All We Needed To Know About Social Media Success, We Learned in Kindergarten

Nursery School–Manners 101

Remember being a kid and your mom lecturing you about manners? My mom was the head of the Good Manners Gestapo. “Sit up straight.” “Chew with your mouth closed, please.” “Don’t slam the doors.” “Use those ab muscles when you sit down. No plopping!” “It’s, ‘Yes, ma’am.’” “Um, please?” “Thank you.” “You’re welcome.” “Can you go outside? I don’t know. Can you? Are you capable? Are your legs broken? It’s ‘May I please go outside.’“”She did what? She, who? The cow’s mother?”

“Did you ask them nicely?” “No, you need to pick up this mess before we leave.” “Hey, lower your voice. Not everyone wants to hear what you have to say.” “Turn down that music. Others have the right to peace and quiet.”

Where Mom left off, my Kindergarten teacher took up. “Stand in line.” “Wait your turn.” “Ask permission.” “Keep your hands to yourself.”

Starting to feel six years old yet?

Why is it we value manners so much?

Manners show others we value them, that we respect them. Manners pave the way for relationship. Manners show that we have empathy and consideration for others, that we listen and we care. It is pretty difficult to be self-centered and have good manners at the same time, so good manners are generally a sign of a kind person worthy of our company.

Marketing without Manners is Destructive

In all this huzz-buzz about marketing and promotion, I feel one of the key factors being lost is this idea of good manners. When we are rude, thoughtless and trample through someone’s digital world without any common consideration, there’s a good chance that people will not appreciate our presence. If people groan when they see us, odds are they won’t be rushing out to buy our book or tell others how awesome we are.

In a digital world of no faces, body language or boundaries, we need to be more mindful of manners than ever before.

Back to the Basics

Image courtesy of Amber West WANA Commons

To properly teach social media, I feel I must address common courtesy and etiquette. We’d like to believe this stuff is just common sense, but common sense isn’t ever common. We could have the best book in the history of the ABCs, but if people hate us because we are rude, then no promotion will help. Today, we will start with some Twitter etiquette.

Twitequette?

I posit this thought. All we ever needed to know about social media success, we learned in Kindergarten.

RULE #1 Listening is as Important as Talking—We don’t need to tweet all the time, every hour to be heard.

A lot of social media experts are putting undue pressure on writers to be on social media every waking moment. Feeling stressed, many writers resort to automation (because all of us just LOVE talking to and hearing from bots). Relax. Hop on a couple times a day with the goal of three genuine interactions.

A little goes a long way and we remember real people. We ignore (then report and block) bots. We won’t buy books from spam bots, and we won’t send them money to get the rest of our inheritance from Ghana either.

News flash! Twitter is….global. If you can’t tweet when you are at work, don’t sweat it. Twitter doesn’t have visiting hours. No matter what hour of the day you hop on, I guarantee you people will be tweeting. I once had a bout of insomnia that earned me a heck of a following in the UK.

We have to be present to listen. Be real. Others will appreciate it.

RULE #2 You Will Be Graded on Attendance and Participation—NO AUTOMATION, PERIOD

Every time I tell people to not automate or program tweets I get argument. Feel free to automate but I will tell you two truths.

1) We are all ignoring you, and eventually we will report and block you and then we will just hate you.

We don’t pay attention to auto-tweets. Guess what? We don’t read the crap in our spam folders, either. And don’t try to make it look like you are tweeting for real. We are sharp. We spotted the guy in the HOV lane with a blow-up doll, too. We resented him for insulting our intelligence, and we will resent you, too.

2) Programmed tweets can get out of control and land you in hot water.

Recently on #MyWANA we had a link-spammer who would not stop spamming #MyWANA. I tweeted nicely and asked her to stop. So did at least a dozen other people. When nice didn’t work, we tried not-nice and tweeted “WHY ARE YOU SPAMMING #MyWANA? STOP!” I even blogged, then blogged AGAIN to make the mission and rules of #MyWANA clear and to gently discourage her behavior.

Still, she kept posting links…and more links…and, yes, even MORE links.

