Be a Tweep, Not a Tool–How Hashtags Can Win Friends and Influence Enemies

Today we are going to talk a little bit about Twitter. Why? Because I have some really unique methods to help you guys build massive social platforms with less work. We aren’t going to talk about all of those tips today, because your mother told me you needed to work on patience. Ha!

That and you guys have to understand the hashtag and how it works. If we don’t know how to properly use a tool, we can easily become a tool, if ya dig ;). Too many writers mistakenly believe they need to be on social media eight hours a day to build an effective platform. Um, that would be a no.

My tips involve the hashtag conversations, but if you don’t know what a hashtag is or what it does, the tips will make no sense. Feel free to scroll down if you happen to be hashtag savvy.

For the rest of you, you might find yourself asking, What the heck is that # thingy I see all the time?

Here’s the deal. If you bought my #1 best-selling We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media then you downloaded TweetDeck at the first available opportunity. Wait, what? You didn’t?

Okay…we’ll wait. *whistles, checks watch*

Kidding! But, seriously. Download TweetDeck (or a similar application. Yes, HootSuite is fine). Trust me. It will make life simpler.

What is a #? That little # symbol is going to help you build a worldwide following. I know. That’s partly how I did it.

So what is it? Well, when you first join Twitter, you are all alone…save for the celebrities that Twitter gives you, but it isn’t like you and Lady Gaga are going to chit chat (though Kim Kardashian might be available). This basically means you are going to have to make some friends or Twitter is gonna be a seriously lonely place.

Hashtags will help you meet people who love to talk about the same things you do. When you place a # with a keyword at the end of your tweet, Twitter slots your tweet into a conversation shared by people all over the world bound by topic.

Some popular writer hashtags are:

#writegoal (place daily writing goals and keep each other accountable), #amwriting, #pubtip, #indie, #amediting, #nanowrimo, #agent and the one hashtag to rule them all is, of course, #MyWANA.

Thus, when I tweet about my blog, often it looks like this:

@KristenLambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help build your platform? (link goes here) #MyWANA #nanowrimo #pubtip

My Tweet now will not just go out to my specific followers, it will be seen by the THOUSANDS of people all over the world who might be participating in those three popular hashtag conversations.

Why I recommend you download TweetDeck is that you can slot each hastag into its own column and then follow the people and conversations. When it comes to social media, we must interact and be vested in others, or we risk being perceived as fake and selfish. The hashtag is to help us meet and converse with others. It is not a new way to spam our fellow tweeps.

Thus, to help you guys out, today we are going to talk about three Twitter Tool Tactics, but then I will follow each Tool Tactic with a Tweep Tactic. I never criticize unless I can offer a solution.

Without further ado….

Tool Tactic #1

Using an auto-tweet system with hashtags.

BAD idea. This can get you banned to Twitter Limbo.

I am totally against authors using auto-tweets anyway. If our face and name are our Twitter identity, then our tweets need to be US. Writers are not @Starbucks. We can’t get away with auto-tweets. No one expects to have a conversation with @BestBuy. They will, however, expect conversation from us. And don’t think you can cheat. People are smart and will smell an automatically generated message a mile away…and then promptly ignore you, report you or unfollow you.

At the very least, they will think you are a big fat phony, and, in an age of people looking for authenticity, that is bad. It won’t win any friends, so I recommend just avoiding anything automatically generated. We really don’t need a Thank you for following me. Check out my awesome blog (link) sent to our direct messages. It’s not personal. It’s spam….and it seriously ticks us off.

It really is better for you to tweet less, but it be genuinely you, than it is to assign a machine to pump out your message. Millions are gravitating to social media to escape spam. Bring these tactics into their sacred space and the penalty can be steep.

But, okay, you feel you must auto-tweet. Don’t say I didn’t try to talk you out of it. Do NOT include a hashtag. It is very likely you could clog up a whole column with your spam…um, tweets. Maybe you didn’t mean to, but since you weren’t present, you didn’t get to see the mess your auto-tweets were creating (think Mickey Mouse and the brooms). Then people get angry and they report you and Twitter bans you from using the most powerful tool you have to connect with people worldwide.

