Thursday, July 2, 2015

Adventures in Social Media, Part 1

Today, I have good news and bad news.

The bad news: I’m probably the last person to do a blog on social media for the complete state of confusion it tends to toss me into whenever I think Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest…

The good news: I’ve researched stuff and I want to share.

Today will truly be a give and take of information because I know so many of you have ferreted out shortcuts and knowledge way beyond my ken. So together, we’ll divide and conquer the monster(s) we authors rest the majority of our promotional dreams on.

Yes. Social Media.

Fortification is needed here so I’ve baked blueberry muffins with sweet cream butter. The coffee pot is full and there’s an assortment of tea bags on the table. There’s also a loaf of zucchini bread in the oven. I’ll bring that out later.


Time to get down to business. At first, I thought I could lump all social media into one blog. Wrong. The more I discovered I didn’t know about each social media resource, the more I researched, and the more information I dug up. So, I’ve changed my strategy. Instead of one day where I reveal my complete social ineptness, I’ve chosen to take the hot seat with each tool, creating a blog series I hope will entertain, inform, and maybe even teach you a thing or two (I’m not holding my breath on that one).

This month, I’m tackling Twitter. For those experts firmly positioned with thumbs on smart phones, this will probably read like a first grade primer. I beg you to stick around! I don’t mind if you point out my flawed research. That’s how the rest of us learn!…

Twitter is an online social networking tool that allows users to post messages of 140 characters or less. What that means is you need to get to the point because there is no spare room for embellishment. Since inception in cyber realm, Twitter has become the premiere method of communicating in “real time.” Especially if you have a smartphone.

Let’s start with some basic terminology:

@MyName: Replace MyName with YourName and you’ve created your calling card in the world of Twitter.

Trending: The term describes the most popular conversation topics, often within major cities, countries or the world. It is a list most notably associated with Twitter, but Google+ will not be left behind and offers a similar list of current topics. YouTube uses the tactic to promote the most viewed videos, while Facebook and Pinterest have their own list system to tell the world about popular events and images.

Tweet: A tweet is a Twitter specific post of 140 characters, video or image. It’s amazing the amount of communication that transpires through the use of this abbreviated format. The tweet has become a short-hand message recognizable and decipherable across generations.

Hashtag: Hashtags are used to highlight a keyword or phrase which other users may utilize for search purposes. Be aware, hashtags can be dangerous and deceiving. For instance, if you go to Twitter and type in #SKRViLL in the search box, you’ll see an endless list of tweets by the Seekers (YAY!). But, if type in #nolimits, you’ll find a page of images and tweets that represent the goals and aspirations of people from all over the world using the same hashtag.

For more Twitter “slang” follow this link to a great dictionary of Twitter terms:

Twitter appears to have it’s own complicated communication stream. I’m continually confused over who sees what, and when I post a tweet, where does it go? Where to begin? Start with your homepage. This is where you see all communication or tweets from you and your followers. I’m amazed at how active that page is. As I try to catch up on bits and pieces of shared news, new news pops up and I’ll lose my place if I’m not careful making me go back to the top and start all over again. There’s no way I can effectively explain this chain of communication, so I direct you to website that spells it out step by step.

A word of caution: remember, Twitter is a SOCIAL networking site. Once you get the hang of it, it’s very tempting to compose a tweet telling the world about your book…in many ways… many times during the day. That’s a nice feature, but if all you do is sell your products, folks will start tuning you out like a bad commercial. Twitter is a great way for fans to learn about YOU in 140 characters or less a shot. You can share adventures in your garden, with your pets, with your children, researching your book, etc and do it in snippets where friends and fans won’t get bored. Honestly, it’s virtually impossible to yawn midway through a tweet. Just think, all those tiny glimpses into your life might captivate your fans and readers and bring them back for more.

Okay, so much for my sophomoric take on Twitter. Let me share what I found as I googled around the Twitter-sphere. I visited a number of sites to gather information and I know I’ve only chiseled a teeny crack in the machine that is Twitter. I did come across a really great site that takes you through the maze of Twitter chatter, helping you navigate this great networking device. Check out

Not only does this site explain Twitter in plain language, but they include graphics and screen shots! You might be scratching your head and asking “why didn’t she just send us to this site?”

Well, if I did that, this post might have been 100 words long, at best. That would be silly wouldn’t it? LOL! Besides, I’ve found the best way to learn something that boggles your mind is to attempt to try and teach it to someone else. I’ll let you decide if I helped or hindered you…

I couldn’t close out of this tour through Twitter-land without sharing the blog post by Michael Hyatt. He’s an amazing man with a great outlook on promotion.

