"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris ... then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." Ernest Hemingway

Monday, 19 September 2011

Can you afford not to be a twit?

Hi everyone! Haven't those malware messages on blogger been a pain! After spending half a day dealing with blogger I got nowhere really. The messages seem to come and go at will. I have an excellent anti-virus program and there was nothing malicious on my site so don't be worried if you visited me and received the message.

Today's post is rather ironic as my twitter account was hacked recently, but I learned a lot as I fixed it up, mainly that a lot of people care...

I was impressed by a post on Raquel Byrnes' blog some months ago and asked her permission to re-post in case you missed it. These are the opinions of Nicole Rodgers who is somewhat of an expert in this area.

Some of us have discussions re social media, especially that upstart Twitter. Some see it as a waste of time, some can't imagine a life without it. No matter what your opinion is, like me, you may find Nicole's insights intriguing...

Over to Nicole.

Just a decade ago if you went to university to learn marketing skills what you learnt had absolutely nothing to do with the reality of the modern media.

Now even 'wasting' time on Twitter is really more useful from a marketing standpoint than any university learning regarding demographics and market trends.

According to Nicole Rodgers, having a strong Twitter following is really one of the most important aspects of running any kind of successful business on the web today. She offers ten tips on creating that following:

1.  Follow Everyone Back
  • If someone follows you, follow them back. No exceptions. Even following back a spam bot can be helpful if a dozen other people followed them back, too.
2.  Design a Great Avatar
  • Your userpic is the reader's first impression of you. If it looks dull, people are less likely to read that tiny little snippet of text sitting next to it.
3.  Follow the Big Names
  • Even if you don't care what they have to say, follow the big social media people, the "opinion leaders" you can find listed at Twittercounter and other social media ranking sites. Even if you could care less, Twitter is all about big numbers. 
4.  Send @Messages to the Big Names
  • Ninety nine percent of the time, they're not going to answer you, but that doesn't matter, because here's the trick: people will see that you're sending those messages to some famous person and think "This person must be big, they know (insert celebrity name here)." It's total baloney, of course, but it works.
5.  Link, Link, Link
  • Don't just say "this a hilarious video", link to it. Link to interesting articles, pictures, videos, songs, everything. If sixty percent of your Tweets are just links, you're doing something right.
6.  Be an Expert
  • People are a lot more likely to look for Twitter accounts focused on a subject they take an interest in than a Twitter account simply dedicated to your own personal thoughts and ramblings. If you know a lot about video games, movie news, antique furniture, whatever, milk that knowledge, and once you've made a name for yourself, don't be afraid to have controversial opinions. Nothing doubles your followers like a controversial opinion.
7.  Tweet, Tweet and Tweet Again
  • Most people who use Twitter check their accounts at the same time every day. If they're following a hundred other accounts, then there's a good chance that your Tweets will be pushed off their page by the time they sign on. Post your best Tweets a couple extra times throughout the day to push them back to the top for those who haven't seen them yet.
8. Use Multimedia
  • The more pictures, videos and mixed media you link, the better.
9.  Use Easy Tools
  • There are all kinds of apps you can get for your phone and your web browser to make Tweeting incredibly easy, keeping you in the loop and letting you text tweets in half the time.
10. Be a Twitter Junkie
  • Don't be afraid to be one of those people with their nose constantly buried in the phone, it helps.
We can say what we will about Twitter, but the bottom line is that it's one of the most effective marketing tools ever created, and if you're looking to develop an audience or get your piece of the market share, you'd be crazy not to take advantage.

Nicole Rodgers has been blogging about online marketing for 3 years.

What do you think?

Myself, I've been finding twitter more and more useful, especially the hashtag symbols. I write for #RFWer, #FridayFlash and other  memes as they arise. By using the hashtags, other writers can find your current stories easily, comment and RT (Retweet) to their followers. The current Writers Platform-Building Campaign uses #writecampaign for notices and to reach out to all those who've joined up.

Writers have a world of help open to them by following just some of the amazing tweet helpers such as:

@WoMensLitCafe #FF

and all the Publishers, indy and established are at your fingertips. And you can get all sorts of help with self publishing. Really, except for getting someone to cook dinner for you, it's all there (well, maybe that too!)

Since I started writing this post I've had a bit of a following frenzy. I now have nearly 900 followers and am listed in 95 separate lists. Groovy. Now all these followers can find out who cooked me dinner, ha ha. Seriously, if your followers are linkers you'll be able to access so much info your head will spin. And having Tweet Deck is a great way to see what your your fellow twits are saying. Just don't forget to save time for writing!
  •  Are you a twit?
  • Did you find any of Nicole's tips useful?
  • Did you disagree with the opinions in this post?
  • How has twitter been useful to you as a writer?
  • Can you add any more writer helpers to my short list above?
If you are really into this, you might like to read Nicola Morgan's post about Twitter and she has an e-book dedicated to answering your questions about Twitter:


  1. What astounding tips and advice! Thanks Denise and Nicola!

    I also use http://friendorfollow.com/

    to follow people, whom I may have missed! It reminds me, I have to go and check now.