You could accidentally gum up all three hastag conversations like this:

@KristenLambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help build your platform? (link goes here) #writegoal #nanowrimo #pubtip

@KristenLambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help build your platform? (link goes here) #writegoal #nanowrimo #pubtip

@KristenLambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help build your platform? (link goes here) #writegoal #nanowrimo #pubtip

@Kristen LambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help build your platform? (link goes here) #writegoal #nanowrimo #pubtip

@KristenLambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help build your platform? (link goes here) #writegoal #nanowrimo #pubtip

Now, I might have meant well, but folks on Twitter use these hashtag conversations to interact with a broader pool of people. If they see my tweet over and over and over and it is taking up the whole column, do you think it inspires them to like me? Or hunt me down with torches and pitchforks?

Also, the reason that I recommend TweetDeck is that you can see if your tweets are gumming up a column. I scan the #writegoal column to make sure I don’t already have a tweet talking about my blog in that column. If I do, I use another hashtag #amwriting or just wait to tweet about my blog. I try to only tweet 3 times a day to self-promote my blog. Morning, afternoon, evening to catch different Twitter crowds.

Tweep Tactic #1

Be a Genuine Peep

Make it a rule to promote others more than yourself, and you will rule the Twitterverse and even make some really awesome friends. Forget traditional marketing. Social media is a team effort. Help others, talk to others and just…be cool.

Twitter Tool Tactic #2

Nonstop self-promotion.

Yes, we know you have a book to sell…really. Using Twitter as a free and easy way to spam people is annoying and grossly ineffective. It is also traditional marketing, which doesn’t sell books. Never has and here is why. The best way to sell a lot of books is to write a darn excellent book. Tune into this blog Mondays and I will help you. Beyond writing a great book? Talk to people and be genuine. People buy books from who they know and who they like. That simple. Leave the spamming to the p0rn bots.

Tweep Tactic #2

Again…be cool. Just talk to people. Socialize. Let others promote you. It’s more authentic anyway.

Twitter Tool Tactic #3

Not changing the hashtags when we RT (retweet)

We all need to pay attention to this tip. All of us, at one time or another forget to delete or change the hashtags at the end of an awesome tweet we long to share. Ah, but we can unintentionally gum up an entire column with the same information and that is bad juju. Why this can be really bad is this can kill a hashtag. People will start ignoring the # or close the column or not use the # because it is always backed up with redundancy. Only you can prevent Column Constipation.

Tweep Tactic #3

Now that you know what hashtags are, add them or change them when you RT for others.

I might see a writer who has an outstanding blog…but she didn’t add any hashtags. So, when I RT, I stick in a couple. Try not to do more than 3. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, it just (to me) feels less “spammy.”

But, what if one of your peeps has a GREAT blog and they did use hashtags? If you RT and leave the same hashtags, then you risk gumming up a column with the same link. So change them.

@KristenLambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help build your platform? (link goes here) #writegoal #nanowrimo #pubtip

RT @KristenLambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help you build your platform? (link goes here) #amwriting #fiction #writer

Now my message will go into three totally different columns. This helps more writers SEE my blog and I don’t risk clogging up the conversation. People who follow the # conversations will really appreciate that. Also, it makes it where I don’t have to add 8 hashtags to the end. I know my tweeps will help me out.

At the end of the day, Be a Tweep, Not a Tool and success will surely be yours. Thought? Comments? Recipes for world domination using a cupcake maker and trained hamsters? Share! I love hearing from you!

And to prove it and show my love, for the month of December, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of December I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!

I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . Both books are ON SALE for $4.99!!!! And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in th biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books!

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  1. #1 by Julie Falatko on November 30, 2011 - 11:47 am

    I totally didn’t know about the retweeting/removing hashtags thing. THANKS!

  2. #2 by Madison on November 30, 2011 - 11:48 am

    Thank you for mentioning the RT redundancy with hashtags! It drives me nuts to see the same tweet over and over ad nauseum in a column I’m really wanting to follow.

  3. #3 by Julia Indigo on November 30, 2011 - 11:49 am

    Great column, Kristen. And it’s all common sense, really! I took your recommendation and DLed Tweetdeck, and it’s educational to follow various hashtags to see how your tweets look in context.

    Oh, and thx for WANA once again. Changed my life, still changing it!

  4. #4 by Natasha McNeely on November 30, 2011 - 11:56 am

    Great post! This is something a lot of people on Twitter should take a look at. I’ve seen so many people who tweet more like a tool than a tweep. I’m still learning, but I feel I’m moving in the right direction and this will definitely help!

