I just noticed I have 500 followers on Twitter. This seems so strange to me, considering I only use it for the following:

  • posting random quips
  • talking about my latest sewing project or writing-related accomplishment
  • quoting friends
  • retweeting things I find amusing

I recently received 3 retweets in one day. Not going to lie, getting retweets makes me feel good about myself. It’s kind of a “OMG THEY THINK I’M FUNNY!!!!!!1” boost to my confidence.

I rarely follow someone because they’re just there. I am very picky about my Twitter feed, as I don’t like when it’s cluttered by the same person, saying the same thing over and over again.

Here is a list of basic DON’Ts.

  1. Don’t tweet about how sleepy you are (unless you’re going to be funny about it). Nobody cares.
  2. Don’t tweet “At work.” No one cares. Check into Foursquare like everyone else.
  3. Unless you are the official tweeter for a hockey game, don’t tweet every goal, pass, save, etc. If people on your feed wanted to know what is going on during the hockey game, they’d watch it.
  4. Don’t announce what you’re eating. Unless it’s especially delicious and you have a picture. Or you’re a foodie and many of your followers are foodies. (Also, avoid the overuse of the word “foodie.”
  5. Unless it’s a super funny quote, don’t tweet while drunk. Save the drunk updates for Facebook.
  6. Don’t retweet everything everyone has said ever. Be semi-particular.
  7. Don’t tweet anything negative about your job, your boss or a coworker. This never leads to good things. This goes for Facebook too.
  8. Don’t limit yourself to following celebrities. I find they are sometimes the least interesting people on Twitter.
  9. #Don’t #overuse #hashtags. The key is to pick keywords. That being said, the best hashtags are used in a humorous way. #stupidadvice
  10. Besides Facebook page updates, don’t connect your other social media to post automatically to your feed. Oh, you just got a new badge on Foursquare? Cool tweet, bro.

And my list of DOs:

  1. Follow people in your neighbourhood, town or city. Power goes out on your street? Someone will know what is going on and will tweet about it. I usually find the people I talk to on Twitter are from my town and most of them, I’ve only met once or I haven’t met them at all.
  2. Split your tweets in two if you have to. Sometimes 140 characters just isn’t enough. Replacing every “to” with “2” and leaving out punctuation makes you look less than professional. I don’t mind if you need 2 tweets for a complete thought. But if you need 3, go write a blog post and then tweet the link.
  3. Try to tweet a few times a day. I regularly go through my list and unfollow people who haven’t tweeted in months.
  4. Post links to interesting articles, images and resources. Did you find something cool, funny or fascinating? Send in on over, people love that stuff!
  5. Post photos of your puppy. I like puppies.
  6. Double check your spelling and punctuation before hitting send. Especially if you are using the word “public.” You never know when you’re going to miss an L.
  7. Before submitting, think to yourself, “Is this interesting/informative/funny in any way? Could this tweet start a conversation?” If the answer is no, reconsider.
  8. Avoid posting a photo of your new credit card Mommy and Daddy got you. Saw this yesterday. Credit card number, name and expiration all visible. What an idiot.
  9. Don’t be afraid to start up a conversation with a new Twitter contact. I usually check their profile and see how often they reply back, just in case. #IFearTwitterRejection
  10. Follow @_Jillianne_. 😉

Got a sweet tip? Reply, wouldja?

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Jillianne Hamilton is an author, crafter, hobby addict, history enthusiast and graphic designer in Charlottetown, PEI on Canada's beautiful east coast. Her debut novel, Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire, was shortlisted for the Prince Edward Island Book Award in 2016. Her fourth book, The Lazy Historian's Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII, will be published in 2018.

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pcm February 12, 2014 at 2:08 am


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Hi, I'm Jill! I'm an author, a Lazy Historian, a web/graphic designer, a bookworm and a hobby addict. I live in Charlottetown on Canada's beautiful east coast. Learn more.

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