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Posts tagged with: Twitter

Follow the Rubies at RWA National

Many of the ruby sisters will be attending the Romance Writers of America’s national conference in San Antonio this week. And we thought, instead of daily blogs about the event, it might be way more fun to post the live Twitter feed from the authors who are attending.  So here it is.  This feed will be up from now until next Monday.


If you are on Twitter and want to connect with rubies at RWA National this week, please use the hashtag #rubiesRWA.  Those of us in attendance, including myself, would love to connect with blog readers who may be attending. 

 

A Heretic Tweets: Tweeting for Fun, Not Profit!

heresy

I’ve always likened Twitter to a global, virtual cocktail party. Depending on who you follow, you can participate in, or overhear, some of the most interesting conversations. But…don’t you sometimes, even while recognizing its importance, get bored to tears with the sheer volume of author promo appearing in your Twitter stream?  With seeing upteen retweets of the same promo tweets you scrolled past yesterday? For me, there comes a point where it all just turns into hissing static.

Don’t you sometimes want to go to a different corner of the cocktail party, hang with a different crowd? Use Twitter for PLAY, instead of for WORK? I know I do.

Heresy!!!! BAD AUTHOR!!!  I can see agents, editors, and publishers chasing me with flaming torches and pitchforks right about now. But…honestly. Sometimes I desperately need a palate cleanser. Something different, something fresh.

With Twitter, it’s really easy to drop in on those other conversations. You can follow whoever you want, and search for anything you want. Do I have a few minutes between day job meetings?  Fire up HootSuite, and see what’s happening in the world. Any breaking news? Who’s been hacked today? Where’s my Science Porn? WHERE ARE MY EMERGENCY KITTENS?!  In the reading/writing world, which books are people talking about – not just mindlessly retweeting? What are they saying? Who’s kicking off a #1k1h writing challenge as I dial into my fourth meeting of the morning? #sojealous

My Twitter use kicked into higher gear when I bought a Kindle Fire HD late last year. For better or for worse, I can now tweet from my living room couch in the evenings, and not just from my desktop computer, my laptop, or my smartphone.

Some things I’ve had fun with on Twitter recently:

  • I exchanged quips about the TV show #Hoarders with writer Amanda Hocking and comic Michael Ian Black. We deemed the episode we were watching “Extra roachy.”
  • Book blogger Limecello and I occasionally snark on #Bones and #SYTYCD together – but we snark out of love.
  • I had way too many raunchy #candyheartrejects suggestions on Valentine’s Day. It’s better that some of those tweets never again see the light of day, but the next morning I woke up to 35 new followers.  ;-)
  • I’m thrilled that I’ve received several friendly and innocuous (damn it) direct messages from an athlete/writer/LGBT ally who not too long ago elbowed Johnny Depp off my “Top Ten To Do” list. Minnesota recently became the 12th state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage, and IMO, former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe‘s smart, incisive, and hilariously profane advocacy had a lot to do with it. Damn, can this guy write. And he reads! Books! And tweets about them! And how cool is it that Kluwe’s wife asked him to do beefcake shots for his recent feature in Out magazine? Let me throttle back on the fan-girling long enough to pimp his upcoming book: “Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities,” his first collection of essays, is coming out end of June 2013. (Here’s a partial index to give you a feel for its content. Language NSFW.)

Does anyone else get a completely over-sized thrill when someone whose work you respect responds to a tweet, retweets or Favorites something you’ve written, or follows you? Thank you, Wil Wheaton, Mindy Kaling, John Taylor, Foo Fighters, Amanda Palmer, and (gulp) the hacker collective Anonymous – not that I’m keeping track or anything. ;-) Foodie and fellow Minnesotan Andrew Zimmern recently followed me after I tweeted “GET IN MY BELLEH!” in response to a picture he posted of some yummy-looking fried chicken. /shrug/ Go figure.

I don’t have a huge list of followers – it’s growing slowly, steadily, and organically – and being I write so slowly, most of them have NO clue I’m a writer…but I guess they’ll find out when they see a very judicious amount of promo in their Twitter streams when I release my next book.  (Novella cover reveal below!!)

Whether it’s via Twitter or Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram or Pinterest, who do you think has an interesting or entertaining social media presence? Tell us about a time when an RT, DM, Like or Follow gave you a tingle. 

