Why Writers Should Use Twitter (and HOW to USE It Effectively)

Original image via Flikr Creative commons, courtesy of Manuel W.

Original image via Flikr Creative commons, courtesy of Manuel W.

For the last couple posts, we’ve been talking about how to use Twitter effectively. Too many writers are like Stormtroopers—lots of shots fired  tweets that hit NOTHING.

I can admit, when I got on Twitter (when it was invented) I didn’t get it. I would—KID YOU NOT—freak out when people I didn’t know followed me. WHAT? Are you, like, a stalker? Yes, I was missing the ENTIRE point of Twitter. Hey, we all start somewhere.

 

Do you have to do Twitter? No. No one will take you to writer jail because you didn’t. Is it wise to use Twitter? ABSOLUTELY.

I strongly recommend Twitter for two main reasons. First, couple Twitter with a good/consistent blog and this is your best formula to go viral. Secondly, Twitter helps us find READERS (and helps readers find US).

Going Viral

We will rarely go viral from Facebook because the nature of Facebook is more intimate and the platform moves much slower. People are less likely to discover us/our work from Facebook than they are Twitter.

In fact, I would imagine that many of you who subscribe to this blog, likely found me via Twitter. And since my tweets are written in a way to attract only the brightest and best-looking and talented….😀. Y’all get the point.

This is why I want authors to blog and to blog off their author WEB SITE. Someone sees a tweet for a post that looks interesting and click and enjoy the post and guess what is in the sidebar for sale? BOOKS.

***Or, in my case the footer of each post since I did all the dumb stuff so y’all don’t have to.

This is a non-invasive way to cultivate readers and sell books. We have a post. We serve. We entertain. We aren’t doing the:

Hi, I’m a writer. BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK! I can’t feed my family unless you BUY MY BOOK!

 

Show don’t sell. Our blog gives potential readers a glimpse of who we are. They sample our writing voice and see we are professionals since we post more than every harvest moon. We have taken time to engage without asking for money. Twitter is the road sign guiding people to the rest stop of their choosing.

Enough people like a certain rest stop? That is when we go viral.

Going viral is AWESOME. Trust me, when you see THIS on the bottom of a post? GREAT FEELING.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 7.41.58 AM

And yes, there are a lot of shares on Facebook, but many folks discovered the posts on Twitter then chose to share with their more intimate community on Facebook.

My post Brave New Bullying and Amazon Attacks has 328 comments and still climbing. And I say this VERY humbly because all I do is my job. But, it is not uncommon for this blog to have triple-digit comments. Twitter is a BIG reason for that. And I’ve been blessed to go viral many times and not always for writing or social media posts. I blog about everything.

I STILL have people arguing over What Went Wrong With the Star Wars Prequels even though I posted it years ago. FABULOUS comments. Very well-thought out. Some thousands of words long.

Cultivating Readers

Original image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Sodanie Chea

Original image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Sodanie Chea

There is one bone-headed statement that makes my head hurt. And I have heard it from all levels of writers from noobs to NTYBSAs. In fact, one BIG author once said, “I don’t like Twitter. Only writers are on Twitter.”

*head desk*

I replied, “There are over 280 MILLION active Twitter users. They’re all writers. Really?”

What I then pointed out was that this author tweeted writing quotes, talked about writing, blogged about writing. It was the All-Writing-All-the-Time Channel. If my goal is to catch a lion, but I bait the traps with peanut butter, who is the fool for griping about catching mice?

Many of us are writers because we were interested in SO many things, writing was the only way we could do them all. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an archaeologist-medical examiner-ballerina-oceanographer-ninja-Navy SEAL. I’d imagine most of you had similar career plans at age 7.

We became writers because we have an insatiable love for so many things. And we have unique eyes and an imagination to bring those worlds to life. We breathe life into variations of 26 letters in various combinations to create entirely NEW worlds and characters SO real they make a bigger impact on lives than a lot of living, breathing humans.

Yes, we have a God complex.

Thus, when using Twitter, I DO recommend #MyWANA, #amwriting, etc. We NEED a group of professional peers. But never mistake your colleagues for your audience. Too many writers are all talking to each other, selling the same people who already have more books than they could finish in a lifetime. We are worn out.

Twitter Access

In my book, Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World I go into far more detail, but here’s the highlight reel. What do you write? Who is the most likely person (who is NOT an avid reader who will read anything) to read your book?

If I write military thrillers, might be a good idea to follow the military hashtags—#USMC, #Army, #Navy, #USAF. Make friends, talk to people. Maybe even ask for advice. Admit you’re a writer and you want to nail the details. Humans are a super-helpful bunch.

If I write about vampires? #TrueBlood #vampires #supernatural might be good places to pop in and take a look.

