Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Twitter for Beginners

Why? Because Twitter is a pretty important source for writer’s, that’s why. In fact, last February I did a whole post about the many valuable resources, most of whom are still on Twitter. Agents, editors, fellow writers…it’s great! But there are some tricks to navigating Twitter, something that’s valuable whether or not you’re a writer.

First of all, we’ll look at the six types of tweeters:
1. Regular people. These are most tweeters. You follow them if you share a common interest, like writing, or you know them from somewhere. If they’re none of the following types, they usually follow back.
2. The Celebrity. For the most part, these people/companies won’t follow you back. You only follow them if you’re actually interested in them, like if they are an agent or a movie actor.
3. The Self-Made Celebrity. These are people who have tens of thousands of Twitter followers. How? By following tens of thousands of others. However, all those followers mean that unless you know them outside of Twitter, you’ll rarely, if ever, talk to them. If you just want a higher follower count, go ahead and add them.
4. The Fake Celebrity. This is a variation on the above, but instead of keeping you as a follower, they’ll drop you as soon as you follow them back. You can tell them apart because they usually have a high following, but follow very few people themselves. Ignore them.
5. The Spammer. These people have one goal: to follow you so you will follow them back and they can Direct Message (a private message) you a link to a service or a less than reputable site. It’s hard to tell them apart from regular people, but they tend to have very few tweets, yet a very high number of followers/following. They might also tweet nothing but names or generic sentences. Don’t follow them.
6. The Viral Spammer. Even worse than the above because they will tweet something at you NON STOP. If you have the misfortune of coming across one, you will have to block them to stop them. Don’t forget to report them for spam.

Well, this post is getting long (hey, I appreciate brevity). I suppose I’ll make this a two parter and finish up next week. Cue the dramatic music!

Any other types of tweeters to beware? How do you decide who to follow?


  1. I've heard if you're a writer, NOT to follow only writers. Because you never know who may be READERS. Then again, you have a great list of people not to follow. What I also dislike is not necessarily spammers, but writers who as soon as you follow them, send a DM with a link to their book or their blog. Arghhh!!!

  2. What would you say is a good number of people to follow? I don't want so many that I never see the end of my timeline, but I don't want so few that I have no one to talk to.

  3. I've got a mix of followers and followings. I've run into the odd spammer through twitter.


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