Friday, July 20, 2012

Ten Tips on Tweeting

Morgan and Therese have a workbook in process.
This Finer Points Friday post is one of the contributed articles.

Ten Tips on Tweeting

by Jamie Brazil

I got politely scolded the other day.  Like a lot of people still learning the Twitter ropes I sometimes forget to add hashtags, omit an important piece of information, or occasionally tweet something entirely bone-headed that I delete later. 

This is a FREE READ until 7/22/12
I’m still new to Twitter. 

In the very beginning I didn’t like Twitter.  It moved too fast, I never knew quite what to say, and I worried about looking foolish.  Now, just a few months later, when I steal away moments in the Twitterverse I sometimes feel like a dog chasing a ball, romping into the ocean surf on the hottest day of summer.  Sheer joy!

It’s one of my favorite things to do now.  I like to chat, cross paths with new people, and connect with those I already know.  Yet I still accidentally offend or foolishly follow.  But my worst mistake, by far, was forgetting to thank people for their retweets.  I had no idea how important that was! 

Where’s Twitter’s Miss Manners for us newbies?

So here are a few tips when it comes to making a good first impression on Twitter:
  1. My first rookie mistake was trying to gain followers quickly by using a free follow back service.  Yes, the service works… unfortunately any real tweets got buried by the deluge of college girls beckoning me to contact them and links for penis enlargers! Ack! Block-block-block-DELETE!
  2. Buying followers does not give you instant influence.  Don’t succumb to services offering you 5000 instant followers.     
  3. Quality not quantity.  When it comes to following and followers, more is not always better.  Surround yourself with people similar to you, who share a common interest.  Chances are these are where your first “retweets” will come from– that is, followers sharing your message with their followers.  This is very, very good as it helps build your influence in social media circles.   And you might just pick up a few new legit followers along the way!
  4. Think of a retweet as a gift.  So always, and I mean ALWAYS, tweet a thank you to those who retweet you.  They are helping you build your brand.
  5. Retweet back.  Help others.  Be sure to include any pertinent links!
  6. Use hashtags to expand your community.  I often use #coffee, #amwriting, and #Kindle.  You get the idea.  Hashtags help users search the constant stream of Tweets and makes it easier to connect with others.  
  7. Don’t be stingy with your follow backs.  Follow everyone who follows you -- unless they don’t look legit (penis enlargers anyone?), never tweet (meaning the chance they’ll retweet you is zilch), or you find their tweets offensive.  Feel free to follow me @BrazilJamie and I’ll be sure to follow you back! 
  8. Share smart.  According to Marsha Collier @MarshaCollier, one of the smartest, most influential Tweeters around according to media giant Forbes, “broadcast media is so yesterday.”  If you want to guide followers to your site, your blog, your latest release, that’s great, just be cool about it… like one in every ten tweets, or better yet, one in every hundred, or if you’re super-influential, not at all.  If your every tweet is all about you and your agenda to rule the world and become a bestselling Amazon author, your followers will tune you out, or worse, block you from their stream.     
  9. Twitter is like a cocktail party.  Engage with others and have conversations.  Twitter is about the give and take.  There’s no “LIKE” button to hit, but if people think you’re interesting they retweet you to their friends and followers. 
  10.  Have fun!  If tweeting feels like a job, then Twitter might not be for you.  Maybe Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, or Mobli could be a more comfortable social media vehicle for you.  But give Twitter a chance, and who knows, maybe you’ll like it so much you’ll “plug in” your tweets to share across other platforms, too!             
Happy Tweeting!  ~ Jamie Brazil

JAMIE BRAZIL lives in the Pacific Northwest. Jamie has published nonfiction, dispatched emergency services and coordinated documentary television productions.

The dispatching gig turned out to be great training for the round-the-clock crises when working with film crews.


  1. Great aticle! Thanks. I got overwhelmed with twitter. So I created a list of people I wanted to make sure I read. I add anyone who retweets me so I can return the favor. When I don't have time to scan hundreds of messages, it's so helpful!

  2. Thanks for the great tips Jamie. I'm fairly new to twitter, but I like it better than FB as I gain new followers daily and have really enjoyed reading tweets and new blogs and have even found a new authors this way.

  3. Oh, where were you when I first started! LOL. Seriously great tips, Jamie. Thanks!

    -Melia Alexander