Christian authors? #Jesus #Christian #lifechurch, etc.

Write about cowboys? #rodeo #horses

Suspense, mystery, crime? #DowntownAbbey #DiscoveryID #SwampMurders #JoeKenda #AR15

Sci-Fi? Try #starwars #startrek #physics, #geek, #DrWho, #Nova

Use a little imagination. I find it funny that writers have the capacity to dream up parallel universes, new forms of magic, unknown technology and yet, when we get on social media? #writers, #books #readers is how creative we get.

 

But this is why it vexes me when people just write off Twitter as useless. Twitter is probably THE MOST effective way to find our potential readers, talk to them, and eventually cultivate a relationship that will hopefully spread to that person’s network.

Twitter DOES have the capacity to help us go viral, but it is still an investment daily of US. I have a little over 13,600 followers. Other authors SMOKE me on number of followers. But I would rather have 5,000 VESTED followers then 30,000 people who could care less what I have to say.

I’ve tweeted almost 27,000 tweets. Granted, I’ve been a member of Twitter for seven years. Not a SINGLE tweet of mine is from an automated system. All ME. Small chats every day add up. Just hop on, talk a little, share a link, talk to people, then back to work.

Buying Twitter Followers

This dovetails into my next point. In the beginning (say, back around 2008-2012), I feel outsiders cared more about the number of followers than they do now. “WOW, she has 40,000 followers. She must be IMPORTANT.” But, over time, our audience has wised up.

Sure, feel free to buy followers. But, in my mind, that’s like hiring a prostitute to offer us a long-term committed relationship. Purchased followers aren’t vested. They don’t care. They make the numbers look good and maybe stroke our ego, but our goal should be to create relationships that might translate into book sales.

Not ALL Sales are Direct

When we take time to be human and talk to people without an agenda, they appreciate it. It’s also good for our souls since most of us feel icky simply talking to people so they will BUY something. Never underestimate the word-of-mouth power of someone who may never buy your book.

I have all KINDS of people I talk to who aren’t authors. BUT they have friends or family who are. Whose books do you think they recommend?

In the end, using Twitter wisely is a fantastic investment that doesn’t take a lot of time. A handful of tweets a day over time grows deep roots that eventually yields fruits.

I LOVE hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of JANUARY, 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. 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 novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on AMAZON, iBooks, or Nook

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  1. #1 by newfsull on January 14, 2015 - 10:23 am

    I need you to take a break on these blogs please. I am trying to catch up, and there is so much to do.
    Only kidding! Cool advise once again. I am all atwitter (word -who cares) with my new found knowledge.

  2. #2 by Lisa Ricard Claro on January 14, 2015 - 10:29 am

    Oh, Great Twitter Oracle, I’m TRYING to keep up and figure it out! Your book is my social media bible and I’m trying to work it. I’m on Tweetdeck (love it—Twitter is starting to make sense), but I still follow mainly the writing stuff. I know better. I do. And today’s post did a good job of whacking my nose with a newspaper, so I’m off to search more “readerly” # stuff. At this point, almost 100% of my followers are other authors, too. I’ll rejoice when someone follows who is more into needlepoint than writing.🙂

    • #3 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 14, 2015 - 10:31 am

      Try some sewing hashtags. If they aren’t active, close and try another word. It will be refreshing to branch out and talk to people with similar interests BEYOND writing.

  3. #4 by Richard Ankers on January 14, 2015 - 10:29 am

    Thank you for such an informative post. I struggle with Twitter so its a great help. In fact, I’m going to retweet this right now LOL (I hope!)

  4. #5 by jryates on January 14, 2015 - 10:44 am

    Hi Kristen
    I find your blog so informative. I’m a newbie to social media and your blog was one of the first that I’ve subscribed to, and I’m so glad I did. I joined Twitter a few weeks ago, and started a blog a couple of weeks before that. I was a bit anti-social media as I’m a speech therapist in my day job, and have really noticed that kids today are so tuned in to screens that they don’t know how to relate in the real world. I try to educate parents all of the time about the importance of unplugging technology and plugging into their child. I guess I felt like a bit of a hypocrite when I jumped on the media band wagon. I am finding though that it doesn’t mean that I have to stop engaging in my real life. Like you said. Hop on, see what others are up to, make a few comments, share some ideas, and unplug again. I am finding Twitter to be a great way to help connect people to my blog and my writing, otherwise I am just blogging into a void. I have connect with other speech-language pathologists (SLPs) as my book is about an SLP protagonist. It’s also been a great way to connect with people in the writing community as well.
    Thanks so much.

  5. #6 by Trey Willis on January 14, 2015 - 10:58 am

    I never bothered with Twitter until publishing my book, and have really had trouble liking it all that much. This post gives me a bit of needed motivation to invest the time to use it and use it well.

