About a month ago I wrote a post complaining about Twitter. You can revisit it here. I still have the same complaints about Over Tweeting and Political Tweets, but I must also admit that I've found some new appreciation for Twitter.
I read an article somewhere (btw---I once had a friend propose a drinking game for every time I said "I read...") by a woman who pointed out that many great things that had happened in her writing career could be linked to Twitter. Pretty bold, eh?
Basically she said that she couldn't say that Twitter had directly caused book sales. But, through Twitter she had connected with other writers who invited her to participate in their blogs or writers groups or speak at conferences.
I thought about this for myself and I can't disagree. For example. I learned about a bloghop on Twitter. During the bloghop I gave away a $10 Amazon gift card. The winner was another writer. When I recognized her name somewhere else, I went to her blog. She was looking for people to write guest posts...voila, I'm doing a guest post (November 7. Mark your calendars. Don't worry, I'll probably mention it again.)
I read (drink now) another article with tips on using Twitter effectively without feeling like you're just Tweeting about yourself. This article suggested (as far as I can remember, but it's something like this) for every tweet about your book or blog, you tweet twice about someone else.
I've found this much more satisfying. Instead of thinking "what can I say about my book now?" I think "which of my Twitter Friends can I tweet about?" I still Tweet about myself (of course) but it doesn't seem so pushy now.
I can't remember, but I'd dare say that the connections with my spanking writer pals might have mostly come from Twitter too.
So, how can you get the most out of Twitter? I'm not sure, but here are a couple suggestions.
First, you could find me @celestejones130 and follow me. Then, you could look at the list of people I follow and see if there's anyone there that looks interesting. After you pick out a few of those folks, you might look at who they are following...and on and on...Start out slow. Twitter can be a little overwhelming.
Unlike Facebook, you can unfollow someone without causing a family rift. I understand that there are programs that people can use to see who unfollows them, but I'm not worried about it.
When you're on Twitter, you might see lots of hashtags (#) and wonder what that's about. Good question. If I tweet about one of my books or another spanking book I'll include #spanking. If you were to go to one of those tweets and click on #spanking, that will take you to a list of all the people who have used that hashtag recently.
Hashtags can be fun if you're watching TV. Let's say that this Thursday you're glued to your set for the premier of The Big Bang Theory. If you search for #bigbang #TBBT #bigbangtheory etc, you'll find other people watching and commenting about the show and you can join the conversation.
Finally, Twitter is a fun way to connect with real people. Yes, real people. But, you need to be a real person too. So, tweet something personal, but not too personal: "I love this fall weather." "Those replacement refs suck" "My dog hates thunderstorms" "I want the new red Uggs" "Building a house is getting on my nerves".
And if you see someone tweet about those things and it's of interest to you, hit reply and give them a witty 140 character response.