How To Succeed On Twitter

FollowMeOnTwitterIcon_OptimWhen I fired up my Twitter account in March 2011, I was a total social media newbie (and still am – do we ever stop learning?) My goal (then and now) was to build a social media platform that would help me get the word out about my novel, Mark of the Loon. I learned a lot. In September, 2011, I posted an article that remains extremely popular on my blog: How to Build a Quality Twitter Following FAST! This post is a follow-up.

Still True: Social media pros point to Twitter and Facebook as excellent venues to help drive traffic to a blog. More blog traffic increases the number of people familiar with (and hopefully fans of) your work. More fans = more supporters willing to help spread the word about your book releases, reviews, giveaways and all around good news.

Still True: A year ago I came to the conclusion that limiting Twitter followers so I could “know” them all would not give me an adequate marketing platform. I still feel that way. You can’t effectively follow 200 people’s tweets, so you may as well have 20,000. And with 20,000 followers, you’re more likely to cultivate friends who think you’re cool – and vice versa.

When I started, I followed 25-50 active tweeters a day. I searched for readers, writers, authors, novelists and bloggers, assuming they would be most likely to support authors like myself. I found that the easiest way to find followers is to jump on other tweeps’ profiles and poach cruise their followers list. This still stands, although my follow goals have decreased.

However, back then I used Twitter’s email notices to alert me about new tweeps. I checked my messages, reviewed feeds, and followed back those who were actively interacting (minus businesses, porn stars and search bots). But the emails were too much! NOW, I jump on my Followers list periodically and return most follows after popping open profiles and reading the first few tweets. Still a good way to disqualify spammers – and sourheads!

So What Has Changed? Enter Triberr
When I wrote the original post, I was a BIG fan of using Twitter lists to retweet (RT) my faves. Since then, lists have lost their glow, for several reasons: Over time I found that Twitter failed to fully populate lists (or even display them), and on many occasions I couldn’t access tweets. Other times, lists were so full I had to scroll through dozens of tweets to select a few to RT, and it became a time-waster. Then, along came Triberr.

Triberr has changed the landscape. It’s now simple to join a tribe of like-minded people ready and willing to tweet your blog posts. I see pros and cons to the system. Pros: 1) Everybody’s in one place, and once you get set up (which can be frustrating!), it’s automated and simple to use. 2) Reports of huge increases in participant’s website traffic abound. As for cons? My advice is that you find a good group, join in, and decide for yourself if Triberr is right for you.

Twitter Basics Remain The Same:
• Understand Twitter’s Follow Limits: Once you get to 2,000, Twitter limits the number of people you can follow, IF you’re following way more than are following you.
• Use (or some other service) to keep your following-to-followers ratio close. Unfollowing people who don’t follow you will keep your percentages in line and Twitter off your back — and no hard feelings!
• Understand Twitter Basics by reading resources such as Publishing Talk’s Twitter Cheat Sheet. Have questions about how something works? Check Twitter How-tos, or Google it!
• To grow a quality following, you must interact with a percentage of your followers, comment on their blogs, retweet blog posts, book reviews and book links. Don’t expect others to support you if you haven’t paid your dues. And please: Do not RT someone once or twice, then tweet them with an @mention and a request to RT your blog post. Arghhhh!!
• BE AWARE that Twitter will randomly unfollow people FOR YOU, without your knowledge. You cannot tell the difference between a Twitter error and a purposeful action by a follower. @mentioning unfollows is classless and reveals a lack of character.
• Demonstrate Good Manners. Do not tweet snarky comments about others. DO NOT Direct Message (DM) or tweet an uninvited self-promotion or a link to your book or blog using a follower’s @mention. Do not … well, let’s just move to the DO list:
• DO be patient, play nice, and put others first. THAT’s the true road to Twitter success.

The friends I’ve made on Twitter have been the ABSOLUTE best part of the experience. If I hadn’t reached out, I would not have met some pretty spectacular people. Bottom line, this statement still holds true: Twitter is about building a mutual, interactive network. To thrive, you must be an active supporter of others. And this is simply logical: The more followers you have, the more valuable your RTs are to your faves.

Love the icon at the top of this post? Visit for free Twitter backgrounds and cool stuff.

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my blog and you’ll never miss my weekly posts! Just enter your email address in the upper right corner of this page. It’s easy, and I won’t share your contact information with anyone!

, , ,

38 Responses to How To Succeed On Twitter

  1. Laura Zera (@laurazera) April 2, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    Molly, I am honored to be your friend, truly. And you are the perfect example of ‘giving first’ in how you show up in the world of social media. xo

    • Molly Greene April 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

      Ha! Laura, you and I met as a result of that first twitter post – so glad we did!

  2. Heal Now and Forever April 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    That article was how I was introduced to you! I printed it and carried around for a few months as I was learning twitter. I took every one of your suggestions. Now I have to figure out triberr. One more things to do! Hey, the share this widget doesn’t give your twitter handle when people share so technically you might not even know if someone shared. See if you can find another widget that does this. (See my blog) My share button comes from my theme, but I am sure there is a widget out there better that share this.

    • Molly Greene April 2, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

      And I have learned everything about my BLOG from you, my friend – still learning! I like “Tweet This” because it it uses a shortened url, which is easier to RT – but you’re right, I won’t know who is tweeting & can’t can’t reciprocate … hmmm …

  3. Diane Hughes April 2, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    I would be lost on Twitter without you, Molly! Great post with helpful tips. I’m going to go and Tweet it now. 🙂

    • Molly Greene April 3, 2012 at 7:29 am #

      Diane, I think you’ve made your way quite well without me – but so happy that I met you on twitter! As always, I appreciate your support.