Are we all ready to start tweeting our way through the day? Here’s my chance for shameless self-promotion. Whether you’re a seasoned Twitter pro or a newbie still scratching your head, I’d LOVE for your next (or first) tweet to tell the world:

Love #western #romance? #Read Rough Road Home by Audra Harders #kindleunlimited   

(just cut and paste, really, I don't mind, LOL!)

Leave a comment and tell me you tweeted (you don’t have to tell me what you tweeted) and I’ll put your name in a drawing for one of 3 copies of my latest ebook, Rough Road Home.

Rachel Hill, a burned-out stockbroker, realizes she’s sacrificed too much for her career and is searching for God’s direction in her life. Champion bull rider, Nick Davidson, reasons God abandoned him first, so what’s the point of seeking Christ’s will in his life? When Nick suffers a concussion, the road trip to the next rodeo becomes the ride of a lifetime for Rachel and Nick. Secrets revealed; lies exposed. Can the power of love heal even these deepest wounds? 

Rough Road Home available on Amazon


Keli Gwyn said...

I'm helping myself to a cup of tea. It hit 100ºF here in the Sierra Foothills today, but it's cooled off a bit now, Besides, the AC is running, so I can enjoy a mug.

I joined Twitter back in August 2008, not long after Tina played Nancy Drew and found me hiding behind my computer with no idea what amazing things awaited me in the wonderful world of writers online. I jumped in with both feet. To say that I was overwhelmed would be an understatement, but I forged ahead. I read a bazillion blog posts about social media, among others things. I opened accounts and made a gazillion faux pas.

The one thing I did right was to use my name as my identifier across cyberspace. Since I'm the only Keli Gwyn out there, I didn't have to worry about anyone having snapped it up. My short name comes in handy on Twitter, where I only use nine characters to reveal who I am: @KeliGwyn.

I look forward to the other posts in your series, Audra. I resisted Pinterest for a long time, but I've found my way there. Even so, I don't really know what I'm doing much of the time. I'm sure I'll learn a lot from you.

Barbara Scott said...

Thanks, Audra, for leading us down the golden road in Twitterland. About the only thing I know about it is that you can link your Facebook to Twitter, and when you use a hashtag, it will post on both sites. Whew! My brain hurts. I can't remember how I linked the two but it came in handy when I posted writing tips and used the hashtag #writing. Scads more people read it than "Liked" my Facebook page.

It's now 5:15 in Nashville with rain and thunder. One word. Coffee. I need more coffee.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I tweeted you!!

I'm pretty confused most of the time so I find it good to just retweet. Sigh.

But I like the stats Jeff Bullas gives about how you get retweeted and seen more if you use graphics.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I tweeted you!!

I'm pretty confused most of the time so I find it good to just retweet. Sigh.

But I like the stats Jeff Bullas gives about how you get retweeted and seen more if you use graphics.

kaybee said...

Thank you, AUDRA. I am hanging on for dear life. No, it isn't that bad, my adult daughter will show me anything I want to learn and she has this special voice she uses when she teaches her father or me something new on the computer. A very slow, don't-spook-the-deer-in-the-headlights voice. With words of one syllable. She's great. She got me on Twitter but I have to confess I don't use it that much. I can't think of anything to say that's that short. I'm on Facebook, but not an author page, got to work on that. I got myself on LinkedIn even though it took about a year to work out all the bugs (bugs to me, that is). It's been a hard and long learning curve, but I love all of it. I love being able to talk with writers all over the world. My crit partner moved to Arizona and we didn't miss a beat, we're still reviewing each other's work by e-mail. I want more! But it takes time to learn when you have an older brain, so I try to pace myself. Thanks for a great post, I believe I will try Twitter again.
Kathy Bailey
Working It Out In New Hampshire

kaybee said...

PS, My daughter just got a job in Tech Support, so you know she's good. She honed her skills on her father and me. If we can get it, anyone can.

DebH said...

Um, I think I'm a social media hermit. I keep a low electronic profile (or try to) mainly because of my job. I've a Facebook account, mainly to see what my birth parents and half-siblings are up to. I don't really post, just lurk. (can one be a FB lurker?) I know I'm missing out on a lot of things, but I'm barely keeping pace with "normal" technology and life as is. *sigh*

But I do so appreciate this post. It helps me not feel like such a NOOB.


Mary Hicks said...

Audra, this was just what I needed!! Help with Twitter.:-) The very words 'Social media' makes me start fanning my collar.

I follow the names that I recognize when they come up in my email recommendations, but I don't have a clue from there! I mostly follow you guys on Seekerville and other writing sites.

At least Twitter and Pinterest don't feel as invasive as Facebook—but, I'm going to try again to embrace Facebook. :-\

I'm heading over to retweet, Audra, drop my name in the pot!!:-)

Mary Hicks said...

Audra, I forgot to thank you for the great links—maybe I'll get better at this tweeting thing!!

Thank you! :-)

Julie Lessman said...

