Thursday, March 28, 2013

How Do You Use Twitter?

Today I'm asking for advice rather than offering advice. I'd like to make better use of Twitter. I am not on Twitter very frequently and when I do, I either send off a few Direct Messages or chat for a few minutes and then do something else.

How do you use Twitter?

One frustration I often have is that I either see messages that were posted thirty minutes ago or I suddenly get fifty messages every ten seconds. It's hard to keep track of what's going on.

Do you use Tweet Deck? Does that make a big difference?

I have Tweet Deck but I generally forget to use it. I should bookmark it so I go to it more frequently.

Have you found that Twitter increases your blog traffic significantly - either through relationships you build on Twitter or from links to your reviews?

All my reviews are automatically posted to my Twitter feed. When I do go to Twitter, I often click on links to blogs I don't read often because something interesting appears. So I do think it's a useful source for blog traffic.

What do you think is the best way to maximize Twitter - both for blog traffic and for having fun?


  1. Hi Alison- I can't believe I haven't commented in such a long time! I started a twitter account for my blog, a different way to get traffic to it and of connecting with people and authors, but I've used it on and off and even though it's only 140 characters or something, I find it's a lot of work, maybe too much, and until last week hadn't used it in ages. I'm hoping to stick with it for a few months, see how it goes, but maybe it's just not for me. This is basically no help- I'm sorry!

  2. I have a private account and a My Book Musings Twitter account, which I use to follow bloggers and authors. I'm an avid Twitter fan, but I don't check out my blog Twitter feed often because they're mostly filled with book review updates from other bloggers, which I already see in my Flipboard.

    I use Twitter to draw in more attention from Twitter users who may not be bloggers but are still interested in books.

    I don't use Tweetdeck because I find it so confusing! There are a lot of tabs and they just overwhelm me. I find that the good ol' Twitter apps or Twitter websites are enough for me to post a tweet or briefly check out other tweets.

    Since I'm new to Twitter, I haven't significantly gotten the word out there so I'm not sure if it greatly increases my viewership. One thing I don't like so far about it is that most of the people I just follow post about their reviews, but nothing personal about them unless they're already friends with each other. Therefore it's not exactly an ideal place to cultivate meaningful relationships unless you've already started talking on a different platform.

    One thing you can do is use hashtags to make more people discover your post. For example you can hashtag the name of the author of your latest book reviewed.

  3. This is going to be a pretty useless comment in terms of help, but I was just wondering yesterday whether I should link in a twitter account with my blog. At the moment I have a private twitter where I mostly post rubbish. I'm not sure whether to clean it up, make it public and link it to my blog, or create an entirely new one (but then I know I'd go crazy logging in and out of them all the time!) It does seem to be a good way to create traffic, find interesting reads and keep in touch with other bloggers though!

  4. I don't think Twitter's increased by traffic, except maybe when I talk about a giveaway. I'm not the best at Twitter -- I follow a bunch of authors I like, publishers and fellow bloggers, chat with them a bit, read their feeds but I'm not as interactive as I used to be. There are tons of chats to participate in, something I did a lot last year, which garnered a bunch of follows.

  5. I always use TweetDeck and on Google Chrome you can "pin a tab" by right clicking it and it keeps it permanently in your browser. It makes it smaller, so I'm not always tempted to look at it, but it makes a "ping" noise when I have an interaction. I use it on my iPhone too - I just wish it would have push notifications like the regular Twitter app.

    And Twitter does help my blog a little bit!

  6. After looking at reviews of Tweet Deck and Hootsuite, I decided to use Hootsuite to manage my media streams, including Twitter. I do tend to go directly to my Facebook accounts as well to see what's happening with folks. Twitter has been a great place to meet new people. I've ended finding a lot of interesting articles on publishing and writing. I tweet about things that interest me and that I think will interest my followers (review, guest posts, mostly things around writing/reviewing/publishing). When I release a new book or am doing a book tour, I will also include links to reviews and blog posts, without actively shouting 'Buy My Book!' ;)

    Hootsuite has definitely been a timesaver for me.

    I check out what's happening on social media twice a day. I try to limit myself to 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening. That doesn't always happen, as in sometimes I end up spending 2 hours on it in the morning. This includes reading my Feedly feeds as well though!

    On another matter entirely, for people who struggle to limit their time on social media, Stay Focusd is a great app to have. On the days when I don't want to be distracted AT ALL, I use the nuke function to be internet free for 6-8 hours while I write. Otherwise, I use a two-hour limit on social media every day.

    Hope that helps! ;)

  7. I know I don't make as much use of Twitter as I could. I pretty much tweet my day's post in the morning and then maybe respond to one or two other tweets throughout the day, I'm not on it very much. Most of the time I just don't feel like I really have anything to say, so I just read through everyone else's tweets:)

    I fail at giving advice in this area, so I'm just going to read all the other comments and try and learn something!

  8. I have no advice to give since I don't use Twitter at all. I actually am confused about it and don't really understand its appeal.