  5. #5 by Jessica Aspen on November 30, 2011 - 12:08 pm

    I’m just barely using the hashtags. I’m sure they’d help me out considerably. I use my columns for my tweeps, and I run out of columns! I actually had to start a new tab so I could have more. Thanks for the hashtag advice!

  6. #6 by Heather Ponzer on November 30, 2011 - 12:10 pm

    Thank you for explaining hash tags! I thought I got it, but now I “get” it. I just avoided them. That’s my usual tactic when something looks hard.

  7. #7 by Darlene Steelman on November 30, 2011 - 12:20 pm

    Hi, Kristen. I always get good stuff from you. I did NOT know about the “change the hashtag rule” when retweeting!! Now, I feel like the ultimate dweep. Here I was thinking I am doing so much good in the Twitterverse by retweeting other tweets, and I am clogging major arteries!!!
    I always use #MyWANA #NaNoWriMo #amwriting #ROW80 (not all at the same time – ok,sometimes I do that).

    :(:(:(:(

    *sobbing* I don’t know what else to use!

    Thanks again… :)

    Darlene

  8. #8 by Anne R. Allen on November 30, 2011 - 12:28 pm

    When I first learned about hashtags (here, of course) my Twitter following increased exponentially. They really work.

    And thanks so much for making the case against auto-tweets. So many agents and other “platform” gurus tell you to use them, and they’re so lame. Ditto the nonstop self-promo.

    I’ve met great people on Twitter, and I’ve been approached by reviewers, publishers and anthology editors–and I’ve made loyal friends who’ve been standing up for me against my current cyberbullies. Twitter is great when you use it connect with people in a real way, not just collect numbers.

  9. #9 by Jessica O'Neal on November 30, 2011 - 12:36 pm

    Great post! I admit it, I used to not change hashtags. I didn’t know better, but as soon as someone told me I have made sure to never do it again. The problem I am facing now is trying to find good nonwriting related hashtags to follow to help expand my net beyond other writers. If the ultimate goal is to sell books, then we need to reach potential readers. It’s just so darn easy to get comfy with all the fabulous writers out there and not want to move beyond that comfort zone. Looking forward to your next post!

  10. #10 by Leigh D'Ansey on November 30, 2011 - 12:39 pm

    I also didn’t think about deleting hashtags or clogging up the Twitterland when retweeting. Thanks again for great advice.

  11. #11 by amyshojai on November 30, 2011 - 12:39 pm

    I am sooooo sharing this–again–with folks just starting out. And I’m guilty (mea culpa!) of perhaps over-using hashtags and clogging columns.

    Part of my problem is that now I’m required (yes REQUIRED!) to have a second twitter identity but not all my followers are on both. So I try to be selective and sorta-kinda-in-a-way separate the @About_Puppies from @amyshojai but there is redundancy. Still learning.

    Usually only have time to tweet in the mornings. Maybe if I scheduled a couple other times I wouldn’t want stuff the cupboard so full. *sigh*

  12. #12 by Marie Loughin on November 30, 2011 - 12:42 pm

    Great point about changing the hashtags. I’ve probably been guilty of clogging by retweeting, too.
    Even better point about auto tweeting. My eyes veer away from certain usernames without ever checking the content of the tweet.

  13. #13 by emmiemears on November 30, 2011 - 12:57 pm

    Great post! When I first joined Twitter, I immediately bailed for about a year before slowly trickling into the world because I Just Didn’t Get It. I am still learning, but reading your blog is making the process much faster! Thanks!

  14. #14 by Angela Orlowski-Peart on November 30, 2011 - 1:01 pm

    I love that easy-to-understand way you use to explain this subject :-)
    Oh, how irritating the auto-tweets are! Same goes for the self-promo, which sadly is hard to avoid not only on Twitter but on every social media site. I always wonder if the authors who send me those thank you for the following, friending me, etc. notes with “oh, BTW here is my book” insert, seriously expect me to drop everything and attend to their egoistic needs? Dude, I don’t even know you all that well, and you already make your demands? Really?
    Great post, as ALWAYS, Kristen. Hash tags are invaluable, which I’ve learn from your book. I love your phrase “Column Constipation”.