We finally blocked and reported her so much that Twitter shut down her account. What did she do? She opened a new one (or unlocked the reported account) and started link-spamming #MyWANA AGAIN, no matter how many times we told her that #MyWANA was for community.

Why didn’t she listen? Likely because she’d set up automation. Because she wasn’t present, she couldn’t see the fierce hatred we all had for her. Every time we saw her name, we saw red.

When I awoke yesterday to an entire column of tweets from this woman on #MyWANA, I took the fight to Facebook. This got her attention. She apologized and said she was only trying to help writers, that she had a good intentions, and I believe her but:

Good intentions + horrible manners = ticked off followers

While she claims she never automated, I don’t know if I quite buy that. If she was present on Twitter and watching the column she was spamming using, she would have seen how she was being received.

***Twitter hint: If people are tweeting you telling you that you suck, that is NOT a good thing, so stop doing whatever you are doing that is ticking people off.

Automation can save time, and up your SEO, sure, sure, but it can also make a giant mess that taints your brand. In September’s issue of Fast Company Magazine Baratunde Thurston, The Onion’s director of digital, talks about he almost ruined the company’s brand by using Tweetlater.

His iPhone short-circuited from all the hate mail.

RULE #3 Each of Us Gets One Turn—We only need one identity on Twitter…really.

Another reason the #MyWANA link-spammer ended up in hot water was that she not only insisted on posting link after link after link on #MyWANA with no conversation, but she had multiple identities doing the same thing. She not only had a twitter ID with her author name, she had one for her company (that offers services to writers).

Great, so not only was she a bot, she was a bot with multiple personalities.

***Twitter hint: Link-spamming with one personality is dumb. Link-spamming from multiple-personalities is borderline suicidal.

If our followers are greeting us with digital torches and pitchforks, that isn’t a good thing. Also, here is a definition of spam so there is no confusion.

Spam: Messages with no humanity or engagement.

It is called social media. Twitter is not our personal infomercial. People are on social media for community. If we are not talking to people and present, we are a bot.

If we are doing something that is offending people and they are trying to tell us, but we aren’t even there? THAT is spam, no matter how good our heart was for posting whatever we were posting.

RULE #4 Play Well with Others—Follow any #s we regularly use and pay attention to the Mentions column.

Let’s say I buy the story that the #MyWANA link-spammer didn’t automate. Okay. Well, then she clearly wasn’t watching the #MyWANA column that she so freely used or she would have seen her tweets clogging up the stream and would have seen the WANAs pleading with her to cease and desist. If she’d checked her @Mentions, she would have gotten the tweets calling her out, and would have seen the rising anger.

When I tweet links, I regularly use, #MyWANA, #amwriting and #pubtip, but guess what? I follow ALL of those hash tags. I watch the columns. I am very careful to not tweet too many links, and I am vigilant to make sure I don’t clog a #.

If I RT a link that uses #s, I change them so I don’t clog a hash tag. If I don’t change them, I at least remove them. I do all of this to make sure my social media behavior is not ruining the social media experience for others.

Remember that social media is a form of communication. Communication has three parts:

SENDER—>Medium—>RECEIVER

As the sender of a message, it is our responsibility to keep tabs on how and if our message is being received.

RULE #5 Remember the Golden Rule—Tweet Unto Others as You Would Have Them Tweet Unto You

Social media works best when we are all vigilant about the feelings of others. Do we want non-stop links blasted at us? No. So why would we think it’s a good plan to do it to others? Do we like direct mailings, junk mail, and flyers jammed under our windshield wipers? No. Then why are we blitzing people to buy our books?

Do we just looooove it when vacuum cleaner salespeople interrupt our family time at dinner trying to sell us something? No. Then why are we interrupting the social time of others to sell them stuff? Do we like friends or family who only talk to us when they want something? Do we like people who talk all the time, who never listen and never ask our opinion? No. Okay, then focus on relationships, on giving instead of taking.

Like I said, all we ever needed to learn about social media we learned in Kindergarten ;).

What are your thoughts? What unspoken social rules do you feel still exist on social media? What ways do you serve others? What suggestions would you offer to make social media more social? Was your mother part of the Good Manners Gestapo?

