ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

10 Ways to break #Twitter etiquette. #IWSG...and WEP winners announced!

10 Ways to Break Twitter Etiquette.


Okay, we're told that we have to be on as many social media platforms as we can manage (or mismanage). I joined Twitter when there were (only) 42 million accounts, while there are now 974 million. Seeing I'm practically a founding member, why is it just lately I've started using my Twitter account more than sporadically? Well:
  • it's a quick and easy way to send the odd promo WEP message, 
  • it's a great way to support other writers with a quick RT (Retweet), 
  • you can reply instantly to people when you're online at the same time.
  • you can join online discussions/groups of like-minded twits,
  • you can create your own hashtag (#) so all these messages are sorted for you...like we created #wepff so anyone can pop in and read entries for our challenges.
But like all the unwritten rules about social media--Bloggers--you should reciprocate when people comment--Facebook--you should 'like' everything you, well, like (or don't like)--Instagram--don't stop with the food pics, we live for them!! 

So, just in case I wasn't, er, insecure enough already about all the rules I'm breaking left, right and centre, I just read a post by Frances Cabelloan author and social media strategist and manager for writers who filled we twits in on the best way not to make a hash of Twitter. 
  
Image result for image of twitterI nodded along to Frances' stringent list...uh oh, uh oh. I've paraphrased her list and added my own words dipped in golden pen (sorry Michael!). So if you see anything that makes you gasp, it's probably my words.

Here's the rules twits are breaking:
  1. Not uploading a picture of ourselves as our avatar. We all love eggheads, cats, dogs, book covers, oceans and rivers, don't we? Well, Frances doesn't. She says: Your avatar needs to be a professionally taken picture of you, or if you're a little short of the mun, call a friend! Then don’t make a funny face.
  2. Leaving the header image blank. Fill in the blanks, twit! There's any variety of free applications, such as Canva, PicMonkey (my fave), or Pixlr. So go create a header image for your account. You can add your book covers, announce the publication of a new book, or use an image that reflects a scene in your book. You can download a free image from Unsplash or Pixabay or upload  your own picture. (I checked these out--awesome free photo-sharing sites). I  need to do a LOT of work here!
  3. Writing a senseless bio. Frances asks whether your bio is littered with #cappuccino #frappuccino #kittens #puppies #writer #reader #blogger? Write a professional bio! Your Twitter avatar and bio are searchable on the Internet, so use your Twitter profile to advance your author brand/business. Check out Joanna Penn’s header image and bio below. Pretty perfect for supporting her brand, promoting her books, and establishing her as a professional author.
  4. Using all 140 characters available to you. Keep your tweets ideally to 110 and no more than 120 characters. Using fewer than 140 characters will give others a chance to retweet you without having to reconfigure your message.
  5. #Doing #this #with #your #hashtags. Are you using more than three hashtags in your tweets? Naughty!
  6. Not interacting socially with other writers. It’s important to be friendly on Twitter, meet other authors – even those who write in your genre (perhaps especially those authors) – and promote other authors. The more authors you meet and promote, the more they will suggest your books to their readers. I have a friend who blocks twits who promote their own books. A tad harsh?
  7. Spamming new followers with direct messages. It’s because of all the spam in DMs that a lot of people on Twitter (including me) stop reading them. It's sudden twitter death to ask a new follower to read your blog, buy your book or visit your website in a DM. Attract them with your writing and content.
  8. Retweeting tweets that praise you or your book. I once read somewhere that retweets of praise are like laughing at your own jokes. Promoting yourself in this manner is akin to bragging. Whoopsies!
  9. Announcing how many people you followed/unfollowed. Apps such as Tweepi love for you to announce to your followers that you just used their app to unfollow 201 people, but you know what? Who cares?  Is this the type of content you want to become known for? Yukko, I hate those vindictive type of tweets!
  10. Ignoring the 80/20 rule. Guess what? It’s not all about you. It’s not even all about me. Or your most treasured colleague. Make sure that 80 percent of your content comes from a variety of sources and that you restrict your own content to 20 percent.

Even if you stopped reading when I passed the 300-word IWSG rule, I hope you learned a little about the twitterverse today. 

BTW, the Twitter hashtag for IWSG is #IWSG.
  • What uses have you found/not found for Twitter?

First Wed of Every MonthThanks for calling.Thanks Alex and the team for hosting today's challenge.

Alex's awesome co-hosts for this posting of the IWSG are Julie Flanders,Murees Dupé, Dolorah at Book Lover, Christine Rains, and Heather Gardner! 

Go here to read more IWSG posts!

And the winners of the WEP Spectacular Settings are announced today. Choosing 3 from 44 was a torture, but we just got to read several spectacular entries several times. Go visit WEP and congratulate the winners! Could be someone you know, or would like to know!



