Social media can be an enigma for writers. We have to be on it, but often have no idea what we’re doing there. The social world can be forgiving of a newbie – thank goodness! But Tweeting on Twitter doesn’t have to be confusing
Here are some major issues about Twitter that are often unrealized until mistakes have been made.
- Tweeting is not about self-promoting. While it’s a valuable avenue to tweet your current books and blog posts, it’s not a regulated billboard. There are some who tweet nothing but “Buy my book. View my site.” It’s sad that they don’t engage in the environment, and annoying that they keep up regular commercials about their products. But I remember one site that tweeted the same thing every few seconds. Hootsuite and Tweetdeck make that easy, but I think this particular site ended up blasted for the spam it cancered all over the system.
- Twitter doesn’t require constant attention. I thought it did when I first started. Talk about a time-drain. I kept it open at the top of my screen as I attempted to write and every time a new tweet flashed, I stopped what I was doing and went and read it. Yeah, well that lasted about a day before I knew there was NO WAY I could maintain a writing career if I stayed attached like that.
- Social is the key word. I schedule my time, setting aside about a half hour every day for social media interaction. I’ve created a list of hand-selected individuals that tweets things I’ll want to retweet. I also have a different list of Tweeters who I actually know. Engagement is crucial. Edie Melson suggests a 6-1 rule. Tweet 6 things about or with others before you tweet anything about yourself. Just following that rule keeps up the engagement.
- A fourth trick I’ve learned is the use of #hashtags. Hashtags are gathering places. If you plan to use one, make sure you visit it first to see how it’s used. Some of the hashtags, like #wordmonger, seem like great tags for writing articles, but aren’t. #Wordmonger is a game, a challenge used between writers who will write as many words as possible starting at the top of the hour, then posting their totals at the bottom of the hour. Other tags, like #litchat, are used for specific reasons on specific days. Get involved in the hashtag neighborhood before you start using it.
Your Turn: What is your favorite social media?
2014/September at 12:34 pm
This is an old post of yours, Margie, but I’m just now ready to consider Twitter. I’ve been afraid I’d be signing my life and privacy away if I joined Twitter. Or that I’d be bombed by popcorn of the inconsequential events of everyone’s lives. Maybe not. I appreciate your post.
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2014/September at 12:39 pm
Glad you found it, Lee! I use Hootsuite to filter the people I follow. That way I don’t have to see everyone’s thoughts all together. And regular, short interaction is perfect for Twitter. (I’ve got to get back to the regular part! LOL!)
2013/November at 5:34 pm
I like Facebook, just because I’m “used to it.” Tweeting is for the birds. LOL (I’m only saying that because I have no idea what tweeting truly is! 🙂 I’m SURE I’ll actually like it when I get around to trying it. 🙂 ) I am thinking the 6/1 rule could very nicely apply to Facebook as well! I like it!!
2013/November at 6:32 pm
I think you’re right on that, Christa.
And tweeting isn’t for everyone. I keep doing it because I started doing it. Hard to stop, but it isn’t my fave. I like Pinterest, addicting place! But Facebook is usually where I go.
2013/November at 7:44 pm
I tweeted about your post today. I like your/Edie’s 6:1 rule. I’ll work on that, and I agree it’s annoying to see when people only tweet commercials about their whatever.
Thanks for sharing.
I enjoy Twitter and I’m trying to learn about Instagram. It seems like the younger people like it (my kids).
2013/November at 9:58 pm
I’m all over Pinterest, but I don’t quite the point of instagram. Gonna let my girls have that one. Blessings of picking and choosing!.
And YES! I’ve learned SO MUCH from Edie Melson! (NOT MY 6:1 rule!) She’s such a guru!
2013/November at 12:29 pm
I’m with you on this – I love twitter. Thanks for these great tips!
2013/November at 12:37 pm
Look who’s talking about great tips! You’re an INSPIRATION! So glad you came by!