June 18, 2018

How to Get Me to Follow You on Twitter

Twitter is scary. Twitter is overwhelming. Twitter is relentless.

Twitter is also the reason I am so involved in the book blogging community. Twitter is my lifeline to the bookish community outside of my blog. Twitter is a source of humor, insight, creativity and amazing people. (There is also quite the opposite lurking in the depths of Twitter, but for the sake of sanity and optimism, I am focusing on the bright side).

For me, scrolling through Twitter doesn't feel like a waste of time (unlike Pinterest, Facebook, and sometimes Instagram) because I am always inspired by all of the amazing people on my feed. It is also really easy to find ways to interact with other book lovers and forge relationships. 

Over the past five years, I feel as if I have been becoming more and more involved in the community. Since it is definitely not because of an increase in skill, I am going to attribute it to the rise of social media, especially Twitter. While those 240 characters can be used to anger, ridicule, and dramatize, you can also put a lot of love, friendship, and support in so few words.

However, there is a steep learning curve that I am still trying to climb. A fair amount of my social media skills were learned through experimentation and trial and error, but most of what I know is from the other amazing people on Twitter. So, I am breaking down why I follow the people I do and impart some knowledge with my impeccable taste.

1. Clever Use of GIFs

I know that GIFs are really a love-them-or-hate-them phenomenon, but I don't think that anyone can hate a well-used GIF. You can't just go throwing them around willy nilly. There is a fine balance between using a cheesy GIF as a placeholder and finding the perfect GIF to complement your post. Even though you can say a lot in 240 characters, a picture is still worth a thousand words and a good GIF is worth infinitely more. See the bloggers below as examples of the artistic use of GIFs.

Roberta @OffbeatYA * Sophia @HannahSophiaLin

2. Retweeting and supporting other creators

One of my favorite parts about Twitter is the community bonding. Compared to Instagram and Facebook, there are more opportunities to show enthusiasm for other people and their projects. Even though it may seem like just one click, a retweet can go a long way. If you can master the practice of sharing other's content and boosting for other creators, you can go a long way with followers. I know that it is cheesy to say that a good thing never goes unnoticed, but it is true with retweets, as long as you give proper credit. At the very least you will make the creator's day, but more likely than not you will be spreading great content to the rest of your followers, which does not go unnoticed.

Gina @ginasbookshelf * Eric Smith @Ericsmithrocks * Shirley @shirleycuypers * Ruth @ruthinrevolt * Heather @HeddaG83

3. Giveaways

I know that this isn't the most insightful reason for following someone but it works. The human mind is programmed to love free things so you might as well take advantage of that. Of course there will be cheaters who follow for the giveaway and then immediately unfollow but I promise that there are also decent people on Twitter. Please don't be a cheater.

Basically, come for the free stuff and stay for the awesome blogger.

4. Humor

If you have ever stumbled on my Twitter profile, then you have probably witnessed my attempts at being funny. I am a strong believer in the test that if you can make me laugh, then you deserve a follow.  

The beauty of humor is that there are so many different varieties. There are the simple puns that always manage to make me laugh no matter how many times I hear them. There is the dark humor that is as depressing and scary as it is hilarious (and the contrast makes it that much more funny). There are sarcastic rants, parodies, and exaggerations. The point is you should let your own brand of humor shine, regardless of what it is. 

Cait @PaperFury * Grace Li @gracedli * Chuck Wendig @ChuckWendig

5. Insights and Diversity Champions

Even though I enjoy a good laugh, Twitter is also a great platform for conversation and growth. I am not saying that the only source for your news and political opinions should be social media but I do think that the multiple perspectives available on the Internet can help you stay informed. My daily life in a small town limits my exposure to different views and opinions. In a time when discussing politics in person always concludes in anger, frustration, and waste, the ability to curate your Twitter feed with knowledgeable and vocal creators is highly coveted. Social media is meant as a way to broaden your horizons, so don't be afraid to put your voice out there. If you aren't afraid to share your opinions and insights in a productive and provoking manner, then I will definitely give you a follow.

Julie @DailyJulianne * Shauna @theb00kwitch * Sarah Hollowell @sarahhollowell

6. Relatable Angst

There is just something about suffering that creates a bond in the human spirit. As we all know, being a bookworm isn't the easiest lifestyle in the world. Half of our friends are fictional, which makes it rather difficult to plan outings or create a social life. I have been physically scarred by falling off some cliffhangers at the end of books. Not to even mention the paper cuts. 

So, an instant bond is created when lamenting about the woes and difficulties of a passion. Tell me about your frustrations. Give me your rants. Make me feel your pain. Reading declarations of angst on Twitter makes me feel so much less alone and makes a person seem real to me. While this category is applicable to readers, it is also extremely relevant with writers and authors as well as writing is not a painless occupation. Bonus points if the angst is added to humor (angst + laughs = the best dark humor). 

Victoria Schwab @veschwab * Aimee Meester @theAimeeMeester * @pretty much any author

7. Variety

You definitely don't have to juggle all of these points to get me to follow you, but I do appreciate a diverse selection of tweets. I also follow people to keep up with their blogs and to learn more about them as a person, not just as a blogger. You don't have to be just professional or just personal. I want your blog news and updates about you. In my opinion, the best Twitter accounts are those who can alternate between promotion and storytelling. Don't be afraid to tweet something new or to veer from your normal pattern. 
Kristen (Metaphors and Moonlight) @whykristenburns * Fiction No Chaser @FictionNoChaser  * Mary @knoxdiver * CW @artfromafriend

8. Talk with Me 

Conversation is the factor that means the most to me when deciding whether or not to follow someone and, ironically, the one that I need to work on the most. Like I said, my favorite part about Twitter is the interaction between people. With the ability to like, retweet, and reply, there are infinite opportunities to connect with others. Twitter isn't a platform where you can post and run. The best parts of Twitter are revealed when you dive into the content by commenting, asking questions, and following new people. The bottom line for me is that if I can imagine talking to someone in person, face-to-face, then I will follow them. 

Of course, I follow a lot more amazing people on Twitter than are mentioned here. In fact, there are a lot of wonderful tweeters that I am not following yet. In order to fix that, please left your Twitter handle below. 

If you want to see if I measure up to my own Twitter guidelines, you can find me @Crazyfor_YA

What makes you follow someone on Twitter? What is your favorite social media? What do you need to work on with your social media skills? (Mine is consistency, if you were wondering).

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