As I continue my quest to perfect my use of Twitter and fine tune tweets, I am perusing my feeds to see what is being said. The comments run the gamut from the foibles of parenting to social media strategy to recent blog posts to books read to trips taken accompanied by links to photos.
One tweet that caught my eye was a quote from John Cheever (tweeters, like Facebookees, love posting quotes):
You can’t expect to communicate with anyone if you’re a bore. —John Cheever
When I was a child, I remember my father telling me of a translator he knew in Mallorca who spoke 12 languages. Like most people I thought it was impressive until he said, “Yes, but she doesn’t have anything to say in any of them.” Which pretty much amounts to Cheever’s quote. I’m condensing it further—as I did in my retweet of Cheever’s quote—and simply say: Content is King.
The question of content came up the other day in a FB thread about the recent webinar hosted by Alexis Grant. No matter how you decide to use Twitter the banal tweet that you took the dog out for his morning whizz won’t appeal to many, and the likelihood of interaction will be minimal. But not all tweets have to be bits of engrossing information. For example: I recently retweeted the good news about a little French Bulldog, who was born with a cleft palate, and whose foster mother is becoming his forever mother. For dog lovers like me, who read a lot of sad stories about abused animals, this was a feel good story. Maybe you discover a blog you read isn’t loading, and you follow that blogger on Twitter, do her a favor and let her know. If she mentions the hosting company hasn’t been reliable, provide a recommendation for another hosting company. Share that information.
If Twitter is used as a networking tool and there’s a certain company that you’d love to get an interview, interact with the person who tweets for the company. In many cases, it’s someone who has some say about who to hire or can help you contact the right person. Show them what you know about the industry. Remember to keep it professional, friendly, and keep the filter on. In today’s digital world nothing is ever forgotten or erased
When it comes to creating a brand and/or platform this is an area where you can easily stumble. If you’re a published author, especially a new one, there’s no question that you want readers to purchase your book, but be careful with the shameless self-promotion. I’ve unfollowed a few fellow writers because that’s all I read from them. They don’t provide anything of substance other than tidbits from their books. I would prefer that they promote a blog post that gives me some insight on why and how they came to write their novels. The same advice goes to bloggers and other writers. Interact with your followers. It’s not all about what you wrote. You are writing for an audience, be gracious, and get to know them.
My parting words are these: Have fun with your tweeting. Don’t be mercenary; don’t only tweet with an agenda; and lastly, to paraphrase Cheever: Don’t be a bore.