Twitter Tuesday #18

Welcome to the eighteenth installment of Twitter Tuesday. In the spirit of Twitter, this blog will be short and sweet and to the point. The tips offered here are all based off my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. If our goal is to build an author platform in the thousands to tens of thousands, then we will have to approach Twitter differently than a faceless corporation or even the regular person who does not possess a goal of becoming a brand. My tips will help you rule the Twitterverse without devolving into a spam bot.

This Week’s Fail Whale–The Hashtag Ho

Yes, Hashtag Ho. I thought Hashtag Hoarder might work, but Hashtag Ho was funnier. Oh, I have to be careful on this one, because I still am guilty of this if I am not careful. Hashtag Hoes loooove hashtags, and they use so many #s that the original message gets garbled and likely lost. (For those who don’t quite understand what #s do, go here).

#Writers! #Authors need to build a #social #media #platform to help sell #books and #ebooks and #manuscripts and make #friends so we can survive in #publishing. Go to my #blog about #blogging #pubtip #writegoal #writing #writer

I know that sometimes I have done this trying to make one tweet do ALL things, but I found I was missing the point when it came to Twitter. Twitter is about working as a team and building a group of friends we can count on to HELP us spread our message.

We are better off using only two or three #s, then having our community retweet (RT) and CHANGE the hashtags. Why? Well, there are a lot of people on Twitter who don’t know what the # does….so we probably just look like a lunatic with a Twitter virus that infests our messages with ##########. A good way to get unfollowed.

And others, who know what the # does might just see us as trying to take over as many # conversations as possible. In reality I think most of us are trying to be efficient, but we could be seen as rude. It is easy to forget that a message riddled with symbols might just get ignored because it isn’t easy to read.  I also think  one unintended consequence is that other people might be less likely to RT, because we already did everything ourselves. So the message ends up with far less momentum.

This Week’s Twitter Tip–The Hashtag Helper

Many of us probably would be less prone to be Hashtag Hoes if we could plug in with Hashtag Helpers. We wouldn’t be inclined to feel we needed to do EVERYTHING on our own. That has been one of the beautiful things about this new group #MyWANA. The entire purpose of #MyWANA is to boost and support each other, so I think this notion of being a Hashtag Helper has come more naturally for a group whose sole purpose is to serve each other.

Hashtag Helpers want to help others spread their influence. They know we cannot do everything alone, and this Twitter pal can be counted on to jump in and lend a hand. If they see our blog posted in #MyWANA, they immediately RT and CHANGE the hashtags so that other writing #s will benefit from the information. The incredible part of being a hashtag helper is it sets a good example. Many people on Twitter don’t think to CHANGE the hashtags.

Wow. We can really do that?

So when they see us being Hashtag Helpers, it inspires them to do the same. The more Hashtag Helpers we have on Twitter, the better place it will be for all.

Tweet ya later!

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  1. #1 by Erin Brambilla on May 24, 2011 - 2:46 pm

    Great advice. You’ve covered two things I notice a lot–using a ton of #’s in one post and RTing the same link with the same #. You’re right, I sometimes don’t RT when a link already has every hashtag I would have used anyway. It’s redundant. But when I see someone who has used, say, the #MyWANA and #amwriting tags, I’ll change it up to something else, like #amediting or #pubtip (for instance). I think it’s a great way to get information out there. It’s also a great way to introduce our Twitter friends to other people.

  2. #2 by Ruby Barnes on May 24, 2011 - 2:51 pm

    A nice Twitter Tuesday snippet, Kristen. I have trouble pinning down the right hashtags for my stuff so I’ll try #MyWANA.
    Cheers,
    Ruby

  3. #3 by Tony Southcotte on May 24, 2011 - 3:01 pm

    My problem: I turn anything into a hashtag. More often than not, it is the only time that hashtag has been used in the past four months. They might be entertaining, but they really aren’t putting me in front of new readers.

  4. #4 by Orlando Ramos on May 24, 2011 - 3:06 pm

    This is exactly what I needed. Thank you so much for the great info.

  5. #5 by Naty Matos on May 24, 2011 - 3:26 pm

    Guilty as charged, notes made, lesson learned. Thanks for this! =)

  6. #6 by Jill Kemerer on May 24, 2011 - 3:44 pm

    Great advice, especially about changing the hashtags as we RT. It gets the post to a broader audience. Win-win!

  7. #7 by Elisa Michelle on May 24, 2011 - 3:45 pm

    Oh, I’ve been very guilty of being a hashtag ho. Still, I never thought about being a hashtag helper and have decided to actively improve on that. =)

    Great advice as always. I can’t ever seem to think of anything else to say!

