Twitter Tips

A few days ago Linda Baie asked me to share some ideas for using Twitter. I remember thinking the same thing. Remember the reason I started tweeting in the first place? I wanted to learn a new genre. What I didn’t know I would find was incredible professional development and relationships with a variety of people.

Getting started in Twitter definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. I had trouble figuring out what was “tweet worthy” (and honestly, I still do). I felt like I was learning a new language — hash tag? Tiny URL? Abbreviations? I didn’t know who to follow and I wondered if I followed people would they think I’m a creeper.

So in an effort to ease the awkwardness of other Twitter newbies, here is a little list.

  • Start following people you already know. I thought about the people in the profession I respect and admire. I started following them.
  • Then I looked at the people they were following and started following some of the same people. So, go to my list and then follow some of the people I follow who you think you would like.
  • You are no where near creeper status when you follow people. In fact, you brighten their day. Each time I see I have a new follower my heart stutters a little and I have to pinch myself.
  • Force yourself to tweet. This little bullet is as much for me as it is for anyone else. I often say to myself: What is one thing that happened today that other people would be interested in hearing? What cool realization have I noticed today? What great blog post have I read? Then I tweet these things.
  • Yes, tweet. Just like anything else in life we get out what we put in. Twitter is successful because of the layers of ideas that people share. Your voice matters. Tweet.
  • Read this article by Franki Sibberson, “Making the Most of Twitter.”
  • If you have a smartphone, add a Twitter app. Most of my tweeting happens from my phone.
  • I’ve just downloaded TweetDeck to check out for my laptop. I’ve not used it, so I have no idea if it is something I’ll like.
  • Hashtags are like labels. They make it easy to follow conversations about a specific topic. You’ll want to check out #NCTE11 in order to see the tweets from (or about) the conference.
One more thing…
There’s a new {Discover.Play.Build.} post up on Ruth Ayres Writes. Check it out if you need to dust of your writer’s notebook. Want to know more about my other blog, Ruth Ayres Writes? Then check out this post.