|Twitter Tips for Writers and Editors
Are you benefiting as much from Twitter as you could? I'm not, which is why I asked Twitter expert Amy Rogers Nazarov (@wordkitchenDC) for some tips.
She emphasized Twitter is both a listening and a speaking medium. It's not all about sending out your own tweets and promoting your own work or interests, but about listening to what others are tweeting and responding to those that intrigue you. And her useful analogy when I said I couldn't keep up with all the tweets I receive: Twitter is like a river rushing by. Don't expect to catch it all, but you'll benefit when you stick your toes in.
Here are five of her many good suggestions (good for people besides writers and editors):
On the menu bar, @Connect compiles tweets that are to you or that mention you. Acknowledge, answer, or "favorite" (click on the little star symbol), but respond in some way. For example, I found several languishing messages in which people had tweeted a link to this newsletter to their followers. (My only excuse is that I didn't know the feature existed until last week.)
I often want to search on a topic for just a few days or weeks, based on a specific assignment. For example, I was working on an article about arsenic research in Bangladesh when we met. The search: #arsenic #bangladesh. (Without the #arsenic, I got lots related to the tragic building collapse that had occurred the day she and I met.)
Retweets and Favorites
Underneath a specific message lie several options, including Retweet and Favorite. We looked at a tweet by one of my clients about a useful study. She helped me see how I could increase my client's exposure by retweeting it to my network of followers or at least "favorite"-ing. A win-win situation. Done!
Bios and "Avis"
When we met, my Twitter bio read "writer, editor, oral historian." Her reaction: ho-hum. She suggested writing the bio to explain yourself and your interests as specifically as possible, without being overly cute. Similarly, she was not wild about my "avi" (avatar), a photograph I had taken of a rainbow. My own portrait is a better way to connect.
Part of a Strategy
What did I want to get from Twitter, she asked. I had four goals:
- Manage the tweets I already receive
- Dive into a topic as needed, either for my own research or to follow a breaking event (Boston bombings, Obama speech, etc.)
- Deal with @Connect
- Have a more active presence.
What do you want to get from Twitter? Use your own goals so Twitter becomes a valuable tool and not a time-sink.
Send Amy a tweet (@WordKitchenDC)!
Besides having an interesting Twitter feed, Amy offers one-on-one consulting about Twitter, in person or over the phone. She will customize the 90-minute session to meet your own goals.
I didn't realize it until I started planning this issue, but April 2013 marks the 5th anniversary of this newsletter.
Check out the archive of the issues I've sent out since then.
Also, in late 2012, I compiled many of the articles first published in this newsletter into an ebook. If you haven't seen it yet, view or download a complimentary copy on my website.
Have an idea for a future issue of the newsletter? Please let me know.