Follow me!  Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

TOUCH ME, an Underbelly Chronicles novella, is releasing later this summer.

TamaraHogan_TouchMe_200pxAward-winning author Tamara Hogan loathes cold and snow, but nonetheless lives near Minneapolis with her partner Mark and two naughty cats.  When she’s not telecommuting to Silicon Valley, she writes paranormal romance with a sci-fi twist. A feral reader with an unapologetic television addiction, Tammy is forever on the lookout for the perfect black boots. 

Her debut, TASTE ME, won a Daphne du Maurier Award for Mystery and Suspense, was nominated for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award®, and won Prism Awards for Best Dark Paranormal, Best First Book, and Best of the Best.

“Heresy” comic by Esther Wheaton via Obohemia (Ren) / CC BY-NC-SA 2.5

Promo…ugh…

Book promo…author promo…just jab a needle in my eye and make it stop :)

OK, maybe it’s not quite that bad, but promo is a necessary evil, right? We all have to do it! And who of use really likes it? I would venture to guess, very few of us. So…since it’s likely very few people’s favorite part of the job (possibly NO ONE’S favorite part of the job), I would like to know What Really Works?

I’m sure you would, too! :)

Digital Book World Discoverability and Marketing Recap

I attended the Digital Book World Discoverability and Marketing conference in NYC two weeks ago, and I wanted to share my key takeaways with all of you. The conference was geared toward publishing professionals – marketers, publicists, and all the people responsible for launching ebooks and getting them discovered by readers. There were very, very few authors in the audience; I know Bob Mayer was there, and a few authors gave programs during the session, but this was truly a marketing conference. I’m kind of a geek for marketing (even though I also secretly despise it), so I found myself loving/hating all of it – but your mileage my vary, of course!

These are the most interesting insights/tidbits I heard during the conference…if you want more detail on anything, leave a comment and I’ll see whether my notes are helpful:

1) If you take nothing else away from this post, know this: the importance of mobile (smartphone/tablet) browsing is increasing dramatically. The head of industry for publishing at Google shared some Google search stats, and the eyepopping one was that in 2010, 93% of Google queries came from computers; now, it’s 72% and still dropping fast, with those other 28% of searches coming from mobile. Mobile search is only going to continue to grow.

What this means for authors: you must make sure that your website looks great on smartphones. For me, my website traffic in the last month (1943 unique visitors / 2571 total visits) was 41.9% on mobile devices – the iPad was 50% of my mobile traffic, iPhone was ~25%, and a variety of Android phones and Kindle/ereader tablets made up the rest. If someone is reading your book on a mobile device and searches your website to learn more, you want them to see a great website optimized for smartphones. This means *no Flash* (flash doesn’t work on iPads), quick loading, etc. Test your site on mobile devices, and if you don’t like how it looks, work with your web designer to fix it.

2) Your Amazon book page is like your book’s homepage on the web. We heard from Jon Fine, the Director of Author/Publisher Relations at Amazon, and his main point was that when someone searches for your book on Google or other search engines, they’re almost certain to see the Amazon page for your book at the top of the search results. You want that page to be as good as possible, with reviews, product descriptions, etc., and a robust author page that gives as much information as possible about your works.

What this means for authors: do as much as you can with Author Central. You may not be able to control your product descriptions (often the publisher is responsible for this), but you can do a lot on Author Central – regularly update your bio, add videos, add your Twitter feed, add your blog feed, etc. You can also add extras about the book through Shelfari (Amazon’s Goodreads competitor), which show up on the product page for your book. Just a little bit of effort on Author Central can make your presence more robust, which helps you show up higher in search results.

3) Email marketing is a bigger sales driver than any social media platform. Jessica Best from Emfluence Marketing said that for every $1 she spends on email marketing, they drive $28 in revenue. I don’t think that these stats are perfectly accurate for authors maintaining their own email lists – but purely from a time/money spent perspective, my (very infrequent) newsletter is more valuable than anything I’ve done on Facebook, Twitter, etc. It costs some amount of money every month to maintain a mailing list through a mailing list manager like Mailchimp or Constant Comment – but the people who sign up for your mailing list are interested in what you have to say, and you can use Mailchimp to track how many people open it, make sure that it looks good on smartphone mail clients before sending it out, and see how many people subscribe/unsubscribe every month.

