Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

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Welcome to the nineteenth 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 #FF (Follow Friday) Blitzkrieg

Ah, Twitter. There are so many well-meaning ways we create to connect that, if not handled properly, can do more harm than good. In an effort to help all our friends know more people, we use #FF (Follow Friday), #MM (Military Monday), #WW (Writer Wednesday) and on and on. When we see # conversations like these it is intended to assist us in meeting new people…like a mixer on Twitter. Yet, executed improperly and others will feel as if they are being blasted with names.

One thing we must be mindful to remember is that not everyone 1) knows what #s do and 2) not everyone has Tweet Deck or a similar application. Why is this important? Well, a Twitter friend is only useful to us if he or she is actively participating. If we clog up their entire stream with name after name after name for apparently no reason, our actions will probably make them hate Twitter and hate us.

Most of us are gravitating to Twitter to have conversation and get a look at the links our friends found worthy of sharing. To have a peep butt in and blast us with 300 of their coolest friends can get…annoying.

Go back to the image I presented earlier….a mixer. Would you like it if somone you knew walked up to you and your friends, interrupted and said, “Hi, I would like you to meet Sally, Jim, Dave, Martha, Sheila, Jane, Henry, Fabio, Xena, Jack, Naomi, and George”?

“Um nice to meet yo–”

“Oh, and then I also think you should talk to Ursula, Victoria, Derrick, Nancy, Shawn, Kirsten, Beatrice, Larry, and Paula.”

“Well, we were just talking abou–”

“Oooh, and I almost forgot Mary and Thomas and Vernon and Yvette, Ralph, Sarah, Misty, Jojo, Steve, Barry, Patrick, Wayne and Quinton.”

Regardless how well-meaning your friend was, would this approach make you want to meet any of these people? Let alone become intimate and close friends?

Too often #FF makes me feel like I am back in high school….or giving a speech at the Oscars. Not only do I feel the need to recommend anyone who has ever spoken to me on Twitter, but then I need to thank them in return????

Oy vay! It makes me not want to #FF, #WW, or #MM at all….but isn’t there an alternative?

YES! So instead of feeling obligated to recommend every person we have ever tweeted with, let’s look to…

This Week’s Twitter Tip–The Savvy Social Tweep

The Savvy Social Tweep takes time to do introductions properly. He knows who he is introducing and works the “room” like a pro. Instead of interrrupting with a blast of names, Savvy Social Tweep is more deliberate and personal. He has the ability to make others feel like a million bucks, so his tweets are priceless.

“Excuse me, but it is #FF. You really must talk to @ClayMorganPA. He has the most amazing sense of humor and every word he tweets is gold. Now, what were you saying?”

Savvy Social Tweep knows that less is more and quality is far better than quantity. He might only have a handful of recommendations, but others take them far more seriously because they are hand-crafted, not blasted off an assembly line.

Also, because most of us fear failure and rejection and probably rarely get complimented, when others go out of their way to say something genuinely kind, sweet and complimentary….we are going to SAVE that tweet and that Savvy Social Tweep will always have a warm place in our heart.

Savvy Social Tweep is more highly regarded because he is clearly paying attention to others, and he has this rare ability to make others feel important and valued.

Twitter can have peer pressure. We feel the need to recommend everyone, and why wouldn’t we? There are so many AMAZING people on Twitter, how can we choose? We no longer have to. Well, not in the same way, at least.

If we only send out a handful of crafted recommendations, then others are less likely to feel left out, and more likely to want to make that elite list of ours. It is sort of like, no reasonable customer expects a cobbler who makes boots by hand to turn out a hundred pairs a week. Yet, if an assembly line fell short of that mark, we’d assume something was wrong. If we deliberately craft our recommendations, chances are, they will be more prized and valued.

Check out this FUNNY Oatmeal cartoon about the perils of #FF . Thank you Katja!

Tweet ya later!

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!

Welcome to the seventeenth 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–Tunnel-Vision Tweeter

My Twitter tips are specially geared toward those who are desiring to build a platform and become a brand. Cutesy monikers will collapse a platform and render all of our tweets meaningless busy work. The only acceptable Twitter handle is the name that will be printed on the front of our books. Readers cannot buy a book from @booklady, so what is the point spending months or years contributing content to build a meaningless brand? For more about author branding, go here.

This said, many writers go try to get their name and realize…It’s TAKEN! And that’s when panic can set in. Calm down. This is the time to get creative. Use all that creative energy applied to dreaming up @pixiegal and apply it to the name you desire to brand.

Guess what? @KristenLamb was taken. That’s why I am @KristenLambTX. I probably could have been @Kristen_Lamb or @the_KristenLamb or even issued myself a license to kill, @KristenLamb007. The point is that followers see what is most vital…my NAME. If you find you MUST choose, the last name is most vital, since that is how people will eventually look up our books so they can BUY them :D.

This Week’s Twitter Tip–Highlander Tweep

There can be only one.

No, Highlander Tweep doesn’t go around whacking heads off the competition.  Stop pouting. Highlander tweep does, however, understand branding. She knows that branding is more than a name. Our name is only half of the equation.

OUR NAME + OUR CONTENT= OUR BRAND

Stephen King, Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Dan Brown…not terribly unique names. That is because content is what defines the brand. “Stephen King” was just a very boring name until one writer linked that name to horror so many times that the name, itself, became synonymous with the content (*cough* that’s a brand, btw).