  8. #8 by Piper Bayard on May 24, 2011 - 3:48 pm

    I confess. I’m a Hashtag Ho. I have some awesome hashtag helpers, though, and that does make a world of difference. Also, I follow all hashtag helpers and try to go that extra mile for them, as well. Great post, Kristen.

  9. #9 by kristin nador on May 24, 2011 - 3:54 pm

    Thanks for the hashtag help, Kristen. Just started learning the Twitter ropes (Twopes?) and I have already made this mistake. Every Tuesday I look forward to your tips, it’s what gave me the courage to finally join Twitter. #MyWANA tweeps rock!

  10. #10 by Michelle Massaro on May 24, 2011 - 4:15 pm

    Ok, I have a (kinda dumb) question. How do you change the hashtags in a RT? I’m never given that option. I’ve also wondered what mywana stands for. I’ve fallen behind apparently. Thanks for the great post today! =)

    • #11 by Author Kristen Lamb on May 24, 2011 - 5:35 pm

      Just backspace over the old #s and put in different ones. For instance, you might change #pubtip to #writegoal, #selfpub, #writer #writing, #writetip, etc. This explains #MyWANA

      • #12 by Michelle Massaro on May 24, 2011 - 10:26 pm

        I’ve never been given the option to mess with it. I click retweet and all I get is a confirmation, no curser to backspace. Are you doing a copy/paste instead? Sorry for being dense!

        • #13 by K.B. Owen on May 25, 2011 - 1:55 am

          In regular Twitter, you can’t change an RT. But you can change it in Tweetdeck. That may be where the confusion lies.

  11. #15 by Tiffany A White on May 24, 2011 - 4:21 pm

    I’m a #MyWana Hash-ho…but other than that, I hardly ever use a hashtag (well, my writing groups Row 80 and YA Sisters & Brothers) 🙂

  12. #16 by Mark Kaplowitz on May 24, 2011 - 4:32 pm

    Thank you for clearing up something that I’ve been ignoring because I didn’t understand it. I found all the hashtags very distracting at first. It’s nice to know I don’t need to use so many.

  13. #18 by Amanda Bozeman on May 24, 2011 - 4:41 pm

    I try to be a hashtag helper, but I only know of a few writing-related hashtags. Not sure that I’m retweeting effectively because of that.

  14. #19 by paigekellerman on May 24, 2011 - 4:41 pm

    #But #I #justlove #hashtags #somuch #I #can #hardlystandit ….:(

  15. #20 by Anne R. Allen on May 24, 2011 - 4:47 pm

    Thanks for clarifying this. I usually only use 1 or 2 hashtags, but mostly because I’m lazy. Now I have a good reason.🙂

    I was so grateful to see one of my Tweets had been repeated with the addition of a #myWANA tag yesterday. Got a whole bunch of new people over at my blog. So thanks to you and the #myWANA community!

  16. #21 by Gene Lempp on May 24, 2011 - 4:59 pm

    Guess I’m guilty of being a Hashtag Helper Ho, because I’ve done both. Although, thanks to the great advice here and on #MyWANA I’m starting to get the #addiction under control🙂

    By the way, if you haven’t tried out #MyWANA yet stop in, it is an excellent way to meet great writers, great people and find useful information.

  17. #22 by Raven Corinn Carluk on May 24, 2011 - 5:32 pm

    Hear hear! Changing hashtags is one of the best things I learned here.

  18. #23 by Sarah Forgrave on May 24, 2011 - 5:36 pm

    Great advice, Kristen! I’m curious…How do you recommend handling #FFs and #WWs? Especially when someone gives them to us, should we reply without the hashtag? Maybe you’ve already covered this, and I just need to poke through your archives.🙂

    • #24 by Author Kristen Lamb on May 24, 2011 - 5:58 pm

      I have had a lot of people ask about that, so I will address next week. That work?😉.

      • #25 by Patrick Thunstrom on May 25, 2011 - 9:47 pm

        Color me curious. I know I’ve got some pet peeves with those hashtags, so hearing someone else’s opinion will be nice.

    • #26 by Marilag Lubag on May 26, 2011 - 5:36 pm

      Tried another approach. I actually tried to start conversations with people who #ff and #ww me. Some people actually reply which was nice. That gets me and them talking.🙂

  19. #27 by wosushi on May 24, 2011 - 5:45 pm

    Great advice! I thought maybe I wasn’t doing my hashtaggin’ justice by only using a few key ones instead of tagging LOTS of keywords in one post. Glad to see that my instincts were fine.

