Ten Tips on Navigating Twitter, From an Indie Writer’s Perspective

Or, an amateur’s guide to navigating Twitter. The amateur here being me. These are the techniques I have discovered through trial and error and observation, but I am not even close to any sort of social media guru. So feel free to take this advice in the not-very-serious manner it was written:

1. Thou shall always be polite, tolerant, and inclusive. Really guys, I can’t emphasise this enough. At the risk of sounding like your mother, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Don’t lower yourself to the level of the trolls and hate-mongers. If you find yourself on the receiving end of their vitriol, just block them and forget about them.

2. Thou shall not spam other Twitter users, either through tweets or DMs.

3. Thou shall follow those that follow you (exceptions allowed for obvious bots, spammers, accounts trying to sell you Twitter followers, trolls, and all those 23 year old girls in their underwear looking to sell you a good time).

4. Thou shall not follow someone, and then after they follow you back, unfollow them a few days/weeks later, just to increase your followers ratio. If you follow someone and they don’t follow you back in a week or two, it is acceptable to unfollow them again, though it is worthwhile to follow others for reasons other than just to get a followback. Twitter is sometimes more about who you follow than who follows you.

5. Thou shall not automate their accounts – auto DMs, auto tweets, auto retweets. At least interact personally every now and then. It makes people feel special.

6. Thou shall interact with thy followers at least occasionally. It’s nice to know there’s a human being on the other side of an account. I know it’s impossible to interact personally with every single one of your followers, especially once you get into the thousands, but even just the occasional observational tweet, replies to other people’s tweets, and generalised shoutouts and thank you messages to all your followers is better than nothing.

7. Thou shall retweet thy retweeters. Also try to retweet new followers when you follow them back, it gives them the message sort of like “Hi, thanks for following, and I think you’re interesting.”

8. Thou shall provide something easy to find for other Tweeters to retweet. If you retweet people, most will like to return the favour. Try to keep a pinned tweet that you’d like retweeted, or at least a couple of your own tweets near the top of your timeline. Or use media such as images in some of your tweets, so other users can easily find some of your tweets in your media tab.

9. Thou shall support indie artists of all varieties – writers, artists, musicians. No matter who you are. (Ok, I just made that one up, but it would be really nice if you did) 🙂

10. Thou shall not use TrueTwit. Or any other authenticating tool. It doesn’t really achieve anything, and it is costing you genuine followers who either don’t check DMs (which is most of us), or can’t be bothered jumping through hoops to follow someone.

So that’s it. My amateur guide for other amateurs 🙂 What do you think? Do you agree/disagree with any of the points? Do you have any you would like to add?

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