Twitter: Connect with People

I recently did a post about Twitter retweets. It was a fun post and I enjoyed writing it. Even more, I enjoyed reading the responses. One response in particular got me though:

Tonja – I just signed up. Mostly to see how I can make use of it some day, maybe. I was really put off by several agents and editors tweeting about their coffee, the weather, how they are late for whatever. I didn’t see how it could be particularly helpful for authors except to advertise yourself, but I’m not sure how your self-promotion would get through all the other stuff. I’m probably just not getting it.

This is probably the biggest problem for writers new to Twitter. “How is Twitter useful?”

Twitter, just like every social media network out there, is for communicating with other people. This is no different for writers who use Twitter. It isn’t just about mindless self-promotion (though some people still haven’t gotten that memo). It’s about connecting with people and expanding your community.


Start simple. Find people through the blogs you follow. Most people put a Follow Button on their blog to make it easy to find their profile. You now have a few people to follow and watch. Be a lurker for a while if you still can’t will yourself to say hello. This would be a good time to look around and see what Twitter has (hashtags, lists, etc).

From there, why not search for your favorite authors? You’ll find quite a few on Twitter and not only will you get information about their books, you will see their personalities=) After a few days, you will have followers as well, from your own blog and from others who see you following them (commonly referred to as a follow-back or auto-follow).

The next step I would suggest is joining in one of the hashtag memes. That is, those things that have a lot of twitter handles attached. Try #MentionMonday (#MM), #WriterWednesday (#WW), and #FollowFriday (#FF). The names are self-explanatory.

You see, there are a lot of writers out there. Writers who can help you on your journey. You can help them on theirs as well. Friends can be made just from the simple task of putting down 140 characters and interacting with people.

Twitter is useful in helping get word out about your book, but only so far as how well you connect with people. So go ahead and talk about the coffee you had that morning. Talk about the paper cut you got while editing your manuscript. When someone else says purple is their favorite color, tell them “Me too!!” (but only if purple really is your favorite color).

Twitter isn’t about selling books. It’s about connecting and interacting with others who share the same interest as you: Writing (or reading or spelunking). So get out there, start tweeting, and let go of any inhibitions about being yourself.

About Katie Doyle

Katie Doyle is an avid reader, writer of NA and Adult fiction, a mom to two tornadoes that resemble an eight and six year old, and pet to a tuxedo cat named Oz and a German Shepherd/Boxer rescue named Charlie. If she's not reading, writing, or getting Oz out of a tree, she's screaming at characters on TV and trying not to curse around her kids.
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5 Responses to Twitter: Connect with People

  1. Angeline says:

    Really, all social networks should be used the same way. Twitter is no different to your Blog; just shorter posts. You reply to comments on your blog, right? You don't make every single blog post about where people can buy your book, right? It's just the same on Twitter.I'm an absolute Twitter addict, but I can see how it can be daunting. I didn't join for ages wondering why anyone would ever care what I was having for lunch. Throw yourself in and you'll soon get the hang of it.Great post!

  2. Kathleen says:

    @Angeline I didn't know how to use Twitter for a long time when I first started. I sat there and stared at my stream and wondered what I could say that would interest anyone! But it's once I started actually putting myself out there and talking to people that I finally understood what Twitter was about.You're right about all networks being the same. It seems Twitter gets a lot more attention on that front though. For that reason, a lot of new to Twitter writers probably would be a little apprehensive with it.

  3. agreed! I love twitter and think every writer should be on there! Great post!

  4. Jocelyn Rish says:

    It was definitely overwhelming when I signed up for twitter. I just didn't get it for the longest time. But now I love meeting new people there.

  5. That's good advice for anyone starting out on almost any social network. It took me a while to get into but I'm quite fond of the casual nature of Twitter (note: casual doesn't *always* mean irreverent).I recommend finding a balance of tweeting between responding to others, singing the praises of interesting things, asking questions, retweeting, commenting on current events and self-promotion (in approximately that order of priority).

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