I’ve been on Twitter since (checks self) 2015 as @jlgfellers. No, I don’t have other accounts, but I do manage one for a small publishing company. Neither has a huge following, but my author account has more because it’s been around longer. That said, here are a few things I’ve learned, especially in the last two years, about navigating the minefield that is the twitterverse as an author that might well keep you out of trouble with the twittergods, your followers, and your readers. These aren’t quick-fix solutions that’ll give you lots of followers and engagement. Rather, these are survival tips.
1) I didn’t mean it that way: Use hashtags with discretion. Research each by opening Twitter on a new tab and searching the hashtag. Nothing is sacred or safe online, so be careful. A hashtag might well mean the opposite of what you think.
2) Beware of misinterpretation: Just because you tweet something doesn’t mean your followers will interpret it the way you intended. Use your 280 to make your point crystal clear. GIFs and photos can help there if need be.
I didn’t engage those
I blocked instead. 🚫
3) Trend Bombs and Trolls: Twitter trends can be educational and fun until the trolls get on board (those trends can also be horrifying and misleading, but I’m not going there today), and believe me when I say that the trolls will appear sooner or later. The last trend I was involved in… I don’t remember the hashtag, so I’ve apparently blocked it out. Anyway, while the trend seemed fairly innocuous, it landed me a whole lot of new followers along with enough trolling to last me a lifetime. No, I didn’t engage those bridge-loving vagrants. I blocked instead because, as we all know— and if you don’t please learn this now— thou shalt not feed the trolls. I akin them to energy vampires. They live for conflict and would suck negative engagement through a straw if they could. Save yourself the stress unless it’s your sort of thing then, by all means, have at it. Me? I have better ways of occupying myself.