How To Twitter: Tips For Newbies

You can’t have a conversation about social media without discussing the power of Twitter. Twitter is all about building a mutual, interactive network, and I can’t stress enough how important it is to cultivate a community on this awesome platform. But figuring out the basics – not to mention how to build and manage an account – can be mind-boggling. This will be a refresher course for many of you, as I’ve blogged about Twitter in the past – but if you’re a newbie and you haven’t already, it’s time to build a serious Twitter following NOW!

Twitter icon - the birdReady, set, go! Set up an account and use your own name for your Twitter username (“handle”) if possible. Do not check the “Protect my Tweets” box under Twitter Settings. If you do, people will not follow you. And use a REALLY GOOD password, because Twitter accounts get hacked like clockwork, and you might find a spammer sending all your followers a weight loss or porn ad. Embarrassing!

Add a bio and a photo. You’re only allowed 160 characters max for a profile bio, so be creative. You can include a clickable book buy link or hashtag. BE SURE to upload a headshot or book cover for your profile image; people hesitate to follow accounts with the default “egghead.” Include your website/blog address or Amazon sale page in the separate space provided.

Tweet! Tweets are limited to a maximum of 140 characters. Your Twitter feed should focus on helping others and not be weighted toward repetitive self-promotion (“buy my book!” gets old quick). Share quotes, your blog posts, good content on other blogs, and links to info that will be interesting to your target followers.

@Mentions. Whenever you include someone’s Twitter handle in a tweet, it’s called an @mention, and it shows up in their timeline. NOTE: If you begin a tweet with a Twitter handle (@mention) it will only appear in in the timeline of people who follow both you and the person you’re tweeting. Example: @mollygreene – thank you! If you want your tweet to be seen by all your followers, you must start the tweet with another word, or even a single character. Example: Thank you @mollygreene! To read tweets sent to you by others, click on [email protected] in Twitter’s upper menu bar. To learn more about @mentions, tweets, retweets (a.k.a. “RT”), favorites and streams, read Twitter basics.

Direct Messages (DMs) are private and can only be sent between people who follow one another. There are two basic ways to send a DM: 1) Click the black “head and shoulders” icon on the profile page of the person you want to DM or simply 2) compose a new tweet, but BEGIN it with a single letter “d” followed by their Twitter handle – it will become a direct message (how cool is that?). To read your own DMs, click on the cog/wheely gizmo in the top menu bar to the right of the search box.

How to find Twitter friends to follow. To find friends, search hashtags (see below), scroll through public lists, and pay attention to Twitter’s suggestions for “Who to Follow.” You can also use Twitter’s search function to locate readers, book bloggers, and book reviewers, OR jump on other authors’ profiles and cruise their followers lists. Do not fall into the trap of following authors exclusively. You want readers. Author friends are wonderful and they will educate and support you, but readers will become fans and buy your books. Find and follow readers. Readers, readers, readers.

Hashtags are searchable keywords or categories. Typing the # symbol before a word or word group (with no spaces) turns it into a clickable link. Examples: #amreading, #amwriting, #MondayBlogs. #FF (#FollowFriday) and #WW (#WriterWednesday) are traditional writerly hashtags used to recommend people to follow. Here’s a list of other common Twitter hashtags used by writers. Or, make up your own!

Build your followers. Follow new people daily, and DON’T STOP. Note: Do not limit followers so you can “know” them all, as it will not allow you to use Twitter to its full potential. You can keep track of new followers by turning on notifications to be emailed every time someone follows and follow back those who are regularly interacting; ignore businesses, porn stars, and search bots. Or, use a third-party vendor to automate this process – BUT! Don’t require followers to “validate” because it’s often viewed as offensive; people won’t take the time to do it and you’ll lose good followers. Bottom line, TrueTwit validation turns people off and shows you’re clearly not looking at profiles. If you’re really concerned about spambots, follow back manually.