  6. #7 by Rachel Thompson on January 14, 2015 - 11:02 am

    It seems one must sped a lot of time learning social media and it’s many branches like tweeter– quiet a hydra eating a writer’s time. Imagine using that time to write, study the craft, learn conventional business ( foundational), and learn about human nature and how it’s application in fiction works. One must ask, ride a shallow band wagon, or go deep? The best products emerge from the depths. The best work supersedes razzel-dazzel promotional tools. Write crap and sell the crap out of it, or write meaningful stuff? Social media seems to cheapen the product. How do you pick a chestnut out of this sea of confusion? I go to independent books stores and read the jackets.

  7. #8 by Jennifer Jensen (@jenjensen2) on January 14, 2015 - 11:07 am

    SO many good quotes I could use in this post, Kristen! Baiting a lion trap with peanut butter for one, and GRR Martin killing all 140 characters was priceless. 🙂

    My problem is that my readers right now are youngsters who aren’t on twitter. I use #MGLit, so I get teachers and writers and a few parents. I am connecting with some parenting people – I just need to take the time for conversations, not just tweeting about my blog posts! Also, I think I’ve finally found (3 years after our WANA1011!) a focus that I can get excited about, which will also speak to the future readers of my future women’s fiction. Yay!

    Thanks for all you do, and for keeping us thinking.

  8. #9 by frankregan17 on January 14, 2015 - 11:07 am

    Great post Kristen and yes I did first find your blog through Twitter. I must admit apart from the the occasional #amwriting, #amediting I’ve not thought about using hashtags in that way – but it is so obvious now you have said it. So it’s definitely something I’m going to start doing more.

  9. #10 by The Story Reading Ape on January 14, 2015 - 11:14 am

    Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog….. An Author Promotions Enterprise! and commented:
    AUTHORS – Read, inwardly digest and TRY what Kristen is advising😀

  10. #11 by dr sweetyshinde on January 14, 2015 - 11:16 am

    Twitter’s hype had me all in a muddled twist. Thanks for unravelling it a bit. #amimpressed!

  11. #12 by russtowne on January 14, 2015 - 11:27 am

    I’ve never used Twitter but your post has inspired me to look into it.

    Thank you!

  12. #13 by charliebumble on January 14, 2015 - 11:34 am

    Reblogged this on An amateur author…. and commented:
    Yesterdays post was all about me wangling the art of Twitter and here it is, today when I open my WordPress, all the reasons why I should. If ever I needed any motivation, now is the time and this has motivated me. What a great blog and great to hear from a dab hand of the tweeting world… Now what do I have to say to twitter that’s of interest.. mmm 🙂

  13. #14 by charliebumble on January 14, 2015 - 11:37 am

    I posted a blog yesterday about needing to get my head around Twitter… I never know what to say to get the attention needed, and then here today I see your post as almost a gift from above. I’ve self published to Amazon and am working on Smashwords so I need to get publicising and get an online presence that’s more than my mum liking my book psts on Facebook (hee hee).

    Thank you for this x

  14. #15 by jenniferkirkeby on January 14, 2015 - 11:48 am

    Thank you, Kristen, for the most informative and best description of Twitter I have ever read. I use it sporadically, but your blog makes so much sense. Plus you crack me up! Win, win!

  15. #16 by R J Madigan on January 14, 2015 - 11:50 am

    Hi Kristen, this is a fantastic post with some great advice. Perfect timing as I am just setting up a Twitter account as a writer. Check out the book trailer for my new multi-touch iBook.
    Video for youtube sword of air► 1:54► 1:54
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNHf2nCW7nc
    Thanks
    Rae.

  16. #17 by estyree on January 14, 2015 - 11:53 am

    Twitter drives me crazy because I’m not sure how to number sign most of what I post😉 Great Stuff again!

  17. #18 by T. Wharton Johnson on January 14, 2015 - 11:54 am

    Reblogged this on T. Wharton Johnson and commented:
    I don’t get Twitter but I’m learning. Great advice, thanks.

  18. #19 by Elle Knowles on January 14, 2015 - 11:59 am

    Twitter has been on my mind today. I still haven’t figured out hashtags! Guess it’s time to start googling for information so I can get my twitter account off the ground and go viral!😉 Great post!

  19. #20 by sharonhughson on January 14, 2015 - 12:16 pm

    I like Twitter, but I’m still fumbling my way around it, dreaming of the day something I share in under 140 characters goes semi-viral.
    I love the G .R. R. Martin meme, by the way. Probably going to be pinning that.