OH. MY. GOODNESS!!! Thank you SO much, Auds, for a basic explanation of things I really had NO idea about. When it comes to social media, I'm not the brightest bulb in the box, so until you explained it above in simple terms, I reallllly didn't fully understand what a hashtag was or how it worked. Sad, I know, but something tells me there are a more of us out there than I know! YOURS is one of the FEW blogs I have put on my favorites bar, so THANK YOU!!

I tweeted your message, but it was over the limit, so I just deleted the series title, and it came out perfect, down to zero characters left. Hope that's okay. :)

Hugs and more hugs,

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, WOW, KAYBEE ... a daughter in the tech field??? That's as good as having a doctor in the family, so good for you!! You said, "my adult daughter will show me anything I want to learn and she has this special voice she uses when she teaches her father or me something new on the computer. A very slow, don't-spook-the-deer-in-the-headlights voice."

LOL ... I know that look and voice well, my friend, as I have a daughter who does the same. I also see fear in her eyes that reads something like, "If this is how dense Mom is at 65, how is she gonna be at 85???"


Julie Lessman said...

BARBARA, you said, "About the only thing I know about it is that you can link your Facebook to Twitter, and when you use a hashtag, it will post on both sites."

Mmm ... I have my FB and Twitter linked (don't ask me how I did it, but I did), so whatever I post on FB automatically posts on Twitter without me using hashtags (which I didn't understand until now). But you're saying yours is linked so that whatever you tweet also posts on your FB page??

Sign me socially illiterate in social media.


Julie Lessman said...

TINA SAID: "I'm pretty confused most of the time so I find it good to just retweet. Sigh."

Why do I find this so hard to believe???? And you're one step up from me because I'm even confused when I retweet!!

DEB H said, "Um, I think I'm a social media hermit."

Move over, darlin', 'cause I'm right there beside you!


Kav said...

I'm still stymied by twitter. But then, I'm just getting used to Facebook, so you can tell I'm a technology dinosaur. Plus, I don't have a cell phone and I think twitter lends itself more to a phone than a laptop? Anyway, I don't quite grasp the fascination with communicating anything in under 140 characters. LOL I do check in on a few people on twitter...a very few. Mainly because I find retweeting getting in on the middle of a conversation and you can't quite figure out what everyone's talking about. No one could ever accuse me of being a technology geek. :-)

Anita Mae Draper said...

Thanks, Audra. I'm looking forward to your segment in this social media series. :)

Mary Hicks said...

Well, I made a banner for my Twitter site and added a head shot . . . saw that Ruthy was baking cookies this morning.:-) Yum!

Anita Mae Draper said...


Goodness, I should never read blogs until I'm fully awake because I omitted the word NEXT in my recent comment. Ugh. Looking for my coffee cup...

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Audra, thanks for the great explanation! I have fun on Twitter, and I've met some great folks there, but you're right, it's annoying if all folks are doing is sell/sell/sell.

So I do what I do on facebook, annoy folks with Ruthyisms (my children will testify as to the chronic level of annoyance!!!) funny pics, words of cheer and retweeting the things that seem so doggone wonderful that I can't resist re-tweeting them.


But I do let people know I'm an author, and I love giving my editors and publishers shout-outs, and shout-outs to my peeps about indie books.

But mostly to have fun! Because hanging with people is just plain fun.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I brought the brownies along.... peanut butter brownies and dark chocolate frosting.


Ruth Logan Herne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruth Logan Herne said...

Yikes, I just deleted my link to Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake because I didn't realize at the end, one of the other SNL guys told them to #shutup only he intimated it in LESS THAN NICE TERMS!!!!

Sorry Audra!!! EEEEEK!

Audra Harders said...

Hi Keli! Sorry to hear you're cooking - and not in the kitchen! Keep that A/C turned up and stop by the buffet table here as often as you like. Peach tea on ice all day long : )

Short names have their advantages, don't they? Tina alerted us very early in the Twitter unveiling that this was a tool worth watching. Yes, I got @audraharders, lucky me, although really, how many audraharders do you think are out there?

I'm glad Tina pulled you out of your hole and coaxed you to play with us : ) Dipping your toes into the waters of SM is not for the faint of heart. I can't begin to tell you how many faux pas I've made...

DebH said...


Ruthy: I love how you do things. cute kids, puppies and the occasional, "oh yeah, btw, have a cool book coming out"

Someday, when I grow up, I wanna be a writer like you.

p.s. Thanks again, Audra for this social media series. I need it.


Audra Harders said...

Hi Barbara! We're not getting the thunder and lightning, but I just got back from my early morning walk (it's the only time I have for exercise) and I did get sprinkled on. Very glad we have cloud cover today. Yesterday was a cooker!

I agree, that whole linking thing is a great tool to use. I have my blog linked to Facebook, but I don't know how I did it. I'll add "linking" to the list of things I need to research and report back on.