Party with the best. It will not serve you to follow people who do not interact with others (no @mentions in their feed); those who ONLY tweet quotes, statements, or links; inactives who haven’t tweeted much recently; people who tweet about being “unfollowed” or dissed by someone; those who don’t tweet in English; or tweeps with a list of followers much higher than the number they’re following back. They either won’t follow you or they’ll follow for a day then unfollow, a plan used by those with the sole agenda to increase numbers (there are exceptions of course!).

Understand Twitter’s follow limits. Once you’ve followed 2,000 people, Twitter will cut you off and will not allow you to follow more people … IF you’re following way more than are following you back. It’s best to keep your numbers close right from the start. Understand how this works upfront!

Use an “unfollow” application. People interested in following back will most likely do so within 5-10 days, with few exceptions. Sign up for (or a similar application) and unfollow people who have opted not to follow you. I repeat: allow a lead time for folks to follow. Unfollowing people who don’t follow you will keep your percentages in line and Twitter off your back, and no hard feelings! Reminder: BE AWARE that Twitter will randomly unfollow people FOR YOU without your knowledge. You can’t tell the difference between a Twitter error and a purposeful action by a follower. @mentioning unfollows is classless and demonstrates lack of character.

GIVE before you expect a payback. To grow a quality following, you must interact with a percentage of your followers, comment on their blogs, and help with retweets. A sincere, reliable way to gain true support is to retweet others’ good blog content and good news. Give to gain. Just as in life, on Twitter we benefit when we give our support without expecting payback. You need to be an active supporter to be a valuable part of your team, and this is simply logical: The more followers you have, the more valuable your RTs.

Practice impeccable manners! Do not RT someone once or twice, then tweet them with an @mention and a request to RT your blog post. Arghhhh!! Do not tweet snarky comments about others. DO NOT send a Direct Message (DM) or tweet an uninvited @mention that’s a pure self-promotion with a link to your book or blog. Do not welcome followers with a “thanks for following, now buy my book, Like me on Facebook, read my latest blog post!” Accccck! DO be patient, play nice, and put others first. That’s the true road to Twitter success.

Use Twitter lists. To keep close tabs on a group of people, create a Twitter list and add your faves. When you click on your list, you’ll see their feeds. You don’t have to be following people to keep them in a list, so you can do this with anyone you care to keep close. To set up a Twitter list, 1) Go to “Lists” on your profile page. 2) Choose “Create a New List.” 3) Choose “Private” or “Public” and name it. 4) Go to someone’s profile page, click on the black head-and-shoulders icon, and add them to the list. 5) Back on your own profile page, click on “Lists” and choose the list you want from the drop-down.

Automate a percentage of your tweets with the WordPress plugin Tweet Old Posts (auto RTs your blog posts) and Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Gremln, or Pluggio. Remember though! You need to be actively on the platform periodically to reply to @mentions and RT others.

Leave a comment if I’ve left anything out – do you have any Twitter Tips to share? Dish!

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!

, , , ,

85 Responses to How To Twitter: Tips For Newbies

  1. Robyn Jones March 18, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    Another great Twitter how-to post! The first one I read taught me the value of lists and I swear by them. I never initiate a follow without first adding them to their category and then adding them to “unfollower so far.” I find that with bloggers especially, you end up going past the typical 5-7 days for following back. I’m not sure why.

    • Molly Greene March 18, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

      Hey Robyn – I should have asked if anyone had any other tips to add, rats!

    • Ellen Lynn March 27, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      I’m so glad I read the comments (normally do but a busy day soooo…).

      I’ve learned a ton today!


  2. Anita Mac March 18, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    Thanks for the tip about starting a message with @mention – I didn’t know that and will have to adjust accordingly! So much to learn…..

    • Molly Greene March 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

      I’m still learning, Anita! The “d” before an @mention becomes a DM thing was new for me – great shortcut!

  3. Griselda Heppel March 18, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    Really useful advice here, thanks so much. I’ve learnt LOTS.

