THE BLOG

Ten Most Important Things You Need to Know About Working With Twitter

02/06/2015 08:44 BST | Updated 01/06/2016 10:59 BST

You'll notice that in the title of this article I wrote "working with Twitter". I do mean "work". If you only plan to use Twitter recreationally, as a pastime, or as a way of shouting out your love of Justin Bieber, read no further. This article is intended for individuals (such as authors, artists, musicians, politicians, etc.) and businesses (big and small) who want to "sell" their products via the Twitter social platform. "Sell" is the wrong word, as I will soon explain.

The following is my Twitter Philosophy. I have 35,000 Followers, 95% of them real human beings. My followers come from all over the world (although I don't think I have any followers in Antarctica). My followers are lovers of poker, good books, Bulgaria, Israel, marketing, Jewish holidays, television, travel, grandchildren, more good books, and, for the most part, fellow authors, or aspiring authors, just like me.

Read on, and then follow my example. It's free advice. You can implement my philosophy in five minutes a day, or three hours a day. It doesn't matter. But please, use Twitter properly!

1. ENGAGE, DO NOT SELL. If you tweet to me "Buy My Book" I will disregard your tweet as junk, as spam. Twitter is NOT a place to sell anything. Twitter is NOT a place to invite me to follow you on Facebook. (If I wanted to do that, I would look you up on Facebook). Twitter is not about selling.

Twitter is about engaging. Making contacts. Making friends. Meeting people with common interests. It does not matter if you are an individual or the Social Media Manager of Apple Computers.

By engaging with my 35,000 Twitter followers I have made many real friends (they visit me in Israel). I have received valuable advice from fellow authors. I have learned from others. Most importantly (and most recently), I have signed with a literary agent after engaging with her on Twitter.

2. TWEET CONTENT. You tweet to say hello, yes, but if you are "working" with Twitter, you must tweet content. This means that you must have a constant stream of new, interesting content. It doesn't matter if you have a personal blog or if you run a corporate website. You must write new content ALL the time. Blogging once a month is NOT BLOGGING. You must blog AT LEAST once a week, and it doesn't matter if the blog post is one paragraph long, just an image, a video, or a novel-length composition.

New content is what attracts readers, new eyeballs and existing followers. Your mission is to drive people to read. After they read once, they will come back and read again. After they enjoy what they read, they will recommend the article to their friends (by re-tweeting, sharing or stealing your content, it doesn't matter).

But here's a secret about new content. If you post an article today, and someone follows you three months from now, the article you posted today is new content for him/her. Hint hint.

If you run a small business - let's say you are a private plumber - how would you write/post content that would engage a large audience of followers? It won't work to blog each week about a new sewage leak, or a drain clogging in your neighbor's house. Try blogging pictures of a plumber eating pizza. And then images of plumbers from different countries. Then female plumbers. Then, the world's youngest plumber. You get the idea.

Readers will start out as READERS. Then they will become REPEAT READERS. And then they will become CUSTOMERS.

3. RETWEET WITH FEELING. Twitter is all about sharing, and you share by re-tweeting, or by re-re-tweeting. But don't just do this automatically. Justin Bieber is not going to follow you if you re-tweet his tweets. (Note to self: I have to find out who this Justin Bieber guy is - I've mentioned him twice in this article so far).

4. USE IMAGES. Most users of Twitter access their feed on a mobile device. I am not one of the "most users". I am old-fashioned. I ONLY see Twitter on my desktop. I use my smartphone for making smart phone calls. But, no matter how you use Twitter, you are probably most attracted by the images you see.

Tweet with images. It's that simple. You don't have to use an image with every single tweet, but beautify your Twitter feed by coloring it with different, funny, (non-pornographic) images. Hey, guess what!

This is PART ONE of the article about my Twitter Philosophy.

Find Part TWO by clicking on my name and looking down the list of all the articles I have published.