There's so much to learn and use and check on and reply to and...

What happened to just writing the book? Now's it come down to making the time to write the book.

Audra Harders said...

Thanks for the tweet, Tina! Graphics? I'll have to research that, too. I guess maybe I'll have a post in a couple of months of all the questions I gather and do an update.

Audra Harders said...

Kathy Bailey, you are leaps and bounds ahead of me if you have a techie daughter to calmly and patiently guide you through the learning curve. Luck bucket. My daughter is an Ag Science teacher. If you want to learn about soils and crops, she's your go-to gal. Computer stuff? Not so much.

I can never think of things to share on social media either. My life is boring, or if something exciting happens, it's too long to tweet. I'm still learning, too. I'm with Tina about retweeting the excitement in other people's lives, LOL!

Audra Harders said...

DebH, I can't keep up with normal life either, so you're not alone. I tried downloading the Twitter ap onto my phone, but the number of tweets that came through had the poor thing ringing all day long. Very annoying when your phone goes off continually at work...

I'm a FB lurker, too. And blogs. And about all other forms of communication. I'm still looking for that successful rhythm that will sift all my responsibilities together and make them make sense to me.

Audra Harders said...

Mary Hicks, thanks for the tweet and you are certainly in the drawing!

I'm with you on the Facebook thing. I'm not comfortable sharing as much of my life as many people do. I also don't think my life is that interesting. Pretty normal. Pretty redneck. I don't want peeps to get the wrong impression, LOL!

Glad you like the links. I found so much great info on the Internet, I knew I needed to share!

Kathryn Barker said...

Great post, Audra...organized, informative and the links are lovely!! I tweeted you too...but no need to enter me in the drawing, I've already purchased the Rough Road Home. Haven't had time to start it yet, but I'll get there!!

One thing I have trouble with on Twitter is directly posting a photo...I've linked my FaceBook page to Twitter, but can't get the hang of just tweeting a picture...oh well, I'll keep practicing...and I'm with Tina...retweeting is a joy!

Looking forward to your next social media post!!

Audra Harders said...

Julie, not to worry honey. We'll stumble through this maze of technology together. Strength in numbers, right? LOL! I think my daughter has the same fears as yours. "If mom can't get it together now, what am I going to do with her when she's 85?" Can't wait to see what she comes up with : )

Thanks for the tweet. When you mentioned it was too long, I went and tried to tweet it. Apparently when you cut and paste, something is added about find out more on this blog. I think that's great! We'll get more bang for our Twitter buck! I'll go cut it down so the addition is left on.

Audra Harders said...

Kav, there are some mysteries in life that we're just not meant to understand. Apparently the 140 characters is great for people on the go. I have a smartphone and sadly, it's way smarter than me.

But then, my kids are always telling me the phone has to be "on" and "charged" and to me any good. Obviously, there still lots for me to learn : )

Audra Harders said...

Anita! Good to see you! Funny thing, when I read your first post, I didn't even notice that you left out a word. I guess my brain inserted something and the rest of me just said okay : ) I'm all for more coffee. Excuse me while I go refill...

Audra Harders said...

Mary, Ruthy is always baking or cooking or cleaning something. I'm a real slacker next to her... BUT, when it comes to her cookies, I'm glad she shares : )

Audra Harders said...

Wait, not cookies but peanut butter brownies with chocolate frosting? OY VAY!!

Ruthy, you're all over cyberspace. I especially loved the graduation ceremony. You looked so serious and the kids - well, the kids were behaving like kids : )

Gotta love it.

And puppies!

I think the more we use it, the more comfortable we are. Keli and I have made our share of cyber mistakes. I guess that's how you learn too.

Audra Harders said...

Jimmy Fallon is a hoot! BUT, we must remain PG here in Seekerville...

Audra Harders said...

#sMediaHermit. I like that.

Audra Harders said...

Kathryn! YAY, you bought Rough Road Home! Oh my, must fan myself. I get so excited when people tell me they've purchased my book : )

Truthfully, I haven't tried posting pictures. I've retweeted pics and it seems to work well. I'll have to practice, too.

When does one have time to practice all this stuff?


Jeanne T said...

Audra, great post. I haven't had time to read everyone's comments, so I hope this suggestion hasn't yet been made. :) Edie Melson (who's GREAT with social media) shares that for every tweet about ourselves, we should be promoting 10 other people/posts. I try to do this. I do a lot of retweets of other people. And, when I'm helping as an influencer for books, I try to do a graphic with a quote from the book on Twitter, and on Facebook.

And, I posted your tweet. :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I got the FORBIDDEN error 403 code!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Hey, I bought it too! Where's my shout out???

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Beth wants you all to know she laughed when she saw Audra's comment about Ruthy cooking, baking, cleaning... she says she can't remember the last time cleaning happened...