50 comments:

  1. I don't usually like rules, but these are all really great suggestions. I'm just learning the ropes with twitter, and I too signed up way back in 2008. Yeah, I'm slow, but I hope a quick learner when I set my mind to it!

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    1. I'm a huge rule breaker and rule hater, as you know, but most of these rules make sense to my twisted sense of humour! :-)

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  2. Ack! This must be one of the reasons I've not yet been tempted to get to grips with Twitter. Not only are there lots of rules, I don't even understand half of them :)

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    1. That's funny Ian. I realised when I was putting it together that it's be gobbledygook if you didn't use Twitter. :-)

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  3. I have been a member of twitter for a year or two, not sure. I never use it, I don't understand how to do so. To me it is totally confusing.

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    1. It's not that bad when you look into it Jo. Took me ages to bother but now I find it easy in, easy out. I prefer it over facebook at least.

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  4. Twits unite, right? I try to be courteous on Twitter while having fun with it. Why not as long as I hurt no one? Great post as always.

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    1. I'm with you Roland. When it's not fun it's time to cut and run!

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  5. To my surprise I doing it just about correctly - except that I do tend to laugh at my own jokes. :)

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  6. Twitter is one social media I have avoided. When I make a comment to the universe, it takes a LOT of words to articulate :) I spend enough time on Blogger and FB as it is. I did laugh at a lot of the etiquette though.

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  7. Hi Denise - I need to pluck up courage to get on with Twitter - keep saying I'm going to - but then don't get my butt into gear .. this is a great post, with some wonderful and to my mind correct ideas - I break rules often or work a ways round .. such is life! Cheers and I'll be in touch soon ... Hilary

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  8. Crap, I've retweeted Tweets that were links to a good review about my book - is that the same thing?
    My avatar is so universal with everything, if I changed it now, no one would know it was me.

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  9. I used Twitter for awhile as a "writer" and then gave it up because too many writing/writer accounts were self-promotional and dull. Then I started following funny people until it was too much sex, drinking, drugs, negativity-- not funny to me. Twitter and in fact all social media can sometimes get overwhelming and confusing. As long as I set limits on my time and follow my own personal set of guidelines for use, I enjoy it.

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  10. Hi Denise! Great to see you again!

    I have a Twitter account but I don't use it. Facebook, Instagram and Blogger are all I can handle right now. I'm amazed at the people who can and do pop up on every social media site out there! Maybe I just need to bookmark this post and dip my toes in the Twitter waters one more time!

    Great to see you this morning in my blog comments! It's good to be back. And I'm looking forward to finding my way back to your marvelous WEP site! Cheers!

    Jen

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  11. Great suggestions, Denise. I do pretty well with the rules, except for the 110-120 characters. I get as close to 140 as I can, but that’s because I have no understanding of why you’d want to limit yourself to three hashtags.

    I’ve been on Twitter for six years. I’m not a fan. Since I’m not a chatter in real life, Twitter is a bad fit. I liken it to surfing static. Plus it frustrates me how many literary agents have time to tweet all day but can’t find 5 seconds to respond to a query with a form rejection.

    VR Barkowski

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  12. So glad to have the rules! I'm a reluctant Tweep, but I know how important it is in this business, so I try to make a regular appearance. I'll take note of what not to do. Thanks.

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  13. The DMs drive me crazy. They're automatic, which means no real personal connection at all.

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  14. I'm so reactionary that it takes me a long time to embrace innovations. I only got on FB 2 years ago and onto Twitter in April! :O But now that I've gotten used to it, I really like it. Seeing the great images the writers use to promo their books is delightful and I "vote" by retweeting. I agree with some of the Twitter rules. I don't understand the one about keeping under 140 so retweeters don't have to reconfigure the tweets. I always use 140 (actually 180 then I have to edit down - so hard to keep to 140...) and I've retweeted a lot and never have to reconfigure anything. It also seems odd to say don't tweet your own praise. Whenever I write about a review I've given, I always @ the author so they can retweet. I also sometimes include star averages on Amazon or GR or use review quotes to plug my books. So apparently I'm #fail at Twitter etiquette!! LOL!!

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    1. I think this is pretty rigid Lexa, You're not a fail at all!

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  15. It's taking me a while to get into twitter, but I don't mind it when people tweet their reviews - as long as they are in quotes or include a star average. I read those and sometimes even check out the books because of them, so I think those are okay. I definitely think the 80/20 rule is good, except I break it by retweeting others 100% one day, and then tweeting my own for 50% the next day - I don't often keep a daily average that is exact.

