Welcome to Twitter Tuesday with Dr. Twuth. The tips offered here are all based off my #1 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. This blog will help you rule the Twitterverse without devolving into a spam bot.
So who is Dr. Twuth? Heard of Dr. Ruth, Sex Therapist? Well, today I am introducing you to my alter ego Dr. Twuth, Text Therapist (Dr. Twuth is accredited by one of the best mail-order PhD universities in the Bahamas. She isn’t a real doctor, just plays one on the Internet).
Have a question about Twitter? A problem? A sticky wicket? Let Dr. Twuth help, because the Twuth will set you free.
Dr. Twuth–Putting the “smart” back in smart phones.
On to our tweeps in need…
Dear Dr. Twuth,
I think I’m a Twitter “Wallflower.” You know, that person at the party who is too shy / freaked-out / just plain dumb to reach out? That’s me. I really don’t know where to start. I’ve been watching and learning all kinds of great info from the sidelines, but still, I haven’t worked up the nerve to jump in and participate. Ugh!
And would you believe I’m a live performing rocker chic??
I know, crazy!
I could spend hours psycho-analyzing my issue (believe me, I’ve done it while holding up that Tweetdeck wall as everyone else happily Tweeted away), but enough about me.
Can you offer some easy-to-follow steps to get me jump started, please?
Now that we are in the Information Age, Digital Age Authors face a new problem. In the olden days when people actually spoke to each other in person, many writers had a fear of public speaking. In fact, for many of us, it was our abysmal social skills beyond the world of Dungeons and Dragons that prompted our career choice in the first place.
This fear of public speaking, however, has now transformed into a digital phobia recognized by only the most highly trained armchair psychiatrists as Tweetaphobia Neurosa–or the fear of public tweeting. Many regular people suffer from Tweetophobia, but it is far more pronounced in the writing communities.
Writers seem to suffer the worst, namely because apparently the world at large assumes we all spell perfectly and never goof on grammar. There seems to be an unfair burden placed on writers to always be witty, interesting or profound. Sort of like how people expect comedians to be knee-slapping funny ALL THE TIME.
You’re a Clown Fish. Tell us a joke!
Since writers have the job of being interesting for an entire book, we tend to feel like we need to be equally riveting in life. It is this kind of pressure that, if left unchecked, can create the tweeting anxiety.
There is another problem.
To battle fear of public speaking, there is the age-old trick of just envisioning the audience wearing nothing but their underwear. For writers, this could be dangerous since most writers have an entire social network comprised of other writers…who probably rarely ever get out in the sun (and who probably really are in nothing but their underwear. Just ask @ChuckWendig). The mental image alone of so many pale-as-a-plucked-albino-chicken writers could cause retinal damage.
So what to do?
First of all, relax. People can expect us to never misspell a word or be fascinating in every tweet, but, hey, life is full of disappointments. We never help others understand that writers are indeed human if they never see us acting like humans. The cool part about being a person is that readers (non-writers of the human species) start to connect with us and that is always good.
Another tactic for combating Tweetophobia is to rely on your social media butterflies to plug you in. This activates what I like to call The Law of the Playground.
Remember being a kid and new to a grade? When you would go out for recess, what was the first thing on the agenda? Find someone you knew. Once you could find that person you already knew, making connections got easier. It suddenly became easier to befriend people because of the Law of the Playground.
I don’t know you, but Kristen knows you. I like Kristen, so I like you.
This Law of the Playground was one of the reasons I created the #MyWANA group. This is the place where you are guaranteed to connect to other Playground Connectors and WE will plug you into the Twitterverse at large. Not only will we instantly make you part of our twibe, but all of us have networks beyond #MyWANA and we can introduce you there as well.
The key to feeling comfortable on Twitter is to have a host or hostess introduce you around. Once we start chatting with others as people, this alien place–Twitter- seems far less scary and the anxiety will dissipate. Tweeting will then come MUCH easier.
As far as what to tweet? I have another law. I call this The Law of Three. Tweeting should be roughly 1/3 Information–links to blogs, articles, web sites, 1/3-Reciprocation (RT for others and a lot of times Information and Reciprocation can blend together), and, finally, 1/3 Conversation. TALK to people! If all we tweet are links and cutesy quotes, we look like a bot. Show others you are a person, too.
Humans have a hard time connecting emotionally with bots, but we really dig connecting with other people. Once we connect, we support because you are our peep…and THAT is how platforms get built. Just remember, there is no reason to be shy or nervous on Twitter. We are not alone! #MyWANA is a hashtag designed for the sole purpose of immoral support. Once part of a group, our confidence improves dramatically and tweeting will feel as natural as breathing.
Best of Luck!
See how easy this is? Do you have a Twitter or social media dilemma? Leave your question in the comments or if you would like to maintain anonymity, e-mail Dr. Twuth’s
slave assistant at kristen at kristen lamb dot org. Just put GIVE ME THE TWUTH in the subject line.
Dr. Twuth is all about love and offering a human touch to this digital world. Dr. Twuth is #MyWANA certified, or certifiable, I can’t recall which. But, hey, it’s free so if you don’t like her advice, she will give you 100% refund (There will be a $15.99 processing fee for said refund).
Let Dr. Twuth help you out. Remember, the Twuth will set you free.
Tweet ya later!