What this means for authors: build your email list. Facebook or Twitter could go away tomorrow, but if you own your mailing list, you can always reach your biggest fans. Key caveat: do it ethically! Don’t violate CAN-SPAM law (or public opinion) by adding people without their permission. But I make joining my email list a key way to enter my contests, and I can track to see how many of those people stick around when I send out my next newsletter. I also have a link to sign up to my mailing list in my ebooks – this is easier to do if you’re self published, but it should be obvious how to sign up for your newsletter as soon as someone hits your site. Use something like Mailchimp or Constant Comment, which will help to make sure you don’t break CAN-SPAM law and also help you track stats.

4) Get a few metrics you can measure consistently and act upon – and then track them. Angela Tribelli from HarperCollins spoke about the importance of metrics, which I totally agree with. But it seems that most authors (and I’m guilty of this myself) obsess over their Amazon sales rank but don’t track anything else. Instead, you can track things that you can actually impact – visits to your website, newsletter signups, Twitter follows, Facebook likes, contest entries, etc. Then, if you do a blog tour, for example, you can see whether there’s any increase in averages for those stats in the days/weeks after the tour – if you don’t see any lift beyond your average, it might tell you not to do a blog tour again.

What this means for authors: pick your stats, track them, but don’t obsess. Daily tracking of things like Twitter or Facebook likely isn’t helpful. Instead, you can pick a day of the week or a day of the month, write down all your stats, and ignore them until the next time you need to track them. For me, this helps to decide whether to invest money in a giveaway, whether to spend more time on Twitter, whether to spend money promoting a post on Facebook, etc. This can also be helpful for showing publishers that you’ve built a platform – if you’re able to show steady growth and things you’ve done to grow your platform, this could theoretically help to get a deal.

5) Final thoughts: the jury is still out for me, but I’m starting to believe that it’s less important to do blog tours before a release and more important to spend that time making sure that your profiles and information on all the major platforms are thoroughly updated and have as much info as possible about your latest books. Obviously your website is key to this – your website should always be updated, even if you don’t treat it like a blog. But your Author Central page, Goodreads and Shelfari profiles, Facebook, Twitter, and any other outreach methods you use should be updated regularly so that search results are accurate. The primary goal is to make sure that anyone searching for you or your books finds out how to buy them! The secondary goal, with the help of a good web designer, is to figure out how to get your own site or book higher into the general search results for terms like ‘regency romance’ or ‘best contemporary romance’ – that’s a much harder nut to crack, but it’s worth thinking about.

But I’m not an expert, and I would love to hear what you think – what’s worked for you, what hasn’t, and where you’re focusing your efforts. I’m looking forward to your comments!

Triberr – A Quick Guide

So what is this Triberr people keep talking about? How does it work, and, more importantly, do I have to dress in animal pelts and coif my hair with chicken bones if I join?

Let’s break down Triberr into easy digestible chunks, shall we.

First, what exactly is Triberr? In short, Triberr is a reach multiplier. Huh? What does that mean? Triberr is a community of bloggers who also double has pimps, or marketing tools. These bloggers band together in tribes and share blog posts. When one tribe member posts a blog, the blog is tweeted through Twitter by all the other tribe members.

What is a tribe? No, it’s not drinking the Kool-aid. Tribes are collaborative groups of bloggers that often have a commonality. In our case, that might be writers and reviewers. Groups might consist of cliques for a more narrow target market, such as authors who write historical, erotica, thriller, etc. Tribe mates in these classification specific units share quality, relevant content and networking, and often provide guest posting opportunities.

How does it work? Triberr easily manages this through the RSS feeds (every blog had one). Triberr automagically imports blog posts into the tribal stream (much like a Twitter stream or Facebook wall) which is shared by all tribe mates. Tribe mates then share these posts with their Twitter followers, either manually or automatically.

I’ll give you an example. Say I write a fascinating post on Caribbean pirates. For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume I have 10 tribe mates. My one post is tweeted 10 times. Now think about how many Twitter followers each of my mates might have. Also think about how many people integrate their Twitter accounts with other social media networks like Facebook. The number of possible exposure grows exponentially. And what if you belong to more than one tribe? Whoa! Now that’s driving traffic to your site.

