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Bloggers, how do you use Twitter?

twitterbirdI don’t have a lot of blogging resolutions for 2015, other than maintaining my reviews, not taking too many review requests, and keeping up with posting reviews on sites like Goodreads. I’ve got five classes to take this year and a full time job, after all.  But one of my resolutions is to be a more thoughtful Twitter user (or is that a Twitterer? Tweeter?).

I’ll admit it, Twitter makes me feel kind of old sometimes.  But I prefer it to Facebook, with all the ads, the weird “you’ve got to see what happened next” posts, and pictures of people’s food.  I could easily give up Facebook.

But Twitter has been great for me in terms of generating followers and keeping up with bloggers’ posts.  I haven’t been good about checking it every day and probably should.  I also need to actually Tweet more.

For the bloggers out there, I’d really love to hear about how you use Twitter. And by that I mean,

  • Do you follow authors and publishers? Who are some of your favorites?
  • Do you tweet reviews to authors and publishers?
  • How do you organize your feed?
  • How often do you tweet? Just your posts or other things too?
  • What do you find is most successful in supporting your blog?

And if you’re reading as an author or publisher, I’d love to hear your input too!

I often find Twitter overwhelming, but I spent some time this weekend creating lists of authors, book bloggers, and media/publishing, and that seems to help a lot.

I find it difficult to follow tweets when you know people are referring to other tweets, only you can’t tell what’s referencing what. Sometimes they show up as a string, sometimes they don’t, which I guess depends on how people tweet.

As a blogger, how do you use Twitter? Are there other social networking tools you find more useful?

And on this subject, any suggestions for good blogging forums where people talk about this kind of thing?

22 thoughts on “Bloggers, how do you use Twitter?

  1. I have to say Twitter is the most consistent way publishers and authors get to my blog. Fellow bloggers and readers tend to come to me through Facebook, WordPress and bloglovin. I think we all feel we should tweet more and still consider myself a Twitter novice despite being an active tweeter for a few years. I try to retreat as many authors, bloggers and publishers as I can.

    • Thanks for the comment. I hadn’t really thought about the different types of followers you get with the different social media. Right now Bloglovin feels like its just duplicating blogs I already follow, and I don’t really use Facebook. WordPress has been great though, and their Reader makes it so easy to read other blogs.

  2. I’m in the same boat with you as far as Twitter goes . . . it overwhelms me. I try to tweet about things other than my latest blog post — for example, what I’m currently reading, or about an author event I’ve attended, or in response to someone else’s tweet about a book. I’ve gained a fair number of followers, but frankly they’re not who I am looking for — many are self-published authors looking for sales/reviews. I have had some success connecting with publishers and fellow bloggers. I think the key to success on Twitter is engaging with others, not just broadcasting. But that seems very time-consuming! Also, very few of my “real-life” friends and colleagues are on Twitter. They are all on Facebook and Instagram.

    • Thanks Ann – you make a really good point about what type of followers come in through different methods. I’ll have to think about that and consider where to spend the most time and effort.

  3. I have to confess that I’ve made a conscious decision not to use Twitter. I know it could be a great tool, but it is just too overwhelming for me. If I were blogging as a job, or were a professional publicist or something I would definitely make use of it, but as it is I would rather use the time for other things.
    I too hate the ads on Facebook, but I use AdBlock Plus which takes care of that.
    Good luck with figuring out how to tweet effectively!

  4. I prefer Twitter over Facebook, simply for personal reasons rather than pros/cons of the actual platforms. I use it for personal stuff as well as for professional/blogging stuff, though, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt!

    Here are a few things about Twitter to keep in mind:
    1. Creating lists is super helpful if you follow a lot of people for different reasons.
    2. Twitter or more fast-paced and time sensitive that FB or blogs. A day-old tweet may no longer be relevant. It really depends on the pace of the tweeter/conversation, though, so use your judgement.
    3. You can mute people! I find this very helpful when I do want to follow an author or blogger, but they’re doing something like live-tweeting a sporting event that I don’t care about.
    4. A word about hashtags: don’t overdo it. 1 or 2 relevant tags at most, especially if it’s an event or group specific tag (like for the Classics Club, for example). And don’t feel obligated to use hashtags, either… the Twitter search algorithm does keywords as well as tags, so if someone is searching for a review a certain book title, for example, they’ll be able to find your review whether you tagged it or not.
    5. That auto-follow-back feature is not your friend. You’ll start getting lots of self-pub’d, only-here-for-the-marketing & spam accounts following you, and you don’t want to have their stuff show up on your feed.
    6. Other accounts to find & follow besides authors, publishers, and fellow bloggers: local bookstores, libraries/librarians, industry pubs/organizations/conferences.
    7. Constantly/only tweeting links to your blog gets boring. Twitter really is about the interaction — so retweeting, replying, or just posting quick relatable updates or questions that invite conversation will gain more followers.

