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How To Use Twitter – Tips and Tricks

Understanding TwitterTwitter is the strange animal in the world of social media. It operates on such an undefined set of rules that are so vague, it is even unclear if Twitter itself is sure as to how it all works. The best I’ve been able to calculate is that there are no rules at all, until you actually break one, then you get kicked out and suspended. I know it sounds silly but that’s anarchy at work for you. Anyway, Twitter is a forum so full of clutter and textural pollution that it’s a wonder really, why anyone bothers with it at all, yet millions do. I suppose it’s the challenge of discovering how much garbage you can actually fit into 140 characters that is really the absolute charm of it all.

So the challenge on Twitter is to make sure you are keeping up with all the popular trends and incorporating the correct and acceptable types of rubbish that has made Twitter the remarkable success it is today. A stunning result and a true cross section of human existence in all its weird and whacky forms. So let’s get started with some seriously heavy Twitter tips, and on how and what to include in your Tweets to make sure you get noticed in the Twitter Timeline swamp.

  • Always include some erroneous and incomprehensible hashtags in your post. Don’t worry overly about content. Just hash, hash, hashtag away. #iamanidiot #whoaskedyou #whatdayisit  #cuonmars are good examples of some clever #hashtags you can use.
  • Always, and I repeat always add a link to something really, really stupid. If you’re the enterprising kind, try attaching a stupid photo of your dog. I know it sounds silly, but well everyone else is doing it so you may as well tag along and get some inattention.
  • Make sure you have something to sell. If you don’t, please go and play on Facebook or Google+ until you can come up with an idea for some wild scam to tempt and rip off new and unsuspecting Twitter users. Do you think Twitter is a Social media kindergarten?
  • If you are not an aspiring author, life coach, undiscovered actress, lunatic astrologer, high priced escort, soon to be famous movie director or in real estate, please go away. Twitter is only for the selected elite. Do you think it was designed to accept common social riff-raff such as plumbers, heart surgeons and actuaries?
  • You must learn how to spam. I know it takes time and a bit of technical know how but if you can’t spam, you will really find it difficult to fit in. Try following a few quality spammers at first and once you experience their annoying skills in action, I’m sure it will help you on your way. Then blast your timeline with highly frequent and uninformative spam. If you’re really clever, you can automate it all and guarantee you’ll be losing followers at a record breaking rate in no time at all.
  • Set up an automated welcome Direct Message to greet your new followers. Say something like, ‘I’m a complete idiot and have sent this to annoy the crap out of you. Oh and BUY MY BOOK.’ You’ll have your precious new followers lurching for the ‘block’ button in seconds. What success!
  • Follow all the celebrities. Don’t miss one. You never know, one of them may follow you back – in your dreams.
  • Sell, sell, sell, market, market, market, flog, flog, flog your stuff. No one will buy anything of course, but at least you’ll think you’re doing something productive.
  • Buy 50,000 Twitter followers for $100. They’ll all be useless bots and won’t help get your message out at all, but hey, who cares? You’ll have a big number to boast about. Well, while they last. Bots are funny little things. They can just, well, disappear overnight. Easy come, easy go.
  • Oh, and if you are an author, you really must Tweet ‘Buy my book’ at least hourly. Why not automate it for every thirty minutes and really send your reputation down the tube, faster.
  • Lastly. Please oh please do not write anything coherent in your posts. The Twitterati will immediately spot you as a Facebook drop in.

By the way, if you think this blog post is absolute twaddle, please think about posting it on Twitter and retweeting it hourly for the next week. We really like this kind of stuff on Twitter.

If you would like more sensible suggestions on How To Use Twitter, take a look at this article on my new blog.

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10 comments

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  1. MRC

    I LOVE TWITTER!

    I don’t know how I avoid all the BS you mentioned, but I do. I choose to follow the literary world, that’s it. I’m not interested in tweets about crap, so I don’t follow.

    I have made a few author friends, or maybe I should say aquantainces. We share emails back and forth, again, about writing.

    Twitter has afforded me the opportunity to read great articles, again, about writing.

    I’m not interested in the # of followers I have, my 24 yr. old son is, however,and he lets me know occasionally. LOL

    And I love the fact it’s 140 characters or less, as I hate BS – hence why I HATE FACEBOOK!

    I tweet my book reviews to help authors. I use Hoot Suite to automate them for a month.

    I have received some author requests to review from Twitter.

    Sure, there are the tweets with daily quotes I have chosen not to unfollow. I skim through them, and occasionally have a nice chuckle. I take a chuckle whenever I can get one.

    At the moment, I can’t think of any more reasons to write about how much I like Twitter. I will end with, it has been good to me, and until someone, or in this case, something, does me wrong, it’s okay by me.

    And I am a pessimist at heart! LOL

    Mary :)

    1. Derek Haines

      Twitter has been good to me too Mary. But you know me. I love a little ‘tongue in cheek’ sometimes. :)

  2. Pri

    Back in form blogpost. Bravo!

  3. Jack Eason

    As instructed – tweeted #derek lol :)

  4. Todd Moody

    On the money, Derek!

  5. phoenixrisesagain

    retweeted as instructed ~ rarely laughed so much ~ thanks!

  6. Darlene Jones

    I love your humor and I think a lot of your points hit damn close to home. Like MRC, I have found some very useful things via Twitter like the Vandal.

  7. MRC

    I see I made a damn fool of myself. I tried to delete my reply, but no such luck.

  8. Mary Jeddore Blakney

    I love it! Thanks, Derek. :)

  9. Lorinda J. Taylor

    When I started self-publishing, I tweeted quite a bit, then an earlier article of yours, Derek, influenced me to stop doing that. Now I only tweet occasionally, because I do have a few followers who actually bother to look at my tweets. So I’ll put up a tweet on a new blogpost or when I have specials on my books, and occasionally something more social and of general interest, like, Colorado Springs is have record heat right now! It was interesting, though – when I used the hashtag #99cents for my latest sale, somebody apparently was searching and retweeting everything under that hashtag. I appreciated that, but it does seem that some people don’t have anything to do!

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