*Image provided by Getty*

Let’s one-up that. Every tribe mate can reblog your post. Reblogging through Triberr offers extra incentives. Let’s go back to my pirate post. Tribe mate Johnny thinks my post is pretty awesome. He reblogs it on his blog, putting my article in front of a new audience. Any comments made to the post on Johnny’s blog will show up on mine as well. And if tribe mate Orlando also reblogs  my post to his site, any comments made there will appear on both mine and Johnny’s blog.  In other words there is no loss of engagement.  This is good for all involved. It’s like guest posting. Less work and more interactions. Wow. I’m all over that!

Triberr is a community of engagement, and it’s growing. There are forums called bonfires for tribe members to ask questions, get tech support, network, and more.

Tribe members also collect bones. No Triberr is not conducting secret cannibalistic rituals. Bones are the equivalent to currency. Bones are earned through activity on the site and they are spent on benefits to bloggers and to creating more tribes.

But why use Triberr? Here’s the important part. When invited to join Triberr, you become a part of an instant community. Not only are you connecting with like-minded bloggers, you are expanding your potential readership sweep. It’s share and share alike. Your post gets distributed. Tribe mates are sharing good relevant content to their followers. And followers are exposed to you. Your blog traffic grows. For authors, pffsh, it’s a no brainer.

Triberr is always improving, too. Soon the network will be integrating social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest. Can you just imagine the potential reach? Get your ooga mooga primitive groove on and check it out.

Triberr.com/

 

An Author’s Guide to Geeky “Social” Stuff

Whether you are a published or soon-to-be published author, the chances are pretty good that you’ve already been thinking about social networking.  If you’re a published author, your publisher has probably insisted that you do this.  If you’re an indie author, knowing this stuff can make a huge difference in building readership.  If you’re pre-published, learning this stuff before you sell can be a huge time saver.

So, like it or not, we right-brained authors need to learn a few left-brain tricks.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t learned any of this stuff before I sold my first book, so I had to do a lot of catching up while simultaneously trying to meet killer book deadlines.  I would not recommend this method of learning.

And so, in the interest of sparing you some of the pain I’ve gone through, I thought I would pass along a few helpful tricks that might give you a running head start in trying to stay “social.”

How to have a blog delivered to your email account.

Let’s start with something really simple, like having the content of the blogs you want to follow, including the Ruby Sister blog, delivered to your email.  To do this, you’ll need to learn about something called a “Real Simple Syndication Feed,” otherwise known as an RSS feed.  (And, no, that is not short for Ruby Slippered Sisterhood.)

Every WordPress and Blogger site has an RSS feed that contains the content of the blog.  An RSS feed looks like an Internet URL address, but it’s not the address for the blog — just for the blog’s content.  Here is the URL address for the Ruby Sister blog feed.

http://www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/feed

If you follow this feed, you’ll see all of the blogs posted on the Ruby Sister Blog, displayed in a webpage without our site’s navigation buttons and graphics.

Using an RSS feed, you can have just the content of the Ruby Sister blog delivered to your email account on a daily basis.  All you have to do is visit “Feed My Inbox” (http://www.feedmyinbox.com/).  At this site, you simply enter the URL for the Ruby Sister blog and your email address and voila you’re done.  Every day you’ll get an email containing the blog posted here on the Ruby Sister blog.

Obviously if there are other blogs you want to follow, you’ll need to get their blog feed.  Luckily there are specific naming rules for WordPress and Blogger RSS feeds.  Below you’ll find a link to more information about this, so you can figure out the feed for each of your favorite blogs and have them delivered to you, instead of having to go onto the Internet and search for them.

For a full discourse on RSS feeds from WordPress blogs, follow this link:  http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Feeds

For more information on Blogger RSS feeds, follow this link:  http://support.google.com/blogger/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=97933

Following blog comments

It turns out that WordPress and Blogger have RSS feeds that include more than just the content of the blog posts.  You can also follow comments posted on a blog.  So if you want to follow the comments that are posted on the Ruby Sister Blog, the URL would look like this:

http://www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/comments/feed/

Like any other RSS feed, you can have this one delivered to your email.

Following a specific blog author

It gets better — and more useful — because WordPress has a way of filtering an RSS feed.  You can filter a feed in a number of ways, but for me the most useful is to filter the feed so that it provides only the posts of a specific blog author.  So if, for example, you wanted to read blog posts that were submitted only by me, the RSS feed would look like this:

http://www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/author/hramsay/feed/

Using a blog feed on your own webpage

I use my own Ruby Sister author feed to build content on my own webpage.  If you follow this link:  http://hoperamsay.com/news-feeds/, you’ll see how my posts at the Ruby Sister blog show up on my own webpage.  I don’t have to create these links by hand, using my RSS feed, they post automatically.

