Thursday, February 11, 2010

How to Be Interesting, or Everything I Need to Know About Twitter I Learned from Maureen Johnson

The key to "getting" Twitter for me, was following people who already knew how to use it. And the person I learned the most from the fastest was Young Adult author Maureen Johnson (@maureenjohnson on Twitter). To be fair, there have been others who have taught me a lot (check out my Twitter list of people I'm following for some prime examples), but Ms. Johnson is a Twitter tour de force. So, here it is:

How to be Interesting

1. Tweet often. Not so often that we know your every potty break or bite of sandwich, please, but keep your followers curious about what you might be up to.

2. Don't be a Twitter Pimp. Don't use Twitter purely to promote yourself as an author (or whatever). Tweet about funny experiences, current events, other people's tweets, etc.

3. Share helpful information. Tweetdeck (and other platforms) are great for this, because they auto-shorten URLs. You can tweet about anything useful you stumble across that people with similar interests might like to know.

4. Share entertaining information. You can post photos, youtube videos, links...anything that gave you a good laugh is sure to do the same for someone else.

5. Don't be too vague. When you share information, be sure to include a line in your tweet about what your followers should expect. No one likes a mystery link.

6. Interact. With your followers and people you follow. Maureen Johnson is a pro at this. She takes time (almost) every day to let people ask her four questions. And then she posts the questions with her answers. Sometimes she'll give the Twitterverse a fill-in-the-blank just for funsies, too. Tweet to people you don't know, say thanks for any mentions you get from someone else. Join the party!

7. Use hashtags. You never know who might be following a designated #hashtag and will want to comment on something you've said. Plus, they can be funny. I loves me some funny.

8. Be yourself. It's hard to take off our protective armor and let it all hang out with a bunch of strangers, but in the end, you're an adorable, likeable person. Be you and you'll find people who like that sort of thing.

- Liz

Any other suggestions for Twitter Happiness?


jasouders said...

Nice one, Liz. You're so right. You do need to tweet about funny stuff or sad stuff. Or whatever. It helps relieve stress AND you'll never know who you'll run into. :)

Kristan said...

I've just recently started to use hashtags more. I don't know why, but I felt sort of tool-ish doing it before. Now I'm like, Meh, people WANT you to (appropriately) use hashtags. And I've gotten some response. :)

Great tips!