Please excuse the tongue-twister of a title, but following the popularity of my recent post here to help writers and authors gain more followers on Twitter, I’ve come up with some more Twitter tips. These three will help you make your time spent on Twitter more productive, leaving you more time to write!
1) Use Twitter to Fill Odd Moments On The Move
One of the great things about Twitter is that you can make a real difference to your profile, your following and your social engagement in a matter of moments. It’s the perfect social media for filling the odd five minutes. If you’re lucky enough to have a smartphone (a sound investment for any writer these days), it’s fast and easy to dip into Twitter wherever you happen to be – while travelling, waiting for an appointment, at the school gate at pick-up time. Keep an eye open for such opportunities and grab them. You may even find you can do all the tweeting you need to solely within brief time slots that might otherwise be wasted.
I often tweet in the car (only when travelling as a passenger, I hasten to add). I get an awful lot done in the half-hour it takes us to drive to my mum’s for our weekly family visit. I also often check out Twitter last thing, as I keep my phone by my bed to recharge overnight. Conversely, on the rare occasion that I get a lie-in, it’s fun to sit in bed and catch up with the world scanning my Twitter timeline on my phone. I realised this morning (a Sunday) that I have al lot of Twitter friends with whom I mostly communicate when in bed. Hmm…
2) Consider Tweet Scheduling
Depending on where you are and who you are trying to reach, it’s worth knowing that not all tweets need to be done in real time. There are a number of Twitter-related tools, most of them available for free, to enable you to plan your tweets in advance and make them go live at the time that best suits your target audience – especially useful if it’s in a different time zone.
Tweetdeck, Twitter’s own tool, is a good starting point but there are plenty more. Take a look at your Twitter timeline and you’ll soon spot the tools that your friends are using, as they’re usually highlighted at the end of a post that’s been published this way. Do remember, though, that scheduling tweets is only helpful up to a point – you won’t be able to engage in live conversation with respondents to your scheduled tweets if you’re not on Twitter when they go live.
3) Use the “Favourites” Facility to Mark Tweets to Revisit Later
When I first started using Twitter regularly, in my naivety I assumed the “favourite” option was just for marking tweets I really, really liked. I used it to highlight tweets that complimented my book promotions handbook, Sell Your Books!, this Off The Shelf Book Promotions blog or my personal blog, YoungByName, which was handy for boosting my morale when need be, but otherwise not very useful. Reading other people’s Twitter profiles, I noticed some favourited hundreds of tweets. Crikey, I thought, they must be popular!
But when I checked out their favourites (Twitter makes it so easy to be nosy, though you can hide your favourites if you prefer), I discovered that many of these bore no relation to their own work. And of course I twigged. These weren’t really that tweep’s favourite tweets, literally speaking. They were just using the favourites facility as a bookmark, to make it easy to return to those tweets later on. Typically they included tweets with links to blog posts or articles on which the reader might want to linger. This trick is especially useful when you’ve reached the stage of having more than a few hundred followers and your timeline starts whizzing by with new tweets every second. It saves a lot of searching – and time.
Coming soon: Guest Post by Twitter expert author Lynn Schreiber
Like so many writers I know, are you still avoiding Twitter for fear of becoming embroiled in a time-consuming, time-wasthing addiction that will erode your valuable writing time? If so, do come back again soon to read my next post about Twitter, which has been inspired by my previous two posts. It’s a guest blog by Twitter expert Lynn Schreiber. As you can see from her book’s title, Learn Twitter in 10 Minutes, she can turn you into a confident tweep in the time that it takes to drink a cup of tea and eat a biscuit! Lynn’s guest post here will be with specific reference to how indie and self-published authors – so do come back again to read it.
To read my previous post about Twitter, click here: 6 Ways for Writers to Find More Twitter Followers
To read my previous post about guest blog posts, click here: How Authors Can Gain New Readers via Guest Blog Posts
For a useful overview of Twitter and other types of social networking, read Chapter 6 of Sell Your Books, entitled “The Truth is Out There!”