  4. Von Rupert March 18, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    Oh my gosh, Molly, this is a great post and arrived exactly when I needed it. I’ve only been using Twitter for 7 days (although I set up an account eons ago). Twitter does NOT come with handling instructions so I’m very grateful to you for sharing your knowledge with the rest of us.

    • Molly Greene March 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

      I’m so delighted to read this!! Glad you found me and I deeply appreciate your comment and support. Best to you on Twitter!

  5. Anne R. Allen March 18, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    A fantastic, comprehensive post. A must read for newbies. Will bookmark and RT!

    • Molly Greene March 18, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

      Means a LOT coming from you – thanks so much, Anne!

  6. Anita March 18, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    Such a great post on the fundamentals of Twitter geared towards writers and with many tips that I just kept on nodding to because they’re so essential to keep in mind!
    Fantastic, and thanks so much for the great post!

    • Molly Greene March 18, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment!

  7. Mary Tod March 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    Great advice – I keep trying to figure Twitter out and you have helped!! In a blog post I found (goodness knows where), someone compared Twitter to a very large brain. 90% of what I’ve seen so far are people promoting themselves or sharing quotes – clearly I’ve found the wrong people! I still don’t get the ‘brain’ part of it. One other question – if I reply to someone’s tweet can anyone see my reply or only the person to whose tweet I replied? Convoluted but I hope you get what I’m trying to ask 🙂

    • Molly Greene March 18, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

      Mary, I’m just guessing: Maybe the “brain” part refers to only using 10% of its power?? Answer to your q: if you reply to someone’s tweet, anyone can see that reply in your stream. So be careful what you share! If you want a message to be private, use a DM – direct message (can only do this if the person you’re messaging is following you and vice versa).

  8. Tony McManus March 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    Molly, a fine piece with lots of good stuff. But I’m confused by your tips on @mention. I’ve read it 3 times and can’t really crack it. Could you be more clear for me. Consider me a complete dummy.

    Best wishes

    • Molly Greene March 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

      Okay! Not sure what part doesn’t make sense but I’ll make a stab at it: If you want to publicly message (tweet) directly “to” someone, you must include their Twitter handle in the tweet. That’s called an @mention (“at mention”), and it shows up in their personal @Connect stream.

      If you BEGIN the tweet with their Twitter handle (example: if you begin the tweet with @mollygreene), that tweet will only appear in in the general Twitter stream of people who are following BOTH of you. If you want a tweet sent directly to someone to be seen by ALL followers of both of you, you must start the tweet with another word or character – this will give you a better chance of a retweet.


  9. Emily March 18, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    These were great tips…although I feel fairly seasoned at Twitter, I feel as if there’s always more to learn.

    • Molly Greene March 19, 2013 at 7:41 am #

      Ah, it never really ends, does it?

  10. Millie Burns March 18, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    I learned something new today : ). Thanks Molly!

    • Molly Greene March 19, 2013 at 7:41 am #

      Thank you, Millie! I’ve learned a couple of new things with this post and comments, too!

  11. Amy Kennedy March 18, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    A great reminder! Thanks, plus it reminds me that I have been neglecting twitter lately. Eeep! And the stupid thing is, I have such fun when I’m on it more consistently.

    • Molly Greene March 19, 2013 at 7:40 am #

      I agree, Amy – Twitter is fun and easy, really, once you get into the routine.

  12. Angela Ursery March 18, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    Thanks for emphasizing the lists, Molly. I think lots of us (and I include myself in that mob) don;t utilize them nearly enough. As I understand it, people can follow your lists, too.
    Also, if you unfollow someone who is in one or more of your lists they will still pop up in your timeline (because, as you note, you don’t need to be following them to have them in a list). It took me a while to figure that one out…
    Thanks again,

    • Molly Greene March 19, 2013 at 7:39 am #

      Good point – thanks for reminding us Angela!

  13. Tracey Best March 19, 2013 at 4:42 am #

    Molly, Once again you have shared such invaluable information. I wish I would have found you when I first started Twitter. You’ve pointed out some mistakes I’m still making and will try to adjust. Since so many writers are on Twitter to try to connect and gain readers, what would you say is an appropriate amount of promotion? I can see I’ve tweeted too much about the book, but I don’t want to stop entirely as I want to keep it out there for new people to see. Thanks for the tips. Have a great day!

