Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Insecure about Twitter?

For my Insecure Writer (IWSG) post this month I choose Twitter. I've been insecure about how to utilize it in the past and have tried different methods and approaches. In fact, I've reinvented myself on Twitter numerous times.

I've at last come to the conclusion: There is no one right way or wrong way to use Twitter. All those rules you see about Ten things not to do on Twitter! You can bet someone is doing every one of them and highly successful while breaking all the "rules."

Like all social media, a Twitter account needs a purpose, a focus for the activity, and it must be enjoyable or why bother. Set your own rules. Mine are that I don't RT any tweets with sex or profanity, just plain creepy, or what I deem inappropriate. Regardless of what anyone else does, these are my personal boundaries as I fill my timeline with the cleverness of others.

I'll tweet the occasional book link, a Goodreads review, or a good article related to writing or publishing, but more often I'm tweeting and retweeting pithy comments about life in general. It's a word game for me. How clever can one be in 140 characters or less? Some of the best tweets are only a few words long and one reason why I find Twitter to be a challenging and enjoyable word game.

Do you ever see those accounts with 50K followers and wonder how they got them? One of my Twitter friends, has an excellent formula. In Gen's words: "Small accounts would be big accounts if they understood that all they have to do is write one decent or indecent) tweet a day and retweet."

That's the secret right there. Retweet and star the good stuff (believe me, it's easy to find with all the  cleverness out there) and then you put one decent tweet of your own out each day. It shows you're in the game and know how to play, and like-minded people will follow you, RT and star you, and it turns into a lot of fun.

This is how I'm playing Twitter right now. Bottom line: there's no need to be insecure about Twitter! It's fun, it's easy and it's fast, making it a very effective social media tool. Find your niche, set your boundaries then tweet away!


21 comments:

  1. 'Playing Twitter' - that's the point. As a marketing tool I'm not convinced - some people must spend hours and hours there, and does that really sell enough books to justify all that time? I dip in, connect with one or two people, but the everlasting buy-my-book stuff or guess-what-it's-time-for-coffee is simply tedious.

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    1. Jo, I can't abide Twitter as a "marketing tool" with endless buy-my-book links either. Although I have to admit having downloaded a few that way, especially if they're free or on Kindle Unlimited (free for members).

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  2. There are too many negatives about Twitter for me to bother with it.

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  3. Hi Karen! Good points on how to use Twitter. I don't use it too often anymore because my Twitter feed is constantly spammed with nonsense, but I do try to keep up a regular presence. Thanks for the tip!

    Randi Lee, IWSG Co-Host
    http://emotionalnovel.blogspot.com
    http://www.randileewrites.com

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  4. I pretty much am playing the same way as you are. I usually tweet several times a day with a variety of content including quotes, things found that I like, and retweets. Every once in a while I'll think of my own gem to send out and when I get on a roll I might start sending out quips like I'm doing a stand-up routine.

    My follower growth is slow and steady, but it has been growing so I guess I'm doing something right.

    Can't say I'm insecure about what I'm doing on Twitter, but for the most part I haven't seen it be hugely effective. Sometimes in minor ways, but nothing that has changed my life.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Road trippin' with A to Z
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Lee, I know I follow you but I'll have to check and see if I have added you to my blogging friend list. It sounds like we use Twitter the same way.

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  5. Hi, Karen,

    Glad to see you are TWEETING happily! I haven't really infused myself with twitter yet. I do have an account and do the occasion retweet or Tweet a friend's book or post. It does sound like you are enjoying it....

    Have fun and I'm sure I'll see you in Twitterland at some point.

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  6. I play the same way--except I rarely have an exciting or pithy thing to say :( I'll work on that.

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  7. I need to approach Twitter differently. I haven't found the joy in it yet.

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    1. Diane, Whenever it loses joy for me, I either take a break or a new approach. Like I said, I've reinvented myself several times since I started. I don't want to give it up though because it's so fast and easy. And Twitter is one of the fastest growing social media sites. It's not going away any time soon.

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  8. I've been insecure about Twitter forever. I appreciate your advice and am going to give it a go. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. Is that how it's done? I need to star more...

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  10. I enjoy Twitter and do retweet stuff I like. I stay away from the crazy political stuff that goes on there just like I do other places.

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  11. I use it on occasion. Not there yet.

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  12. When retweeting, I mostly stick to fun stuff and the occasional inspirational quote.

    God, Entertainment, & Annoying Things

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    1. MRR, Same here. I appreciate the fun and clever things I come across and show my appreciation by RTing and starring.

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  13. We don't hear much about twitter, that's true. I mainly follow writers so am busy RT-ing writerly quotes, book reviews, book announcements etc. There's amazingly good stuff on twitter and many would say it's the best book marketing tool. Judging by the number of book posts, I tend to agree. It's so easy to RT and make someone happy.

    Denise :-)

    My IWSG post on Mindfulness

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  14. I had a hard time with Twitter too, I just didn't get it! You are right about the secret and just to have fun. I was trying to hard and taking it to serious at first. Now I love it because you can connect with so many people so much easier than Facebook, I love how restaurants and companies will interact with you too! :-)

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  15. I bow down to your cleverness in this regard. I don't get twitter though I have an account. I'm always surprised people are following me because I'm not going anywhere. I guess I've decided as I get older that I don't have to do everything - for instance I'm resigned to the fact that it is unlikely I'll ever get to India though I'm still hopeful for Paris. Twitter? Nope.

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  16. You describe me in the title of this post... Oh, dear.
    So-- tweet and re-tweet once a day? And what is the star thingy we're supposed to do? I actually had to think about what RT was.
    Talk about a cow in a strange barn.

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    1. Mirka, Twitter has its own language and culture, and then it changes depending on which Twitter culture you're a part of. No wonder it can be confusing!

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