  20. #21 by lechamberlin on January 14, 2015 - 12:19 pm

    Great post. I remember thinking, in the early days of Twitter, “Sure, people care if Miley Cyrus just had a milkshake…I guess? But why the HELL would anyone care about what I’m doing?” It’s all about making it relevant, and then believing in your heart of hearts that you are just as interesting as Miley’s milkshake. Or something like that.😉

  21. #22 by MonaKarel on January 14, 2015 - 12:43 pm

    It’s all starting to make sense now. THANKS. And I’m setting Tweetdeck which really helps.

  22. #23 by Lauren Simonis on January 14, 2015 - 12:44 pm

    I think the point about number of followers doesn’t always get across to people. It’s not about the AMOUNT of people who follow you but the QUALITY OF INTERACTIONS from those followers. I would rather have less followers if they interact with me than tons of followers who do absolutely nothing.

    Another pet peeve of mine is the whole “automated” feeling tweets about your blog posts – which you touch on. If I just see “title of blog post” via [insert URL here], I’m sure not going to click on it. Make it personal, like you said! We are real people, after all. So are your followers.

  23. #24 by shavenwookiee on January 14, 2015 - 12:50 pm

    Reblogged this on Shaven Wookiee and commented:
    Wish I could remember this stuff….

  24. #25 by Christy Birmingham on January 14, 2015 - 1:05 pm

    You are so right when you say to use Twitter to get people to your blog and then they see your books, promotions, etc. etc. It’s a draw, rather than just tweeting “hey you, buy my book!” because that won’t get anything but an eyeroll. Well done with this post!

  25. #26 by Josh on January 14, 2015 - 1:06 pm

    Thank you for writing this!

  26. #27 by ebrobinson on January 14, 2015 - 1:06 pm

    Just started the whole twitterverse thing as a newly published author and had the same knee jerk reaction when I went from 30 followers to over a hundred in like ten days. And, it’s true that some of these followers are just tagging along and I already had to unfollow a few. I wanted to learn how to use Twitter the right way and after three different classes (Thank goodness they were free with my network group dues), you managed to finally make it quite clear. Guess I was over thinking it. Thank you

  27. #28 by eileendandashi on January 14, 2015 - 1:22 pm

    I’m following you closely Kristen! Today I made a list of possible hashtags I could use to connect to my book reviews, because that’s what I do. I’m not tooting my horn, I want to toot a horn for others, to support the author community. I’ll be revisiting my older book reviews and twitter them using hashtags, because I’ve never used them. I’ve seen hashtags in FB. Do they do the same as in Twitter? Is there a list of hashtags around that Twitter uses I can look over?

  28. #29 by dianamcc on January 14, 2015 - 1:26 pm

    Another Awesome post from the Queen of Social Media!!! Love the quote: If my goal is to catch a lion, but I bait the traps with peanut butter, who is the fool for griping about catching mice? LOL!

  29. #30 by robertsonwrites on January 14, 2015 - 2:02 pm

    This was super excellent!

  30. #31 by johnfindley on January 14, 2015 - 2:06 pm

    Hello Kristen
    I am pleased you spoke about twitter again as I had wished to ask a twitter question with another of your blogs.
    I use the plain type of twitter, and meaning to have a look at TweetDeck and the other one you mention. But just haven’t found the time to study how it all works, I have downloaded it, looked at it, and given up several times.
    I am having trouble retweeting videos from the “Photos and Videos” area. Please let me know how I can manage this. The blue repeat button is hidden and can’t be pressed.
    Regards John

  31. #32 by Shea Ford on January 14, 2015 - 2:43 pm

    Thanks for kicking my butt in gear about Twitter! That’s always a weak spot for me. I either can’t ever think of what to write, or I get lost in the mirad of tweets and links. As a result I tend to let it fall to the wayside of my social media activities.

  32. #33 by Jennifer Austin - Author on January 14, 2015 - 2:45 pm

    This post was so helpful! I’ve been struggling with hiw to use Twitter and I feel a little better. And I think I will unfollow all the writers who do nothing but plug their book. Once in awhile is fine, especially if I feel like I “know” you, but all day everyday us just annoying!

  33. #34 by hkrowe on January 14, 2015 - 2:49 pm

    I found this really informative. Thank you!

  34. #35 by rijanjks on January 14, 2015 - 2:58 pm

    Reblogged this on Writing and Music and commented:
    Kristen Lamb has offered up some great advice on how to effectively use Twitter.

  35. #36 by Lilith Darville on January 14, 2015 - 2:58 pm

    Hello! What are some good hashtags to find readers interested in erotic romance?

  36. #37 by Teresa Coppens on January 14, 2015 - 3:05 pm

    Still struggling with Twitter. I’m using it but not effectively enough I know. I’ll retread your post and implement some of your ideas. Thanks for the insight!