  4. Belinda Pollard April 2, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    Great stuff Molly. I found your original post very useful too, and appreciate your generosity to me over recent months.

    Will now have to check out Triberr. Just what I needed, more social media work to do. 😉 I currently view my Twitter lists in Hootsuite.

    The etiquette is really important, because this is Social media. From time to time I almost write a snarky blog post about it… (don’t auto-DM me with your FB page or your book, don’t ask me for a RT when I don’t know you from Adam, don’t say so-and-so unfollowed me what the heck are you thinking???)… but then I realise most of the people doing those things are just new around here and they’ve seen others do it and they don’t realise yet that it’s not the way to my mushy little heart. 🙂 So I tend to ignore “bad behaviour” and reward “good behaviour”, and hope we all can help each other in the end.

    And then I say to them: go and follow Molly Greene and see how it should be done! 😀

    • Molly Greene April 3, 2012 at 7:25 am #

      Agreed re: the urge to tweet snarky comments. I roll my eyes at least 5 times a day. But you’re right, just ignore bad behavior. Although I have been known to vent about it in email to my twitter friends :-O Love you, Belinda! So appreciate your support!

  5. Becky Bishop April 3, 2012 at 1:17 am #

    Wonderful tips for us newbies on Twitter! Thank you for sharing!

    • Molly Greene April 3, 2012 at 7:28 am #

      So happy if it helps! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

  6. Maryanne O'Hara April 3, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    Really helpful tips. Thank you for taking the time to write them down. And for confirming that patience is key.

  7. Cara Bristol April 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    Really good tips and links. Very helpful blog.

  8. Gae-Lynn Woods April 3, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    What a twitter babe you are, Molly Greene! I love this sentence:

    DO be patient, play nice, and put others first.

    Which tells me that everything I (still) need to know I learned in kindergarten, AND it applies on twitter! Thanks so much for the reminder of how simple it all is.

    • Molly Greene April 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

      So funny Gae-Lynn! Yes, play nice with the other children. It’s that simple … in theory :-O

  9. George Angus April 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Good stuff, Molly,

    Just to add a pet peeve, please on Follow Friday if you’re going to #FF people, do one or two per tweet and say why you follow. Just last week I had to unfollow a guy because he had about 2 dozen consecutive tweets that were nothing more than @mentions with no reason why.

    It is social media and I doubt those kinds of #FF recs even work.



    • Molly Greene April 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

      Hi George – it’s funny though, so mnay people LOVE #FFs. All things in moderation!

  10. Rolando April 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    Great article Molly, but I have a concern about Triberr. I just feel bad about automatically tweeting something without at least having taken a look at it. Also, won’t Triberr multiply the number of your posts? Some of your followers may feel that they are getting spammed. Are you in Triberr? How do you feel about this?

    • Molly Greene April 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

      Hi Rolando! I think it all depends on the group members, the size of the group, and your rules. I’m in a tiny tribe – we don’t post much so we don’t tweet much, we’ve known each other for a long time so know the quality of our blogs & postings. I love that because it’s easy to tweet & RT without overdoing it. Ask around for other peoples’ opinions and see what they think. Lots of kudos and lots of concerns. I’m staying out of it!

  11. Kitty April 4, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    Great post! Thank you. I am still somewhat a newbie on Twitter and this is extremely helpful.

  12. Jolyse Barnett April 4, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    Great post, Molly. I’m still undecided about Triberr. Trying to focus on the final edits, revisions, writing, and outlining. If you know what I mean. 😀

    • Molly Greene April 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

      Ha! Yes, I know what you mean …and a lot of people are on the sideines with Triberr. We’ll see what happens with it over time!

  13. T. R. Kolbe May 3, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Great post Molly! I’m still trying to figure out Twitter and your post was very helpful!

    • Molly Greene May 3, 2012 at 11:47 am #

      Hey TR, so happy to help!

  14. Linda Rawlins May 24, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Thank you for your post – just learning to navigate the social media map. Thanks for the help!

    • Molly Greene May 25, 2012 at 6:13 am #

      My pleasure, Linda! Thanks so much for the read and comment!

  15. click here June 2, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    If you dont mind, exactly where do you host your blog? I am shopping for a good host and your blog appears to be fast and up all the time

  16. Justin August 10, 2012 at 6:16 am #

    Great article, very informative! I will try out Triberr, it sounds like a helpful system.

  17. David Sekyere August 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    nice post! my problem is i totally have NO, exactly no followers on twitter! what do i do?

    • Molly Greene August 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

      Hey David! First, find Twitter’s help section and read all about it. Then Google any specific questions. After that, use the Twitter search box to find like-minded folks to follow. For example, enter the word “author,” and check out the results. Good luck!

  18. Clare September 23, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    Thanks for this — just starting out on twitter as I’ve built a new website.

    • Molly Greene September 23, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      Best of luck to you, Clare!

  19. Molly Greene October 26, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    Thanks Forest! So happy to help.

  20. Jessica E. Thomas May 19, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    I’ve personally declared May “figure out Twitter” month so this is very helpful. Thanks Molly!

    • Molly Greene May 19, 2014 at 11:02 am #

      You can do it, Jessica!!


  1. Social media bookmarks….you might want to bookmark… | Cara Bristol - September 7, 2012

    […] How to Succeed on Twitter by Molly Green – Good tips about Twitter protocol […]