HOW TO INTERACT (AND HOW NOT TO INTERACT) WITH OTHER CREATORS ON TWITTER
If you are an aspiring creator or fan, you may wish to talk to other creators on platforms such as Twitter. This is great, generally speaking, as long as approached with a positive spirit and — as in any real-world social interaction with a stranger — some level of caution. We forget, online, that other people do not know us, and that many of the things that might help many in real-world interactions such as facial expressions, body language, and setting, simply do not exist on Twitter.
With this in mind, my tweets on the subject, from someone who has made many of these same mistakes in my time!:
1) Intent like edgy or sarcastic humour replies may come across weirdly or aggressively online. Aim for positivity and less ambiguity.
2) When you reply to a tweet, you are making a public contribution to someone's Twitter presence, ultimately. Read the room about how the person you are talking to interacts with others on Twitter. Get the sense of what they are comfortable with. As with most good in-person interactions with someone new.
3) It is tough starting out and seeing all these other pros being friendly. The secret is, many of them built up over time online or usually in person. You can't expect similar friendship all in one go. And spamming people with very very familiar messages will often make them feel defensive.
Social stuff is very difficult, I know, and some have greater privilege than others. But this has a positive side -- the Twitter 'we are friends' vibe is REAL for many. Someone with 100k followers is not your friend automatically? Make friends with other new folks. Build each other up.
4) Don't be a Reply Guy. If you spam all creators on Twitter with very short non-meaningful replies and even edgy joky-negative replies, people will know you primarily for that, as opposed to your presumed networking purposes. Quality over quantity.
Again — I have made mistakes sometimes especially when starting out, this stuff is tough and so don't be overly afraid, but equally do just have that filter regarding negative, edgy, jokey, or overfamiliar messages. Err towards helpfulness & backing other peers and meaningful engagement
Especially with higher follower count folks, they get LOADS of stuff sent at them a day. I love hearing nice things and supporting others including new creators but stuff will slip through gaps in time. Keep interacting but do not take it personally if you do not get responses
5) Try and develop friendships with creators of a similar following level or from your local game development (or other creative field) community if you have one. Find online Discord communities or make them. Rise together and help each other and learn how to present and act online in best way possible
One of the major things I have learned is: we all have the ability to help someone else no matter where we are at. It is far more meaningful & rewarding to act with this as our default rather than many other modes of action, in my opinion. It forms bonds even on a small scale, it IS bonding
6) Give without it being all about getting stuff back in return. It does not mean you ignore that aspect of networking, but a sincere affable non-resentful attitude where you don't think you are better than your fellow peers will get you wayyyy further than transactional thinking
7) If you repeatedly get negative replies based on your joke reply tweets then I have no idea why you would persist with that style. You are most likely creeping people out. Nothing that is the End of the World but just re- evaluate what you are trying to do.
8) II you have asked for help or assistance from someone and they have said yes but then nothing happens, a friendly reminder after few weeks is totally fine (at least, it is for me - if I still don't respond I may be snowed under, in which case another person may be better to assist.)
9) Just so people don't get paranoid: thoughts on a topic or personal reflections (as long as they are not insulting or aggressive) are usually fine as replies; well done and congrats etc = lovely; debate if invited/polite, great.
10) These thoughts are ultimately just my own, however, and different people on Twitter may have very different boundaries and wishes to my own. This is therefore the key point of all this advice: just pay attention to how the person you want to talk to talks and responds and acts throughout their tweets, and try and actually therefore fit the needs of the person you are trying to talk to (in a non-overly-familiar friendly polite way!), rather than blundering in forcing them to fit you.