Don't Be Intimidated By Twitter's Learning Curve
Twitter is technically simple, but conceptually difficult. When I started, I tweeted useful tips and followed people who I thought might be interested. Eventually, I started following people I thought were interesting. It took me a long time to understand that people talking to me weren't necessarily talking to everybody and that when I said something, people weren't necessarily listening. I think I've experienced all the Twitter epiphanies, but it took me a long time.
I jotted down some quick thoughts on how copyeditors can find value by using Twitter. Unlike with Twitter, brevity proved elusive. So here is the first part of @EditorMark's Tips for Twitter. Look for the second part in this space next week Monday.
1. Know what you want. There are three general motivations for setting up a Twitter account: marketing, learning, and engaging. Unless you are a recognizable brand or pay Twitter for placement, marketing is going to come as an outgrowth of engaging. Learning is usually the last motivation, but it’s Twitter’s greatest strength. And it’s easy: Just pick the people you are interested in and listen. Engaging enhances learning and marketing.
2. Present yourself. You have limited space for a Twitter bio, so consider how you want people to know you. You probably don’t need to waste precious space telling us that your opinions are not those of your employer or that retweets do not equal endorsements. We wouldn’t mind if you told us a little about you beyond your adroitness with a red pen. And a photo shows you are a real person. It’s not necessary, but it helps. Think of it as the quick go-around-the-room in a group meeting: This is who you are, what you're after, and what we might find interesting about you.
3. Follow the right people. If you want to engage in a conversation, you need to be the one to start it. If you’re at a party alone, it’s no good sitting quietly and avoiding eye contact. Get in there and mingle. Start by following people who share your interest in copyediting. Twitter is great with suggestions. And someone who shares your interests likely is following others who share your interests.
Next week, more on making the most of Twitter for copyeditors.