Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tweeting - One Man's View

I grew up without social media.  Even if there had been social media when I was a teenager, I doubt if my small, Midwestern hometown would have discovered it until I was middle-aged.  Given my recent introduction to Twitter, I’m not sure I’m qualified to comment on the subject.  But, even as a rookie, I’ve noticed some obvious dos and don’ts that many people choose to ignore.    
Twitter appears the most baffling of the social media offerings, lacking any clear guidelines for use.  If you’re an outside-of-the-lines nonconformist, this is the place for you.   There have been a few Internet articles written on how best to build a base of Twitter followers.  I agree with many of their recommendations, but find they didn’t capture everything.  Here’s what I would add:
- If you don’t want your mom to see it, don’t tweet it.  Tweeting 140 profane characters with an attached picture of your groin is not a good idea.  
- Spelling counts, especially for authors and writers.  Fortunately, the Twitter editor has spell check, but they’re, there, and their are not interchangeable.  
- Please, stop with the quotes!   There is one guy I used to follow who has over 70,000 tweets, and 99.9% of them are quotes.  Unfortunately, he’s not alone.   Acknowledging Mark Twain’s humor and wit is only mildly entertaining and definitely doesn’t prompt me to hit the FAVORITE or RT button.
- Be consistent with your messaging.  If erotica is your genre, that’s fine.  But don’t strap Candy to the bedposts in one tweet and then tell us how cute your son’s puppy is in the next.
- It’s hard to be funny in 140 characters.  Don’t try.  Okay.  I admit it.  I violate this one all the time.  But more often than not, tweets that were hilarious the night before, I can’t delete quick enough the next morning.
- Don’t put anyone or anything down.  Even if followers agree with your putdowns, you come off as a complete bore.  Uplifting messages are much safer, but even these become tiring if overdone, or if they become preachy.
- Sell no more than 25% of the time.   Most everyone is selling on Twitter, but 75% of your tweets should contain thought-provoking messages, interesting observations, or pictures where the tweet is as much for the follower as it is for you.
- Don’t hash tag and abbreviate to the point that the tweet becomes uninteresting and unreadable. Example… #TopRated #Superhero #Series – 170+ 5! On #Kindle. Happy to be part of this cool #FathersDay #treasury for #dad 
If you’re looking for more recommendations on tweeting dos and don’ts, check out these articles:

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