Monday, August 29, 2011

Twitter Help?

I've been on Twitter for nearly a month, and I still have no idea what I'm doing. According to my home page, I've only tweeted 21 times. Probably because I have nothing to say.

Anyway, this isn't a woe-is-me post, this is an asking-for-help post. There are some things that puzzle me, and so I thought I'd ask "the experts":

  1. What is #FF and/or #WW?
  2. How do you get those nifty shortened URLs for links? 
  3. What are Lists? How are they used?  
  4. How often to you tweet? How often should you tweet?  
  5. What is TweetDeck?  
There were other questions. I know there were. I just can't think of them now.

Please help. If you can answer any of the questions, I'd greatly appreciate it.  


  1. Ahh the joys of Twitter! It's fun once you get the hang of it.

    1. #FF is Follow Friday... use this to tell others who you recommend they follow. #WW is Writer Wednesday
    2. I used TweetDeck and it autoshortens for me. I believe web Twitter auto shortens as well (don't quote me on that though).
    3. Lists are a good way to organize. As far as using...I'm not great with that answer. Hopefully someone else can answer that for you.
    4. I tweet all the time. As far as how often should you, I think it's a personal preference. I know some people that only tweet once a month or less.
    5. TweetDeck is a program that puts everything in one place. You can see Twitter feeds, Facebook updates, as well as other social sites.

    Hope this helps! Good luck. :)

  2. I'm so glad Jen knew the answers to all these questions because although I am quickly becoming a Twitter addict, I'm still pretty ignorant as to how it all works.

    I tweet when I have something I think is kind of funny or maybe kind of interesting. I have no idea if they are ever either of these things.

    Have fun!

  3. Jen pretty much answered all your questions. :)

    Regarding lists, they're a way to organize and to view your tweetstream, which is a good way to keep it under control if you follow a lot of people and have trouble keeping up.

    As for how I use it, I tend to use it everyday but it depends. The key to twitter is to engage. Don't be afraid to @ reply someone. I once had a hilarious conversation about Streetfighter characters as romance heroes and gained a bunch of followers that way. Don't be afraid to try things out. Tweet links to interesting things, talk a little bit about your day or that show you just watched, etc.

    The trick is not to become one of those people who tweets links to their own blog posts repeatedly. Once or twice a day is okay but any more than that and you start annoying people. It's considered bad form. Twitter is for engagement, not for constant self-promo.

  4. I'm the last person to ask! You're braver than me. Good luck tweeting!

  5. Everyone above has excellent advice, but I'll throw in my two-cents:

    1. Regarding TweetDeck, I highly recommend checking out Patrick Thunstrom's TweetDeck tutorial. It's a fantastic and easy step-by-step instructional on how to use the program.

    2. If you do download tweetdeck, I recommend that you start following some of the hashtag conversations. #writecampaign is useful, of course, as is #amwriting and #myWANA, which is connected with Kristen Lamb's book, "We Are Not Alone" (another great resource for using Twitter and other social media sites in order to build a writing community and a potential readership for your work).

    Here's the website for the #amwriting community:

    And here's Kristen Lamb's website, which is an amazing resource:

    I was really skeptical about Twitter, but I downloaded Tweetdeck a month or so ago, and wow. I've actually made friends and formed a critique group based solely on Twitter interaction. All of the writers that I've encountered are really warm, open, and friendly, so don't be scared to say hello, reply to people, or jump into a conversation.

  6. What I want to know is must one g+ as well as tweet.

    The two seem to do the same thing, but g+ has the circle thing built right in which appears to act like the tweet deck list manager.

    Sigh. Only a few days into this blog campaign and I already have social network fatigue.


  7. It took me a while to get started on twitter, too. I had to google #FF when I first saw it :).

    Since your questions were well answered, I'll give you some more tips:

    1. #FF and #WW are great ways to connect with other writers. People usually appreciate a shoutout and it's a good way to connect with people. It's also a great way to find new people to follow.

    2. Good subjects to talk about are writing/editing. If you're stuck somewhere, you can usually get some good advice.

    3. Sometimes, you're followed by someone who follows very few but is followed by many. It's not a compliment. This person follows people then immediately unfollows when you follow back.

  8. Jen explained everything. You don't have to use shortened links...twitter shortens for you. Just link away.

  9. *nods* all the above sounds good. I used tweetdeck, but recently have used another one called Hootsuite. Thats pretty cool too.

    Secondly my blog has changed from the one in the linky list. It is my new one over on Wordpress, stop by and say hello :-) I launched yesterday

    nice to meet you.



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