The purpose of my Twitter series on Writer Unboxed has been narrowly focused since the beginning. First, I wanted to help you come across as an interesting, nuanced person (as opposed to a salesperson). Second, but no less important, I wanted to help you connect with other interesting, nuanced people. With those two goals in mind, I’m now suggesting some resolutions to help you get the most out of Twitter in 2013.
Four Twitter Resolutions for the BEGINNING/INTERMEDIATE Twitter User:
#1. STOP FOCUSING ON NUMBERS
Numbers do not matter whatsoever. In fact, I intend to write an entire post about the insignificance of numbers later this year. If, however, I can’t convince you to put the numbers obsession aside, then at least do your followers a favor and resist the urge to tweet about those aforementioned numbers with tweets like this:
“I’m close to 800 followers!”
“Welcome to my newest followers!” (Repeated every time there are new followers.)
“5 more followers and I’m at my goal of 1000.”
“I got 10 new followers in the past hour. A record.”
You get the idea. The people already following you do not want to hear about your stats.
#2. FOLLOW A VARIETY OF PEOPLE
Yes, you are a writer, but hopefully your approach to life and Twitter is more layered than that one qualifier. Consider branching out this year. For example, you might want to follow local restaurant reviewers, or other local characters. Find political writers if you’re passionate about politics. Find people who write about faith or a certain religious denomination if that is important to you. You may still end up following writers for the most part, but you can vary the types of writers in your Twitter stream.
Perhaps you have already discovered the need to diversify after reading tweet after tweet about the revision process and point-of-view. The words #free and #Kindle also pop up too often if you’re only following fellow novelists. You have the power to make the tweets you’re reading more interesting simply by following a wider range of people.
#3. SEND A VARIETY OF TWEETS
We’re still on the variety theme here. There are several kinds of tweets. You can tweet links to good articles. Tweet random observations about life. You can have conversations back and forth, answer questions people pose, or ask questions with the hope that others will answer. If you tend to only tweet one way, then mix it up. You will end up engaging with more people, thereby attracting quality followers.
One final note on variety: I imagine you have already figured out that tweeting about your book or about your blog posts and nothing else is not going to work on Twitter.
#4. SET TIME LIMITS
This is perhaps the most important resolution of all. You do not need to spend ridiculous amounts of time on Twitter to make an impact. Take Twitter breaks. Do not worry that people will forget you, or that all your previous efforts were for nothing if you spend time away from all the social media outlets. If you tweet well (variety, not too much about you, not about numbers), then you will find your followers are happy to see you when you return.
Two Twitter Resolutions for the ADVANCED Twitter User:
These are my personal 2013 goals for Twitter.
#1. BECOME A CONNECTOR
Now that I’m comfortable on Twitter, I would like to spend time helping some of my favorite Twitter friends find each other. This is something I do often in “real life,” but I could do it more online.
#2. RE-ENGAGE WITH THE PEOPLE I AM ALREADY FOLLOWING
When I first joined Twitter in 2010, I was better at interacting with a variety of people. (Variety! Again!) But after two years I have definitely slipped into some cliquey tendencies by having conversations with the same people all the time. I don’t plan on ditching my favorite Twitter buddies, but I would like to dedicate some of my Twitter time this year to getting to know new faces.
Come back in February when I will explain step by step how to make and use Twitter lists, a Twitter trick that will definitely save you time and enrich your experience in 2013.
What questions do you have about using Twitter that might help you use it better in 2013? Any Twitter resolutions you’re willing to share with the Writer Unboxed community?
Photo credit: Milena Mihaylova via Flickr