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Posts tagged with: Joan Swan

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.)

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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?

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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