  15. #15 by Jennifer on November 30, 2011 - 1:23 pm

    Hi, Kristen! You and our WANA1011 class introduced me to Twitter and Tweetdeck, and I had figured out myself not to keep the same hashtags when RTing. Mostly from seeing tweet immediately retweeted in the same column. I”m just starting to use Tweetdeck to schedule extra tweets when I’m not around, or just to do it ahead of time so I don’t have to think about it. (Mainly new blog alerts.) And like Angela, “Column Constipation” cracked me up.

    @Jessica: try creating columns for possible interesting/on-topic hashtags. I’ve got #family, #sisters, #friendship set up. And for my quilt blunder posts, #quilts #quilting #quilters. If I browse the tweets in those, I can see what additional hashtags other people there are using, which give me more to explore. Good luck!

  16. #16 by scgillette on November 30, 2011 - 1:26 pm

    I have to admit that Twitter intimidates me just a tad, ok way more than a tad. Just getting started in the whole social media world, was darn proud of starting a blog, now on to researchng twitter. Thank you for the easy to follow and easy to understand directions, takes alot of the fear out of the process for us old gals.

  17. #17 by Joe Iriarte on November 30, 2011 - 1:42 pm

    I’d never thought about why it would be good to remove hashtags. Learned something new today–thanks!

  18. #18 by evahudson on November 30, 2011 - 1:45 pm

    Thanks for a great post, Kristen. I thought I had a handle on Twitter – I sooo didn’t. Those pesky hashtags – I never really understood what they were ‘for’. I do now. I’m between drafts at the moment and using the downtime (hah!) to reacquaint myself with WANA. There’s just no way it all sank in the first time round.

    Thanks for sharing.

  19. #19 by Bridgette Booth on November 30, 2011 - 1:45 pm

    Column Constipation????? I will never look at TweetDeck Columns the same.

    Love the RT etiquette reminders. Gosh, that’s an easy one to forget.

  20. #20 by Darci Hannah on November 30, 2011 - 1:46 pm

    Kristen! I’m so glad I found your amazing blog! It was recommended to me by another lovely blogger, Hallie Sawyer, and I’m so glad she did. I’m one of those very lucky authors who got picked up by a big publishing house (seriously, it took me years and years of rejections) but once my first novel came out I knew next to nothing about spreading the word. I hate self-promotion and the whole notion is uncomfortable for me. I don’t want to be one of “those” authors. Then, my second novel came out last summer (during the Borders liquidation madness) and it became instantly clear that I needed to embrace e-marketing or sink. I’ve been sinking, but hopefully, now that I’ve found your blog and your book, I’ll be able to tread the water a bit longer. Thanks for the info on the hashtags. That clears that little mystery up for me!
    Thanks for the post! Keep them coming!

  21. #21 by Catherine Johnson on November 30, 2011 - 1:54 pm

    Only in the last few days have I started changing hashtags when re-tweeting, and I try not to use #mywana every single time if I think a particular tweet wouldn’t be of interest. Doing these things consistently to clean up Twitter would make such a difference. At any one time the stream of tweets looks like newspaper headlines. “Column constipation” is so fab, I think you should use it in a hashtag when things are looking very spammy. :) Good job you are here to help, that’s for sure!

  22. #22 by Karen McFarland on November 30, 2011 - 1:58 pm

    Thank you Kristen for this advice and clarification! I hate being such a newbie.

    I do hope that I am not causing twitter constipation or diarrhea? LOL

    I do try to promote others more than myself. How boring that would be. But I do thank you for the other ideas or hastags out there.

    Question: How does one find other hashtags available to tweet? Is there a twitter page that lists them? :)

  23. #23 by stephscottil on November 30, 2011 - 2:01 pm

    @Jessica (I follow you on twitter too), my twitter world expanded when I started searching hashtags of TV shows I watch. It’s entertaining to read twitter feeds while watching TV, even if you’re watching a day later on DVR, people comment like you’re watching the show with them. I hadn’t seen Dateline in years and for kicks I searched #Dateline while the episode was on. People’s comments were hilarious.

    I followed the #SDCC #ComicCon tags last year and found people to follow who have my same interests. That led to a me finding a TV writing gig for a blog (unpaid tho), and now I follow a bunch of pop culture and TV users. I promote and retweet other TV blogs, and Kristen’s right, sharing the love gives your own work a lot more exposure. Twitter is even more fun when you expand on what you’re already interested in.

