Using Twitter the right way: Basic DOs and DONTs (part 1)

 In Tips & Tricks

Twitter is not that easy to apprehend. The way it works is pretty basic:

  • 140 characters messages (that can have links, pictures, short videos and Gifs).
  • Everyone can read, like, share and/or answer to everyone’s messages.
  • Subjects are identifiable and gathered into conversations thanks to keywords defined by hashtags.
  • One can follow anyone and be followed by anyone to create a thread of messages that’ll show messages from both followers and people followed.

That’s basically it. Knowing that and willing to promote your book(s) – or anything for that matter, what should one do now? That’s where it may not be so straightforward. One may think: 

If everyone can see, I just have to write “Hey, I wrote a book, buy it: it’s great!” and everyone will see and everyone will love my work, and I’ll become a billionaire in a week.

Ok, you all know that’s wrong. Actually, pretty much everything in this sentence is wrong:

  • everyone will see”: WRONG. People who’ll see are the ones following you, or that you follow, and who look at their thread at the time when your tweet is posted. 
  • everyone will love my work”: WRONG. I’m pretty sure The President Of the Association Against Books (please, please, I hope this Association doesn’t exist) won’t love yours. And I’m even quite sure the Taiwanese teenager with 197 books about vampires just under her bed won’t love your essay written in French about the use of copper in the turbine industry between 1972 and 1979 (there is still a chance but let’s not bet on it, OK?).
  • I’ll become a billionaire in a week”: WRONG. Ok let’s say, for a mysterious reason,  everyone on Twitter saw and loved your tweet: there is no link in your tweet! How did people make you rich if they couldn’t buy your book.
Twitter birds

Don’t talk at people but with (the right) people, show value and don’t be boring.

First DO of using Twitter: Follow general web communication rules

  • Define your objective (do you want to sell directly? get people to know you? promote a global business or brand?)
  • Define your audience and their keywords (they will be your hashtags)
  • Show value (why your audience will like reading your tweet and maybe stop on it)
  • Add a Call-to-Action (allow the interested ones to actually do the thing you wanted them to do)

First DONT of using Twitter: Twitter isn’t a megaphone but a virtual non stopping cocktail party


What Twitter is

  • Don’t think about twitter like a stock market but like a networking after-work.
  • Don’t talk at people but with people
  • Only people who’ll find you interesting will stay to listen (so don’t be boring)
  • You don’t have to stay from beginning to end to get what you want (=Twitter isn’t useful only to people clung to it 24/7)
  • Dress to impress: don’t overlook your bio, profile picture and cover picture.

I’ll find you soon on the blog to continue this blog series on Twitter DOs and DONTs.

update: here is part 2 on Twitter audience!

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