I joined Twitter a few years back, because I realized that despite my aversion to it, it’s a really useful tool for keeping up on publishing. From being more in tune with what the industry is talking about and where it’s headed to the stronger relationships with colleagues and clients, it’s proven to be the right choice, however much time I might waste trying to condense my overly verbose thoughts into 140 characters. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but it’s for far more people than I realized, including me.
Still, I find myself wondering what’s really effective in using the platform for networking and promotion. How do you maintain a balance between participating in the conversation and drowning others out? How many tweets is too many tweets? How few is like not being on it at all? How much honesty do you allow yourself? Does diplomacy rule your choices, or is Twitter a place for your unvarnished opinions?
And how do you promote yourself without turning people off? I’d say Twitter markedly skews my perception of success toward people who are wildly good at self-promotion, even though certain strategies drive me up a wall. Even the strategies I hate sometimes work on me.
So the question is: what works for you? Let’s assume that as a person who is reading a literary agency blog you’re not averse to the notion of marketing in general. Have you ever bought a book because of Twitter or learned about an author that way? Do you follow the authors you are fans of? Do you use Twitter primarily as a tool in your platform or primarily as a vehicle for socializing? Do you primarily hope to reach readers or to network with authors? And what really turns you off? What Twitter “sins” make you unfollow?
Update: Whoops! I somehow managed not to tag this at all, so here I was wondering why no one had an opinion on Twitter, but actually I just wasn’t getting notifications because WordPress didn’t know I wrote it. Thanks everyone for your feedback!