    Of course, I do have a habit of using them for humor more than anything else…🙂

  20. #28 by educlaytion on May 24, 2011 - 5:51 pm

    So what you’re saying is that we need to cover those hashtags up some, not show so much right out the gate. #ialwaysfeelguiltyafteriflauntmyhashtags

  21. #29 by Candace Rose on May 24, 2011 - 6:10 pm

    Love this! I’m still learning twitter etiquette, so I might be a little guilty. #MyWANA IS the best though!

  22. #30 by Amy Sundberg on May 24, 2011 - 7:29 pm

    I will admit to a weakness for including funny hash tags that serve no purpose beyond the humor factor. I’m with Ruby that I often can’t think of any useful hash tags to use beyond the same two or three… but perhaps I can learn about more through Hashtag Helpers!

  23. #31 by Les Howard on May 24, 2011 - 7:43 pm

    Another lightbulb moment – thanks Kristin.

  24. #32 by Julie Glover on May 24, 2011 - 10:12 pm

    I needed to hear this. Great advice!

  25. #33 by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson on May 24, 2011 - 11:34 pm

    I guess I consider myself a hashtag helper, as I often change tags to try to reach a different audience. Who knew I could do something right on Twitter. (Note: It is not uncommon for me to see that I have inadvertently thanked myself for RT. Duh!

    Thanks for making this twit feel less like a twerp.

  26. #34 by K.B. Owen on May 25, 2011 - 2:14 am

    Wow. I’m SO guilty of this. Is there a #12StepProgram for it? Just kidding, haha. For me, I think it was the wonder of a new discovery: “so that’s what it’s for!” Then, like a kid in a candy store with some allowance money – “hey, I have 6 chars left; what can I hashtag for that?”

    I appreciate the tap on the shoulder. #thanks!

  27. #35 by Jess Witkins on May 25, 2011 - 3:39 am

    *hangs head in shame* I just committed this crime. Thanks for calling it to my attention. I’ll try not to be a #twitterspambot with #’s.

  28. #36 by Sara (sarasexpletives) on May 25, 2011 - 2:46 pm

    #hehe This post made me giggle. Too many hashtags take up our valuable 140 spaces anyway.

  29. #37 by Irene Vernardis on May 25, 2011 - 9:16 pm

    Hi Kristen🙂

    Well, I’m not a fan of hashtags. I use them in limits and only when I deem them necessary. If I want to say something on MyWANA or reply to someone there I will use the hashtag. I will use it also if I want to RT something from the people I follow, who are not in MyWANA, and I want the MyWANA team to see it.

    However, when I retweet others’ tweets, I delete the hashtags most of the times.

    Why? Because there is no point to flood a particular place with retweets of the same tweet, one under the other and lose other people’s tweets. And it’s not polite toward the other members too.

    Let’s take MyWANA for example. Tweet A is tweeted in MyWANA and everybody present that time in MyWANA retweets it with MyWANA hashtag.
    MyWANA is suddenly full of the same RT Tweet A and if somebody else says something it gets lost, because Tweet Deck column of MyWANA gets full of Tweet A RTs. I’ve seen it happened and I was interested in another tweet too, which I lost because the column rolled it down. I had to revert to the twitter.com in order to search for the particular tweet.

    Not to mention that the RT will already be seen by a lot of MyWANA members, since we share connections. There is no point on flooding, Tweet A is already on #MyWANA, already RTd a couple of times on MyWANA and the nice thing to do is leave some room for other tweets.

    Later, it can be RTd on #MyWANA, but not at the same time for nth times by most present in that moment. And the same goes for other hashtags.

    If I see a tweet has been RTd some times on MyWANA, I delete the hashtag and RT it without the MyWANA hashtag. The same I do for other hashtags. RTing has to be considered with the same politeness rules as tweeting.

    Thank you for the interesting post🙂

    • #38 by Patrick Thunstrom on May 25, 2011 - 9:48 pm

      This is one of the reasons I seriously like TweetDeck. In TweetDeck new style retweets are considered ‘duplicate tweets’ and are ignored by default. So you only see each tweet once. Removing the hashtags makes it a new tweet. So users on TweetDeck have the opposite problem from users on Twitter.

  30. #39 by Marilag Lubag on May 26, 2011 - 5:38 pm

    Not a big fan of #hashtags. Often, I forget them (except for #mywana #ff and #ww). Sometimes, I managed to include #amwriting but more often than not, I don’t add them.

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