Sunday, March 4, 2012

Infographic: Top 5 Twitter Mistakes Writers Make

Fail whale moments for freelancers.
Freelancing Fail Whale

What writer doesn't look back on their first few days of tweets and cringe? I sure do. Here's a chance to look back and laugh at the mistakes we made before getting the hang of the Twitterverse. For new tweeps, take this as an opportunity to shorten your learning curve.

*Infographic after the article.

5. Irrelevance & Obscurity

Twitter isn't the social network to go to the artsy outfield. If you aren't tweeting something relevant or current, you aren't going to be relevant to the medium. Attention spans are short and no one is going to follow your storyline 140 characters at a time. There could be 50 tweets in between each one. Who could keep up with that? So save your novel excerpts for your blog or website, where they'll be
more appreciated.

4. Arrogance

Unless your name is Justin Bieber, Ashton Krutcher, Barack Obama, Lady Gaga, Alyssa Milano or any other celeb with millions of followers, Twitter isn't the place to indulge your ego. And you know what? Even those listed show a little humility in their tweets. People want to interact, not take decrees of opinion from some obscure writer on an ego trip.

3. Wordiness

Twitter only allows 140 characters to get your thoughts out, but you really have less than that, if you want to leave room for people to respond. Think and tweet in headlines, not in-depth stories. Many writers go over the allotted character limit, making their tweets nonsensical when these get cut off. Plus, this breaks your links, which is frustrating.

2. OD on Hashtags

If you are using more than a few hashtags per tweet (or hashtags in every tweet) you look like a spam bot. You don't have to reach the whole world in one message. Keep it simple and, for goodness sake, human.

1. Dissing Clients

Nothing, I repeat, nothing good will come from trashing a client on Twitter. It doesn't matter if they haven't paid you, are being too needy or whatever the annoyance is. If they are a current client who pays, they will drop you. Bad client you're tossing? Doesn't matter. Some potential client will find that tweet and never hire someone so unprofessional. It's Twitter Karma--only put good thoughts out there concerning clients.
If you like this infographic, feel free to use it. Just make sure to link back to Tamara Writes. ( )

What are the biggest mistakes you have seen writers make on Twitter? 

Infogaphic credit: Tamara McRill 


  1. This is a great post, Tamara. Thanks so much for writing it. I suppose the thing that bugs me the most is when people do nothing but post links to their own work and never interact with or promote the work of other people. I tune those people out really fast!

    1. Thanks, Rebecca. That bugs me too--I think most of us gravitate towards people who interact.

  2. Great post. I especially like the "don't bash" idea because that can kill someone in any manner of social media.

  3. Twitter is my albatross - trying so hard to figure out the best way to fit it in!

  4. Love this post-- I basically just use Twitter like I'm chatting to my friends (no idea if that's a good thing). But it's so easy to make those mistakes. Plus spamming-- I'll immediately un-follow people who don't chat or make funny comments on Twitter but instead clog up my news feed with the same self-promoting links every five minutes.



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