The Potential Power of Twitter–Part 4–What to Tweet

Good day, blogger friends! Hope all is well with all of you today! I had such a nice time at online friend and fellow author’s blog Steph Burkhart. Love when someone puts a fun spin on blogging. (We did the Sunday football theme. If you missed it, feel free to check it out here!)

Last week I followed up my Potential Power of Twitter posts (Part 1 and Part 2) by exploring concerns that came up in the comments. Since I got longer-winded than I’d anticipated (moi???) about the subject of getting followers, I decided to talk about the other issue separately. (Interestingly enough, the same topic came up at Authors Promoting Authors, where I blogged about things I’d do differently with the knowledge I’ve gained as a published author. I made mention of Twitter, and getting into it long before I did.)

For purposes of this discussion, I’ll assume you’re already following at least a few people. (At this point, it doesn’t matter if you’re being followed by them or anyone else—unless you want to send a direct message, which you can only do when you’re following each other.)

So here is Concern Two: “Now I just have to think of something fun to share and tweet my heart out!” and “For me it’s not joining the site, that was easy; it’s much harder to actually tweet or post some thing interesting.”

This may be the biggest issue holding folks back when it comes to any form of social media. (That includes Facebook, blogging and most likely, Linked In, Google+, etc.) What do I say and how do I say it in 140 characters or less—including hashtags when applicable? (Yes, people—those little #s can serve quite the big function.)

This article is one example of what I have to share via my blog. (You all inspired it with your comments, thank you very much!) Believe me, it helps solidify what I know simply by putting into words what I’ve learned. As per writing, posting or tweeting ‘something interesting’ try to remember this is about you and allowing fellow tweeps (or FB friends) an opportunity to know you. The more you’re out there, the more you’ll get to know others and the comments will start to feel as though they have a flow.

Think in terms of hanging out at a party w/a crowd of people. Some you know well. Some are acquaintances. Others you’ve yet to meet. Chances are—especially if you’re a social butterfly to begin with—you’re listening to the conversations around you and maybe saying something on topic.  (That would be me.)

Translation: Scroll through the different columns you’ve created. Read comments and respond to those that automatically generate an answer or a comment, pretty much the same way you’d listen to those around you and say something on topic. Or start one of your own! Keep in mind too: when you respond to a tweet that shows up on any one of your hashtag columns (i.e., #myWANA, #booklovers, etc), you’ve sort of introduced yourself!

Retweeting (RT) someone else’s tweet is also a way of sparking interaction. Twitter-folk love RTs and often respond with a tweet of thanks. Of course, a ‘You’re welcome’ tweet can include a comment about what you liked or some other start to a conversation. See how it’s not so hard to know what to say? (Don’t miss any responses by keeping your ‘Mentions’ column open at all times.)

Okay, two more things and we’re done. (Somehow it always comes back to Kristen Lamb, lol.)

Kristen teaches three important concepts in her talks on Twitter, but again, these apply to pretty globally to any social media venue.)

(1) Use your tweets to edify and promote others.

(2) Reciprocate kindnesses (i.e., RT or promote a friend’s blog or a great article you’ve read, as in click on one or more of those lovely little share buttons at the bottom of many blogs!).

(3) Tweet about anything that impacts your world that you believe is relatable to someone else (i.e., a great recipe you’ve come across, an amazing book you read; something someone did that’s awesome or touched you in a special way). When my favorite cat died recently, I tweeted about how devastated I was. The support from my online friends—and even folks I’d never had contact with before—was amazing. I shared this one on Facebook, but I’ll never forget the early Sunday morning I went down to the basement to exercise and saw our smaller fish’s tail sticking out of the bigger goldfish’s mouth. (Bleh!) My family was asleep so I vented to my FB friends, lol.  (I do suggest limiting or even skipping the small talk-tweets—i.e., Going to have a cup of coffee now.  Just MHO, but I’m not sure what to really say to those. Now, if you’ve just accomplished a goal and are feeling proud—i.e., Just finished first draft of chapter 3; ice cream break…yea!—tweet away! Chances are, someone will give you a virtual pat on the back!)

So, have I equipped you with what you need to go forth and tweet? Please let me know. Keep the questions and comments coming; you inspire me and help me think of things to say myself! (Now you understand why Kristen Lamb included the phrase We Are Not Alone in the title of her and her awesome book on writers and social media! Go get a copy!)

Until next time,

Joanna

The Potential Power of Twitter–Part 3–Gaining Followers

Happy Wednesday, friends. Hope all is well this midweek! Only two days until Friday (woot!) the weekend and a nice listing of blogposts I found very interesting over the past two weeks.

Wow. My recent Twitter-related posts (Part 1 and Part 2) started out as a one-shot deal. My chattiness made it two and now comments from you folks inspired at least two follow-up articles. (Thanks for saving me the trouble of thinking up something else, lol. ;))

At this point, two issues stood out. Today I’ll explore the first:

How do I get others to follow me?

Queen of awesome and social media Kristen Lamb suggests beginning as a follower and approaching this topic with a heart of service, thinking more about how to give to others and paying forward vs. the standpoint of ‘what’s in it for me?’ One way she does this is so simple: she retweets (RT) others’ blog posts as part of her time on Twitter. (She has a huge following so every message she tweets or RTs has the potential to be seen by thousands.) She also encourages, congratulates and supports others. She firmly believes social media is a way to build relationships and, in doing so, your brand evolves almost as a secondary result of your interactions online. (Check out her posts every Tuesday. They’re excellent.)

So how do you do this? Your best bet is to simply start following others whose tweets interest you (many will reciprocate; others often follow later, after you’ve begun responding to others’ tweets). Twitter will suggest people for you to follow. By using Tweetdeck and creating columns for ‘Tweetdeck suggests’ and ‘new followers you can keep that info sorted. And back to Kristen Lamb: she does Twitter-related articles every Tuesday and dedicates a big part of WANA to Twitter. (It’s her favorite social media platform. She made sense of it to me.) I’ve also come across helpful YouTube tutorials on how to use Tweetdeck and Hootsuite.

Oh yes: every Friday, you’ll find #FF (Follow Friday) in full swing. In this column, people make suggestions on who to follow. It’s a great way to promote your newest or best tweeps and gets your name out there, too! (There is a LOT of activity every Friday. That screen usually moves so fast, I can’t read it, lol.)

I realize this is confusing and/or overwhelming to some, but please understand, folks: it took me a long time to get this. Think what made Twitter initially so hard to grasp–especially using Tweetdeck–was that I expected it to be so much more complicated! (What’s really crazy is how ridiculously simple this all is—but you have to download Tweetdeck and use it to make sense of all this information.)

Concern Two: “Now I just have to think of something fun to share and tweet my heart out!” and “For me it’s not joining the site, that was easy; it’s much harder to actually tweet or post some thing interesting.”

We’ll dive into this one next Wednesday!

Don’t forget: Look for the a round-up of the some great blog posts by others this upcoming Friday. And on Sunday, please take a minute to stop by Steph Burkhart’s blog and show your team spirit. We’re having fun with football themes!

Thanks for your time and have a great day,

Joanna