Whoo, I think that was my longest post title yet!
When I first started blogging, I’d barely touched social media. I had a personal Facebook account, a personal Pinterest account, a personal Google+ account and. . .yeah that might have been about it. Maybe a personal Instagram? I don’t remember. I had never touched Twitter.
So when Bobbie came to me with the brilliant idea of starting Verbosity Book Reviews, she, uh, also created a Twitter page for us. I had no idea how Twitter worked. I took over all the social media tasks for us and had Facebook programmed to tweet whatever I posted on there and simply watched Twitter move for several months. Things started clicking a little then, but after about a year of trial and error (I don’t count the first six months, so it’s just a year of actually getting it, okay?) I’ve figured out some things that I really wish I had known when I started blogging.
1.) Do more than spam
Okay, so I have a beef with a lot of Twitterlings. This beef goes by the name of spam. What do I mean by this? These Twitterlings do nothing with Twitter other than to spammily (is that a word?) tweet link after link to their own website. Generally nothing or almost nothing else on their profile.
If they are even more spammy and have figured out other aspects of Twitter, they might send you DMs (direct messages) filled with spam after you follow them. Or they might tweet you directly, “hey saw you review books here’s mine. *link here*” And oftentimes these type tweets and DMs are automated.
Disclaimer: I am aware that not all automated tweets are spam and that not all DMs are spam. I’m just saying that I receive a lot that are actually spam.
While I never moved into the DMs and direct tweets, I was really bad about doing nothing but tweet my own link for awhile. Mostly because I was scared to do anything else on Twitter. I mean, blogging and sharing my opinions on the internet there was one thing, but yeah, no, putting my opinions on Twitter was another matter entirely. Sarcasm intended.
2.) Follow like people
So, you review books? Why don’t you go follow similar people? Follow other book bloggers, follow fangirls and fanguys, follow librarians, publishers, authors, etc. Follow your potential readers. Follow a lot of them. I usually start by following at least ten accounts a day and then find one more person to follow every time I get a follow back.
It’s the same for other blogging niches too. I happen to blog about fashion, music, and tea on my other blog, Style Me Gone. I have a similar practice for Twitter with it. I follow my potential readers and people who I might be able to work with down the road. Who do I follow? Other fashion, music, and tea bloggers, people who are obviously interested in fashion, music, or tea (often seen from tweets or the description in their profile), and companies that produce fashion, music, or tea.
So how do you find these people?
3.) The handy dandy search bar and the Who To Follow list
Twitter is pretty awesome because it is actually set up to help you do this. You can search hashtags to find similar people or even direct words. I haven’t specifically tried #bookbloggers or #books yet as with Verbosity Book Reviews as I tend to find plenty of bloggers just from the who to follow list and retweets, but it’s really helped me on Style Me Gone’s account. I can easily type in #fbloggers, #musicbloggers, or #teablog and find exactly what I’m looking for.
The Who To Follow list is often gold. It sits in the sidebar most of the time just waiting for you to click it and search through the list of people it thinks you might be interested in following. I’ve found many great bloggers through this resource. Sometimes it gives me nada, but most of the time? It’s really nice to have.
By far, the best way to get the attention of these lovely little Twitterlings is to interact with them. What fun are followers if you don’t hang out with them a bit anyways? I’ve met some really nice bloggers that way and I really enjoy chatting with them on Twitter. Scroll through your feed and see what’s happening. Has someone tweeted something you relate to? Is that blogger reading the book you just picked up at the store? Or maybe you’ve already finished it. Talk, hang out, geek out, be awesome.
That being said. . .
5.) Be yourself
I think I list this in just about every list type post I write. But it’s really important in the blogging world (and life in general). When you interact, don’t feel like you have to force it. Be yourself. Chances are you’ll find people with similar interests online. Some won’t agree, but the blogging community is usually fairly nice. Every now and then I come across a fight, but they are generally few and far between.
People want to see an actual person behind your account. Be real, bro, be real.
6.) Be ridiculous – But do it with class
Okay, yeah, so part of being yourself makes you seem ridiculous, no? Seriously, I think half of my tweets have discussed how I’m doing laundry or something like that. The key to your ridiculousness is class. While being personal is a big deal with blogging, you have to have a degree of professionalism too.
I’m not saying be ALL professional because that would probably suck unless professional is just who you are. Just be yourself, but maintain a degree of professionalism about it, okay?
Being personal and ridiculous can win you followers and retweets and stuff, but if you’re not careful, you tick a lot of people off in the process. Not every ridiculous tweet gets retweeted. Sometimes they win you a shiny new unfollow instead.
7.) Don’t be selfish
I mean this in a very particular way. Remember how we talked about being spammy way up at the top? This kind of ties in. While it’s very important to do a lot of self promotion (with balance of actual interaction) on Twitter, don’t be completely selfish. Promotion doesn’t work as great unless you help people out.
When you find something really awesome or helpful online, share it. Help other bloggers and writers out. While it may not happen all the time because, let’s face it, some days you simply see nothing worth sharing on the internet, do help people out when you find something good. Maybe your followers would enjoy reading it just as much as you did!
We bloggers are (try to be) a community.
8.)Tweet appropriate people
This one is less important unless you’re a blogger or something. But, if you’re tweeting something about someone, tweet it to them. Like, in my last post I reviewed Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I was really busy that day and kind of didn’t follow this rule, but when I tweeted out my link to the post, I should have included him in an @ mention. Not every author, publisher, company, and blogger will retweet your link, but many of them are happy to see that you’re writing about them. You know, as long as it isn’t a bad review or something.
Probably shouldn’t tweet them if it’s a bad review or something like that.
What things do you wish you had known about Twitter? Is there anything I missed? Let me know in the comments below!
Dianna from Brilliantly Novel also recommends responding to tweets people send to you. I think this is actually a great idea because it helps develop community. While one may not always have time to respond to every tweet, responding to some makes you seem like a really nice person and makes others all the more interested in you. At least when I’m looking for people to follow, the people who seem to be the most responsive and active in the community look the most appealing to me.