Thursday, October 6, 2011

Why Writers Should be on Twitter.

I was originally going to name this post 'How to Get Rid of Your Twitter Jitters' but I thought this title was a little more searchable :)

This post is way overdue. I have been on twitter since May and I have loved every minute of it. I joined becasue fellow writer and president of my local writers group Terron James told us all about the platform building benefits. Since I'm a social media junkie interested in making writterly connections, I joined that night.

Here are a few common misconceptions people have about twitter -

1. You need a smart phone to be on Twitter - Having a smart phone is nice, but not necessary. I like to use Tweet Deck on my desktop most of the time. It gives you second by second updates of what people are saying (including what they and say about you.) I'll explain more about the screen shot below in a moment.

2. Everyone posts crazy random thing about their lives. I think you're getting twitter confused with Facebook. Twitter is more a place to have centralized chats and find new blogs.

Going back to the picture above, see how I have all those columns? Each one is a search for a hash tag (anything with a # in front of it) People will talk about certian subjects and include a hashtag. If you're interested in that subject you can follow the timeline and chat along. Some of my favorite hashtags are #wordmongering #writetip #mywana #pubwrite #yalitchat and #amwriting. So you can see how a variety of writterly subjects can be discussed and a broad range of people can be reached.

3. Twitter is time consuming. Only if you let it be. You don't need to read every single post on twitter (especially when you are following 1,000+ people). Since you're only dealing with 140 characters it's easy to have quick conversations and still feel connected to other writers. It's a great way to meet thousands of other writers and really build your network.

4. Everyone is out for self promotion. Not so. I'm on facebook, google plus, linked in pintrest, tumblur, klout and others but twitter is the one place I feel most connected to other people. Some strive only for self-promotion, but most are out to meet other writers and make real friendships. Everyone helps each other out by Retweeting (reposting) blog posts that they like.

At least three days a week writers are promoting each other there is Mention Monday #MM Writer Wednesday #WW and Follow Friday #FF.

Everyone works together to get each other more followers and more recognition. The #1 site that brings hits to this blog is Twitter, and I only talk about my blog posts twice a day.

If you still have cold feet about Twitter I would like to know what your reservations are. And if you like Twitter, how has it benefited you?

*Stick around because next week I'll be doing a post on Twitter tips and tricks.
**On a side note I am being interviewed at Chantele Sedwick's blog today, so hop on over there when you're done!
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