I LOVE hearing from you guys!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of August, 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 once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

And also, winners have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.

At the end of August I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. 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 And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the 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 TLJeffcoat on August 22, 2012 - 11:52 am

    Get em Kristen.

    Well, I must confess that I was a hashtag abuser for a while but not clogging up those like #MyWANA with random stuff. It was more as joking inner monologue thing. Since understanding hashtags better, I’ve tried to cut back using them at all. So far so good.

    Hi, I’m Tim, and I’m a hashtag junky.

    • #2 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 22, 2012 - 11:55 am

      LOL. Well, that is why I always gently correct in the beginning. Some people don’t know what the #s do. They see others using them and go along. Maybe they don’t understand how their # is being received (if we don’t use an application like Tweet Deck it is hard to see the effects of our #s). Some people don’t realize the mission for one hash tag might be different than another. I do give a lot of grace for offenders.

      And admitting we have a problem is the first step for recovery, ha ha ha ha ha :D.

      • #3 by TLJeffcoat on August 23, 2012 - 8:12 am

        Yes, you are right. I’m very happy I’ve always been against automating anything social networking related. I actually don’t try to build a platform on social networks. I just love to talk and my friends thank me since I can tweet random stuff instead of masd texting all of them.

  2. #4 by annerallen on August 22, 2012 - 11:56 am

    Good social media manners are generally so simple, but it’s amazing how many people don’t get the whole concept. As Nathan Bransford says: “This should be projected on the moon ‘SOCIAL MEDIA IS SOCIAL’.” And as you say, “Good intentions + horrible manners = ticked off followers.”

    I know a superstar writer who was getting blocked like crazy,because she was sending so many automated tweets and FB entries. I told her it wasn’t that people don’t like her, it was the automation, and I’d seen many complaints about her “spam.”. “But the marketing department told me to do it that way,” she said. “They’re professionals!” Unfortunately, it’s the “professionals” who are most likely to abuse social media, because so many of them don’t get it.

    Simply checking your @mentions every time you go to Twitter will help a whole lot, even if you don’t have time to check the #hashtag stream.

    Thanks for taking the time to educate people.

  3. #5 by emmaburcart on August 22, 2012 - 11:58 am

    Ugh! What I hate is how the spammers have made it so you have to watch what you say. If I say something about eating chocolate, I’ll get a bunch of @mentions from random, spammy people asking me to buy something. I’ve learned to just ignore it and not click on the links, but I think those spammer need a serious lesson in manners! Twitter isn’t just a way for you to try and sell us something. And, do they really think we are going to buy with a tactic like that?

    I pretty much only use #mywana #wana1011 and sometimes #amwriting because I just can’t follow that many hashtags. But I must admit that I do like making up ones that are silly. But, as a reader of tweets, that is something I like.

    What I want to know from you is: What do you think about Tribber? Should we stop using it? I have just seen it as an easy way to tweet links to wanas whose posts I read and love anyway, and would tweet links to. Does that still count as automation?

    Great info as always. Thanks for schooling us!

    • #6 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 22, 2012 - 1:27 pm

      I like Triberr as an aggregating tool. I keep all the blogs I like in one spot. Frankly, I don’t use it. I set up two auto-tweets just to see how to do it (as a social media expert I hit a lot of buttons) and I still can’t figure out how to undo it. Thank goodness I didn’t add any #s and the two blogs were blogs I love, but still. Not crazy that I have that going on. I think Triberr is a great tool but it is really easy to abuse.

  4. #8 by Dawn on August 22, 2012 - 12:04 pm

    Such great advice – now if only we will follow it, right? Thanks, Kristen, for providing information that will (hopefully) help us all to be better, more conscientious users of social media!

  5. #9 by Mother-Earth Book Series on August 22, 2012 - 12:04 pm

    I’m guilty of using Triberr to tweet about blog posts I find interesting or think my followers might find interesting. I automate the tweets from there every 45 minutes or so because I don’t want to have 10-20 get blasted out all at once. It’s extremely rare that I tweet anything about my own work. Am I still doing it wrong?

    • #10 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 22, 2012 - 1:24 pm

      I wouldn’t use any #s because you could risk gumming one up. Just make sure to get on and talk to people or frankly we probably just tune it out. No one likes commercials, even on Twitter.

