Dr. Twuth–Friends Don’t Make Friends Eat Spam

Dr. Twuth–Because social media shouldn’t make you want to punch kittens.

Welcome to Tuesdays with Dr. Twuth, here to answer all your questions, problems and concerns about social media. Since social media (done properly) involves interacting with other humans, it is just a good plan to have an advice column handy to help navigate the emotional waters of keeping thousands of friends happy and speaking to us.

My alter ego, Dr. Twuth can be counted on to give you the best information on social media. And, since a spoon full of sugar humor, makes the I’d rather be punched in the face than read about social media marketing medicine go down, fun is always a guarantee here with me, Dr. Twuth, Text Therapist. The tips offered here are all based off my #1 best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media  and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer.

If our goal is to build an author platform in the thousands to tens of thousands, then we will have to approach ALL social media 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 social media–regardless of platform–without devolving into a spam bot. If social media makes you want to slam your head in a door, then you are in the right place. Just call on Dr. Twuth, because the Twuth will set you free.

On to our peeps in need…

Dear Dr. Twuth,

I have a Twitter problem and I know that you have the solution. I have Real Life friends and fellow writers as my Twitter followers. Recently I got an angry message from a non-writer friend who was pissed off by the amount of links to writing and book marketing advice I’m sharing. She’s just not interested in that stuff. And I suspect that many of my future readers won’t be either. 

Should I tell her to just unfollow me on Twitter and chatter in Facebook? Or is there a healthy balance to be found in creating interesting content for well, lots of different kind of people? How can I please diverse followers (and myself)?

Best Regards,

I Don’t Want To Be A Spammer

Dear Spammy,

This is a really good question and a dilemma many writers face. First of all, since we cannot control others without illegal use of duct tape and a shock collar, we need to look to our own behavior first. One of the biggest problems I see with writers is that they get on social media and become the All Writing All the Time Channel. 

Afraid to stray from the comfort zone, many writers tweet about writing and talk about writing and blog about writing. And, while they will connect to other writers, it can be a turn off for that group of people who will (hopefully) one day be readers. I find it a tad ironic that all the links you are posting about marketing to readers is ticking off the potential readers. Our enthusiasm for writing can be seen by outsiders as selfishness if we aren’t careful.

The best marketing for readers–aside from a darn excellent book–is likability. People buy from who they know and who they LIKE. Connect with people. Talk to people. Be a person. We need to look at why people are gravitating to social media by the millions if we hope to use this tool effectively. Serve the need. Social media has become the new village square where people can meet, talk, chat, and share. We have a very human need to connect. Connection only happens when we care about others more than ourselves. We have to listen more than we talk.

I know it might be hurtful your friend said something, but she might have done you a favor. Others could have just quietly unfollowed and faded away without explanation. Criticism can be painful and embarrassing, but it can also help us make real changes for the better.

One tactic I teach is the Law of Three. 1/3 Information, 1/3 Reciprocation and 1/3 Conversation. We need to maintain a healthy balance in our social media discourse. Part of the reason for the Reciprocation and Conversation is it proves we are listening as well as talking. I would recommend that if you want to forward on blogs, look for some that appeal to more than just writers.

The #WANA711 group just finished my Blogging for Author Brand Class and they have some of the best blogs on the web….and they have all been trained to blog about something other than writing. They have been trained to come up with content that will connect to potential READERS, so this is a wealth of material at your fingertips.

This group blogs on all kinds of topics–nostalgia, faith matters, family, health, history. I, myself, can only read so many writing blogs before it just becomes white noise. #WANA711 has been a breath of fresh air with exciting content that makes me think, cry or even laugh out loud.

In the end, I believe that if you are proactive and seek balance in your conversation everything will work out fine. Yet, do not feel that you are required to hang on to toxic friends, either. If you work hard to balance your posts and this friend still pitches a fit, then it is time to just let her move on. It is painful, but our close support network is vital, so it needs to be comprised of people who like us for who we are and are willing to support our goals and dreams….and buy beer.