She's a BRAT.

Janet Dean said...

Audra, thanks for this post. I need it badly. I've re-tweeted a lot but have yet to Tweet. Yesterday might've been a good time to try. Somehow a bird got in our house. My dh and I had quite a time getting it out, but we and the bird lived to tell the tale. Now would that have been a topic of interest? #bird in house?


Janet Dean said...

Audra, I don't have this latest book. Off to Amazon! And to re-tweet.


Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Audra,
I will have to re-read this a few times and hopefully it will sink in! I am terrible at tweeting. I even find it hard to read tweets - just so much going on.

Facebook I'm much better at, although I started a new author page and it's a bit different so I'm not used that one yet.

Pinterest - I LOVE!!

Thanks for the research!

Sandy Smith said...

Interesting post, Audra, but even those simple links seemed too much for me. It sounded way too complicated. I might have to have my son show me how it works while he's still home for the summer.

Myra Johnson said...

Very helpful post, AUDRA!!!

But isn't it amazing that as writers who JUST WANT TO WRITE BOOKS, we have to learn and then SUCCESSFULLY USE all these social media thingies??? Gone are the days when a day to write was just that--A DAY TO WRITE!!!!!

And I am using ALL CAPS like JULIE in this comment because even though social media does have its advantages and it can be fun to stay in touch with family, friends, colleagues, and readers this way, it is still a HUGE TIME SUCK!!!!!

Barbara Scott said...

Julie, the Twitter/Facebook link is pretty confusing. I chose NOT to have what I wrote on Twitter show up on Facebook. The Facebook page for professional moi will post to my Twitter page if I use a hashtag. Hm. I suppose I could use @BarbaraScott" too since that's my address on Twitter? Yikester, this is hard.

I found that a lot of writers use #writing, but I could easily pick another hashtag like #greatreads, #Christianfiction, etc. I was trying to reach writers at the time with my posts, but now that I'm back in the saddle writing, I want to reach READERS on Twitter. Otherwise, your tweets go into the great unknown universe somewhere that scrolls past all those people who are following you for various reasons.

Audra, any suggestions for hashtags to reach Christian fiction readers? Gotta buy ROUGH ROAD HOME now!

Audra Harders said...

Ruth Logan Herne, THANK YOU FOR BUYING MY BOOK! Now, excuse me while I go to Twitter and tweet that : )

Audra Harders said...

Jeanne, great advice about 1 tweet for self: 10 tweets for others ratio! Since I do find myself rather booooring, I'd rather tweet and FB about others. Retweets and Shares are your friends when you want your name out there and have nothing to say!!

Thanks for the tweet, Jeanne!!!

Audra Harders said...

LOL, Janet! Tweet about #birdinhouse. Yes, I do believe that would qualify : ) Any tweet - human or avian inspired - will do : ) BTW, glad everyone survived the great shoo-out.

Audra Harders said...

Sue Anne Mason, if you started a new author page, please post the link so we can friend / like you!!!!!!

I'm going to research Pinterest in the future. I can't wait to figure out how to use THAT! I like pictures : )

Audra Harders said...

Sandy, I think learning any new "modern norm" is frustrating. I'm with you there. The whole reason I decided to do these posts is because I learn when I learn to teach. It had to make sense to me before I could try to word it to make sense to others.

Make sense?? LOL!

Not to worry about Twitter, Sandy. I like you just the way you are : )

Audra Harders said...

OH SING IT SISTER MYRA!! Time suck is putting it mildly. Especially Twitter. When start reading the feed, you get through so many tweets and then Twitter refreshes the page and you're lost in a sea of new tweets.

I've learned to blink rapidly : )

Permalinks. We've got to work on that ...

Mary Connealy said...

Audra, I'm also a big fan of YouTube videos to explain stuff.

How to I add text to an image using MS Office 2013
There will often be a youtube video taking you through it step by step. And, in fact there are often MANY choices, so if one isn't clear you can try another one.

Mary Connealy said...

And PS I use this a lot for a lot of things and I'd like to formally apologize to Janet for sending her to YouTube to watch a cow give birth. She needed it for a book, but I think ever since she's seen it, she's on fairly heavy meds and startles easily.


Mary Connealy said...

I am not good at twitter. When told to and, especially when given the laid out tweet, I will go post something.
BUT I have my facebook page auto post to twitter. And in fact I have my blogs (mainly seekerville) post to Facebook, then it posts to twitter.

So I'm covering the bases but not probably in a good enough way.

Mary Connealy said...

I think the dirty little secret of all social media is that, when used well, it's very useful.

But to use it well takes TIME, ENERGY, CREATIVITY.

I have found I need to save my creative energy for my books, at least mostly.

Janet Dean said...