  37. #38 by Angela M Bryant on January 14, 2015 - 3:43 pm

    Thank you for your help with figuring out twitter’s benefits. I found your blog on twitter and will re-tweet it as well!

  38. #39 by Daven Anderson on January 14, 2015 - 3:43 pm

    I read your blog for over two years before I joined Twitter.😉
    So,one year into Twitter, I’ve found that tactics people usually associate with Facebook actually work better on Twitter (ie. Memes). Don’t be afraid to mix it up and post that meme on Twitter instead of Facebook. Signed, over 800 followers and still no strategy…😉

  39. #40 by Samantha Bryant on January 14, 2015 - 4:15 pm

    An excellent post with solid advice. Thanks so much!

  40. #41 by Sarina Rose on January 14, 2015 - 4:29 pm

    Reblogged this on sarinaroseauthor and commented:
    I love the information and knowledge Kristen Lamb shares on her blog. She is “so with it.” So contemporary. So easy to follow. So fun. Kristen is swell. Who remembers that word?

  41. #42 by Sarina Rose on January 14, 2015 - 4:34 pm

    I love you Kristen. You are swell, funny, neat, lively, candid, pretty, intelligent, knowledgeable and flirty. My book has not come out yet, should I continue tweeting its forthcoming launch. I do that only about once a month among other tweets.

  42. #44 by jenwintersne on January 14, 2015 - 4:38 pm

    Reblogged this on Jen Winters is an Indie Author and commented:
    Interesting thoughts on Twitter and how to effectively use it. I’m glad to have been directed here. I’ve noticed that twitter was not working for me as I wanted it to. Now I know what my next steps are and I’m happy to know I haven done it completely wrong!

  43. #45 by jenwintersne on January 14, 2015 - 4:39 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I’m happy to see I haven’t completely flaked out on my Twitter strategy.

  44. #46 by Dawn DeSousa (@DawnDeSousa) on January 14, 2015 - 4:49 pm

    Thanks again for the sound advice. I just published my second book today on Amazon and my tweet will be, “Yippee. I published my second book today on Amazon set in Paris. Feels so amazing and time to celebrate.” No link to buy but a pic of me sitting in a cafe in Paris doing research. If peps are interested they’ll find the book. I always re-tweet and say congrats when an author announces completion of a milestone . This work can take so long and be so ripe with setbacks that we need to celebrate and support each other’s amazing deeds. Not scream at me that you have a book for sale. And some of my hashtag will be #Paris #travel #adventure.

  45. #47 by Gail Priest on January 14, 2015 - 5:22 pm

    Thanks, Kristen! I was very encouraged by this blog. I’ve been on Twitter for a while, but I really had no idea how to make it work for me. What you wrote is helpful.🙂

  46. #48 by Claudette Melanson - Author of Dark Fantasy on January 14, 2015 - 5:38 pm

    Reblogged this on Claudette Melanson, Author of Dark Fantasy and commented:
    From Kristen Lamb’s blog

  47. #49 by Saralyn on January 14, 2015 - 5:48 pm

    Kristen, you are so ingenious! I read each of your blogs with the eagerness of a child in an ice cream parlor. Which of the 31 flavors will it be today?

  48. #50 by kate curran on January 14, 2015 - 6:24 pm

    I love your blog. I don’t dislike Twitter, I just don’t know how to use it and finding time to learn the learning curve has kept me from learning. I have the same problem with blogging and I keep thinking who cares what I have to say since there are so many out there. But I’m going to make another stab at it thanks to your blog!

  49. #51 by Laura on January 14, 2015 - 6:26 pm

    Twitter – and social media in general – is great if you don’t have an overbearing relative who berates you for everything you post, e-mailing you telling you to delete something or another because it will embarrass them or potentially offend the sensibilities of some distant relative that isn’t even on said network. I used LJ for years before said person found me and started that. Then, after eight years, I abandoned it and found Twitter in 2008. I loved it and posted to it constantly. Six months later, guess what? So I found Facebook (or maybe that was the other way around, I don’t remember). Same thing. And Google+. I don’t post much anymore. I had an author page, but I have given it up – I’m going to use a pen name. That’s the only way I will ever feel like I can write what I want – whether in my book or on social media – without somehow embarrassing someone in my family.
    Sorry to vent, just hit a nerve…

  50. #52 by Mary O'Gara on January 14, 2015 - 8:03 pm

    Kristen, help! How do I link my blog back to your blog?

  51. #54 by Tammy Gibaud on January 14, 2015 - 8:49 pm

    I tweet (a little), I write (all the time), I read blogs (more than I should), but I could have had a V-8.
    I currently follow other writers tweets and blogs only, but that changes today. Now, I wonder which #twitter #hashtag my novels cast of characters would follow?