All the best,

Dr. Twuth

See how easy this is? Do you have a social media dilemma? Is someone making you crazy? Do you feel alone, afraid or unsexy? Leave your question in the comments or if you would like to maintain anonymity, e-mail Dr. Twuth at kristen at kristen lamb dot org. Just put GIVE ME THE TWUTH in the subject line.

I am about love and offering a human touch to this digital world. My Dr. Twuth identity is #MyWANA certified, or certifiable, I can’t recall which. But, hey, it’s free so if you don’t like my advice, I promise to give you 100% refund (There will be a $15.99 processing fee for said refund).

Let me, Dr. Twuth, help you out. Remember, the Twuth will set you free.

Tweet ya later!

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  1. #1 by Catherine Johnson on October 4, 2011 - 9:28 am

    You are so on the pulse Kristen. It’s like you are standing behind me! Excellent points as usual. Village square here I come🙂

  2. #2 by Jan Morrill on October 4, 2011 - 9:28 am

    This is hilarious, as well as helpful. I love the Law of Three and will definitely put that advice to use. Now, my question. I’m still trying to figure out the Twitter thing, but I think I recognized #WANA711 as Twitter-ese. Looks like some great information there. How do I access? My Twitter handle is @janmorrill. Thanks, Dr. Twuth – I’m ready to be set free!

    • #3 by Author Kristen Lamb on October 4, 2011 - 9:31 am

      Download Tweet Deck, then hit the icon that looks like a magnifying glass. This will create a Search Column. Type in #WANA711 and a column will appear. #s are word filters. All the #WANA711 peeps end their tweets with #WANA711 so they will appear in this column. Then go make loads of friends and RT their blogs. Not only will you help fellow writers, but the content will appeal to more than writers. Everyone wins.

      • #4 by Jan Morrill on October 4, 2011 - 10:10 am

        Thanks, Kristen. Got it and will do!

  3. #5 by Jessica O'Neal on October 4, 2011 - 9:33 am

    Thankfully I haven’t had anyone complain to me, but I did recently come to the realization that nearly all of my Tweets and RTs were related to writing. Most of the people who follow me are fellow writers, but not all. I began to worry that the others would get annoyed or stop paying attention to my Tweets. I want to have a Twitter network that is balanced between the amazing writers I’ve already met and potential readers of my books. In order to do that I know I need to diversify my Tweeting content. Haven’t figured out how to do all this, but isn’t the first step just to acknowledge you have a problem? Thank you for this blog, Kristen! It is so nice to know we are not alone.

  4. #6 by Piper Bayard on October 4, 2011 - 10:10 am

    Great blog, Kristen! It is a struggle when we want to support our writer friends without alienating our non-writer tweeps. I think your IRC is a great formula. Thanks so much for helping us grow a platform without being obnoxious.

  5. #7 by Barbara McDowell on October 4, 2011 - 10:26 am

    *happy waving #WANA711 alum*

    Right now, the majority of my Twitter connections are with other writers so even the conversation piece sometimes springs from writing. I know I need to branch out and diversify my tweeps. Dr. Twuth is always a great teacher and reminder!

  6. #8 by susielindau on October 4, 2011 - 10:45 am

    I haven’t been adding friends to Twitter. I don’t think anyone has an account. On FB however, I think I have been blocked. This same user “blogs” on FB several times a day with all her random daily happenings so I really don’t understand…. Sometime I am going to announce that I am having a huge party and see who responds! Hahaha!!

  7. #9 by Jody on October 4, 2011 - 10:48 am

    Good advice. Thanks.

    I love the comment about duct tape and shock collar and, ahem, just lifted it for my next blog. Should I ever get around to writing it…

  8. #10 by Nicole Basaraba on October 4, 2011 - 11:08 am

    I think I need to focus on 1/3 Reciprocation. I read a lot of great blogs, but I always forget that I can RT them.

