Someone – I don’t know who – described Twitter as being like coffee: “It tastes bad until you become addicted.” If you happen to know who created this description, please let me know so I can give her or him proper credit. It’s so true!
I first encountered coffee I was in my early teens. As I ran into the kitchen on a hot summer day, I spied a tall, inviting glass packed with ice and full of what appeared to be Coca-Cola. Or, since I grew up in Texas, Coke. (Every soda in Texas shares the generic name “Coke.”)
Hot and thirsty, I took a big swig of the icy drink and promptly gagged, spitting into the sink. It was the most bitter, harsh taste I’d ever known. My grandmother, who had just made herself a big glass of iced coffee, was doubled over with laughter.
“If you’d just waited a minute, I coulda told ya what that was,” she said when she finally caught her breath.
That situation sums up my initial relationship with Twitter. I thought I knew what it was and how to use it. And I did… kind of. But, mostly, I was talking to myself until I finally paused to learn how to use Twitter effectively.
It’s about your interactions with others.
I loved following literary agents, editors and other freelancers on Twitter and would often check out the links they posted. But I never replied (@) to them to thank them for sharing their insights or to remark on a great resource or blog post. I didn’t think they’d want to hear from me.
Most people on Twitter do want to hear from those who follow them. If they don’t, they are probably spammers. Now, thanks to Twitter, I have made some great connections with fellow bloggers and freelancers. It’s a great way to break the professional ice and to keep in touch with a very vibrant community.
Now Twitter is an important part of how I connect with people on a personal and professional level – and it’s a part of my overall marketing plan for a.k.a writer. And, yes, it’s possible I’m addicted. (I’ve been addicted to coffee since I was 18.) You can follow me @jesakalong.
What about you? Are you on twitter? What’s your best Twitter tip?