  52. #55 by donaldkennethwalker on January 14, 2015 - 10:57 pm

    My lawyer advised me to say the usual, great blog and thank you Kristen for sharing some of the best information around ( which is true of course). That anything else I may say will definitely seem as I’m way past guilty. Well newsflash, I am GUILTY (there would be a louder hush over the crowd, but just like me they are guilty too). Yes I was once not so bright enough to think Twitter wasn’t worth the effort, not because it wasn’t, but because I didn’t have a clue to how powerful a tool Twitter could be when correctly used. And once again Kristen gets you to understand the important stuff without making it seem, well, important. A gentle nudge covered in a nice barb and by blog’s end you will have learned something new and oh so useful. **waiting on your book, Rise of The Machines as we speak**

  53. #56 by Courtney M. Wendleton on January 15, 2015 - 2:14 am

    Reblogged this on Books and More and commented:
    Very helpful! Especially for those of us who are still scrounging to learn effective ways of using the evil Twitter.

  54. #57 by Janet Givens on January 15, 2015 - 5:58 am

    Hi Kristin. I’m confused by automated tweets (bad) and scheduled tweets (using TweetDeck). Are they the same? I’ve been using TweetDeck to schedule 5 different tweets at different times over the course of a week with links to my last blog. No No?

    • #58 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 15, 2015 - 10:20 am

      They are the same. If you ain’t typing it, get rid of it. Just my POV. Especially because savvier folks like me, know the names of the apps that generate tweets and I tend to unfollow people who overuse them. If you only do 5, I might not notice you, but if you check out my post on the Marathon Bombing, you will never want anything automated/scheduled EVER. And we are all cool. We are all new at some point. It’s why I try to make you guys laugh. We all get bad advice or bright ideas. But I’d get rid of it. All you need is a mass terrorist killing spree of cute kittens, then your next tweet is about your blog *screeching breaks*

      • #59 by Janet Givens on January 15, 2015 - 1:05 pm

        I couldn’t agree more. I first noticed this in the aftermath of Sandy Hook. At the same time, while I’ve got my cplumbs set up in toot suite, scheduling a weeks worth of these blog links was for me a huge time saver.

        Now I’m beginning to think social media (Twitter anyway; FB is my happy place) works best with those who are in it full time.

        • #60 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 15, 2015 - 2:00 pm

          The thing about Twitter is it can be effective with 5 minutes a day. Why not use it? And yes, FB is my happy place too but the good stuff usually comes from OUTSIDE the comfort zone😉

          • #61 by Janet Givens on January 15, 2015 - 2:18 pm

            Yes, mum.🙂

            Here’s my 2015 Twitter plan:

            RT 3 x day. Comment (as in add something to an existing conversation) once a week.
            Thank or say Hello to all my RTers or new followers every Friday. (???)
            And post those links to my blog daily. I’ll now reduce posting the links from 5 a day to one and do it in real time.
            A Plan?

  55. #63 by M.J. Moores on January 15, 2015 - 9:03 am

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Kristen Lamb has done it again! Be sure to read this eye opening post.

  56. #64 by M.J. Moores on January 15, 2015 - 9:09 am

    Hi Kristen, I am definitely one of those authors who avoided twitter for a long time simply because I didn’t have the time to devote to something I didn’t understand. In fact, I still don’t understand it! When I first started tweeting I enjoyed reading the 20 or so tweets from people I followed but now that I follow over a hundred (I know – cough – still a baby) I don’t bother to read the tweets when 50 of them come in, in less than 5 minutes. I can’t keep up. And hashtags are a complete blank-eyed stare for me… how do those things work and why do they work? I wish I had the time to properly figure this forum out😉 Thanks for the awesome blog!

    • #65 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 15, 2015 - 10:17 am

      Read the last three posts and if you can, get my book. You NEED TweetDeck or HootSuite or your head will explode. Twitter will be a misery. Twitter can be a LOT of fun if you know how to use it.

  57. #66 by Icy Sedgwick on January 15, 2015 - 9:26 am

    It’s funny you should be posting all of this stuff about how to use Twitter effectively because I’m STILL getting authors following me, then sending me automated DMs telling me to follow them on Facebook as well, or check out their books. No “Hi, how are you?” or “How’s it going at your end?” Just immediately I’m expected to follow them on a second platform when they give me no reason to. I even told one author that I consider such DMs to be spam, and unfollowed her, only to get a snotty tweet saying that out of her 10.2k followers, I’m the first to take issue, and I should just ignore such spammy DMs. She’s also made an issue about my name being ‘Icy’ and how it’s apparently ‘fitting’ – sorry, but I don’t think I’m a cold person just because I see DMs asking me to follow someone I don’t even know on Facebook, as if my participation on Twitter isn’t enough, as being intrusive.