      • #11 by Mother-Earth Book Series on August 22, 2012 - 1:34 pm

        Agreed. And no, I don’t use any hashtags for those tweets. I’m not a social beast by nature (I blame being an only child!), but I’ll try to interact more on there ; ) Thanks for your post, definitely made me think!

  6. #12 by ThreeKingsBooks on August 22, 2012 - 12:07 pm

    I think your focus on good manners is incredibly useful. Two days ago, I wrote a rebuttal to HuffPost Books article saying bookstores and traditional publishing are the “only” way readers have to find books. In the rebuttal, I made my points, but I also talked about how much we all love bookstores, of course, plus libraries. HuffPost Books retweeted me, and then PW did. Yay! (They commented afterwards that they appreciated my “gracious” rebuttal.)

    Anyway, yesterday I get a tweet from someone saying my rebuttal was more like a poke. It was angry and rude. This is a fellow writer, and we’re on the same side. I couldn’t believe he’d been so thoughtless. Instead of responding angrily, however, I made a joke out of it when I tweeted him back.

    No matter what happens “out there,” it’s important to remember our manners. Thanks, Kristen.

    • #13 by Laura Ritchie on August 22, 2012 - 8:25 pm

      I like the example you set here. I am reminded of a recent situation with an author popping off publicly over a rough review. It really came back to bite her in the rump. Too bad she didn’t use the good sense you have displayed here.

  7. #14 by Kevin O. McLaughlin on August 22, 2012 - 12:18 pm

    What a great article! I was on vacation and OFFLINE (wow, let me tell you, that was weird!) when this drama was going down on #mywana. Sorry to hear it happened, but glad that you got the problem solved.

    I have a MyWana column on my Tweetdeck. I scan it, when I pop in, to look for conversations to join. To me, that seems like the best way to get to know people and build relationships. Converse on the topics that are important to them – which are the things THEY are tweeting about. People who You’ve actually interacted with, or better yet given advice or thoughts which helped, are much more likely to want to help you out when it’s your turn to be seeking counsel or assistance.

  8. #15 by T. W. Dittmer on August 22, 2012 - 12:23 pm

    “I hate rude behavior in a man. I won’t tolerate it.” from Woodrow Call. We can’t use the same physical reaction in our intolerance of rude behavior, but there are measures available. Nice work.

  9. #16 by MaLinda Johnson on August 22, 2012 - 12:42 pm

    I abide by a Golden Rule (one I think I found here, but if not feel free to mention it in a future post) that good Tweeting etiquette is based on 1/3 interaction, 1/3 personal or professional updates and 1/3 links. It works wonders for me.

    Also, I fully agree with all of the rules you did mention. It does feel like so many bots, so little sense at times. I only ever follow actual humans on Twitter.

  10. #17 by Stacy Green on August 22, 2012 - 12:46 pm

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with some automation. I automate Thriller Thursdays to go 4 times a day because I’ll forget if I don’t.

    My biggest issue is with Triberr. I want to support the tribe mates because I’ve noticed a major increase in traffic. But I don’t want to be filling up with spam, so I try to be selective. But then I have a tribe that will get on you if you don’t post a significant number of tweets. Sometimes I feel like it’s a no-win situation.

    • #18 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 22, 2012 - 1:28 pm

      Yes, but I don’t even notice because you are always on talking to people.

  11. #19 by Christine Ashworth on August 22, 2012 - 12:47 pm

    I was internet-free when this was going down, but I am SO glad it did. I decided a year ago that I would NEVER buy that author’s books because of the spam, so thank you. I’m sorry it got so bad but I’m grateful that the author finally listened.

    I have learned so much from you. SO much. Keep on keeping on, Kristen!

  12. #20 by Mari Collier on August 22, 2012 - 1:14 pm

    Very good advice. Since I don’t know how to do the automation thing, no one is endanger from receiving too much from me. On the advice/admonitions from Mom, you left out, “Stand up straight,” and “Hold your head up high,” and “Don’t say aint.”