Audra, LOL Can I quote you? Bird in house. Another great American Shoo out!

So what do I hash tag? Or do I need it?


Myra Johnson said...

One way I weed through my Twitter feed is to create lists. These can be public or private, but I keep mine private. I have one for Seekers, one for Friends of Seekerville, one for Book News, one for Publishing Pros, and so on like that. So instead of trolling through tweet after tweet in the general feed, I skim my lists of the people or businesses I'm most interested in.

Also, I use Hootsuite on both my computer and my iPad & iPhone. It's another big help for organizing tweets and also allows you to schedule tweets to go out at certain times.

Myra Johnson said...

JANET, hashtags are just ways of categorizing your tweets so people who are interested in that topic can easily find them even if they don't follow you.

Like, sometimes when people tweet about Christian novels, they might use the hashtag #christfic. So then you can go to Twitter or Hootsuite or whatever Twitter app you prefer, do a search for #christfic, and all the tweets with that hashtag will show up in the stream.

#amwriting is a popular hashtag for writers tweeting about a writing tip or their word count or whatever. Same with #amreading for readers.

Or RUTHY just makes up her own--LOL!!!

Missy Tippens said...

Audra, thanks for the primer! I don't tweet a lot, but I do enjoy how it works with the short tweets. I need to get better at using it for conversations. But I prefer Facebook for that.

Audra Harders said...

Barbara, hmm, that's a good question. How to reach Christian fiction readers. I don't know how effective it is, but I use #inspyromance, and hashtag the theme of my books. Usually #cowboy, #western, #ranch, etc. If they're not Christian readers, they'll probably overlook my books, but there's always the chance they'll stop, read the blurb and buy it anyway. One can always hope : )

My girlfriend adds #colorado to her tweets. After using it a few times, she found a news anchor from one of the local stations is now following her on Twitter. Way cool.

Building the audience, right?

Audra Harders said...

Mary, you are the master of YouTube videos! I absolutely cringe at the thought of someone filming me to specifically upload the feed to the Internet. You are such a brave soul, you just won't accept it : )

A friend of mine sold her book to Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and they are putting her through a monthly bootcamp until the release of her book of how to use social media. They expect her to help promote, and are wise enough to give her the tools with which to do it. YouTube was a recent lesson. Can't wait to hear how it turned out!!

Audra Harders said...

You sent Janet to view the birth of a calf? In all it's raw glory? Oh Mary! Janet may never recover...

Audra Harders said...

#GreatAmericanShooOut might attract attention, LOL!

Audra Harders said...

Nice filing system, Myra. How do you get the perspective tweets to the correct file?

Audra Harders said...

Ruthy makes up a lot of things...I believe Ruthy's World is a very entertaining place. We might all have to take a field trip sometime : )

Just sayin'

Audra Harders said...

Missy, I'm surprised that you aren't a Grade A tweeter! You won't admit it, but you're very SM savvy. AND you always have your phone with you...turned on...charged up...

I've learned that's the first step to mobile SM

Myra Johnson said...

You mean for my lists, AUDRA? In Hootsuite, the lists appear as their own columns. It's not that simple if you only ever go to the real Twitter website, which is why I like Hootsuite.

Hootsuite also lets me see both my @MyraJohnson and my @GrammarQueen accounts all with one login.

Mary Connealy said...

Mary "The Master of the YouTube Videos" often loads videos of calves, especially fun if My Cowboy husband is trying to avoid a murderous new mama while he gives her baby an eartag.
I have learned that YouTube will STABILIZE your video, by that I mean, when I turn in my rugged, shaky video that would give a viewer motion sickness, YouTube can fix that.

So I do have like...............45 or 95 YouTube videos of a 19 second picture of calves frolicking in various ways.

I also have a few book trailers but you have to hunt for them.

Becky Dempsey said...

I have a Twitter account, but don't tweet much other than sharing giveaways and auto posts from my blog! I did tweet your tweet, though :)

Janet Dean said...

Audra, Mary ruined me with those birthing videos! Would you believe the scars I carry are my issue with social media?


Janet Dean said...

Audra, off to try my birdy Tweet. You may have unleashed a monster.


Vince said...

Hi Audra:

In the age of social media is the very private person the new exhibitionist?

BTW: I just finished "Rough Road Home" (which I kept mistyping "Rough Ride Home" because it was not the road that was so rough) and it is the best romance ever to answer the question:

"Why Do Women Find Cowboys so Attractive?"

Now I know.
Maybe TMI!
Just loved it!
A must read for cowboy lovers!


P.S. When I came to the below sentence:

"Now was not the time for close contact in a tractor cab."

This is how my mind read it:

"Now was not the time for close contact of the tractor cab kind."

You see: reading is a performance art with the reader doing the performing!

Audra Harders said...

