How do you make the most of Twitter?

It’s 6 months on from when I started my blog (or it might be 6 months; I’m too scared to actually check), and I thought it about time that I tackled Twitter. Then apologise for my aggressive behaviour…

I don’t blog unless inspiration hits me to the point I can’t sleep.  It should be at least once a week, right? But I have a dog that’s like a cat, and cats that are like dogs, so as you can see, I like to do things differently. It might stem from the fact I was born on the cusp of Leo and Cancer. I’m the astrological bad girl, writing a book on the cusp of YA and NA,  uf and pnr,  humorous and dark. But I also have a habit of falling off track and losing people with my tangents.

I’m back on track. With any of my blog posts, I find a more collaborative approach works better than an informative one. I show you what I’ve learned and you show me yours, and inevitably, I find myself off on another tangent, down the wrong freakin’ road… So we could call it the flounder approach. But I prefer to believe it looks a little more like the worm dance. A little more structured, but certainly has its up and down moments. Although at the start of my process, it feels a little like this:

Back on track. This time for sure…

I started using Twitter at the same time as I set up my blog, and after a few months, I found I just couldn’t keep up. I’d be worried about missing the feed for ten minutes, where yesterday’s news was about 10000 tweets ago. And when you feel you can’t keep up, there are those that slog on and might check the feed twice a day instead of twice a minute, and those who check twice a minute and give up.

I’m going to be upfront. I have been lacking in the tweeting area. I am one of those that can’t keep up. But I am not going to lie down and give up. I’ve taken a snap, which is what my daughter calls a short nap. I argue it should be called a shnap, and a snap should be a super nap, but if start talking about super naps, I’d never get her to have one.

So how do you make the most of Twitter when there are so many tweets and so many retweets and repeated tweets and repeated retweets? Two words: coffee and eyeballs. Two words: lists and notifications. Technically three words, but I find ‘and’ does not help me with Twitter organisation.

I have lists for bloggers, publishers, agents, and authors. I can go in, check the feed for those groups, and jump out. Is that wrong? Am being unfaithful to the 1000 people I am following? Who on earth could check all those tweets and eat?

And just a quick sidetip. You can unfollow those who don’t follow you back, or those who follow you to get your follow only to unfollow you. Confused? The program I use is called justunfollow. I lot less confusing than my explanation.

But who makes those lists and what is twitter etiquette? I might be old fashioned, but if someone follows me, I follow them. If they aren’t tweeting about my hot spots, then I probably wouldn’t put them on a list I can check all the time. But if they are tweeting about my hot spots, firstly, that sounds disturbing, but secondly, I would retweet them, put them on a list and add notifications for them. Hopefully they retweet me now and again.

There are a number of ways people will use Twitter to promote themselves and increase their following, but today, I’m interested in how you keep on top of all those followers: How do you make the most of Twitter?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Twitter pitches gave me the pitching twitches

Have you ever seen stage make-up in the full day of light? On stage, with all the stripping lights, it looks fabulous. But when you see that same make-up on someone just walking around during the day, it’s confronting – too much. This is kind of like my introduction to twitter pitching. Pitches I believed too fantastical, too in-your-face, ended up being the life of the twitter party. In other circumstances the pitch might look out of place – like the party animal whose outlandish behaviour  at a frat party is encouraged, but that same behaviour would be frowned upon should they turn up to a job interview wearing a beer-chugging hat. But are twitter pitches as one-dimensional as this? Or like the beer-chugging frat boy who calls his mummy on Sundays and ruffles the hair of his youngest niece, is there a depth and intensity that you never saw until you gave them more than a passing glance? Yes, of course 🙂 Twitter pitching might have given me the pitching twitches, but it was a great sensation: it made me feel something again.

I loved the way my friend Jean would get all *shifty eyed* when we spoke about involving other people into the world of my book. Well now, not only am I giving the milk away for free, I’m throwing in a milking station and jean-short wearing cowboy – who likes to massage . . . It was sobering to throw my story in people’s faces 24 times in 12 hours and have people scan past it. It made me realise that there are a lot of great stories out there and that they sound a hell of a lot more interesting than mine. And it made me realise my hook is more just ‘slightly-bent’ and that it’s going to need some serious shaping to latch anyone with its curvy goodness. That can never be a bad thing 🙂

I don’t want to get into what makes a great twitter pitch; people do this so much better than I. (Check them out one day. The ones I tried are #pitchMAS and #SFFpit, but there was #pitmad a few days prior ) I do have two opportunities with agents wanting to see my query, so that was pretty awesome. And after spending two months building my query and then moaning because I couldn’t send it out to agents this close to Christmas, it was nice to finally send those first two queries and have that feeling of hope resurface. Because isn’t that what keeps us going? As corny as hope is as a concept, I would rather have the possibility of rejection, than no possibility at all. It’s exciting – like when you know you shouldn’t call the love interest who shows little interest in you, and you know they won’t return your call. But don’t you just love that feeling in the pit of your belly that makes you feel alive?