, 2011

Twitter Do's and Don'ts - Guest Post from Melanie Kramer-Santiago

Mel was nice enough to let me cross post this from her visually stunning new blog, YA for the YAt Heart.  Like Mel, I'm still tripping a little bit over my own feet when it comes to Twitter, but as we learn the ins and outs, there are a few things we've noticed and talked about with fellow writers. 

And heeerrrreeee they are!

No, no, no! This is not about you, Weiner!

(Take it away, Mel!)
I am still very new to Twitter. And in trying to figure out how to appropriately and effectively utilize it, I asked a group of fellow writer friends/Twitterers to share with me some of the things about Twitter, Twitterers, and tweeting that annoy the living poop out of them. In other words, I wanted to know what the etiquette to being a good Twitterer consists of and what NOT to do. These are some of the things that came up in our discussion (in no particular order):

1. Follow Fridays aka #FF. Apparently people find this VERY annoying. I myself had not done it simply because I didn't know how to or what it was. But now that I know, and have learned how many people feel about it, I will not be doing it. For a hilarious post on the #FF hashtag that explains what #FF was supposed to be vs. what it's become read this.

2. Multiple tweets--Posting your tweet 10, 15, 20+ times in a day fills up people's Twitter feeds (had to figure out what a Twitter "feed" was--yes, I'm that clueless) and that can be extremely irritating. We get that you want to reach as many people as possible about your AMAZING giveaway/contest, or an INSPIRING post on your blog, or even some FANTASTIC news about your book coming out, but tweeting the same tweet 437 times in a day on multiple days and you are looking to actually lose your audience/fellow followers.

3. Pimping your book and contributing nothing else to the Twitter world or to those following you was another thing mentioned as annoying. Apparently some authors have been known to do this and it is really uncool and uninteresting. Twitter is about making connections with other people who are in the same field/business or share the same interest. Develop and nurture those relationships first and THEN promote your stuff like crazy (but DON'T multiple tweet!). They will care more about your book if they care about you first. (Plus you may find more people retweeting your promotional tweets. WIN!)

4. People who think they look cool because they have 1000 followers and only follow 100. Honestly, you pretty much look the opposite of cool 'cause what this says to people is that there are many people who think you are worth following, but to you there are so few. I understand there can be certain reasons for it, but to most people it just looks really...unbalanced.

5. And to go along with #4 is people who follow you and then UNfollow you after you follow them back. Apparently this has even been done by some "big name" people to others who swear they were respectful followers (not harassing them or filling up their feed) and would only comment now and then or RT them for something that was said that was truly meaningful to them. SO NOT COOL. I understand that sometimes people need to clean out some of the followers that are the afore mentioned things or people who only follow for the purpose of advertisement of a product, but come on people. That is a snobby thing to do (if it's intentional, of course ;-))

6. There is a 140 character limit for a reason, people! To keep things short and tight in your message. People find it extremely irritating when Twitteres write a novel in a string of 500 posts. We're not talking the occasional continued post to finish a sentence or an important point, but do it often enough and you will find yourself UNfollowed.

7. Another one that several people mentioned as VERY annoying is when people go on regular political rants. Just because you have a platform for your fiction dystopian 7 book series, it doesn't give you the platform to spew political rhetoric at your fans. They are following you for your writing and your stories, not your personal political views.

8. Cliques on Twitter. Okay. So, we know cliques kind of exist everywhere. And just because you're on the internet doesn't mean people won't recognize when you are being "cliquish". Apparently, there are many published authors in the industry who will ONLY respond to other published authors on Twitter and ignore comments made by fans or other writers who are working towards the goal of becoming published. It just makes you come off looking like a snob. If you're only interested in other authors being interested in your work and not the other people who are fans and dedicated followers and buyers of your books, then go ahead. Remain in your small circle of Twitter peeps. But would it really hurt to reach out to others once in a while? Not saying you have to respond to every person who tweets you (surely impossible for some), but once in a while just respond to some of your followers to let them know that you know they exist and that you appreciate them following you. There are many authors who are absolutely wonderful about responding to RT@tweets and thanking people who retweet one of their tweets, but there are others who seem to think their poop don't stink and that if you're not published you're a nobody. NOT. COOL.

So there you have it. Some tips for you on What NOT to do on Twitter. I mean, you can do whatever you want, but these are some suggestions on ways to avoid loosing followers. BTW, a friend of mine pointed out this really cool link that allows you to see who you are following that is not following you back. In case you wanted to know ;-)

Anything you can add? Anything I didn't mention that annoys the living poop out of you?


Kristine Asselin said...

Good stuff, Melanie! I honestly didn't know that #FF annoyed people. I sort of use it as a love-fest. :)

Spam annoys me. And people who tweet me with just a link (which is equal to Spam to me). I will block you if you Spam me.

E.J. Wesley said...

Great post! I'll add, "Don't send pics of your junk" or links to sketch things. :-)

Angelica R. Jackson said...

I'll add that it is not as fascinating as you think to post a bunch of "quiz" answers to your twitter account.

My feed is clogged with "See my response to ____". I know those are fun to do and a great way to connect, but why not put them on a central page and then tweet the address occasionally so people know when you've answered new questions?

I haven't unfollowed or blocked anyone specifically for this, but I've been tempted.

Sherry Soule said...

I so agree with you! Not cool to ignore your readers/fans.

Sherry Soule Official Website

Author of the Spellbound Series

John Casanova said...

I learned the hard way. Pimping you book ain't easy! lol

John Casanova said...

I learned the hard way pimping your book ain't easy. I used to spam the hell outta my book because I thought it was the, " right" thing to do. So wrong I was.