    • Molly Greene March 19, 2013 at 7:38 am #

      That’s a good question Tracey, and the answer will vary for everyone and probably depends on 1) if you’re actively building a newer following or if you’ve been around for a while, and 2) if you’re launching a new book. I’m not an expert, I only know what’s comfortable for me, and I tweet my book links about twice a day and links to my blog about 4x a day – except Mon & Tues when I have a new post and I overtweet the new link :-O. Balance is the key, and you will find your own. Thank you SO MUCH!

      • David March 19, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

        hmmm – I assumed you’d use a plugin to Tweet a new blog post plus add quotes or cool links you run into. It hadn’t occurred to me to retweet a new article, products, etc. Could you explain this a little?

        I’ve been blogging since ’07 and am in several discussion groups. I’ve looked at Twitter but have not actually used it yet. I don’t even keep up with blogs I like. How do you find the time??

        • Molly Greene March 20, 2013 at 8:59 am #

          Hey there! I use Hootsuite to schedule tweets for new posts and the plugin “Tweet Old Posts” to automatically tweet my past articles into my Twitter stream. I also use Hootsuite and Gremln to schedule tweets & links about my books, although less frequently. As for keeping up with blogs (and RTing these new articles from others), I set up a separate email account and subscribe to my favorites, then read & tweet them as I have time – that way I don’t feel overwhelmed by stuff in my personal email!

          • David March 20, 2013 at 10:44 am #

            but isn’t all that retweeting the same stuff a kind of Tweet spam? Doesn’t it create more noise to dig through to find new stuff? I suppose advertisers do this and this article itself is re-raising points you mention already writing about and you’re usefully bringing it back to the fore.

            But it points to one of the reasons I haven’t taken up Twitter and avoid certain discussion groups. Volume. I do use a separate account for subscriptions myself.

          • Angela Ursery March 20, 2013 at 11:25 am #

            I’m in agreement with David –I frequently unfollow folks who sell too hard (by that, I mean sending the same hard-sell tweet about the same product repeatedly and like clockwork). Here’s why: it clogs up my timeline, offers nothing new, is repetitive, and isn’t reader-(i.e., me) focused. Finally, that stuff gets BORING …

          • Molly Greene March 20, 2013 at 11:38 am #

            With all due respect, I may not be communicating my point well. I don’t have time to (nor do I) pay attention to my general Twitter stream – it’s a rabbit hole you can fall down and never see the light again. Once you follow even 1,000 people, your stream is just not navigable. You need to use Twitter lists to keep tabs on the people who generate good content you want to “see,” such as Tweeter Elizabeth Spann, who tweets and RTs great links to other blogs constantly. In my opinion and experience, Twitter is just hands-down THE best blog-building tool out there.

          • Angela Ursery March 20, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

            I don’t think we’re disagreeing here (and perhaps *I* need to clarify): because I want my Twitter followers to (one day) value me as much as you value Elizabeth, I’m pretty protective of the quality of my timeline–which is why I don’t want it filled w/repetitive, boring tweets.
            There are several solutions, though: some writers tweet about the same product but with different, fresher language, others tell the reader why this book/product is of value *to the reader*.
            I also follow some heavy-twitting writers, media gurus, etc. on a separate Twitter account, and RT valuable links /info on my main accounts. That gets rid of the clutter, yet allows me to give my follows useful info.
            Thanks again,

          • Molly Greene March 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

            Yes, understood and agreed. I also care about the quality of my Twitter feed and hope it offers vlaue, which is why I limit my book-sale-link tweets and RTs. Bottom line though, value is in the eye of the follower, and I have no doubt that there are tweeps out there who do not think that highly of mine. I remember being astonished and mortified when I found that someone had “blocked” me. Life – and Twitter – are subjective; humor is sometimes the best way to cope. I so appreciate your comments and interaction!