  13. #21 by Mae Clair on August 22, 2012 - 1:24 pm

    I use Triberr too, but I manually read and send each post. I don’t send everything that comes through my Tribal stream but, the posts I enjoy, or think would be beneficial to my followers, I do tweet (manually). To interact with others on Twitter, I rely mostly on Hootsuite.

    I’m a new author still learning the social media ropes. It’s a lot to absorb, but I always find something of valuable content here. Thanks, Kristen!

    • #22 by Jessi Gage on August 23, 2012 - 3:57 pm

      I second Mae Claire’s comments. I’m new to all this and learning. Daily. Largely from this excellent blog and WANA, which I refer to often. Thanks, Kristen!

  14. #23 by Mandy Allen (@LandofMandy) on August 22, 2012 - 1:36 pm

    This is wonderful! So many people forget about manners these days, and especially online. If you hadn’t already hooked me with your wonderful advice you would have had me with the nod to Robert Fulghum! Love it and Thank you!

  15. #24 by Rebekkah N. on August 22, 2012 - 1:47 pm

    Great post! I’m not so great at Twitter, since I only just started a few months ago and keep forgetting to, well, Tweet. And to check it at all. Oops… But it’s good to hear about the Tweetiquette (is that what we’re calling it these days?) because when i finally do get myself disciplined into doing it regularly, I don’t want to do it rudely! (Hey, I just got blogging down. I’ll get there eventually.)

  16. #25 by MegansBeadedDesigns on August 22, 2012 - 1:49 pm

    I’m always amazing by the sellers who proclaim “I promote like crazy on twitter and facebook, why am I not selling?” They are only looking at how frequently they post, and not the actual NATURE of their posts.

    Constant link to products and nothing else in-between will get you hidden, blocked, and/or unsubscribed from. At the very least: they will get you ignored.

  17. #26 by Kerry Dwyer on August 22, 2012 - 2:02 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. Until I read this the only way I knew of automatically tweeting was when I pressed publish on my bog. I often go to twitter and try to interact with people who I imagined were there. I always connect when I am posting a blog post as it would seem rude not to.
    Now I know, they were not ignoring me, it isn’t that I am not worth talking to, they simply weren’t there. This is such good news. Thank you from my newly restored self-esteem.

  18. #27 by Widdershins on August 22, 2012 - 2:12 pm

    In order for ANY interaction between any species on this little blue marble of ours to work, all parties have to have an agreed upon set of R.O.E.’s. (Rules of Engagement) Otherwise it’s just background noise that either ticks the ‘other’ off or makes ‘em ignore you.

    Simple really.

  19. #28 by J. Cameron McClain on August 22, 2012 - 2:16 pm

    There are not enough people reading Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior these days. It should be required reading in school. Being pseudonymous shouldn’t be thought of as a way to be excluded from having some sense of decency when interacting with others.

  20. #29 by mandyevebarnett on August 22, 2012 - 3:00 pm

    I usually put links up for friends, associates and organisations I am loyal to – that way I am spreading their word and hopefully will get some back (but I’m not expecting it). Karma is a wonderful thing.
    As always you have identified the problem and given us a resolution.
    Thank you

  21. #30 by tracy bermeo on August 22, 2012 - 3:00 pm

    I agree! I like the interaction of Twitter and am going to have to unfollow a particular person soon because I’m tired of reading the same tweets over and over. I have used Buffer for automated tweeting but that’s only been to help spread out my tweets as my computer time is extremely irregular due to the operating difficulties of having three kids home all summer.

  22. #31 by The Masquerade Crew (@MasqCrew) on August 22, 2012 - 3:23 pm

    I think there’s a difference between automation, spam, and outright rude behavior. Automation—if not all about you—can be a good thing. My feed is extremely busy, but few if any ever complain. My feed could be classified as spam, but I like to think of it as advertising, a version many people are okay with. Otherwise I wouldn’t get all the RTs I get (and I’m not talking about Triberr tweets). People retweet my stuff all the time.

    What you describe above is just plain rude, though, going well beyond automation or spam.

  23. #32 by Becki Ulmer on August 22, 2012 - 3:29 pm

    Thank you for getting right to the root of the problem of bad manners and giving us the solution!