    • #67 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 15, 2015 - 10:16 am

      I LOVE your name. I must name a character after you. And most people just don’t have the stones to correct people for being ruse. Good riddance.

  58. #68 by Paula Cappa on January 15, 2015 - 9:45 am

    Fiction is a much harder reach than nonfiction on Twitter. I’m told a tweet is only live for about 60 seconds and then gone! I think for fiction book sales, the short life of a tweet is not time well spent. I use all the appropriate hashtags but the tweets get buried in the scroll in a matter of minutes and then nobody sees them. It’s a statistical fact that readers who look to buy fiction don’t shop for books on Twitter. They are shopping on Amazon.com, book sites, review blogs, and at online book clubs. I’ve been using Twitter for about 2 years now. I have about 1000 followers and my tweets get retweeted fairly well. I write fiction, supernatural mysteries with two novels out and lots of short stories published in Ezines and literary journals. I find Twitter can drive traffic to my weekly fiction blog/website–a good thing and sometimes that sparks a book sale or two. But using Twitter, even with the appropriate hashtags to spark fiction book sales to my Amazon page has produced zero results.

    • #69 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 15, 2015 - 10:15 am

      But if we write fiction, THAT is an even BIGGER reason to talk to people and get to know them. Fiction is a purchase driven by emotion. People will buy from who they know and who they like. And it is a lot of fun just hopping on twitter and chatting with people about hobbies. Women who do yoga or crochet DO read books. Get to know them. Traditional marketing has NEVER worked for fiction and only marginally worked for NF.

  59. #70 by Write Now on January 15, 2015 - 12:55 pm

    Reblogged this on Write Now.

  60. #71 by Gulara on January 15, 2015 - 1:15 pm

    Very useful, thank you! I am new to Twitter and your advise is timely and inspiring.

  61. #72 by Night terror news on January 15, 2015 - 2:48 pm

    I have been debating this issue on my own for so long.. Many of my tweets are auto-posted by WordPress and other blog services I’ve used. But I rarely get any foot traffic to the site based on that.. and when I think about it, if I use Twitter, what am I looking for? Often it’s to look for links when breaking news happens.. otherwise it’s to see the 140 characters of ‘wisdom’ by those I follow.. often I think the auto-generated tweets are insulting. Then I go ahead and do it..
    And then on the other hand, I use Twitter as a search engine for my posts.. key words I may have posted about 4 years come up when I search .. it’s been helpful for that.

    A part of my consternation with Twitter is not knowing who is real on the platform–so often those pornish type followers show up and then float away..

    I actually think TUMBLR is a little better than twitter.. but it seems so untrustworthy to use that platform without the ability to ever back it up, unless you use a MAC.
    The perils of modern blogging.

  62. #73 by Lyn on January 15, 2015 - 6:45 pm

    I’ve just started using Twitter and am following 11 writerly type people and have 12 followers (I know, 12! can you believe it!!). At the moment, I can handle 12😀 I look at some of the people I follow and they have between 12,000 and 36,000 followers. I think, how the heck do they read all the tweets they receive on their ‘feed’?
    I have a blog, but I haven’t tweeted about any of my posts…maybe I should — ninety-nine percent of them are fiction posts. I’m going a little crazy at the moment because I read so many blogs, I spend most of my time doing that rather than doing what I should be doing i.e. writing. Trying to manage the writing-Twitter-Blog posting-Blog reading world gives me a headache…not to mention indigestion when I gulp my food down to get back to the world that is cyberspace.

  63. #74 by Laura on January 15, 2015 - 7:32 pm

    Thank you for your great post. I might understand twitter a bit more now.

  64. #75 by markheadhimself on January 15, 2015 - 8:55 pm

    —makes a lot of sense—been avoiding twitter for years—mainly because I expected to be able to use its message box if someone sent me a message then discovered Twitter would not allow me to do that since sender had to clicked follow tab which it deems necessary and prime reason I gave up bothering with it. Very frustrating and a complete waste of time. Cheers

  65. #76 by Nancy on January 15, 2015 - 8:59 pm

    Thanks. Just started trying to figure out Twitter, maybe some day I’ll get it.

  66. #77 by Julie McSorley (@autoteller) on January 16, 2015 - 5:52 am

    Great post Kristen – thank you!

  67. #78 by Kelly Unbuttoned on January 16, 2015 - 12:49 pm

    I got off of Twitter about a year ago when I closed up shop on my business. I went into the “I’m such a failure…poor me” mode and unplugged. That was a year ago. Now, I’m once again concentrating on my writing. It’s a process. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your insight and inspiring me to get back on the twitter again. Cheers!