  24. #24 by leogodin217 (@Leo_Godin) on November 30, 2011 - 2:01 pm

    “Not changing the hashtags when we RT (retweet)” Please spread the word! This alone made me stop following #amwriting. Retweeting a hashtag provides zero value.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on #FF follow Friday etiquette. I wrote a post on it, but don’t quite have your reach. :)

    If some prominent Twitter users would start a conversation on better ways to do follow Friday, without just sending lists of handles. Maybe Friday wouldn’t be the worst day of the week for Twitter.

    • #25 by Lesley Coburn on November 30, 2011 - 6:17 pm

      I don’t mind a list of 2 or 3 people with a qualifier as to why you should follow. It’s nice and friendly, but a list of just handles is pointless. (some people seem to send their entire follower list!), especially if you all follow the same people!

      It’s the RTs of the #ffs you got that really confuse me. I just can’t see the point or am I missing something?

  25. #26 by Jessica R. Patch on November 30, 2011 - 2:24 pm

    Excellent advice. At first, when I started tweeting, I thought those DM spams to follow their blogs were genuine and they were being nice and trying to connect. LOL

  26. #27 by Tina on November 30, 2011 - 2:43 pm

    Wow! I learned so much reading this. I’m still quite a Twitter-rookie.

  27. #28 by Jess Witkins on November 30, 2011 - 2:49 pm

    Awesome advice on how to use Tweetdeck and hashtag etiquette. I have a question I’m hoping you know the answer to. I signed up for TrueTwit when a fellow writer’s profile asked me to, and now all my poor followers get that auto-message and my email gets inundated with truetwit messages. Any idea how to undo that? I hate that heckles my follows and floods my email.

    • #29 by Jess Witkins on November 30, 2011 - 3:56 pm

      Ah, the awesomeness of tweetdeck and #mywana! Wayne Borean just helped me out! No more obnoxious truetwit. Woohoo!

  28. #30 by Serena on November 30, 2011 - 4:28 pm

    Thank you for this post! I just started tweeting and using hashtags for my business account and I didn’t realize that RT’ing w/o changing the hashtags would cause it to duplicate on the hashtag feeds. I now know to change them and I have learned so much from your advice.

  29. #31 by Ursula LeCoeur on November 30, 2011 - 4:58 pm

    @Angela Quarles recommended this post to me, a novice at twitter. Thank you for explaining hastags. I had no idea that I should change hastags when RT’ing. I won’t make that faux pas again.

    • #32 by Author Kristen Lamb on November 30, 2011 - 5:22 pm

      Don’t feel bad. Most people don’t fully understand the # so they don’t realize what to do and not do. But that’s why I’m here :D.

  30. #33 by Bill Dorman (@bdorman264) on November 30, 2011 - 5:33 pm

    So that is what that pound sign means, huh? Did you say massive social platforms and have you been talking to my mother again?

    I am anti-automation and tactic # 2 (is it ok to use a hashtag here?), I am pretty cool, just ask me.

    I could probably do a better job with the hashtags and I’m guessing I can set the same thing up on Hootsuite (which I use), I just don’t tweet all that much. I do have lists of people I follow and might respond to them, but I’m deeper into the blogs than I am with twitter. That’s probably why I don’t have a massive social platform, huh?

    Oh well, live and learn; thanks for sharing, it was good info.

  31. #34 by Lesley Coburn on November 30, 2011 - 6:03 pm

    I am such a hashtag offender. All makes sense now. Thanks for the advice.

    Read an article recently about how we should all auto tweet as we must accept we not human on twitter. I totally disagreed as I unfollow people who auto tweet. I also unfollow people who self promote every hour on the hour and do nothing but quote their books or reviews.

    But I also do not understand the need to RT #ff mentions? Why tell your own followers to follow you? Or is it another “hey look at how popular I am”? It all just feels like spam to me.

  32. #35 by August McLaughlin on November 30, 2011 - 6:25 pm

    Such a helpful post, Kristen! I’m printing it out for keeps.

    I downloaded TweetDeck but found it super distracting while I was trying to work. Do you suggest setting aside TD time or leaving it on continually? Is there a way to ‘pause’ it??

