Editors on Twitter: You’re Doing It Wrong!

Sophie Playle

Over the past few days, I’ve been searching for more editors to connect with on Twitter. And I’ve been pretty shocked at what I’ve seen.

If you’re an editorial professional who uses (or would like to use) Twitter, let me share my discoveries with you.

Abandoned accounts

I’ve come across so many abandoned Twitter accounts – or accounts that are just used for lurking, which is just as bad. Probably around 75% of the professional editors I’ve found on Twitter so far haven’t tweeted in the past six months – sometimes much, much more. It makes me think the editor joined Twitter because they’d heard it was a marketing strategy they had to try, then they either didn’t see the immediate results they had expected or they decided Twitter wasn’t for them, and poof – they disappeared (or were too scared to add to the conversation).

Trying out a social media platform and then deciding it isn’t for you is perfectly fine. But if you set yourself up as a professional and then don’t commit to giving the platform a proper go, it makes your marketing efforts look flaky. And you don’t want to be seen as a flaky business owner. If you’re going to abandon an account, either remove the reference to your business (so you have the freedom to pick up the account again later) or delete it.

No website link in profile

What’s the point in setting up a Twitter account, saying in your profile that you’re a professional editor, tweeting about editorial things, and then having no way for someone to find out more about your business – either through a link to your website, or at the very least a link to a directory entry or LinkedIn profile?

Make it easy for people to find our more about you and your services. If you want to tweet more socially and not as part of your marketing strategy, why mention your business at all? Be clear about what you want from using Twitter, and adjust your profile and how you use the platform accordingly.

Lack of headshot profile photo

If you want to use Twitter professionally, you need to use a high-quality headshot photo as your profile picture. (And a high-quality banner image, too, for that matter.) You might think it’s okay to use your logo, but social media is just that: social. No one wants to talk to a logo.

I’ve seen a lot of blurry photos of people and photos of cats being used as profile pictures. Don’t get me wrong, I love cats – but I don’t want to picture a fluffy feline rolling around on a keyboard; I want to picture the person I’m talking to! (If you really are a highly intelligent cat who pays your own rent by running an editing business, email me and let’s be friends.)

People hire people they trust. And we don’t trust people who hide. (Or cats – some people think they’re pretty shifty.) Don’t be shy – show your face!

Private accounts

I’ll stumble across a profile that looks interesting, only to find the person’s tweets are private and I have to request to see them. I get it – they want privacy. But that doesn’t work if you want to use Twitter as part of your marketing strategy. Private marketing is an oxymoron. The idea is that you want to be seen!

It’s another form of hiding. I’m not going to connect blindly to someone whose tweets I can’t see – I want to know whether I want to start a conversation with this person before I do so. That’s the beauty of social media.

If we’re not yet connected, follow me @sophieplayle and send me a tweet to say hi!

Sophie Playleis a professional fiction editor. She specialises in developmental editing, critiquing and copy-editing, and loves working with authors and publishers who are passionate about high-quality storytelling. Speculative fiction, fantasy, science fiction and literary fiction are her genres of choice. She's an Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading and has a Creative Writing MA from Royal Holloway, University of London. Find out more: liminalpages.com

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