I don’t know just how long I’ve been using Twitter, but guess it’s about three or four years. I’m not totally conversant with the lingo, but know enough to get by on and where to look when I come across something I don’t understand – or who to ask if I’m absolutely flummoxed. Being the queen of the longer sentence, one of many grammatical crowns I’ve been trying to divest myself of for some time, the art of short statements has been a challenge at times. What I do is apply the same principles of synopsis writing I teach to others. Condense into a paragraph, reduce to a single sentence, pick out the key words that form the gist of the message and – voila. Most of the time I find I don’t need the 140 characters, especially when linking across from my blog using tiny URLs, as all I need is to find words that reflect the blog post I’m promoting.
At the moment I have more followers than people I’m following, something that is subject to change on any day. In my early days on Twitter I found I always had far less followers than those I was following and this can affect following quotas, then I discovered justunfollow, a program that lets you unfollow Twitter users who do not follow you. You can also follow Twitter users who are following you and find and unfollow inactive Twitter users. Since using this program I have maintained a better and more consistent balance between followers and following.
Mostly I follow those involved in writing, poetry, publishing industry etc. but will return follows from others unless they are blatantly pushing a business or concept I don’t care to promote. I find most of my new followers have related interests and come via other Twitter lists. Generally, I unfollow anyone who hasn’t reciprocated within a reasonable time, the exception to this being peak bodies and organisations who disseminate useful information for others to retweet.
My posts are always writing related, from encouraging the work of an emerging writer, supporting the blogs of other, promoting competitions and events and linking to my own blog posts. Because my accounts are linked I can write a blog post that goes direct to Twitter and on to Facebook – a real time saver. I don’t post regularly, probably on average once or twice a week, when I tend to read through the Tweets of others selecting those to retweet.
My advice to those just starting out is to link any networking accounts to save time and make them work for you, to use the unfollow program for ease of control over your account and to tweet regularly. @merlenepoet