  24. #33 by Kathleen Garber (@callista83) on August 22, 2012 - 4:07 pm

    Great read but I must disagree with the point about needing only one twitter personality. If I had only one, no one would like my tweets because they would be about so many different subjects. I have 3 but I own 6 websites. The one is what I consider my main and the other two are more niche and I only follow and tweet about those niches.

    • #34 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 22, 2012 - 4:46 pm

      Um, Kathleen, you are allowed to be interested in more than one thing. This is not the old paradigm. Platforms are organic. I assume you talk about more than one subject at parties and no one ends up on the floor howling, MAKE HER STOP! MY BRAIN! IT’S BLEEEDING! Frankly that is too many web sites and too many identities and it fractures your platform and leaves no time to do much of anything else.

      Pre Digital Age this was necessary because audiences were not interacting real time on Twitter and Facebook. Now? That’s a formula to end up drinking straight from the Margarita machine. We all have a lot of interests. That is why we are writers. The world interests us. We don’t need a new identity every time we want to talk about something different. If we talk about a subject, those interested will tune in and those uninterested will simply ignore. That simple.

      • #35 by Tahlia Newland on August 22, 2012 - 8:20 pm

        Talking about all my different interests from one account means I’m much less likely to bore my followers.

  25. #36 by Gilliad Stern on August 22, 2012 - 4:10 pm

    Manners are a major concern of mine. With the ability to post and not have anyone know who you are, manners seem to head right out the window. People need to realize that there are other people on the recieving end of their comments. Thank you for pointing these things out in this post.

    Also, people chewing with their mouth open makes me see red. I can’t believe how common it is in today’s society. I have to blame my mother for instilling such hatred for it in me. Haha!

  26. #37 by kmrice1@mediacombb.net on August 22, 2012 - 5:12 pm

    Kristen, I love your blog, and I can’t tell you enough how much it has helped me with my struggle to creep on into the 21st Century. I tout your good advice to all my writing friends. My mom was the Hermann Goering of the Good Manners Gestapo, but then I’m 70. We didn’t have free kindergartens where grew up back then. Actually, Mom was a petite and well mannered lady herself. She was a former school teacher, but even big old men over 6 ft. tall did not give Miss Smith any back sass, and I’ve heard them talk about it when she was in her eighties. I know I didn’t! Most of the writers I hobnob with on the internet are in their thirties and forties. You know what? They and their moms are a lot like mine. I’ve been on the internet about twelve years, I don’t tweet. Many of my family and friends, especially the writers, do Facebook more than Twitter. A recent complaint among two writing groups I belong to is they would like two FB pages – one for their writing career and one for friends and family, but Facebook doesn’t allow it. I’m sure this is because of massive spamming, hacking and porn peddling in the early days, which seems to be where Twitter is right now, though it still happens on FB. Do you have any suggestions on how to resolve this? I’m going to put a link to your blog on mine just as soon as I figure out how. I won’t use a silly emoticon to show you that I am smiling. Thank you very much. Karen M. Rice

  27. #38 by cynditefft on August 22, 2012 - 6:01 pm

    I would add that tweets with a bunch of hashtags are spammy-looking. If you’re going to use a hashtag, please don’t use more than one. Otherwise, it really just comes across as this-person-is-just-trying-to-sell-something. I am okay with automation as long as you mix up your tweets (don’t tweet the same thing every hour) and it is just a supplement to your overall social interaction.

  28. #39 by Laura on August 22, 2012 - 6:59 pm

    Thanks so much for the hashtag advice – I don’t do it, but I also never thought about it. Thanks for keeping me from being inadvertently rude!

    • #40 by Nina Badzin on August 22, 2012 - 10:21 pm

      Totally agree re: too many hashtags look spammy. My eyes honestly just glaze over those tweets and they end up having the opposite goal of the tweeter’s intentions. Instead of drawing attention, those tweets repel attention.

  29. #41 by August McLaughlin on August 22, 2012 - 7:55 pm

    Fantastic post. I love your point on listening especially. Social media isn’t friendly or fun if all we do is share links and talk about ourselves. I’m so glad that kind of behavior isn’t useful for marketing either…which would probably mean I wouldn’t sell books to non-family members.

