August 29, 2012

5 Reasons Writers Should Use Twitter - Ruth L. Snyder

Several years ago I was encouraged to open a Twitter account. I knew I didn't have time to blog regularly and I decided to use Twitter as my "mini" blog. With a bit of trial and error, I learned how to use Twitter. Today I consider Twitter to be part of my professional development. Here are five reasons I think writers should use Twitter.

1. Use Twitter to expand your network - Twitter is an easy way to "meet" people with like interests. Find people who are writers by typing #writer into the search bar at the top. You can then read tweets of people who use the hashtag (#) "writer" and decide who you would like to follow. Usually if you follow someone, they will follow you back. People also tend to follow those who share helpful content, so share links to information that you as a writer find interesting. Twitter is all about building "relationships". This takes time. I've been on Twitter for over three years and have about 2,000 people who follow me.

2. Use Twitter to find information and resources - I find that searching on Twitter often yields more useful results than searching on Google or another search engine. Most people with Twitter accounts use hashtags like #amwriting to provide an easy way to "index" or file their tweets and to find tweets on the same subject. Here's a list of helpful hashtags for writers. You may also wish to research specific topics you are writing about. You can type anything into the search feature. If you type something with a hashtag, all the tweets which contain that particular hashtag will come up. All tweets that have a specific word or phrase will come up if you enter it without a hashtag.

3. Use Twitter to share information - If you find a link that is useful to you as a writer, share it with other writers. Perhaps you were inspired by a famous #quote. Others will probably enjoy it too. If someone else tweets something you find helpful, use the "retweet" function to share the information.

4. Use Twitter to build excitement about your next book - The ideas are as limited as your imagination. You can share short snippets from the plot. (Remember that you are only allowed to share 144 characters at a time.) Perhaps you want to introduce readers to your main character and give them some backstory. Tweet when you've finished the next chapter.

5. Use Twitter to build your platform - Michael Hyatt shares why you can't succeed without a platform. If you don't care about having people read what you write, building a platform is not important. However, most of us want to share what we write. You will note that Twitter is only ONE way to build your platform, along with blogging, Facebook, newsletters, and podcasts.

What have your experiences with Twitter been? Have you found it helpful as a writer? I look forward to hearing from you.

Ruth L. Snyder (Education information) (Ruth's writing and family life) (Information for caregivers of children ages 0-5)

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  1. I am back on Twitter. Thank you Ruth for the advice. When I put in "Christian Writer" I noticed quite a few familiar faces. Need some encouragement and this helps.

  2. Thanks Ruth. I've been on twitter for a few years, but I know I don't use it to its potential. I especially haven't gotten ahold of the 'hashtag' thing. I appreciate your tips and will visit twitter next time with renewed determination!

  3. Thanks for a very helpful article!

  4. Addy, I hope I'm still an eager learner when I'm your age. You are an encouragement to me!

    Tracy, I'm glad you found the post helpful. If you have specific questions, let me know.

    Sandra, thanks for the tweet :)

  5. Anonymous8:23 pm GMT-7

    Thanks, Ruth, for the reminder of the ways to use Twitter. I don't use mine often enough. With these ideas, I just may get back on it more often.

  6. You are very creative with Twitter! wow--I haven't used it like I should so thank you for some good ideas!

  7. Sheri, I know what it's like trying to "stuff" everything into a day. I've found it effective to spend 10-15 minutes a day. Small steps :)

    Terri, I'm glad you found some useful ideas. Let me know how the ideas work for you.

  8. What a helpful posting, Ruth.

    I still haven't ventured into Twitter... it feels like 'one more thing' too many, so I appreciate your encouragement in your previous comment to do it 'small steps'. I can do that!


  9. Brenda, I'm glad you found the post useful. We certainly have many demands on our time these days and need God's wisdom in discerning what His best is for us as individual writers.

  10. With more and more writers venturing into Twitter I will have to get brave and try it. Thanks for your encouragement and useful tips. I will re-visit your post when I'm ready to take the plunge!

    Pam M.

  11. Thanks, Pam. For those who are interested, here are some stats on the effectiveness of Twitter


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