  9. I recently linked Twitter to my blog (I didn't know that was a possibility), but I'm not such a Twitter fan.. I'm not sure why, but I just don't get it sometimes. It's so hard to follow a conversation and everybody is posting far too quick, haha.


  10. I use twitter to help socialize. It's a great way to talk to authors, other bloggers, giveaways. It does help with traffic but not by much.

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  12. I have a Twitter account linked to my blog, but as many, I only post tweets to the content on my blog for that day or for giveaways, but that's about it. I don't understand the appeal of it. Having conversations there is so stressful, you leave for 2mins and there are a bunch of tweets and you miss everything. It's like you have to be glued to it. If you figure it out, let us know ;)

  13. I'm trying to understand how to use Twitter better too, so I don't have a lot of advice to give. Like Nyx said, it can be a little overwhelming at times if you're having a conversation, step away for a moment, and then comes back to see so much went on in just those few minutes. But I'll be check back to see if anyone has good advice. AD's advice on Hootsuite sounds interesting, I'll have to check that out.

  14. I'm not so good at sitting around and chatting on twitter unless I'm doing a chat, which is almost never. I am a member of triberr which makes it so lots of people tweet my blog posts and I tweet theirs, so I have regular tweets going out but they are automatically tweeted. I kind of hate not having more stuff to say cause I feel like I should say stuff in between, but I just don't have much to say and end up feeling like I'm talking to myself most of the time when I do cause no one ever replies. I'm not sure if it helps with blog traffic much, but it does at least a little.

  15. What a great question! I use Hootsuite which has simplified things a bit for me because now I can see at a glance what's going on and if I want to comment. Generally, I think Twitter is just everyone self-promoting. If you want to actually meet and talk to people, then Facebook is better. I have had some traffic from Titter which has been valuable, so I continue to tweet about my blog posts - just adding to the self-promotion. My posts are tweeted automatically and occasionally if I really want to be seen, I'll give it a manual plug too. For me, Twitter works because because I'm putting very little effort into it, but I am getting a bit of return. I would not want to spend any more time on it - my day is already top=heavy with social media! Thanks for asking the question. I'll follow the replies with interest.

  16. I use tweetdeck mostly to schedule some tweets about my posts and stuff, otherwise I just use the Twitter for Mac app. When I get a free few minutes I'll check out the most recent tweets and go from there. I won't go back much more than the last handful of tweets or I'd just get overwhelmed so I do it real-time I guess. I'll read the newer tweets and respond to the ones that interest me etc. During the day if I have something (usually something funny or annoying that's happening) I'll grab my iPhone and tweet it. I always respond to mentions but I'm not checking the feeds more than a few times a day when I have time. That's about it. :)

  17. Yes and yes. I love Tweetdeck and it makes everything so much easier. It lets you use different columns so you can even separate bookish people from real life friends or authors from bloggers if you want to. I downloaded Tweetdeck so it's on my desktop and I'm always signed in while I'm using my laptop.

    And yes, it increases blog traffic too. I always try to tweet new blog posts at least twice a day and many people find my blog that way.

    Plus, it's a great way to talk to authors as well.

  18. Okay, well I have no advice to give because I suck at Twitter, but I do really appreciate this post so that I can peruse other people's answers to these questions. I would genuinely like to be able to use Twitter more effectively. I get envious when I hear people talk about all the great friendships and networking connections people have made using it!

  19. Eurgh, I'm going to be useless here. I'm terrible with optimizing my social networking outreach because part of me just doesn't want to participate in that. I do have my blog and my Twitter account linked up, but I've found that much more effective at getting readers to click through is if I directly link to a certain blog post and add a quick thought, e.g. "We've read the first book, now see what I think of the sequel" or something. It seems to generate a connection between the reader and your blog content, leading more people to click through!

    Other than that, though, I feel like I only use Twitter to communicate with some friends with whom Twitter is our primary form of communication, or to post interesting links, or post statuses that I don't feel comfortable being prominently displayed on Facebook.

  20. I usually have twitter open via a tab in my browser, and I leave it open all day. I once tried Tweet Deck or something like it but I don't think I was using it correctly.

    I do think that tweeting a link to the blog gets a couple of views from people who might not see the post otherwise

  21. I delete all Direct Messages as most of them are spam or worse. I use Hootsuite to send multiple Twitter messages at different times and different dates so I don't overwhelm my followers with spam and can post tweets at any time of the day or night to catch those Russian or Aussie visitors. I do notice that tweets result in more blog views. My blog, on blogger, has a button I can tweet new posts to FB or Twitter. Hope that helps.

    I subscribe to you by email but don't have a lot of time to figure out what I'm supposed to do or to keep track of following a lot of blogs, but I found your post on CAPCHA invaluable and I thank you, Alison. Next time I write a post, possibly tonight, I will link to your blog. It is lovely, and valuable for all bloggers. I will follow you.

    My blog is at


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