My webpage uses WordPress so I have a huge array of free software “plugins” that help me manage the page pretty effectively.  The WordPress plugin to display my Ruby Sister author feed is called “Syndicate Press” (http://henryranch.net/software/syndicate-press/), but there are others available.  I am not familiar with Blogger webpages, but I’m sure there are methods that you could use to have your author RSS feed embedded on a blogger webpage.  If your webpage is more traditionally built, you may have to check with your webpage designer for ways to have your author feed embedded into your webpage.  But if you are blogging at other sites, you should not miss this opportunity to automatically keep your webpage content dynamic.

Using a blog feed to create Facebook content

Suppose you have a webpage like I do that includes a blog.  I occasionally make posts on my own blog, as well as participating in multi-author blogs.  Every time I blog, I want to make sure that I let my friends on Facebook know about it.  If you visit my facebook author page, you’ll find my blogs posted in two different ways.  I have a tab on my facebook page that shows the feed from various blogs that I participate in.  In addition, every time I create a blog, a Facebook status update is created, with an automatic link to the blog.

I use an app called “Social RSS” to make this happen.  The free version of social RSS will post the blog feed to your Facebook status timeline or author wall in about 24 to 48 hours after the initial blog post.  Because I want my feeds to show up quicker than that, I pay for the premium version of this service.

I have to be honest, I like this app, but it sometimes malfunctions.  I’ve been searching for a better way to do this, but I haven’t found it yet.  If anyone has suggestions, please leave a comment.  The point, though, is that it is possible to link your blog feeds to your Facebook page automatically, using an RSS feed.  And anyone who regularly blogs, should be taking advantage of this connectivity.

What else can you do?

Well, it turns out that Facebook and twitter also have feeds.  And with a little bit of research you can figure out ways to do some pretty interesting things.  For instance:

  • You can connect Facebook and twitter so that the feed for every one of your Facebook posts is automatically tweeted.  There are two advantages to using twitter this way:  1) you don’t have to worry so much about the character count, and 2) you only have to post a status update or comment once.  Follow this link to set this up:  http://www.facebook.com/blog.php?post=123006872130#!/twitter/
  • You can put your Facebook or twitter feed directly on your WordPress website.  I embedded my Facebook feed on my own webpage by using a WordPress plug-in called “Simple Facebook Connect.”  Not only does this plugin allow me to embed my Facebook feed on my webpage, but it also allows my readers to “like” posts and other content on my page.  If I wanted to, I could allow users to post Facebook comments on my webpage content.  If you visit my page (www.hoperamsay.com) you’ll see my Facebook feed on the right sidebar.
  • I have also opted to use Constant Contact to manage my mailing list.  This is a paid service, so it might not be for everyone.  But one of the advantages of using Constant Contact is that the service provides a mailing list app that I can use on my Facebook page as well as my personal webpage.  Facebook normally doesn’t have a mailing list option, so if you are an author and trying to build a mailing list, I strongly recommend that you find a service that will allow you to connect a mailing list option on your Facebook page.  Constant Contact also has a way for people on my mailing list to tweet and to share my email messages to them, potentially broadening every mailing that I send to my mailing list.
  • If you are using both twitter and Facebook to communicate with readers or friends, it can get really tiresome flipping from the Facebook interface to the twitter interface.  There are two great solutions for this problem.  You can download free software called “Tweetdeck.” Alternatively, you can visit www.hootsuite.com and set up a hootsuite account.  Both of these solutions allow you to set up multiple twitter, Facebook, and linkedin accounts in one place.  You can post to all of your accounts in a single post, instead of trying to post in multiple places.  Using hootsuite has really saved me a lot of time.

I am only beginning to explore additional ways to connect my presence as an author on Goodreads and Amazon to my webpage and Facebook.  So I can’t provide much help on those things right now.  But I would sure be interested in hearing any other tips from readers and authors about connecting things up and staying social.

Master Tweeting for Authors: Part III

This is my third and final posting for Twitter tips and tricks for authors.  This is probably my favorite post because it covers my pet peeves.  But these peeves go beyond personal irritiation, these tips will help maximize your Twitter experience.  How? By:

  • Getting your tweets read by the maximum amount of followers
  • Increasing your chances of getting followed
  • Diminish your chances of getting unfollowed
  • Generally display an organized, professional way of twittering. 