    If any of y’all have insight to share I’m all ears. Er, eyes. ;)

    • #36 by Author Kristen Lamb on November 30, 2011 - 6:56 pm

      You can change the settings so you don’t get notifications (go to your settings). I just keep mine minimized. I work then check in when on a break.

  33. #37 by Elise on November 30, 2011 - 8:55 pm

    I’ve been following you for ages thanks to the advice of Tawna Fenske; love all your posts, but this one was EXTREMELY helpful — I’m hashtag illiterate, but feel much less so now. As for your books, $4.99??? Are you kidding me with that bargain??? I’m all over it!!!!

    • #38 by Author Kristen Lamb on November 30, 2011 - 9:29 pm

      Awwww, thanks Elise *hugs*

  34. #39 by tomwisk on November 30, 2011 - 9:32 pm

    Post helped a lot. Always wondered what hashtags are. As far as world domination: Sneak the hamsters into the campaign bus of whatever politico you choose. Their glowing hamsterness will dazzle them into behaving humanly. They will get elected and then use the little furry darlings to attain mind control. This is just bare-bones. Need to work in cupcake maker.

  35. #40 by Lance on November 30, 2011 - 9:50 pm

    Great post

    Im gunshy about using words like platform or brand to describe my writing blog and my status as a writer. Maybe it’s the way I was raised or that I’m a good ole southern boy, but self promotion beyond “hey, I wrote this, read it if you have time” seems unseemly.

    I like twitter because you can connect with other writers and like minded individuals. You can also find great advice from people like you, Kristin, that can help me become stronger at the written word.

    Ultimately you have to promote and promote some more.

  36. #41 by Janice Lane Palko on November 30, 2011 - 10:27 pm

    Fantastic post. I learned so much.

  37. #42 by deanne wilsted on November 30, 2011 - 11:23 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have felt like a freshman not wanting to ask where the bathrooms are when it comes to the #. I get the concept now, (As well as how I may have been gumming things up unintentionally) but I still need to learn more about how to use them. Any hints on the best way to find the #topics…. or do I just use the aps you mentioned? thanks again.

  38. #43 by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson on November 30, 2011 - 11:58 pm

    Kristen! I just learned something yesterday from @juliecgardner and @ninabadzin! They taught me that if you put a person’s name first the only people who will see that tweet are the people who follow both of you. If you want the tweet to reach a broader audience, you have to put a word — any word — in front of the name. For example: Whoa! @KristenLambTX wrote an awesome blog on #hashtags! Must read for newbie #bloggers.

    Thought I would share this tidbit with you. Check out @ninabadzin. Her twitter tips rock! Maybe even something new for you, my Queen!

  39. #44 by CF Winn on December 1, 2011 - 12:31 am

    I can’t thank you enough for this post.I learned so much! I bookmarked this page for future reference, I plan on picking up both of your books, I tweeted about this post and liked it on FB…are you convinced that I’m impressed yet?? Seriously, I am grateful that I came upon this. Thank you for being enough of a Tweep to write this. CHEERS KC style to the millionth power!

  40. #45 by alicamckennajohnson on December 1, 2011 - 1:02 am

    Good hash tag rules. I try and remember to change the # mywana esp can get filled up quick with the same re-tweets!
    On another topic I’ve been asked to give a short talk on twitter at my RWA meeting and was wondering if it’s okay if I use some of you’re twitter rules? Of course I would credit you. I’m only getting 30min so I want something they can take home with them.

  41. #46 by Debra Kristi on December 1, 2011 - 2:49 am

    I admit to being guilty of not changing the tags from time to time. I have gotten better at it though. I try to find tags outside of the writer’s forum but spend a lot of time testing them all. Would be great to have an index somewhere. :)

    I’m with Leogodin217, although I appreciate all the love that is shared through the #FF it to can gum up the feeds. It’s one of the reasons I stopped thanking all my new followers in tweets and mostly reply to #FF rather than initiate. I’d have too many tweets going out at once. It be a burst of static noise in twitterverse.

  42. #47 by jodi aman on December 1, 2011 - 6:15 am

    once again, thanks for the tips!

  43. #48 by Pat O'Dea Rosen on December 1, 2011 - 12:23 pm

    Gah. I’ve been a tool. Thanks for the hashtag help.

  44. #49 by Tahlia Newland on December 1, 2011 - 8:06 pm

    I never thought about removing hashtags or adding new ones to retweets either, so thanks for that. I do a lot of RT for fellow writers, so I’d better pay atention to that one from now on.