  2. I need to follow more big names. And I try to remember to retweet great posts. Try being the key word...
    I do like Tweetdeck!

  3. I just joined Twitter a couple months ago. I don't think I love it, exactly, but I don't mind it either. It's a lot better than some other forms of social media. Those were some interesting tips! I don't agree with all of them but some of them are spot on. Thanks for sharing!

    Visit me at my new blog address: http://inthekeyofeelle.blogspot.com

  4. Oh, I'm a Twit alright. I'm also registered with Twitter. And that's a great tip about following big names. I'm going to do that.

  5. What is the point of following all these people if you can't keep up with their tweets?

    If I isolate them according to groups through Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, why bother following them at all?

    I'll probably only read and reply to people I find interesting anyway.

    I ask because no one has ever been able to answer that for me. I have a lot more people following me than I follow back. And even then I feel like I'm talking into a bottomless well.

    I would love to know how the pros handle such overwhelming numbers. Thanks.

  6. What a wonderful post! I see how important Twitter and other social media sites can be in the business world, and it makes me wish I knew more about the sites in general. This post makes me want to commit to learning Twitter.

  7. Great post! I'm tweeting about it now...

  8. Nas: Now you're someone who uses twitter to great effect. Good girl!

    Alex; Yep, I've seen you doing this.

    E Elle: I don't agree with all of them either but what works for you...

    Stephen: Good one.

    Maria: Sure, you could never keep up with everyone but I like to check my @mentions and my retweets and often twits send me a dm, so I'm satisfied.

    Tracy Z: Takes a long time to get your head around it all.

    Laura: Thanks! Geez, I forgot to tweet it myself! Doh!


  9. Hi,

    I hate Twitter. It's just time consuming, but I am hooked up to Colin Firth! ;)


  10. I'm not on Twitter. It's a time issue more than anything else. Between blogging, Facebook, and life, my time is stretched thin with real world obligations to boot.

    It's funny how we want to be writers, but now some think it's important to impress people because we've tweeted an "important" person and spambots may help us promote something in the future. Call me cynical.

  11. I don't agree with all of those points, but I guess I can't comment since I'm not even on twitter yet :-)

  12. I'm on Twitter. I'm not a fan of tip No. 1. For me, it's better to be selective with my follows. I've noticed some people will follow you and then unfollow once you have followed them. And, to streamline all my social media, I've found myself choosing to follow the big names via one outlet - FB, blog or Twitter.

  13. I don't live on twitter, but I do visit occasionally. Nicole's tips were great! I should spend more time on twitter and less on blogging. But I just feel blogging is so much more personal.

    CONGRATS on 900! I am inching toward 500 slowly. I would love to reach it for my one year blogoversary. I should spend more time on twitter. That might bring more people to my blog.

  14. I should add that I have nothing against Twitter. And I understand the need to have followers and gain followers. I certainly like followers/friends on Facebook and Goodreads, as well as my blog. But I get this discomfort about promotion while at the same time I've participated in it. I guess I tell myself it's more about relationships.

  15. Francine: Yeah, I know you hate it but if it keeps you in touch with Colin Firth it can't be all bad. And didn't it get you readers for Her Favoured Captain, huh???

    Theresa: It's not for everyone.

    Sarah: I guarantee you will be, eventually.

    Stacy: Every social media has its good and bad points.

    Michael: It is so great for getting the word out and I learn so much!

    Theresa: I'm not sure I understand what you mean. People are forever promoting themselves on blogs, fb, goodreads, linked-in - wherever. A few lines on twitter isn't so painful! I think anyhow.

    So friends, thanks for your comments, good and bad. Got me out of my comfort zone a little to read some opinions. But go you good things. Go write! Trouble is, after you write you need promo and where better than good ole twitter. Maybe I'm just a twit! lol.


  16. I follow people whose tweets I like, or who relate in some way to writing/publishing.

    I'm not going to follow everyone back, simply because a lot of folks who follow me are businesses trying to hustle up followers and don't interest me in the least.

    I do use Hootsuite to tweet out something a few times (not too many)...

    And twitter can be dangerous for a writer if he/she becomes a junkie..eats into writing time.

    Just my two cents, of course :)


    Join me at the Rule of Three Writers' Blogfest!

  17. Damyanti: Thanks for your input. Like all social media you have to make it work for you or it's a waste of time which you could spend writing. But as we both know, it is a handy tool for asking questions you want answered immediately.

    Thx for leaving your Rule...link.


  18. Twitter is indeed useful, but I do wish I could remember to use hash tags. :( Good tips all around, but I have a thing about not following 'names' 'cause I feel like a hanger on doing that. Guess we all have to find a way to make things work for us.

    Gonna tweet this.

  19. Hi Joy! Thanks. I just spent the morning updating Google+. Will they ever stop providing us with more, more, more?


  20. Thanks for the great tips, Denise! I've bookmarked this post for when I someday join Twitter. Just haven't jumped in yet...


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