Whether you are traditionally or independently published, a strong social media presence is widely considered an asset for a writer. Marketing aside, connecting with writers, agents, and editors online is a great way to learn how to navigate the writing ropes. However, a focused approach can help you make the most of your Twitter presence, and keep it from taking up too much of your valuable writing time! Here are three tips for making the best of your Twitter time.
Communities on Twitter are much looser than the more formal Facebook groups. To be part of the community, simply search for the hashtag. Then engage in conversations with those posts, and use the hashtag on your own posts.
Some of the writing communities to start with include:
As you get involved, you’ll find more focused communities, like #AmWritingSciFi, #AmWritingFantasy, and #AmWritingRomance
There’s an unspoken (and often spoken) expectation that, unless you’re Stephen King famous, you’ll follow people back who follow you. That’s how everyone builds their numbers together and supports each other in the writer community. The problem is that once you have thousands of followers, it becomes really difficult to prioritize engagement.
Sorting your followers into lists helps ensure you catch your favorite follows, no matter how far down the twitter feed their posts end up. I like to make specific lists for people who post good writing tips, agents, people who engage with my posts regularly, and family/friends. I can then click on those lists to just see posts from those people.
Hashtag games are a great way to engage, and in some cases help you grow your following. For instance, on Fridays, the writing communities light up with #FollowFriday posts. These posts list accounts that other writers might be interested in following. Sometimes these are recent followers of theirs in need of a boost, or people who have recently engaged with their posts. Give them a follow, and see who follows you back!
#vss365 is a daily writing prompt. Each day, you can search for #vss365 #prompt to get the word of the day, and use it in a one-tweet length VSS (very short story). This is a good way to engage with and interest other writers, show off your skill, and hone your craft.
#1lineWed is used to share a line from your current work in progress every Wednesday. Again, it’s a good way to promote your writing without advertisements, and engage with other writers.
There are dozens of games, so keep an eye out on community posts, and don’t hesitate to ask someone the rules! The writer communities are generally helpful and eager to include everyone.