One of the key lessons I learned during my first year as a blogger was that Twitter was my best friend. It wasn’t always that way. I resisted Twitter for a long time. I fell for the common perception that Twitter was all about telling the world what you ate for lunch, what you did five minutes ago, and what you were planning to do later in the day. There may be some truth to that, but Twitter offers so much more to those who understand and capitalize on its value.
Twitter is all about sharing and learning and learning and sharing. That’s the culture of Twitter. For writers, the real value lies in who you choose to follow. When you follow people like Porter Anderson, Mike Shatzkin, and Jane Friedman, you look through a window into the publishing world. If you approach Twitter in the right frame of mind (share and play nice), you will also discover people will follow you. Some might be looking to do business with you, but I’ve gained followers who simply stopped by my blog and liked what they read.
So how can writers get the most out of Twitter?
- Share, share, share. Did I say that enough? And don’t just share your own content. Share links to other useful articles.
- Follow thought leaders in your industry or profession. It is amazing what you will learn.
- Retweet. If somebody sends a link to a useful article, retweet it. They will appreciate it.
- Follow people for fun. I follow people as diverse as Robinson Cano, Spike Lee, and Thom Yorke.
- Set up your blog so it automatically feeds into Twitter and Facebook.
- Follow your favorite writer blogs and you will receive them on Twitter each day.
I use other social media tools, but I always find myself coming back to Twitter. There’s no end to the interesting things I learn each day on Twitter.
What do you think of Twitter? What’s your favorite social media tool?