Myra, I love Hootsuite. Of course, I don't know enough to use it to its full potential - yet. I've to remember to think lists!

Audra Harders said...

Knowing YouTube will stabilize the video clip is awesome! I guess I'll have to find something other than me to about a Corgi. People like Corgis, don't they?

Audra Harders said...

Becky, thanks for sharing! I know my blog links to FB and Twitter, but I don't know if FB links to Twitter. That whole linking thing is confusing.

This is supposed to make our lives easier, right?? HA!

Audra Harders said...

Janet, I sure Mary was gentle, but still birthing is a gritty subject. Good for you for surviving. I let you know when I post a YouTube of my Corgi frolicking. Maybe Mary knows how to merge the footage to have calves and Corgis at play???

Audra Harders said...

LOL, Vince! What the eyes read and the mind understands can lead to a spooky difference.

I'm glad you enjoyed Rough Road Home. My original title was Rough Ride. I still tend to write Ride instead of Road.

Wow, RRH left you with an understanding of women and their love of cowboys. That's good, isn't it? I'm glad you mentioned it though. Sometimes I don't think I answer my own story questions well enough for others to understand.

Now excuse me while I mozy on over to Amazon to check out your review...

Audra Harders said...

Wow, Vince! What a review! I can tell you know your way around bull riders and the rodeo. A 50 point ride + a 50 point bull = 100 perfect score. Yes! That's how they judge the rides. I love it!!!!

Thanks for your kind words, Vince!

Myra Johnson said...

After you've created your lists, in Hootsuite you then need to add each one as a stream. They'll appear in columns across your computer screen.

My experience is that you have to choose which lists you want to show up in Hootsuite on each device you use--computer, iPhone, iPad, etc. Hootsuite apparently doesn't duplicate your choices across devices.

Janet Dean said...

Audra, Mary's great with videos. I love watching the calves and her cowboy deal with their mamas.


Janet Dean said...

Vince, I can't wait to read Audra's Rough Road Home! I will as soon as I finish Mary's Now and Forever. I think this may be my favorite of all of her books. But I may have said that before. LOL Seeker books rock!!!


Ruth Logan Herne said...

I do make up my own hashtags. I figure it's less harmful than most things I do! And it's funny.

To me.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

I went to a class at ACFW or RWA about Hoot Suite and I'm still clueless! Which was my fault, not theirs, I'm fairly daft.

But there's a temptation to do too much if you know too much, and as much as I like folks, I'd rather write.

I love writing stories that much.

Sarah Claucherty said...


Get on Pinterest! It's such fun, and I found it relatively easy to use when I jumped in that boat. It requires images, but the visuals are really nice to have and eye-catching too.

Plus, Pinterest has a search feature so you can search for other topics/ideas, like blogging and writing tips, social media tricks and tips, ......

Barbara Scott said...

Audra, Mary, Myra, you're all geniuses compared to this social media amoeba. YouTube, Mary? You actually post on YouTube? You're my hero. I'll check out those hashtags you suggested, Audra. Hootsuite sounds like something a cowboy would say: "Well, I'll be hootsuited, darlin', if I can figure out what you're talkin' about."

I'm with Ruthy though. I'd rather be writing. :) Or editing. Editing puts food on the table.

Sherida Stewart said...

Audra, thanks for all the Twitter information. The Twitter slang link is great since I need to learn abbreviations. The limit of 140 characters is challenging.

Thanks for the muffins and tea. :)

I tweeted and would love an e-copy of your book. Great blurb!

Tracey Hagwood said...

Hi Audra,
I just finished Rough Road Home yesterday and enjoyed it. Now that I've read book 2 and 3 I need to go back and read the first book, lol. I didn't realize the indies were follow ups to an LI. Oh well, sometimes it happens that way.

I use FB and Pinterest, but no tweeting for me. I already feel like the first two are a sirens song black hole, just a quick look and HOURS can be lost and not recovered, haha, cuts into my reading time.

Myra Johnson said...

I have a really bad (?) habit of bouncing between Hootsuite, Facebook, email, and Seekerville whenever I get stuck in a scene in my wip. It's just for a couple of minutes each time, and crazy as it sounds, the mini-break seems to give my brain a chance to work out the problem behind the scenes.

Sometimes I fantasize about quitting social media cold-turkey, but then I think . . . how would I ever know what's going on in my children's and grandchildren's lives???

Rhonda Starnes said...

Thanks for the post, Audra.

It's taken me about a year, but I'm finally getting more comfortable using Twitter. I don't tweet that much, maybe three or four times a week, but I like getting on there to see what other people are tweeting.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Myra, I do the same thing. When my hour or two-hour is done, I surf for a few minutes in case the world ended while I was writing 19th century Midwest! And then I exercise or clean or something... and then I can come back!

Caryl Kane said...