          • David March 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

            Apologies if I sounded critical. That was not the intent. My questions were directed at understanding the approach and where you draw the line. Thanks for the feedback on following the timeline. Obviously a very different approach than, say, managing blog comments. The back and forth brought out some valuable differences in approach.
            Thank you!

          • Molly Greene March 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

            Hey! We’re all friends here. Twitter is like life: pushy, arrogant, one-sided, boring tweeters who demand attention and expect too much won’t end up with a lot of supporters. It takes a little time, but I swear if you make a plan and jump in you’ll reap the benefits!

  14. helena mallett March 19, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    Thanks for this blog Molly.I still struggle with Twitter and never seem to catch tweets from those I’m most interested in, so i’m off to create a list like you suggest!

    • Molly Greene March 19, 2013 at 10:16 am #

      yaaaaaay! Be sure to put me on it :-O lol!

  15. A.K.Andrew March 19, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    Great comprehensive post. Can’t reiterate basics enough & reminds me I must get better at using my lists. Excellent point about looking for readers as well as authors- easy to stick in the ‘looking for other writers’ trap. Thanks Molly:-)

    • Molly Greene March 20, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      … the good news of course is that most writers and authors are also readers!

  16. Tony McManus March 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    Hi Molly,
    Could you please clarfy : “turning on notifications to be emailed” what does it mean?

    Tony McManus

    • Molly Greene March 20, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      Hi Tony! you need to spend some time in the “settings” area of your Twitter account to get familiar with all your options. Click on the Cog/wheel top right, choose settings, look to the menu on your left – “Email notifications.”

  17. Susie March 20, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    GREAT stuff. Wish I had seen this when I first started. Fortunately, I can use some
    of your suggestions and get back on the right track. I was always afraid to unfollow, but I am going to do so! Thank you so much for taking the time for us newbies!!!

    • Molly Greene March 20, 2013 at 10:33 am #

      My pleasure, so glad you found this article and it helped!

  18. Lee-Anne March 20, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    Many thanks for these tips, Molly. For a nervous newcomer like myself I’m sure they’ll be invaluable. It’s a big, scary Twitter world out there for the uninitiated… Heartening to know that manners are important, a lot like real life actually! 🙂

  19. Keith McCormick April 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Thank you so much Molly this was very very helpful to a person
    like myself!! 🙂

  20. J.E. Forman April 2, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    I get it now! Thank you, Molly! My publisher strongly suggested that I set up a Twitter account and start blogging … they might as well have asked me to do a little thoracic surgery in my spare time, because I have just as much experience in that specialty as I have in the world of social media. Twitter sounded like the easiest place to start (fewer words would hopefully equal fewer bouts of foot-in-mouth disease), but then I poked my head out of the egg and was overwhelmed. Your post was, by far, the most helpful and informative thing I’ve read about chirping … I mean tweeting. As for blogging, that’ll have to wait until after I’ve read the book I just bought – “bLoG iT!”

    • Molly Greene April 2, 2013 at 10:49 am #

      Made me laugh! What a wonderful, wonderful comment, I deeply appreciate that you took the time to let me know. Hey, good news, and congratulations! You have a publisher … the rest should be relatively easy, just take it one step at a time. Best to you in all you do, let me know if you have questions after you read the book!

  21. Shelly Chalmers April 3, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    Thanks so much for the great post and helpful information. Sigh. The more I seem to learn, the more I KNOW I have to learn. 🙂 Had no idea that the @mention placement in the tweet affected it. I’ll keep these tips in mind.

    • Molly Greene April 4, 2013 at 8:34 am #

      Welcome, Shelly! We’re all learning together.

  22. Gemma Hawdon April 9, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    Very helpful thank you Molly. I’m stumbling about Twitter so will put your tips into action! I think it’s also important to have a little fun with it – be creative with the choice of words 😉

    • Molly Greene April 9, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

      It’s a MUST! Must have fun or we don’t want to do it!

