What I Learned From “The Twitter Tutor”

I know what you’re thinking.  Why would you take advice about Twitter from a blogger who just put her blog up a few days ago and only has 15 followers right now?  Okay, to be fair, my other blog ad hoc MOM has lots more, but it certainly doesn’t have thousands.  Let’s just say Justin Beiber has nothing to worry about.  But this is why you should listen to me.  Up until a few months ago, I didn’t even have a Twitter account.  But when I co-founded ad hoc MOM, other bloggers pointed out that we were missing out on a huge opportunity if we didn’t jump on the Twitter bandwagon.  Unconvinced it was good for anything other than updates on who was enjoying “a fabulous glass of cabernet”, I decided to take a class on social media at the Columbia School of Journalism.  I learned a ton, I steadily gain followers every week, and I rarely lose them.  Slow and steady wins the race people!  And as Professor Sreenivasan aka “The Twitter Tutor” said, it’s not all about numbers.  So what is it about?  And what should you be doing to increase the presence of your brand?  Let me break it down for you, because if done thoughtfully, Twitter is a great way to branch out, make new contacts, collect good information, and build a platform.  Have I mentioned yet how much publishers love an author with a platform?  Well, they really do.

This entire family is desperate to read your tweets!

SATURDAY MORNING MEMOIR’S TWITTER CHECKLIST

Tweet about 3 – 5 times a day, never more than once an hour.

Think about it.  How do you feel when you see the same picture in your Tweetdeck five times in a row?  Make yourself a little bit elite people!  Get everyone excited to see your tweets.  I admit I’m reluctant to follow someone who has a history of tweeting very frequently.

Limit your tweets to 120 characters

The class was worth it JUST FOR THIS BIT OF INFORMATION.  This makes it easy-peasy for someone to retweet you.  If your tweet is longer, people are going to have to mess around with your tweet first.  Who wants to take the time to do that?  Make yourself easily re-tweetable!

Provide interesting, relevant and timely information.

People just don’t want to know that you’re drinking a cup of coffee – or that you’re going to bed.  Seriously, is their anything less necessary than the “goodnight twitter!” tweet?  If I see a great article, blog post or bit of information that’s going to be interesting I’ll tweet if to my followers.  And I know I’m all about following someone else who does the same.

Be generous, be very very generous.

This was the best lesson I learned from the class.  Social media is all about being generous!  If you retweet something, take a minute to be careful and credit the person who sent the original tweet.  I know it helps me get more followers, and therefore more traffic to my blog when I get the coveted RT, so I’m sure to do the same with others.  Take the time to be careful and make sure you’re giving credit where credit is due.

If you want to check out more about social media, and all the crazy good stuff it can do for you, visit Professor Sreenivasan’s website http://www.sreetips.com/.  There’s also information on his classes, seminars, etc.

And I so hope you’ll follow me at @memoirista!  If you have any questions about Twitter, email me, I’ll do my best!  paula@morningmemoir.com

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18 Comments

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18 responses to “What I Learned From “The Twitter Tutor”

  1. OK. I’m not walking, I’m *running* (well, my fingers are) over to Twitter to follow you. And your Twitter Tutor? Wise. <—Notice I have 22 characters left to spare. Don't got to beat me over the head with a lesson.

    • I know right? When he said that, I was like “duh, really? Could I not have figured that out on my own?” The thing is, um, I couldn’t. I was too focused on using EVERY character and making them count!

      • Often I’ve tried to shorten someone’s tweet for a RT because they went all the way to very edge of 140. Then I was like, “Ah, scrap it.” And the tip about only tweeting 3-5 times a day is brill. I don’t like seeing the same face/handle taking over my timeline.

      • Exactly. You can still use the link and just credit them by saying via @WHOEVERTHEYARE. But, yes, make it easy to get yourself retweeted by just making them 120 characters. And let’s face it, it’s easier to tweet 3-5 times a day isn’t it? More than that and you’ll go crazy. Better to spend the time writing.

  2. Glad you stopped by my blog, because your comment led me here! I LOVE @sreenet. He’s so on top of his game. Took one of his seminars, advanced social media for journalists, and learned a bunch of great tips. You’re well on your way to building your platform if he’s convinced you on Twitter! I’ll follow you now.

    Cheers,
    @alexisgrant

    • Maybe we were in the same class? It totally convinced me. So glad I took it and thanks for stopping by. It’s amazing how something as crazy big as the internet makes it easier to meet people right?

    • Hi, Alexis. I just went to your blog because of your comment here. (It’s all connected! Where’s NEO? Morpheus?) Anyway, I left a comment for you there as well. Smart blog.

      Now I have to go to check out @sreenet’s blog. Then that’s it! Writing must get done…and not just comments, yes?

  3. This is a great tutorial! I’ve learned by trial and error over many months of stop and start usage of Twitter. This would have been really helpful as a new user and even now as I use it more. The hard part for me is that I tend to open the page and spend short burst there. Must remember not to tweet like quickie sex!

    • Perfect analogy! Another good tip is to schedule your tweets. I do that a lot. Having a two year old makes that kind of a necessity. Although, oddly, I’ve just switched to tweetdeck and the schedule function is weird. Might go back to hootesuite.

  4. littlehousesouthernprairie

    Hi! Just found you via my gal Alexis Grant. I am totally going to follow you. Once I sit up my Twitter account. Next week. ‘Cause I wanna talk memoir!

  5. When I first started on Twitter, I felt like a lonely, nerdy kid at a school disco, who didn’t know anyone and didn’t know how to dance. I still feel that way sometimes – but these tips will definitely help. I’ve got to stop tweeting that I’ve just had a coffee though… It happens all the too often…

    • I like your tweets! I think it’s totally okay to throw one in about yourself. I mean, twitter is also about showing off your personality and your “brand.” So just make sure when you tweet about yourself, it’s a good one. Ask yourself, is this tweet really a good indication of the person I’m putting out there? I find it helpful when I want to tweet about my many life frustrations, which is basically every five seconds.

  6. I’ve always found twitter a necessary evil, but you’ve opened my eyes a bit. Still fumbling , but I’ll keep working it. Thanks for the info!

  7. When I see someone tweet, “Goodnight, Twitter!” I want to write back, “Well, it was a good night … until I saw your stupid-ass tweet.”

    But I choose my tweets wisely and don’t mercilessly ridicule “goodnighters.” Anymore. Per your useful tips.

    • I want to say, “watch yourself while you sleep chicky.” But I don’t, of course. Good to know you’re following the tips and that taking the 2 train uptown to Columbia every Wednesday night for a month was NOT in vain.

  8. Hi Paula, some great tips here and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Slow and steady is good and being generous helps too. I’ve noticed something interesting. Often the more I just chat with people using the @ symbol to reply to them or comment on their tweets the more people visit my blog. I think it’s natural curiosity – people want to find out more about other people their friends are hanging out with!

    PS. Am following you and @adhocmum now – I’m @getinthehotspot 🙂 Will be looking out for you.

  9. Oh, Twitter. How you taunt me with your need for clever comments or links.

    Cleverness doesn’t come easy to me.

    But you’ve probably noticed.

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