If you plan on using Twitter in your best interest as an author, yes, it’s important.

(BTW, I am not a purist.  Occasionally…okay, often if I’m squeezed for time…I ignore my own suggestions.  I just try not to make a habit of it.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tidy up
We’re all pressed for time.  And with the growing popularity of social media, especially Twitter, more and more people are going to skim for quality content.  If you don’t take the time to tidy up your tweets, your information will get skipped (at best)  or you’ll get deleted by followers (at worst).  No one wants to read junk. 

One of the things I find myself doing is skipping far more posts that start with a # and @ or an RT.  I want original information, not regurgitation, so the posts I stop to read begin with real words, real content. 

I’m not saying never simply RT (’cause I do it too on occasion).  I’m just saying, stop and think before you hit that “retweet” button.  If the information is really that important to share, shouldn’t you be willing to take thirty seconds and make it interesting? Maybe add something of value?

Example of a typical Retweet:
RT @Jan_OHara Wonder how to find the perfect agent? @MegWClayton tells us how, today on Writer Unboxed: http://bit.ly/fdzamy #writegoal

A tidied version of the retweeted information:
Today on Writer Unboxed: @MegWClayton tells us how to find the perfect agent http://bit.ly/fdzamy. RT @Jan_OHara #writegoal

Just a little cleaner, smoother to read and easier on the skimmer’s eye.  The first one I’d skip.  The second one I’d read and click the link.  That’s what we want, right?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Keep it simple
Just because Twitter give you 140 characters, doesn’t mean you have to use them all. 

Example cluttered tweet:
7 Myths About #Publishing: http://dld.bz/R75T @MaryDeMuth @thecreativepenn @iwritereadrate #pubtip #writing #amwriting #writetip #writers

KISS tweet:
7 Myths About #Publishing: http://dld.bz/R75T (via @iwritereadrate) #writetip

It’s nice to do an @mention for everyone who’s retweeted the post, but…why?  The credit really belongs to the person who either wrote it or originally tweeted it.  And as for hashtags (#) apply the tag that’s most appropriate – two at most.  Flooding every special interest # with the same post will get you ignored.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Be inclusive
As I described in my previous Twitter related post, the @ sign is the single most powerful element to understand if you want the best milage out of your tweet.  Remember: because not everyone follows the same people you follow, they may often see only part of a conversation.  That’s irritating. 

If you’re going to carry on a private conversation, carry it on in private (Direct messaging or using the @ before the user’s name).  Otherwise, make things inclusive by leaving piece of the previous message so others don’t feel like they’ve parachuted into a cocktail party and right into the middle of a conversation.

This would be the exclusive (an annoying) way to respond to a message:
YES! @iansomerhalder Bring it!

If I don’t follow @iansomerhalder, but I follow the person who sent the message, I have NO idea what the hell this means.  Bring what?

An inclusive example posted by @DarcyBurke
YES! Bring it! RT @iansomerhalder: Damon is about to shoot his first scene with Klaus…

Okay, now, even if I don’t follow @iansomerhalder, even if I don’t know who Damon is or Klaus or anything, I’m still “in” on the context.  Thank you!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Shhhh
I cherish silence.  Yes, even on the internet.  There is already so much noise polution in our lives (the main reason we filter and skim) just chuck the noise & chatter.  Use your @’s and direct your communication.  (BTW, this is the type of post that causes me to unfollow someone)

Example of noise:
Thanks, girl! // RT @ProvidenceCarey: “For Better or Worse,” a new post at THE HAPPY BOOK BLOG: http://t.co/Re00SGg // This cracked me up :)

There are so many irritations in this post, I can’t even address them all.  Let me just offer a smart, professional, thoughtful way of doing this:

@ProvidenceCarey Thanks for the RT!

So simple, yet so brilliant!  If you’d like to get a little more personal and share your gratitude with all your followers, you could follow Marie Force’s example:

Thank you so much to @smellykellie for the lovely blog post about my books at www.mommywishdom.com. I love my readers!

Nice, professional, clean, personal.  I love it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

120, the new 140
Make it easy for others to RT your posts by leaving some personal space.  Keep your posts under 120 words or so allows others to insert their user name without having to completely reword your information.  Far faster for the RTer, which means you’ll get RTd more often.  Win-win.