  68. #79 by Cat Rambo on January 16, 2015 - 12:53 pm

    I work with a lot of new writers, because I teach, and the conversation about Twitter (and other social media) comes up again and again. I finally figured out the best way to articulate my Twitter advice to them, which is that no, Twitter isn’t mandatory and not using it won’t hurt you…but boy, using it can really help in terms of connections and new readers. Thanks for this useful piece.

  69. #80 by Mateeka on January 16, 2015 - 1:49 pm

    Thanks Kristen! It’s definitely well-put that we as writers can come up with elaborate fictional heist schemes but can’t seem to figure out how to put 140 characters up without stressing over it. I Tweet pretty regularly, mostly sharing links I like, but this week I’d like to work on meeting more people there, and not just the spammy people who randomly follow me.

  70. #81 by R T Allwin on January 16, 2015 - 5:44 pm

    Reblogged this on Chimaeral and commented:
    This week we are taking a look on Kristen Lamb’s opinions on Twitter and how it can benefit the writers out there:

  71. #82 by Little Miss Menopause on January 17, 2015 - 1:05 am

    Great post! Another Twitter Thumb Twiddler here. Like, huh? How do you use Hashtags? I just thought that was a side order on a breakfast menu at IHOP. I tweet my WordPress blog out only because I somehow accidentally hooked it up to Twitter and it goes out automatically. Other than that, I don’t know how to do anything else. I better learn to tweet soon though because I can see in this case, the early bird does get the worm, err word! Thanks!

  72. #83 by terriponce on January 17, 2015 - 2:27 pm

    Reblogged this on Terri Herman-Ponce and commented:
    A great reminder on the best way to use Twitter to your advantage as a writer…in the mind of the reader.

  73. #84 by terriponce on January 17, 2015 - 2:28 pm

    Thank you thank you THANK YOU for the great reminder. My tweets fell back into the boring genre hashtag thing, and now I’ve gone back and rethought my Twitter marketing and reworked all the hashtags into something more meaningful and unique that are more likely to catch a reader’s attention. Cool stuff. This one’s a keeper.

  74. #85 by Patrick Jones on January 17, 2015 - 3:34 pm

    Always great information from your blog, Kristen. Thanks for such great posts. Your sense of humor is most evident as well and brings home points well targeted. Looking forward to someday learned all of this…?

  75. #86 by Lola Karns on January 18, 2015 - 11:18 am

    Thank you for this overview. Also, I am not justified in neglecting to set up a hootsuite account. I have more fun interacting with people on twitter, not bombarding them with buy messages.

  76. #87 by lovessiamese on January 19, 2015 - 12:01 am

    Thank you so much. I do tweet more now than I used to but still have trouble understanding the #, when to use it, why to use it. This was very helpful. Also reblogging, sharing on multi media. Thanks again.

  77. #88 by lovessiamese on January 19, 2015 - 12:03 am

    Reblogged this on TheKingsKidChronicles and commented:
    This is great information for people like me who are fairly new to tweeting (Twitter) but want to get the most out of it and really connect with readers and writers.

  78. #89 by debherbert2013 on January 19, 2015 - 2:55 am

    I love Twitter but have no idea if it’s helped build an audience or not. Its so random – and that’s part of its charm.🙂

  79. #90 by OyiaBrown on January 19, 2015 - 8:56 am

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  80. #91 by moxeyns on January 19, 2015 - 12:18 pm

    I have a nasty feeling that I’m investing time in the wrong social medium *sigh*… Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

  81. #92 by Kimberly Yoghourtjian on January 19, 2015 - 11:20 pm

    I didn’t know twitter was so important for book sales. I don’t have twitter, maybe I should consider it. I am still trying to get my website going—feeling stuck.

    • #93 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 20, 2015 - 7:42 am

      It takes time, Hon. I hate to hawk a book, but Rise of the Machines gives a step-by-step that will help A LOT in building that solid foundation, explaining HOW other social sites work and what our goals for them should be. It really isn’t as hard as it’s made out to be especially if we start off with a strong skeleton.

  82. #94 by Ryan Colvert on January 25, 2015 - 8:52 am

    Great advice, Kristen! When writing becomes your life it’s easy to spend all your tweet-time focusing on that instead of participating in other communities. It can become an echo-chamber.🙂

  83. #95 by Ryan Colvert on January 25, 2015 - 8:58 am

    Reblogged this on Ryan Colvert and commented:
    Some good thoughts from Kristen Lamb here… Don’t limit your universe to other writers!

  84. #96 by Court Ellyn on January 26, 2015 - 4:47 pm

    Sooooo I bookmarked this post. Because I need to read it MANY times. Ugh. I suppose I shall go Tweet now…

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