    Though I’d rather not, I used automated tweeting for about 10 days (not for ‘thanks for your follow’ just snippets about my book release) because 80% of my followers are online when I’m asleep – 1 am to 7am my time. I figure I don’t really have another option if I want to make sure they get some news. I only did it for a short time, so I hope it didn’t bug anyone.

  45. #50 by Julie Glover on December 1, 2011 - 9:34 pm

    I have not once clicked on a tweet that is purely promotional. However, I have bought books from authors who interacted genuinely on Twitter. I figured that if I like what they say there and what they write in their blog, I’ll probably enjoy their book.

    Also, I think it’s personal preference, but I ended up liking HootSuite more than TweetDeck. Both are far better than trying to juggle on your own. Thanks!

  46. #51 by Kimberly Mullican on December 1, 2011 - 9:45 pm

    Re: Twitter Tool Tactic #3 – This is the most abused of all. I follow so many other writers and there is a woman I’m TRYING to support, because she supports others. But her nonstop self-promotion makes me want to “unfollow” because I get annoyed.

    It’s rather frustrating. Today seemed like shameless self-promotion day – Blah.

  47. #52 by Marilag Lubag on December 2, 2011 - 1:49 am

    Guilty of using the same hashtags when RT’ing. There are few cases where someone needs auto tweets–Ashton Kutcher and Charlie Sheen.

  48. #53 by EmilyR on December 2, 2011 - 10:11 am

    Love the RT tip. I’m anxious to read your book!

  49. #54 by Rachel Morgan on December 2, 2011 - 10:31 am

    Very helpful, thank you. I never thought about changing the # tags on a RT.

  50. #55 by Carolyn A (Cary) Neeper on December 2, 2011 - 10:48 pm

    Feeling very grateful for all the specific info re the social media, especially hashtags, which I couldn’t find on Tweetdeck. I’ve touted “We Are Not Alone” on Goodreads and Facebook and my blog, complete with link. Looking forward to the blog book. All good wishes for a delighful winter, Cary Neeper

  51. #56 by educlaytion on December 3, 2011 - 12:01 pm

    I often change the hashtags but will sometimes leave them the same if a) I’m in a huge hurry but really want to RT or b) a lot of time has passed since the original tweet and I’m sure that the same info won’t look cluttery. Think I’m off base?

    Also, I love Tweet Deck and use it on my desktop all the time, but for some reason it won’t download and install on my (admittedly older) laptop. I can’t figure out what the snag is there.

    Finally, you’re the best. Happy weekend.

  52. #57 by Cate Dean on December 5, 2011 - 4:12 pm

    Thank you for the clear, concise explanation of hashtags – and the ways to avoid abusing them! I am just now using them in my tweets, and I love the back and forth with fellow writers from around the world.

  53. #58 by PW Creighton on December 7, 2011 - 9:49 am

    Excellent advice as always Kristen but I really wouldn’t suggest using external tools like tweetdeck or hootsuite to a new twitter user until they had spent a few months understanding and using the platform. It’s hard to appreciate and understand the benefits of external tools when you don’t know how the platform behaves.

    • #59 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 7, 2011 - 10:55 am

      Yes, but without TweetDeck, Twitter is frustrating and unmanageable. I, myself, hated Twitter until a colleague introduced me to TweetDeck. Once I used this application, I finally see what was happening in context–so I could actually SEE how the platform behaved. I have taught this way for three years and have had tremendous success.

      Tweet Deck allows people to see the big picture, so I have to disagree. I think new people need to lose the water wings and just jump in. That is why I started #MyWANA, so newbies could watch and learn and would have a dedicated community of support to help them ramp up to speed. But, without Tweet Deck, a newbie couldn’t get the bird’s eye perspective to see how things work.

      Also, platforms continually change. The Twitter of today will not be the Twitter of six months from now. Slow and steady can just make us road kill on the digital highway. We jump in, we make oopses, we learn and we grow.

  54. #60 by Rashda/Mina Khan (@SpiceBites) on December 8, 2011 - 5:51 am

    Okay, I thought I knew hashtags, but still learned new tips…thanks!

  55. #61 by Heather Marsten on February 2, 2012 - 6:08 pm

    Thanks for this post, I’m Twitter challenged.

    Have a blessed day.

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