updated February, 2019, originally posted in July, 2016
The other day, I saw an article about things writers should and should not do on social media. Of course, I clicked on it. After all, being the kind of writer that feels she continually has room for improvement, I read it, and then decided I’m good.
Not because I can check off each line of what the article said, but because I don’t need that kind of predictable, stilted advice and, I’ll bet, you don’t either.
Still, if you are looking for ways to improve your tweeting, or are curious as to how I use my Twitter, here are a few thoughts from someone who has absolutely nothing to gain from this. Read on for my most unconventional approach.
- Determine why you are on social media in the first place.
Are you on it for business? To get rich quick and famous fast? Or do you want to enjoy it? In other words, do you have any intention of actually interacting with anyone on there?
When I first started out, I immediately created accounts on Twitter and Facebook for both my writing and my Etsy lives. I read everything there was and – burned out. At the end, I decided I’m not comfortable with self-promotion and don’t enjoy living in the “my follower count is bigger than yours” mindset. I all but exited FB, while my husband stepped in to manage the bulk of my book’s page there, and haven’t regretted it. Meanwhile, I re-entered the Twittersphere and now that I allow myself to enjoy it, my energy is returning. For me, I’m on Twitter for a few reasons, which include being real and connecting with readers, writers and others who are interesting. If I never reach hundreds of thousands of followers, I really am ok with that.
- Look at those you enjoy following the most, and figure out why.
In the article I read, it mentioned the vast majority of your tweets should be on 100% task, about your craft. Well, I’m not out there to spam my readers. Or make them feel like they are back in class. I’m there to connect with them. I’m there to be real – gasp. And being real includes admitting things I like as well as things that annoy me, which risks alienation. NEWS FLASH: if you are a published author, someone already doesn’t like what you wrote. You really, truly, can’t please everyone. Seriously.
When I considered the writers (and artists) I follow, whom I enjoy the best, their tweets run counter to the “focus on one thing only and avoid controversy” advice. In fact, the bulk of their tweets are them being themselves.
- Whose account is it, anyway?
Back to the first question. Why are you on social media? If it is to sell sell sell, there are more advice articles out there than grains of sand. This isn’t one of them. If you truly want to connect with those who follow you, spamming them isn’t going to do it. No, really.
Ok, great – what do you tweet about, then, Julie?
Thanks for asking! If you are interested in following me, here are a few things that you may want to know.
It’s taken time, but I’m comfortable with who I am online. This means I’m real, which can be seen in mistakes that I have and will continue to make. When you are human, it happens. In other words, when you follow me, you aren’t following a bot. You’ll see tweets on subjects such as Autism Spectrum, Asperger’s, parenting, family, subarachnoid hemorrhage from a wife’s POV, Etsy, Wicca, science, “can’t we all just get along,” NASA, NOVA, our Yorkie, organic eating, and other things. There may be typos (this is why authors have editors, ahem…). There may be tons of tweets in a row, or I may not be on there for weeks.
You can follow me @_JulieClark_
Do you FFF? (Follow for follow)
In a word…no. Here’s why. I actually enjoy Twitter, and that is in large part due to the interesting people in my feed. If you want a follow back tweet me and tell me about yourself. Or, tell me why you are following me. 🙂 Basically, I just want to make sure you’re not another bot, etc.
Meanwhile, I’m experimenting with Instagram (same username) and Tumblr (authorjulieclark over there bc every iteration of my name is taken), but not quite sure where they are headed. There’s only so much time in the world, and so many words to write.
(***Disclaimer, as it is impossible to read every tweet of everyone I follow, as some accounts change drastically over time, the list of who I follow is not to be construed as an endorsement of those tweets. To that end, retweets and likes are not endorsements. ***)