  9. #11 by Tamara LeBlanc on October 4, 2011 - 12:21 pm

    Love the idea of 1/3 Information, 1/3 Reciprocation and 1/3 Conversation. That’s a great way to tackle Twitter and other social media. I think I’m utilizing that tactic pretty well.
    And the question from Spammy was a really good one.
    Glad she asked it, and glad you were here to answer it for us.
    Thank you always for your wisdom and humor!
    Have a great afternoon,
    Tamara

  10. #12 by Joelle Wilson on October 4, 2011 - 12:40 pm

    Really enjoy how you mix humor in there with the advice. The Law of Three – never thought about it like that before today. Thanks for posting.

  11. #13 by the writ and the wrote on October 4, 2011 - 12:41 pm

    Nobody has complained to me. Yet. I’m sure it’s coming. I try to keep a balance on Twitter, Facebook, and my blog of writing and non-writing topics. Already this week, I’ve posted about a book, shared some writing, and have a post ready for tomorrow on forgiveness.

  12. #14 by Justin Bogdanovitch on October 4, 2011 - 1:28 pm

    It was a nice way to start the day by reading your email and I thought about your post all morning. How to interact in the Social Media world: be engaged and be engaging. Be an attentive listener and not just a talker. I find that those with an honest, organic approach on Twitter and the rest, are the most fun to communicate with (those who write original content or RT what interests them) regardless of the varied interests of the followers. Great post. People can spot the inauthentic. Having a variety of interests does help.

  13. #15 by Tameri Etherton on October 4, 2011 - 1:49 pm

    Hey Kristen, thanks for the #WANA711 shout out!

    I always forget about the 1/3 conversation – I think I’ve got the other two down.

    It’s a learning curve, Spammy. Trust in Dr. Twuth and follow her sage advice. It’s worked for us WANA711 alums and can work for you, too.

  14. #16 by Maryann Miller on October 4, 2011 - 2:52 pm

    As always, I love your advice and the clever way you have of imparting it. This blog has been so helpful as I navigate my way around social media. One question though, what if I really like Spam? LOL

    That was a staple in our diet as I was growing up. My hubby can’t stand it any more, but I don’t mind a slice now and then.

  15. #17 by Renee Schuls-Jacobson on October 4, 2011 - 3:16 pm

    It’s really hard for me to find time to Tweet. I seem to do better connecting better with people in FB or email. I like to think that I maintain a pretty good balance between writing for an audience of both bloggers and non-bloggers. My readership keeps growing, thanks to a lot of great tips from you and a lot of other helpful cyber-Gurus.

    • #18 by Leanne Shirtliffe on October 4, 2011 - 3:43 pm

      Dearest Renee: Cluster Tweet. Yes, I stole the term from my breastfeeding days (cluster feeding pre-bedtime so my twins would sleep longer at night). In other words, go on Twitter twice a day for 10 minutes, read, respond to @ mentions and DMs and send out one or two updates/RTs.

      Or don’t. Because I’m feeling sick and my advice is sometimes a cluster@#$%.🙂

      • #19 by Author Kristen Lamb on October 4, 2011 - 4:34 pm

        Cluster Tweet. I dig the term and that’s what I do. I just check in at intervals. We have to put down boundaries or Tweet Deck can easily take over.

  16. #20 by Elena Aitken on October 4, 2011 - 3:34 pm

    Awesome advice, Kristen. As per usual, you’re right on the money.
    I love that you taught me and my other #wana711 peeps to blog about more than writing. In fact, even as a writer, I’m looking to read anything BUT a blog about writing these days. One needs to be well rounded, right?

  17. #21 by Reetta Raitanen on October 4, 2011 - 3:52 pm

    Spammy sounds so like me. I’ve read both of your awesome books and somewhere there you described the Law of Three. And still I wasn’t applying it to my Tweeting. Until now. Doh! I’ll try a week without any writing Tweets. Ok, maybe a day😛 Baby steps are good.

    Thank you Dr. Twuth.

  18. #22 by carol brill on October 4, 2011 - 5:51 pm

    great advice for a new blogger looking for my niche. what I get from it is if you use the 1/3 rule and authentic voice, they will come thanks

  19. #23 by Marilag Lubag on October 10, 2011 - 12:48 am

    Law of 3 sounds like a sane advice. Sharing yourself while connecting with others.🙂 Like it…now if I could only apply it.🙂

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