I'm a god damn twitter addict. I have it on my phone. I check it in the grocery store. If you want to talk to me, you are more likely to get me via @ message than you are actually calling me.
But it wasn't always this way.
Once upon a time I was a lost babe in the woods. I had no followers and no one talked to me. I only put real effort into twitter to pimp this here blog. I made a lot of mistakes. I was an asshole. I did dumb shit listening to "Social marketing Gurus"*.
So in order to make my addiction/community a better place, I am offering these Tips to Twits.
Building your Profile
First things first: get a picture, put stuff in your profile info that tells something about you and provide a link.
If you are an "egg"** I'm not going to follow you back. You aren't putting the minimum amount of effort into Twitter, so you will probably be a dead account waiting to be hacked. No thanks.
A clever saying or quote might be fun, but if I don't know you or if you aren't a friend of a friend, I probably won't follow back. Knowing we have a shared interest makes a follow back much more likely.
A link is good, because more than the short little profile bio, I can learn about you. Whether it is a blog, a business website or just your favstar, it gives me more background.
The best way to find people to follow is to go to big accounts that you are interested in, look at their followers and follow those people. I found many of the people I followed early by stalking the follow lists of my favorite writers, publishers and book blogs.
Some people autofollow. If you follow them, they follow you. Chances of actually interacting with these people (I have found) are low as their Time Line moves so fast, they can't keep up. It isn't a bad policy when you have very few people that you are following.
Some people Never Follow. For the uber-famous, this is reasonable. For anyone else, this is assholery. First rule of Twitter? Don't be an Asshole.
My personal policy is to only follow people who are crazy interesting ( thus PROFILE!) or people who @ message with me. For me it is all about interaction, not numbers. I know some people will unfollow me for not autofollowing. I don't give a damn, you hear?***
There are a few sneaky asshole fucks who think they are sneaky. They follow you, get you to follow them, then when you aren't paying attention, they unfollow. For these people, twitter is a numbers game. I am automatically suspicious of anyone who follows little ol' me that has very small following numbers in comparison with their followers numbers. These people are jackasses. JACK ASSES.
Now we get to the RULES OF TWITTER
1) Don't be an Asshole. - And if you are an asshole, don't be surprised when you get smacked down.
It's that simple. For real.
Don't send links to your shit to people who haven't requested it (especially via DM) ****
Remember that @ message conversations are public, and people will join in.
If you want to discuss something private, DM it!
If you aren't following someone, they can't DM you. Remember that.*****
If you are a racist/sexist/homophobe or have strong religious/political opinions that you express via twitter, know that some people are going to strongly disagree with you. Either only follow people that clearly believe as you do, expect blowback, or be prepared to have even tempered conversations.******
Did I forget something? Add it in the comments!
*The Egg is the default Avi for Twitter. Lots of spam bots keep the egg avi.
**Those people don't have friends. They are uber-assholes.
***This is a reference to a Cajun joke my dad used to tell when I was a kid.
**** My most popular tweet ever is - Writers: You know I LOVE you. But PLEEZ don't DM people who just followed you pimping your book. It's like asking 4 ass sex on the 1st date- That really says it all.
*****I've had many DM's from people asking me questions... but they don't follow back, so I can't answer. This is a pretty asshole move IMO
****** I will not have even tempered conversations with racists/sexists/homophobes etc. BUT I am happy to debate religion or politics. As long as you aren't... wait for it... an asshole.