Welcome to the twelfth installment of Twitter Tuesday. In the spirit of Twitter, this blog will be short and sweet and to the point. The tips offered here are all based off my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. If our goal is to build an author platform in the thousands to tens of thousands, then we will have to approach Twitter differently than a faceless corporation or even the regular person who does not possess a goal of becoming a brandwill help you rule the Twitterverse without devolving into a spam bot.
This Week’s Fail Whale–The Covert Tweep
Covert Tweep is super-secret, and it is only if we know the super-secret password and use our decoder ring to solve the CAPTCHA of Doom do we get the blessed “privilege” of conversing with Covert Tweep.
Yeah…sorry. Not that motivated.
They key to building a successful platform is we must be accessible and low-maintenance. Don’t make people solve Captchas and go to sites to verify they are human. It’s annoying.
Kind of like. I don’t shop in stores where there are cameras and closed-circuit televisions everywhere to let me know “the store is watching.” I hate stores that have anti-theft everything to the point that I feel like I stepped into a world created by Orson Welles. Plainly put? I am not a thief and I resent being treated like one.
Now, the stores are free to do what they need to do, but I am also free to take my money elsewhere…and I do. Same with Covert Tweep. Covert Tweep is free to lock down all information, and I am free to ignore the Human Tests and move on to other friends who don’t treat me like a spammer.
Yes, Twitter gives us the ability to keep our Tweets secure, but why? If everything we post is a secret…doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose to being on Twitter?
And forget about those verifying services. Really.
We need to just let people follow us with a single click. DO NOT make people click a link to go to a site to prove they are human. That is treating people like they are spammers and phishers. Always give the benefit of the doubt and assume people are friends.
Then, if they are a spammer…um. Unfollow, then block & report them. Two clicks. Very easy. Twitter will ban them.
I have had WRITERS (who I assume are on Twitter to build a platform), whom I have tried to follow, but couldn’t.
Sorry, this user’s tweets are private.
Or I try to follow someone, and they want me to prove I’m not a bot. Yeah, um I will get right on that…or not.
This Week’s Twitter Tip–Be a Twitter Pal
Covert Tweep might have a secret club, but it is gonna be really tough…ok, impossible to build a platform if we make others have to prove themselves first.
On the other hand? Twitter Pals rule!
Be a Twitter Pal and make it easy for us to be your friend. One great way to be a Twitter Pal is to Follow every person who talks to you, mentions you, or RTs you. Just get in the habit of clicking the name, viewing the profile, and then hitting Follow. Slow and steady wins the race. Following a few people a day can gain you a massive and genuine following in no time.
Tweet ya later!
Agreed. I felt the same way before I read your thoughts on this elsewhere, probably in WANA. Social media is all public persona as far as I’m concerned. I still practice secret handshakes though, even if just in the mirror. Big Brother will never stop me either.
I think I just might have to get a copy of your book!
Great stuff, as always. I agree with your logic. I’m in B2B sales, and the easiest way to lose a customer is to make it hard to do business with you. Even if you have a great product, people will normally choose the path of least resistance. Same with Twitter.
As always great post!
Another great post..I agree if you are on twitter don’t go private. What is the point being there if nobody knows that you are there.
Always great tips here! Thanks so much!
I immediately become suspicious of someone who follows me with their own account locked. I block them. I mean, seriously? Are you doing something covert through my followers? Are you in prison and unable to type tweets?
Maybe I watch too much news on tv.
I won’t bother to “send a follow request.” Hello? My writing partner is a spook, and I’m right out there, so people hiding from me on Twitter just seems pretentious to me. Thanks for your post.
Agreed. I just move past anyone seeking pre-approval info.
Oh, totally agree. There are a few writers I decided not to follow when they made me jump through hoops for it. My pro twitter is totally open; you make a good point that it is in a lot of ways treating innocent people like spammers. I can’t stand that.
Personally, I have a separate “closed”, covert twitter that is specifically for friends and family, a safe place for me to talk openly about issues I might not want spewed across the “Webz”. It serves a specific purpose, though; it’s completely different from my pro account. I’m not sure I even understand the logic behind a “authorized personnel only!” *pro* account. What’s the point?
I’ve only seen this a few times, and it seems odd to me. I would guess that they aren’t looking to build a platform if they are private. I have several tweeps that have never tweeted, and only wish to follow others for the entertainment value.
I’m still struggling with adding too many people. I like having genuine conversations, and following 135 people takes up a ton of time as it is. If I start following random people hoping for follow backs, I’m afraid I’ll just be skimming, even while using tweetdeck. How do you counter that? Should I just make a list of awesome people and then skim through the rest?
Pretty much. I just pay attention to a handful and the rest just stream by.
THANK you for mentioning the validation thing. That is annoying and I haven’t validated once even though I want/need followers!
Kristen, I was puzzled to read this entire blog entry on making it easy for people to connect and follow you on Tweeter, and then find that I couldn’t subscribe to your web site via RSS feed. That is my prime way of keeping track of the bloggers most valuable to me. As you are mindful about your use of social media, I’m sure eliminating this option was an intentional choice. Will you please share why? I am very curious. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for the great advise. I’m going to be starting a Twitter account soon, and any useful information on it, and social media in general really helps.
Straightforward, clear away the crap advice. Thanks!
This makes sense as usual. I love skimming to see what my new buds are talking about. It has opened me to new worlds. But add an annoyance and most of us are moving on.
I am a bit disappointed to see that you’re not hanging on my every Tweet, though, Kristen. : /
Good advice, as usual, Kristen. And, yes, Captcha is poison to be avoided by content creators because users hate it.
Just wanted to stop by – I got on to the “post a day” inspirational posts yesterday. I’ve been blogging on WordPress for about a year and never been featured on anything. Then, as you know, I took your “Build your author brand” course, made some changes to the blog and BOOM! I picked up a lot more views and a healthy number of subscribers (who I know have to satisfy with more great content! ULP!) Plus at least one person clicked through to YOUR blog, so I am showing others the way to Good Blogginess. Although there’s probably a better way to put that…..
Many Thanks Kristen!
Good point. It’s like shielding people from getting to you, so why bother following them? We need to make ourselves accessible if we’re trying to reach out others. Otherwise, we’re keeping the spammers out as well as potential friends.
I’m so pleased to have found you (from Jody Hedlund’s blog). I really needed help figuring out how to use Twitter and I see I’ve come to the right place. Thanks!