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  16. Hi,
    Even though I have been a member of twitter for a long time, I am just beginning to take advantage of it fully. It is a wonderful tool to use.
    Thanks for the information.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

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  17. I'm a twitter idiot. I find it hard to keep up with the feed and what is going on. I get lost and say huh? Direct messages I get, but keeping up with the feed and interacting totally blows my mind and ability apparently. Still I RT and tweet some and check out who is following me and follow back if I think we are about the sames things, interests and issues. My followers keep growing, so I guess that is a good sign. Still its hard to know what the heck is going on most of the time, unless it is a direct tweet or RT.

    Juneta Writer's Gambit

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  18. Great Twitter advice. I'm guilty of breaking a few of those, but at least I do it knowingly. Or does that make it worse? Whatever. Cheese to you.

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  19. Great post. Thank you. I guess I have to look hard at my own Twitter behavior - one more insecurity for me, so your job is done. :)

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  20. Wow, I must be a Twitter klutz because I've broken many of these! I didn't know the one about sticking below 140 - I'm forever editing just to get down to 140... and I thought tweeting a review quote was OK because it's not you that originated it. That would also count towards your 80% - and I thought original content was always best rather than endless RTs! I have a lot to learn - oh, and my header is still blank, yikes!

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  21. Great post! I need to mix things up on Twitter and add more variety to my tweets.

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  22. Excellent rules!

    I break number 10 sometimes when I get excited about a fellow writer-- I'll schedule a bunch of messages supporting them, till I realize I'm spamming my followers!

    Twitter now allows you to quote, so you don't necessarily have to stick well below 140-- but the truth is, shorter tweets do get more RTs :)

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    1. I like the quote idea. But 140 is little enough words!

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  23. Fantastic rules. I follow all of them. I also try to retweet those that retweet me regularly. Have a great weekend!

    RYC: Co-hosting is a lot of fun. Lots of comments to keep up with and you only have to visit a certain number from the list of IWSG members.

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  24. I haven't been on Twitter long but I hate those tweets about how many follows/unfollows someone got. And the spammy messages.

    I have retweeted a couple of tweets I was mentioned in, like when I found a new review from a review site and when my publisher tweeted me.

    I always interact with writers but the only followers I get are from writers. I follow a lot of them but I don't want to follow every single one of them if they aren't in my niche or don't interact with me in some way. As a result, I've received quite a few unfollows this week. I noticed that writers only follow other writers to get more follows. They don't interact or build relationships with them, which is a bummer. If they did, I would follow them back.

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    1. I have to keep unfollowing as twitter only allows a certain follower/ing ratio,. Go figure. But when I did a big unfollow yesterday I was gobsmacked by how many people were following that I'd never heard of??

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  26. Great post on Twitter etiquette. Thanks for sharing.

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  27. I need to work more on #6 but timezone differences are an issue...along with my lack-lustre love of Twitter ;) And I haven't read a DM in so long because of all the automatic spammy messages.

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    1. Yep. In Oz we do miss out on many messages, that's why they say to tweet at different times.

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  28. Hi Denise
    I don't have a smart phone so I've pretty much ignored twitter. I guess I should invest some time learning more. As for Halloween, yes, I'll come up with a story. Have to think about it.
    Nancy

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    1. So pleased you'll be back Nancy. WEP has missed you.

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  29. not sure about number 8 :) I think it's polite to RT when somebody wrote about you, they expect it and you should do it no matter what other people think.
    Agreed on reciprocation everywhere :)

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    1. Yes, Dezi, reciprocation is my strong belief. But in a time-poor world people only reciprocate when you're interesting. But everyone's got a different idea of interesting.

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  30. Wonderful list. Some people don't interact at all and only promote. Most writers leave a link and their books as header images, but other times I have to search for info on them.

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  31. These are great tips! I'm hoping to update my Twitter and blog soon, and making some decisions about my Facebook (and whether to make my blog page an author page.) Urgh. So many decisions.

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  32. I'm on Twitter but have to admit that I have no idea what I'm doing.
    I just try and do what I can... especially RT's for others...
    Twitter only allows a certain follower/ing ratio? Never knew this.
    Navigating social media is a nightmare. There are always new things popping up.

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    1. Yes,Michelle, the follower/following ratio is pretty much equal when you pass 1,000. I often have to do a delete when I"m not allowed to follow any more!

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  33. These are all good tips. Thanks for sharing Denise.

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  34. Thanks for sharing all of these tips with us. Although I am on Twitter I am constantly learning more about how it works. I am afraid I break some of these rules, but honestly it is just because I didn't know! Lots to think about. :)
    ~Jess

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  35. This is a good post for the folks who twit (is that a verb?) I do not twit – taking care of hubby, writing my posts and answering comments in addition to going on little trips take a lot of my time. I might like to twit but then it would be one more thing to do. My daughter gave me a smart phone for mother’s day but I barely use it – just to answer their messages most of the time. It seems there are a lot of rules in this twitting business.

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