    Gosh… sorry, I didn’t mean to write quite so much! I guess Twitter is just my thing, haha.

    • These are great suggestions, thank you! I feel like Twitter is really complex even though the instructions are fairly simple. You’ve raised a number of points I haven’t thought about.

  5. I do follow authors and publishers, I go for most publishers that I recognise, but only follow authors if I’m a particular fan. I did follow pretty much any author at the start, but I cull my list occasionally so removed quite a few.

    I will tweet reviews to authors and pubs if I feel like promoting a review, generally only if it’s one I’m particularly proud of and ONLY if it’s positive. I feel that tweeting a negative review directly at an author is kind of mean…

    I use Tweetdeck, which is a total wonder, and I have a list for the people I interact with most, the hashtag for my SF event and basically everything else.

    I used to have Tweetdeck open all the time and use it a LOT. But now I’m just not on Twitter enough, I miss all those fun conversations! I need to make more time for it.

    I feel that Twitter is very effective, because I feel confident in starting random conversations with other bloggers and readers, even if I’ve never spoken to them before, which has often turned into a friendship or gained me new followers, or I’ve found great new blogs myself. 🙂

  6. It sounds like you’re already well on the way to being a super thoughtful Twitter user. I mainly use it to share other bloggers’ posts that I like, to throw out random nuggets to my followers to see what conversation ensues, and also just for chatter when I’m bored.

  7. Thank you for this post. I am new to blogging and, honestly, the feeding and upkeep of social media makes my eyeballs pop out because I actually like to do things besides sit around glued to computers and devices all the time! Two followers/friends have said I’ve GOT to AT LEAST commit to tweeting. What do you think about just trying to get a rhythm going for blogging content, posting, responding to comments, and becoming familiar with other blogs for a while? Or do you think blogging and tweeting should jump off at the same time?

  8. I’m afraid I don’t have any good advice to offer but wanted to thank you for posting this and to all the commenters who left some good tips. Basically a big YES to everything you say above – I just feel like I don’t “get” Twitter entirely. The advice from commenters helps. Thanks!

  9. I don’t get very many blog hits from Twitter (maybe one or two a day), but I enjoy using it for blogging! I follow most major publishers but try to be deliberate about the authors I follow, ones who tweet interesting things or whose news I am particularly interested in. I also find it useful for promoting events and asking book and blogging related questions.

  10. I used to use Twitter a lot more but have sort of slowed recently. Or at least slowed my personal Twitter use but I actually do a LOT with Twitter for work, which is also prob why I don’t do it so much outside. (Keep in mind, if you tweet about any brand, even if you don’t tweet at their handle, it is SUPER easy to find.) But anyway, the fact that you’re asking these questions I think puts you ahead of a lot of tweeters out there. I’d say try using a system like Tweetdeck or Hootsuit to organize things (better than lists, although I just use the normal Twitter platform). GOOD LUCK!

  11. Twitter is definitely great for blogging, but I do find it kind of overwhelming! Because of a lack of time to spend on there I’m definitely guilty of only really using it as a promotional tool, and I really need to start spending more time retweeting other peoples tweets, linking to posts by other bloggers and interacting more with others. I’d really like to get involved in a Twitter chat as well at some point, but I’ve no idea how they work!
    This is a really interesting topic!

    • Thanks for commenting! Nice to see that people are interested in the topic, and I’ve gotten some great suggestions. Maybe there are other “how to blog” topics we can talk about in the future?

  12. It looks like you have a bunch of great tips already, but I definitely think Twitter can be a great resource (it’s by far by biggest source of traffic most days). I’ll echo the comment that Tweetdeck is a great platform. I never, ever use the regular Twitter homepage because Tweetdeck is so much easier, especially in terms of following threads of conversations, who has liked/retweeted/etc.

  13. I prefer twitter over Facebook, but that’s mostly because I just plain don’t like Facebook. But I also way under utilize twitter. I experimented with tweeting a book quote every day, but that failed miserably — so many of the best quotes are just too long for twitter. I now mostly use it because of giveaways :/

    I’m going to go check out tweetdeck now too 🙂

    Liza @ Classy Cat Books

  14. Im glad you asked this question. I’ve been trying to decide whether to give up on my Twitter account because I just don’t have the time to post frequently or interact. when I see how frequently some people tweet I wonder how they have the time or inclination

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