Saturday, 19 July 2014

More Twitter for Fledglings: Followers & Following


This is the second in a series of occasional short posts in response to requests from some Crooked Cat writers who are about to launch themselves into Twitter or who are finding it a tad perplexing to get to grips with. You can read the first post, Getting Started  here. This week, having got our Twitter page set up and running, we're going to look at how to acquire Followers, and how and who to Follow.

The first thing the fledgling will notice as they step out into Twitter is that everybody else has FAR more Followers than they have. Some have more than the population of a small Middle Eastern country. This can be disconcerting, but do not be discouraged. Many of these people have been on Twitter for years. And they all started out exactly where you are now. So, let's Tweet ...

A Basic Tweet Guaranteed To Get A Response

Morning/Afternoon/Evening + comment on the weather + comment on what you are doing/eating + question about what they are doing/eating.

Within a few seconds, someone will have Tweeted a reply. You then reply back .... and there you are.
Conventional wisdom would now say: FOLLOW THEM. But I am going to go against conventional wisdom. This is my advice - and it applies to everyone who Follows you:

DO YOUR HOMEWORK: CHECK THEM OUT THOROUGHLY.

My publisher
Click on their profile pic.
Click on 'Go to full profile' and scroll down at least 18 tweets. Do not follow if:
1.They only tweet links to their own books.
2. They never seem to chat or engage with anybody.
3. They hold extreme views that you do not share.
3. They retweet links to things you may not want to see reappear on your twitter feed or be seen by your potential readers, such as weird stuff/explicit pornography.

Remember, as a writer, you are a ''brand''. If you have a publisher, you are also part of their ''brand''. It is incumbent upon you to ensure that you do not lose your or their 'rep'. If you check my Amazon page you will see that I write mainly teen and YA books. I have a lot of underage kids following me, plus their parents. I therefore have to be careful whom I follow and what I retweet (a future blog). So I don't engage with people whose site content I deem inappropriate, or whose comments I find offensive.

OK, so you've checked them out, and they seem fine. Click on Follow. You can now, if you wish, click on their Followers or Following icons and find other people. The words ''avid reader'' should get your antennae twitching. Remember the 'check them out' procedure and adhere to it. You can also check out Twitter's  'Who To Follow' list on the left of your screen.

For a more specific search, you can go to the 'Search Twitter' box at the top right of your tool bar and find people in your genre. Use a hashtag #. Type #Crime or #YA etc. Do any of these things for 10 minutes every day and you will soon build up a good list.

If/when someone follows back, spend a few seconds acknowledging. Make it personal.
eg:
 Thanks + name + liked XXX in your bio + comment about me + question about weather/life/work/part of world they live in.

Finally, there are loads of links and sites on Twitter promising to get you 1000's of followers free or for a small amount of money. Forget it. Do not buy Followers. Ever. Better to build your own list. Your Twitter account,when used correctly will generate its own Followers. Just give it time and work at making it work.

Next post in a few weeks' time will look at varying content, and other ways of connecting with people. Meanwhile if you have anything to add to this specific topic, please share it.



24 comments:

  1. A great post, CarolStar. This is such good advice - especially about checking people out. Even so, you don't always catch those whose tastes don't match your own at first. Sometimes I have followed people that I've later had to block because of the lurid stuff they RT. Their own tweets are fine - it's the RTs that (as you say) you need to keep an eye on.

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  2. I agree ... Last thing you want is for someone to follow someone you follow, thinking they must be OK, only to be shocked by what they are in to.

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  3. Another great and very helpful post, Carol. Thanks. The "check them out" procedure is great advice. I didn't do it at first but I certainly do now. Making it personal is important, too - something else I failed to do at the start.

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    1. thanks Vanessa..it DOES make a difference. And very few people do it (as I know in return)

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  4. ...great post, as usual, m’Lady, Carol... also p’raps a word about watching out for the ’10-minute followers’, who merely wanna look as if they have tons of followers and far less people that they follow... if they delete you, pull the trigger on them immediately... cheer s:):) LUVS YA!

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    1. This is using unfolloww app? I'll do a post on it shortly. Thanks Big Kilty.

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  5. I nearly didn't follow you because I thought you were scary even though I read all of your blog posts. Actually, probably because of reading all your blog posts! This is a really useful series for beginners and twitter really is fun once you get the hang of it.

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    1. Natasha...thanks SO MUCH for following! I didn't know I was scary!! If you ask anybody who follows me, they will so tell you I am not....actually I am so far from NOT scary it isn't true!!! welcome aboard!!

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    2. *Whispers to Natasha* I follow her...BECAUSE she scares me...I think of it more as monitoring her whereabouts...the fact we happen to be best friends is purely a coincidence...;)

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    3. ,,,,,,, I learned everything I know from you....

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    1. Hahaha ..as far as YOU are concerned...true X

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  7. Ah, who to follow, who not to follow . . . I'm much less likely to follow-back than I used to be. I know twitter is a great marketing tool, but only if you really engage with people. And there's a limit to how many people I can really engage with.

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  8. When I first started on Twitter, the thing I couldn't get my head around was who can see my tweets. Of course, it's only the people who follow you unless they retweet in which case all their followers can see what you say too. It is frustrating for a start.

    My main point to look for when following anyone is to make sure that they have similar interests to me. It's a bit like engineering your own group of friends.

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    1. Anyone can see your tweets if they go onto your page. If they click on to 'Tweets and replies they can follow conversations. There is very little that is totally private . which people are not aware of.

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  9. Another great blog, Carol. I asked for your advice on Twitter a few months ago, which you gave me, and it worked so well for me. Thanks missus! I'm finally learning what works and what doesn't by checking how many retweets I get. It's hard work but worth the effort. Keep this going, you are my guiding star!

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    1. You are shining all on your own now....

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  10. Great post Carol, very useful tips here! I'm very pleased I passed you checking me out recently :-) It's been good getting to know you and I look forward to reading more.

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  11. This is great for newbies, and for those who've been twittering for longer. I was one of those who clicked madly - till I hit the 2000 ceiling (a little detail I'd failed to understand) then had to go through and Unfollow a whole bunch of people. Now I'm far more careful. How much time do you spend on Twitter, Carol? And just wondering are you going to do any posts about FB or any other social media when you've finished with Twitter - 'cos I'd certainly read them!

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    1. I spend far too long on Twitter , as you know. Have done a blog about Blogs...on Terry Tyler's UKAD blog..can look it out if you want.

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  12. Those are good tips even if you are not a writer.
    Love that pink car - very understated :)
    Thanks for following my blog

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  13. Good post Carol, sometimes strange people follow and you've no idea why they did.

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  14. This made so much sense to me Carol! Am just beginning to find my way and really found this useful! Thank you Carol :)

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