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.
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: http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/Twitter_Dictionary_Guide.asp
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. http://www.momthisishowtwitterworks.com/
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 http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Twitter
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. http://michaelhyatt.com/the-beginners-guide-to-twitter.html
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 amazon.com/dp/B00X944GF4 #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