Example of the new 140:
12 Lessons Learned While Marketing “The 4-Hour Body” http://su.pr/32FZl2 (via @tferriss) (88 characters)

Here is that post RT’d:
RT @thecreativepenn: 12 Lessons Learned While Marketing “The 4-Hour Body” http://su.pr/32FZl2 (via @tferriss) (109 characters)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Big Brother is watching
No, not the government…well, actually, yeah, they’re watching too.   But here, my point is that Twitter content is not private, like Facebook content (and I’m not even sure how private Facebook really is).

  • Did you know tweets show up on Google and other search engines?
  • Did you know people who don’t follow you can see your tweets?
  • Did you know that people who don’t even have a facebook account can see your tweets?

Try putting this URL directly into your browser, just like you would any other internet address: http://twitter.com/joanswan (or click on it, that’s easier, but I’m trying to make a point) :).

What appears are not only all the posts I’ve tweeted, but all the responses left by others.  When I realized that, it freaked me out a little–not that I any reason to…just, you know, things can get taken out of context.  Yeah, that’s it… 

I’m just sayin’…think before you tweet.  Would you want a potential agent or editor Googling you and finding a tweet that says Agents are so damn slow, it’s pathetic or I don’t know why I even try, I should just quit?  I think not.

I think I’ve babbled enough.  I hope it’s been helpful and I sincerely hope to see you all on Twitter–as you can tell, I’m a big fan of Twitter done right.

In closing I thought I’d share the anatomy of a few complicated tweets–for educational purposes only.  My philosphy is that if you need a diagram to figure it out, the post should never have been tweeted in the first place.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Anatomy of a Tweet

Master Tweeting for Authors-2

So we’re back to Twitter again, huh?  If you missed the first post, you can find it HERE.

So much to know, so little time.  In fact SO much to know, that I ended up cutting this post off at one topic, when I’d planned on covering several.  But, the truth is, the almighty @ took up so much room, I didn’t want to totally bog you down with other things, too.  I’ve chosen another date in April to finish it all up.

There is a lot of nitty gritty here, but it’s valuable nitty gritty.  The kind of stuff that I wish I’d known early on, because I wouldn’t have learned by mistakes.  It might look cluttered at first glance, but I’ve tried to par it down to digestable little snipits with examples.

It’s all about the @ on Twitter.

Master Tweeting for Authors

Okay, I’m no master, but this is not a how to beginners guide, either.  We already know you’re on it and using it, but are you using it to your full advantage?

If you think you’re not interested in Twitter, if you hear Twitter and think, I don’t have time for that, or I have nothing to tweet, or what a waste of time…I have a couple of stories for you at the end of the tips section that may change your mind.  If nothing else they are warm and fuzzy stories.  We can all use a few more warm fuzzies in the world, no?

I haven’t always been a Twitter fan.  I swear my first few weeks on Twitter killed thousands of braincells.  What do you mean, no threads?  How am I supposed to keep track of anything or anyone? What the hell is everyone talking about?

I felt like I’d been dropped in the middle of a cocktail party where I knew no one and kept picking up partial conversations of which I couldn’t quite elbow myself into.

I missed the organization of threads on Facebook, my original social media of choice, and eventually deleted my Twitter account.  But then guess what happened?  Yep, a few weeks later, I realized I missed the immediacy and intimacy and utter rampage of information on Twitter.

What was a girl to do?  I got TweetDeck.  But I’m not going to talk about TweetDeck today, I’m going to talk about Twitter and what I’ve learned about the nuances of that particular social media that made it more manageable and less chaotic.

Nine Steps to Understanding Twitter

Tamara Hogan once described Twitter as a worldwide cocktail party (albeit a virtual one in which everyone is limited to writing messages no longer than 140 characters). Millions of people are registered users, so the trick is in filtering what you want out of all that nonsense.

Here are the nine basic steps you need to follow to get started with Twitter.

1. Establish your intentions.

Are you going to use Twitter to talk to your non-writing friends and post pictures of your kids? Or are you going to use it to connect with industry professionals and chat with your writing buddies? I like to keep my personal life separate from my professional life, but that’s a question each of you must answer for herself. Do answer it, though, before you register. Make it clear in your head what your boundaries are, and don’t cross them.

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