After weighing the pros and cons of Twitter last time, maybe you’ve decided to take the leap. But you’re understandably overwhelmed, because Twitter is a strange and mysterious land to the uninitiated. Never fear! I’m here with the basics of what you need to do to start off your Twitter life with a bang. And even if this Twitter thing is old hat to you, I hope you’ll give it a quick glance, because there are tips for everyone hiding in these basics. Let’s go!
1. Use the name you publish under.
If you’re joining Twitter for the sake of building your writing platform, you should use the exact name that you publish under. This helps readers avoid confusion. So if you publish under George K. Schmidt, that’s how you should fill out your name – not George Schmidt or George Karl Schmidt.
2. Make your handle as close to that name as possible.
Your Twitter name and your Twitter handle don’t have to match, but they should. Again, you’re working toward recognition and clarity. If the handle for your exact name is taken, choose the closest thing that makes sense and seems professional. Think @GKSchmidt, not @GeorgiePorgie.
3. Upload a photo of your face, or at least yourself. (No book covers.)
I know, I know. Some authors are so resistant to headshots. I can’t force you to come out of your shell, but I can say that people on Twitter want to talk to humans, not eggs, not logos, not your pet dog, and (sorry) not your book cover. It doesn’t matter how gorgeous your cover is or how smitten you are with it; people want to follow an author, not a book. Still can’t bring yourself to use a face shot? The next best thing is humanoid alternatives (silhouettes, profiles, cartoon renderings) – not landscapes or objects. [Read more…]