Audra, thanks for sharing your wisdom. I enjoy using facebook to follow my favorite authors and to stay in touch with friends.

Audra Harders said...

Sarah, thanks for the tip on Pinterest. I always thought it was a pretty venue, but haven't really looked into the business side of it. I'm going to though!

Audra Harders said...

Well, Hootsuite to you to, ma'am! LOL, Barbara, Hootsuite is very cool. It helps keep posts to Twitter, Facebook, etc organized and scheduled. I'll talk about that later, too.

I guess this is a blog thread I'll be continuing for a while. Let me know what you like for me to research and I'll see if I can find it for you : )

Audra Harders said...

Sherida, when I first started looking into Twitter, the shortcuts and techniques I discovered to help folks get their message across in 140 characters or less was amazing. Much like the synopsis of a book, you need to present your thoughts short and concise.

I've got to work on that : )

Audra Harders said...

Tracey, so glad you enjoyed Rough Road Home!!! I've been working on that story for YEARS. God finally booted me in the butt and told me to get it off my computer, LOL! The whole Circle D series started with my debut LI book, Rocky Mountain Hero. Rough Road Home finished the thread of the Davidsons, but not Hawk Ridge. I love that place. I plan to set more stories there...I have to, we all know the town and the people already!!

I hate to say it, but I don't think I've found a SM yet that isn't a time suck. I know I have to do a certain amount so all you guys remember who I am, but honestly, which rates higher?? Socializing? Reading? Writing? We're all back to the age old dilemma...we need more time!


Audra Harders said...

I bounce around a lot, too, Myra. When I'm stuck on a scene, I have change my focus for a short period of time to sort out my thoughts. I'll get on blogs and Facebook and end up coming back to my scene an hour later.

I need to get up and go for a walk instead.

Audra Harders said...

Rhonda, I think that's half my problem - finding out what's going on with people. I'll find out a tidbit here and there and then end up drilling back until I get the whole story...picking up other stories along the way.

Never ending cycle.

Audra Harders said...

Caryl, you've got that right. I need to keep in touch with the world before I become a complete hermit!

Tanya Agler said...

Audra, Thanks for the Twitter tips. I like Twitter because I like the conversational feel. I just tweeted about my daughter's bunny rabbit helping me with my critiques this week while she's away. I do have lists, and I love Myra's Friends of Seekerville list idea.

The main thing I've learned about Twitter and FB is that I don't go on them until I'm done with my writing for the day or I get too involved with the different threads.

And Ruthy, I love your Facebook posts. They are awesome.

Debby Giusti said...

Audra, no WiFi today! Sorry I'm so late to comment. Thanks for the twitter tips. At times, it seems like Greek to me. I'll try harder. Promise!

Mary Curry said...

I have also been away from the computer all day. I read the post this morning, Audra, and thought of it often. I haven't read through all 102 comments yet so I don't know if anyone mentioned this, but one of the things I love about twitter is the ability to create a professional community through a hashtag. As a teacher I can participate in #litchat with other teachers.

Myra mentioned #amwriting and #amreading . I love using them.

Some other favorites - #FridayReads
RWA's Kiss of Death chapter does #1lineWed Authors post 1 line from their WIP based on the theme of the week.

Did anyone mention live tweeting TV shows? I know Jess Keller built a good YA following in live tweeting Once Upon a Time.

Julie Lessman said...

BARBARA SCOTT ... I feel the need to tell you that I think you are AMAZING, and I am soooo glad you have joined the ranks of us writers!! When you were an editor, I shied away because editors do that to me, but now that you're one of us author types, I love hanging out with you on Seekerville. You are a WONDERFUL addition to the village, my friend, so GOD BLESS YOU in your writing career!


Walt Mussell said...

I went to Tweetdeck and posted your tweet.

I go through periods where I post a lot on Twitter and then don't post for a while then go back to it again. (I also maintain two Twitter accounts, one for personal and one for the office. Tweetdeck helps there.)

One of the things I like doing is putting up a column to follow on particular subjects. I enjoy and then seeing what gets tweeted on that subject. I find I gravitate to history, especially things archaeological.

Chill N said...

Wow, Audra, you definitely explained a lot to this non-Tweeter. Thanks.

Don't enter me in the drawing. I'm in the midst of Rachel and Nick's story now. Even though I want to know how their story turns out, I'm enjoying them so much that I really don't want the story to end :-)

Nancy C

Cindy W. said...

Thank you for the post Audra. I tweet randomly. Usually to bring something to the attention of my followers.

I did tweet Love #western #romance? #Read Rough Road Home by Audra Harders #kindleunlimited - See more at: and would love to be in your giveaway.

Cindy W.

Deanna Stevens said...

I tweeted ;) toss me is too please..
Interesting topic today.. I can copy & paste & retweet but I did need a lesson in an original . . Thanks