Monday, January 14, 2019

How to Act Like a Professional on Twitter

I've written about the benefits of Twitter before. It's free. It's fun. It has the potential for a lot of organic growth. It helps with sales when used correctly. In short, it's an integral part of a solid platform. However, using it the wrong can be detrimental to your career. I have recently witnessed a lot of behavior on Twitter that has landed writers on my "never read this asshole" list. And I'm not even talking about racists! You see, at the end of 2018/start of 2019, my latest novel landed on a few best of 2018 lists. That is always an honor. Most reactions, both from readers and writers alike, were supportive. However, there were a few that broke with that behavior. One author complained that his book wasn't on the list. The kicker? The book he was talking about had been published in 2013. Another writer "corrected" one of the lists and told the woman who had shared it that she was missing Stephen King. As recently as yesterday I saw a reaction to a tweet about a famous author's book that was on sale on Kindle. An author decided to correct the author's tweet. Yeah. In any case, here is a list of things you shouldn't do on Twitter if you want to look like a professional.

1. Never say a list is missing your book/a book on your list  

Hustle as hard as you can to sell you book and win new readers. That's it. If someone didn't read your book and made a list of their favorite books, shut the hell up and congratulate those that made the list. Also, never tell anyone who is missing from their list. Lists are based on taste, and taste is a subjective thing. Maybe you think Stephen King is the best horror author in the history of literature. Maybe you think his best work is behind him. Hell, maybe you think he sucks. All of those opinions are fine. However, when you decide your opinions are better than someone else's, you start looking like an ass.

2. Stop correcting obvious typos

When someone is trying to sell a book and accidentally send out a tweet with a typo, try to remember they're human. "Hey, my bok is $1.99 for the next 24 hours!" Yeah, we all know it's book and not bok. Ignore the tweet or retweet it. Move on or but the book. All of those are solid option. Taking the time to tweet at them "I think you meant "book"?" makes you look like the rear end of a donkey. Don't do that.

3. Don't engage with assholes unless you simply have to

Listen, I've been called a spic and a beaner more than once on Twitter. I usually move on. Let racists yell nonsense to their fifty followers. Stay calm, block them, and move on. You have things to do. You have books to sell. You have entertaining tweets to write. Insulting someone who doesn't deserve your time is a waste of your words and your time. If it gets too bad or they threaten you or your friends, then get on it and destroy them like all bullies deserve to be destroyed, but an asshole with thirty followers sending out misspelled tweets about you doesn't deserve a second of your time, especially when they wouldn't say that if you were in front of them. Trolls only thrive if you feed them. Don't feed them and they'll die in oblivion.

4. Be thankful and approachable

I know you're busy, but if you want to make Twitter work for you, show how grateful you are. I have two jobs, a life, and a writing career, and I work my ass off to make sure I reply to everything I see. I show my readers I'd be nothing without them. I let them know I appreciate what they do. I let them know that word of mouth is a very powerful thing and I'm truly grateful for their time and kind words. It's not even about being a professional; it's about being a decent human.

5. Let people enjoy things 

This one also goes out to everyone, but especially to those who want to, in one way or another, be public figures. And listen, there is a fine line between letting people enjoy things and not having an opinion. I think X is awful. That is my opinion. If you love X, good for you. I won't "explain" to you why you're wrong. I won't tell you that you suck for liking X so much. I hate liver and eggplant. Maybe those are your two favorite dishes. That's fine. When it comes to things like books and movies, opinions vary. Learn to deal with that.

There are more, but these tips should be enough to give you a general idea of how to act. Or not. It's your career, so feel free to do whatever you please. ;-)


Gabino Iglesias is a writer, professor, book reviewer, and journalist living in Austin, TX. He is the author of ZERO SAINTS and COYOTE SONGS. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias.
Blogger Template by Designer Blogs