  23. Moonbeam McQueen April 27, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    This was an excellent read! I’ve been embarrassed by how long it’s taken to completely comprehend Twitter (though I’m learning to love it). This contained a lot of useful information.

    I’m wondering if you could address #FF, and the etiquette surrounding it. It overwhelms me every time I see my name included. Wonderful and terrifying all at once, because I never know if I’m responding correctly. Thanks again for a great post.

    • Molly Greene April 28, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

      #FF simply means Follow Friday, as you probably know. It’s a way to give a shout-out to Twitter friends and find people to follow all at the same time. As for etiquette, you can participate to whatever extent you like, but basically it’s great to RT the tweets that include your @mention. You can reciprocate and tweet out your own #FF messages if you’d like. Hope that helps!

  24. A.J Goode April 28, 2013 at 4:59 am #

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m new to Twitter, and definitely needed this information. So far, my only tutor has been my 15 year-old, so it’s nice to get a more grown-up perspective.

    • Molly Greene April 28, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

      Ha! You’re lucky to have that 15-year-old’s help! They all know more about the Internet than we do :-O Thanks so much for stopping by!

      • David April 28, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

        😉 Actually I’d suggest it’s not that 15 years-olds necessarily know more about the ‘net. They’re simply much less likely to have fear or can’t messages getting in the way of it. So when they pick up a new piece of technology, they just have fun with it and see what it can do.

        • Molly Greene April 28, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

          David, I think you’re absolutely right!

  25. Denise McInerney April 28, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    Hi Molly,

    So glad I found your blog! I’m a newbie and have been learning about Twitter by trial and error–mostly error, and it has definitely been a trial. Thank you for explaining things in a way I can understand. I’m about to start a blog, too, and look forward to reading your advice. Off to buy Blog It!

    • Molly Greene April 29, 2013 at 8:29 am #

      Welcome Denise! So happy the info you’re finding here helps you – and let me know if you have questions after you read Blog It!

  26. Sarah @WordHIts May 9, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    Good advice Molly! So many people are blasting w/the self promo and no value added. The worst. Like how you focus on Twitter as engagement and dialogue.

    Great job on the online tips for Tweeps and everything else!

    • Molly Greene May 10, 2013 at 9:21 am #

      Thank you, Sarah!

      • Romel June 16, 2013 at 12:40 am #

        Hi Molly! I am also new to twitter. Someone who follows me and I followed back mentioned me in one of her tweets but nothing appeared on my @connect tab. I wonder if there’s a problem with my account? I hope you can help me. Thank you very much!

        • Molly Greene June 16, 2013 at 8:01 am #

          Hi Romel, I’m sorry to say that I have no idea! If your handle was spelled correctly, I’d contact twitter support and see if they have any ideas. Best of luck to you!

  27. Joan June 2, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    Hi Molly,

    I am also new to twitter, I have been more of a timid observer because I was unsure of how to go about tweeting. Your information and tips were extremely helpful. Guess I will start testing the water and get started. I’ m scared and excited at the same time. Thanks so much.

  28. Catana Tully September 17, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    I’m relatively new to twitter, and found your post very helpful, particularly the info about creating the lists. Thanks a lot, Molly!

    • Molly Greene September 17, 2013 at 10:09 am #

      My pleasure, Catana. Have fun on Twitter!

  29. Norah September 24, 2013 at 3:29 am #

    Hi Molly,
    I have come back for more! I’m new to Twitter and have visited this post a number of times – it takes me a number of times to work it all out. Each time I come back it makes more sense.
    Thanks for sharing this information.

    • Molly Greene September 24, 2013 at 10:18 am #

      You bet, Norah! Slow and steady is the best way to work with Twitter. Best to you!

  30. Rowena May O'Sullivan September 30, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    Hi Molly

    Just wanted to let you know I am enjoying your posts. As a complete dunce when it comes to what to tweet and when as well as other marketing “stuff” I’m finding your blogs ever so helpful.

    • Molly Greene October 1, 2013 at 7:05 am #

      Hi Rowena! I’m so happy to help. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know, and best to you on Twitter!