  30. #42 by Dani on August 22, 2012 - 8:24 pm

    Hi Kristen,
    Entertaining and informative as always and I also appreciate the hashtag advice when retweeting.
    cheers,
    d

  31. #43 by nancyelizabethlauzon on August 22, 2012 - 9:40 pm

    When I first discovered Twitter, I was dismayed to realized how seldom people were actually talking to each other. Mostly people were quoting things or asking me to visit links. Either I’m getting smarter choosing who I follow (less than 150 people so I’m not overwhelmed) or people are learning to communicate better and use Twitter more wisely. Thanks for fighting the good fight, Kristen, I love your blog and I’m going to read your book on Social Media =)

  32. #44 by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson on August 22, 2012 - 9:43 pm

    I just decided to turn on alerts on my phone so I can see my Twitter stream. And while I don’t (or can’t) always answer immediately, it has made sticking to my Twitter diet a bit easier.

    I hate when people follow me and I follow them back and I get those awful BUY MY BOOK messages. Yuck. Such a turn-off! How about we get to know each other first?

    I recommend people read Nina Badzin’s blog for all kinds of tips on how to Tweet properly. It’s a 5 part series and, if you are just starting out, Nina’s helpful hints can be printed out!

  33. #45 by Nina Badzin on August 22, 2012 - 10:26 pm

    Love this post and all your Twitter posts! And thank you, Renee for the mention of my tips.

    My newest Twitter crusade is to get people to STOP tweeting about Klout.

    “I received +K about xyz.”
    “Thanks for +K about xyz.”
    “I gave +K about xyz.

    BORING!!!!! Please make it stop!

  34. #46 by Kim Mullican on August 22, 2012 - 11:01 pm

    I vote Twitter adopt this into their Terms and Conditions!!! Being a douche is off limits! I saw her pop up again yesterday and I was appalled. Spamming is exactly opposite of #mywana. You can be forgiven if you’re new and someone tips you in that your behavior is unwanted. After all WANA represents the ideals in We Are Not Alone and if she’d have read one page of your book, she’d have known better.

    I know conflict is unpleasant. I thank you (and all involved) for maintaining the integrity of our community. I know it’s been a challenge and a frustration for us all.

  35. #47 by Alarna Rose Gray on August 22, 2012 - 11:05 pm

    RIGHT ON! When I signed up to Twitter and sent my first tweet, I immediately was followed by the spammer. I followed back out of courtesy, and then got DM’d to hell and back. I put up with it for about a week, not wanting to be rude, but then I learned the freedom of Unfollow. Not cool!

    But I’m also inclined to say there should be a tweet-to-follower ratio – with less than a hundred followers, I try to limit how much I tweet, and I don’t RT tonnes of links, because I started to realise that’s when I tune out myself. Still a long way from knowing what I’m doing though….

  36. #48 by Kerry Dwyer on August 23, 2012 - 2:02 am

    Reblogged this on Kerry Dwyer.

  37. #49 by Mikayla Kayne on August 23, 2012 - 2:02 am

    I am completely at a loss on Twitter. If I didn’t use HootSuite or Timely – I wouldn’t use Twitter at all. I don’t understand how it’s interactive, I rarely see the posts of people I’ve followed or how to respond to them, and I don’t know how to jump into random conversations. I’ve only used it to post information like what’s free on Kindle, or updates about my book releases, sales & signings. I just don’t get it at all. And then to read this…it makes me feel like I need to just give up and stick to Facebook where people are actually interacting and it’s not so complicated. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to be on all these sites, nor is my internet connection good enough.

    Thanks for posting this – it’s good information, just a bit over my head, that’s all.

    • #50 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 23, 2012 - 7:43 am

      You can still post links, but look for ways to just post something human. Word count. Goals. Tell us about your day. If you follow #MyWANA it is really easy to find a conversation. Part of why I started #MyWANA is for exactly the reasons you are talking about. If everyone is merely posting links, how the heck do we just find someone to TALK to? I was EXTREMELY difficult. We have enough links, now we need some love and that was what #MyWANA was created to do. With the woman who had me so frustrated, she could have posted links until the cows came home and I wouldn’t have cared. WHY I cared was she insisted on using a hash tag that was created for community and no matter how much we asked her to stop she persisted…which meant she wasn’t really present. So she was expecting something from us she was unwilling to give. The only way her links work is if we are present and on Twitter to follow them. So she wanted us to be on Twitter, whereas she had more important things to do. Uncool.

