To my nearly seven hundred followers on twitter, I say, hello my lovelies. How are you?
The reason I opened a twitter account was because every writer in the twitterverse was doing it and I didn’t want to get left behind or thought a Luddite because I wasn’t embracing social networking.
But I do wonder if twitter is beyond me. Does anyone really want to know what I have for breakfast – protein shake/yoghurt/berries/seeds – why on earth would they want to know this? Twitter is a brilliant tool if a tornado is about to hit the state of Texas but is telling everyone you’ve just had a leg wax interesting?
According to Stephen Randall in the Los Angeles Times, ‘We live in an era when it’s important to have opinions – not necessarily original or good ones, just strong ones, and plenty of them’. Well, okay, but opinions on what? Whether Prince Harry should be plastered all over the front pages, nekid?
Everyone feels the need to engage and I get that, I do, and I adore re-tweeting and supporting writing friends. But sometimes I don’t have anything to say. I heard those gasps of disbelief from the back of the room. Stop it, you know what I mean, 140 characters is simply not enough for the flow of my creative brain. It’s too much pressure to be instantly funny, unforgettable, current, and just a little bit zany (look how many words that took?) It’s the limiting of language that’s so hard for someone with a big mouth, like me.
But celebrities love it – it keeps the fans happy while retaining their privacy. It’s like giving them a glimpse of their under arm hair to keep them titillated and engaged while keeping their deepest secrets intact.
What I hate, detest and drives me crazy is the SPAM on twitter with peeps I don’t know and never met asking me to ‘like’ their blog/book/buy their product etc. And the great Kristen Lamb has been posting about etiquette on twitter Here. What I do like about twitter is the direct messaging part of the deal. Love it. People come onto me and chatter away about all sorts of stuff and you can get to know a person really well. And I’ve made some excellent friends on twitter who appear to care a great deal about me as a person rather than as a writer which is cool. And real, honest to goodness fans have come on too, which was a big thrill and made my day. Not had a critic yet but I’m sure it’ll happen at some point.
The Queen’s grand daughter, the lovely Zara Phillips, said recently about social networking sites, ‘I’d rather just pick up the phone.’ And I totally sympathised with her point of view.
But what I want to know is how to connect with people who are readers on there without spamming them about my books. Any ideas anyone? I know the plan is to engage and be nice and lovely and helpful. I am all that and more – just say’in – but I’m not finding it as easy a place to engage with people as I do on facebook for example.
What I think people who are really good at connecting on twitter is they manage to give a little piece of their heart and a little bit of their soul on there. Not easy to do in 140 characters, but I shall not be deterred and will try much harder to do better.
How do you guys use twitter?
What works for you?
And what do you dislike about it?
You know I adore hearing from you, so shout out from the back!