  31. Jacqueline (@jrjaxster) October 1, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    Thanks so much Molly – really helpful post. I’ve gone from hating Twitter to getting the hang of using it as a platform, and enjoying the process! Looking forward to future posts & Tweets.

    • Molly Greene October 1, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

      thanks Jacqueline, and best to you on Twitter!

  32. Chandra Kumar November 6, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    Thank you for this post. I’m a total twitter newbie so your “overview” is really useful. I am now a subscriber to your blog. I realize that I will still have to put in some time to learn the features if I am to make full use of this powerful platform.

    • Molly Greene November 7, 2013 at 9:24 am #

      Thanks, Chandra. Welcome to my blog and best to you on Twitter!

  33. Kathlena Contreras November 12, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    Thanks for this, Molly. I never quite figured out Twitter– other than don’t post me-me-me stuff. (Duh.) This post is a big help.

    • Molly Greene November 12, 2013 at 11:45 am #

      Yaaay! So happy if it helps.

  34. J.G. Walker November 28, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    Molly–excellent post, with great tweeting advice. To echo what others have said here, lists are invaluable to me as well, mostly because it keeps everyone sorted–Other Writers, Publishing/Publishers, Friends, etc.–and I’ve also become heavily dependent on Hootsuite. Cheers!

  35. Rowena May O'Sullivan November 30, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    how to add someone to a list you’ve already created. I’ve created lists but have forgotten how to add more people and I’m going round and round in circles.

  36. Anna Bayes April 10, 2014 at 6:11 am #

    Molly, I love you! You spoke my mind for me. It’s irritating when people send you an automated DM and “greet” you with a link to their book, or request a Facebook page like… spam, spam, spam.

    • Molly Greene April 10, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

      Thanks, Anna! I think it’s disrespectful, too, but unfortunately a LOT of social media “counselors” advocate that kind of behavior, and their clients are simply following their lead. Better to get to know folks first!

  37. Gene'O April 19, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

    Thanks! I was just thinking about writing something like this for a few of my friends. Maybe I’ll just link them to this instead.

    I dislike DMs as thanks for follows, whether they’re promotional or not, and I really dislike the automated ones. I don’t send DMs to people unless I’ve talked to them before, I have something private to share with them, and I have no other way of sending them a private message.

    Very sound advice about giving, hastagging, and good manners.

    The first two months I was on Twitter, I gained about 60 followers, mostly people I know offline. Since Jan. 15, I’ve gained about 1100. The reason it started growing is that I started tweeting with a couple of bloggers to #blogs, #wordpress, #writing, and several related hastags. After a couple of weeks of that, people started noticing, tweeting with me, and adding me to lists. I’ve had good results by following people from lists that I’m included in.

    The one thing I would add is: If you’re hoping to have more than a few hundred followers and you want to keep up with them, set up several lists as soon as you start, and add people to them as they follow you back. I’m in the process now of going through almost 1200 accounts and adding them to lists so I can use Tweetdeck to keep up with them, and it is a very cumbersome process, even with my relatively small number of followers.

    • Molly Greene April 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

      Thanks, Gene! Great job on your Twitter numbers – and yes, Twitter lists are the way to go, although it would be nearly impossible to really keep up with 1200 followers. Best of luck to you!

      • Gene'O April 19, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

        True, very true. And lists suffer the same problem as the timeline feed if they get too big. I’m still playing around with list sizes. I have a private list of 40 or so people who i interact with frequently, and it’s very useful. I have another list of 138 bloggers, and it’s less useful because it moves so quickly and the feed to be dominated by about 20 people who tweet more than everyone else.

        I have a whole set of lists based on interests that I’m about to start adding people to so I can tweet things to people based on what they like to tweet about. And the lists aren’t just about keeping up with everyone – they’re also about helping people find others to tweet with who share their interests.

        • Molly Greene April 20, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

          I wish I had time to interact with 40 people on Twitter! You’re a good man, Gene.