  38. #51 by eliseway on August 23, 2012 - 9:17 am

    I am definitely going to buy your book We Are Not Alone on social media. This blog really was humorous and informative reminding of my school teaching days. I have notice from Twitter that some people just tweet to make money or just aggravate folks with advertising their books and such. For me being an introvert, twitter is stepping out of my comfort zone but I had a wonderful twitter conversation with another author so it works well when its done right. I was about to do those post twitters but something told me not to do that. I do have my blogs connected to my tweets though but it is for the purpose of ministry and spreading the gospel of Jesus. I just don’t care for those freaky and perverted tweeters who follow you and you check out their profile and its something nasty and wrong. I have to block those folks who use twitter for nasty reasons like that. Yuck and gross. Anyway, I checked out your blog from a recommendation from Bookshelf Muse and found out that you live in Texas. Very good blog.

  39. #52 by Karen McFarland on August 23, 2012 - 1:50 pm

    Great post Kristen! I still after eight months am a gentle user of Twitter. I don’t want to give others an overdose of me. I don’t like Triberr for tweeting. I do not pay attention to those on Triberr. Why, Because the person who sent the tweet is NOT there. And for someone who is a social person, I don’t feel comfortable tweeting on #mywana and butting in on other’s conversations. That goes back to my upbringing with manners. I feel like I would be rude. Yet, I do jump on there, like yesterday, because I wrote a post about the West Nile virus in Texas. And I know a lot of y’all down there in the DWF area are on #mywana. I hope that was okay. Please send me a direct message if it was unappropriate. I do not wish to spam. :)

  40. #53 by David Purse on August 24, 2012 - 4:18 am

    I try really hard not to be a bad tweep. I use a little automation, just to push the links from my blog to my twitter account to get it out there, but then I always check, and if something catches my eye, some conversation, then I make sure I join in manually. I don’t think all automation is bad, but I think using it exclusively is really bad! And I wouldn’t dream of using it on the #MyWANA hashtag, because in my eyes, it’s too valuable to the community to flood with automated content.

  41. #54 by Melissa Maygrove on August 24, 2012 - 3:14 pm

    “I once had a bout of insomnia that earned me a heck of a following in the UK.”
    I laughed so hard when I read this. :D
    Great post. ;)

  42. #55 by Becky Black on August 25, 2012 - 11:46 am

    I use scheduling and automation of tweets very sparingly and have to convince myself it’s for good reasons. And since I tweet from my phone too I’m almost always available for interactions about even a scheduled tweet. The only exception would be if I scheduled a tweet for the middle of the night my time, but I only do that if say I’m running a contest on my blog and want to reach all time zones.

    When posting a link I’ve started trying to add a little comment of my own to it if there’s room, so it’s not just a link and its title from the site it came from.

    I have got a few things that automatically post to Twitter – like status updates on Goodreads, Pinterest, Tumblr and my own site of course. I’m starting to eye them carefully to see if there are too many of them. Not loads from the same one I mean, just too many different ones. I think I can stop the Goodreads one. The Tumblr and Pinterest ones get replies, people actually click on them and look at them, but rarely does anyone say anything about a Goodreads update unless they’re a follower of mine who happened to write that book!

  43. #56 by The Hook on August 25, 2012 - 2:46 pm

    Great rules, Kristen! If only everyone was willing to follow them..
    Great contest too. I hope I win; Your expertise could be invalauable to a bellman-turned-author!

  44. #57 by Char on August 27, 2012 - 9:11 pm

    Thank you for such common sense advice, Kristen. Your rules are awesome. :)

  45. #58 by Buy Cialis on February 6, 2013 - 11:46 am

    Very good info. Lucky me I found your blog by chance (stumbleupon).
    I’ve saved as a favorite for later!

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