Twitter Etiquette for Writers: Part 2 Polite Tweets

Nothing turns off people more than tweeting about everyday events. Few people want to know your daily habits, etc. Unless you’re famous beyond belief, stick to tweets about your craft, and that means writing.

How to Annoy Tweeps
As a writer, your goal on Twitter is to gain followers and build trust. However, many of your actions can backfire. Twitter has a strict policy on cursing. A little isn’t too bad, but excessive profanity can get you banned from Twitter.

Another sure fire method to annoy people is to tweet about your new book over, and over, and over. Hollywood can sum up their script in one sentence, but even they don’t bang you over the head with it.

#WW and #FF
One way to gain followers and spread the word are two daily hashtags. #WW stands for #WriterWednesdays. Here you will recommend writers worth their salt using their @usernames. I’ve also heard this called #WorthWatching.

Another very popular daily tweet is #FF for #FollowFriday. Just like #WW, people use this to recommend people. To make this hashtag worthy, try to explain why you recommend this person.

The danger here is that some people will dump five or ten #FF tweets in a row. Nothing is worse than checking your stream and seeing a long line of #FF tweet. Use websites like www.bufferapp.com or www.timely.is. These websites let your schedule tweets in advance and then stagger their delivery.

Twitter Bio
First, you need to type up a bio. You get 160 characters for this. Without it, people might not even want to follow you. Be sure to list the type of writing you do and your interests. Also, be sure to upload a photo of yourself. I opt for a clean headshot so that people can tell you’re a human being.

Building Followers
To attract followers you need to be a little aggressive to start with. First, don’t be afraid to mention other people and respond to their tweets. After all, when people tweet, they know it’s public. You can reply. The worse that can happen is they can not respond.

Auto following is also a good tactic to start with. Here you will automatically follow anyone who follows you. Most people will do in kind. So when you follow someone, they might auto follow you. As you gain more followers, you might choose not to auto follow, but be sure to list this in your profile.

Stay Interesting
You need to tweet interesting things. Often people will post links to sites or blogs. Apps like Zite will give you a customized feed of websites based on your responses. However, don’t make all your tweets loaded with links. Twitter frowns on this, thinking you’re a spammer.

Tim Kane

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About Tim Kane

Tim Kane is a young adult fiction writer.
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8 Responses to Twitter Etiquette for Writers: Part 2 Polite Tweets

  1. Thank you Tim for this comprehensive piece. I agree with almost everything you said, except the comments relative to #WW and #FF. My take on it is that almost everyone gets that it’s a necessary evil. I don’t think it’s necessary to subscribe to an app to stagger the tweets. Instead, I think that’s it’s helpful to limit them to a manageable number. For me, I take care of the VIPs first and never send more than four of those, otherwise, they loose their significance. Then, I limit myself to 10 more. Since I do these myself and do not take the easy way out and use a service like ffhelper, they never come out in a clump. Later, if I see that someone has done or said something extraordinary, I’ll give them a solo shout out. This also applies to folks (like yourself) who are consistently supportive. If there are tons of people to reciprocate, I’ll do two sets of #FF/#MMs, one in the morning and one in the evening. That way I don’t inundate my followers with mentions. Hopefully, someone will find this helpful. By the way, you beat me to it. I was going to write an article for my WP site about Twitter etiquette. Haha! I still will; just wanted you to know it’s coming so you can comment. Big hug! :)

    • I hope you do write it. I was so frustrated when I started. I couldn’t find any advice on how to be a good tweep. I agree with your limiting #FFs. I only wish others did. A few I still follow, but when I see that line of 20 #FF mentions, it’s a deal breaker for new follows.

  2. Marianne Su says:

    I didn’t know about the cursing. I see many tweeps do this and didn’t realize it was not allowed. I agree with your comment about the lack of good advice out there. Like any (relatively) new medium, it helps to have others show us the way. Thanks for doing this.

  3. This is really helpful. is there any way to follow this blog by email? Thanks, Tim!!

  4. This is a great eye-opener for me. Thanks for the advice.

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