On Twitter there is only ONE special, wonderful, unique YOU. Yes, there are others who maybe have the same name, but they DON’T have the most vital part of the equation…your content. So, feel free to be Highlander Tweep and feel confident that you are the only one…even if other people have the same name.

Tweet ya later! 

Welcome to the sixteenth 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 brandwill help you rule the Twitterverse without devolving into a spam bot.

This Week’s Fail Whale–Uptight Tweeter

When we are new to Twitter, I think all of us are Uptight Tweeters. We have all of this conversation going on all around us, and we feel the need to answer anyone who talks to us… instantly. This is part of how Twitter can become such a huge time suck. We want to create conversations, but then we feel guilty disengaging once drawn into discussion. We are overly polite.

The Uptight Tweeter is so polite, that she is afraid she will offend someone by not anwering right away. To avoid being rude, Uptight Tweeter starts avoiding conversations or even feels guilty if she cannot tweet during the day due to a work schedule.

This behavior, however, will severely limit any benefit pone can get out of Twitter. We need to engage, get in the mix and have conversations. Otherwise, we will be percieved as little better than a bot.

The solution?

This Week’s Twitter Tip–The Chill Tweeter

Chill Tweeter knows, “It’s all cool.” Twitter is a giant cocktail party, but it is NOT instant messaging. Am I the only one who hates IM? That is actually one of the FB functions I could do without. I don’t mind people I know IMing me, but people I have never talked to? I am not going to stop in the middle of my work day to have a conversation. Sorry. Not being mean. I just have a lot to do and am easily….OOH! Squirrel!

…sidetracked.

IM has that “must be tended now and don’t leave me hanging” effect. Why? Because if we miss an IM, we really can’t get back to the other person without converting to a message and blah, blah, blah. Yeah, I’m not that motivated either.

How is Twitter any different? Well, when someone IMs me on Yahoo or FB, there really is no way of knowing if I am taking a break. On Twitter? It generally only takes a couple tweets to realize this person tweeting isn’t elbow deep in revisions. How do we know this? They are chatting. If they’re busy? Um…most of us will tweet, “Crap. Elbow deep in revisions” and then promptly disappear.

The cool thing about Twitter is, well, it is Twitter….NOT IM. This is tremendously liberating. Guess what? If people want an instant answer they can consult Google or call 911 (Kidding)! On Twitter? We get to it when we get to it. I regularly take breaks from writing and scan the Mentions column (anything with @KristenLambTX). That is the TweetDeck column for any person who has mentioned me, asked me a question, posited a thought, etc.

When I get on Twitter, the first thing I do is scan that coumn and tie up loose ends. I merely pick up the conversation where it left off. If the other person is on-line at the same time? She can do the same and the chit-chat can resume.

On Twitter? Chill. Enjoy. If people know you work during the day, they will not need therapy if you don’t respond until evening. And if they do? Get new friends. That’s kinda weird to be so needy.

I follow people all over the world, and there is no way I could stay sane if I tried to talk to all of them real-time. I respond to my UK peeps often when they are asleep. But they get back to me the next day just fine with no permanent damage. If you work during the day, you might just have a different group of friends you chat with real-time; maybe West Coasters and some Aussies. They are cool, and they need Twitter love, too.

The thing is that Twitter took the beauty of IM (conversation) and removed the needy weirdness. Yes, IM has needy weirdness. I have been on IMs where the other person just…vanished and I spent the rest of the evening thinking I had ticked the person off or in some way offended them.

On Twitter, people respond if and when they can and no one takes offense. Well, they shouldn’t take offense. It’s Twitter, not dating. So calm down, and chill, bay-bee.

Tweet ya later!

Welcome to the fifteenth 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 brandwill help you rule the Twitterverse without devolving into a spam bot.

This Week’s Fail Whale–The Long-Winded Tweeter

Okay, the entire point of Twitter is brevity, so we are treading into iffy waters when we take advantage of those gizmos that allow us to wax on rhapsodic. I think all of us—okay females—are tempted to be long-winded tweeters. We just get so excited that we rattle out a message and then it turns red…and that is the point where we have to make a choice.

Cut out some superfluous words and maybe use some symbols.

Um…restate in a briefer sentence with fewer modifiers.

Or find the person’s Facebook page and leave 200 word comment there.

Use the Long Tweet option, otherwise known as the Other People will Ignore Us function.

Hey, I feel your pain. Everything I say is pure gold too. But I have to be blunt that when I see stuff go floating by in my All Friends stream, I have NEVER clicked the … to see what the rest of the sentence was.

If we are chatting with a friend, okay. Being a long-winded tweeter is okay, but don’t get crazy. If every tweet we post is a half-thought with … at the end, most people will just think we lack the communication skills to understand that less can be more.

One of the things I always try to keep in mind is that many people are viewing my tweets on a phone or PDA. If I keep tweeting in ways that make them have to hit a link to see the rest of what I have to say, I am creating an unnecessary hurdle that can make time with me…cumbersome.

The great part about Twitter, is, with practice, it will make you a more precise and concise writer.

This Week’s Twitter Tip–The Cross-Pollinating Tweeter

Twitter is an AMAZING tool, if we understand how to use it’s power. Twitter is the tool that ties all our social media efforts together and the thread that stitches OUR network to the network of OTHERS.

If we have a blog, then tweet about it. Tweet about other people’s blogs. Have something fun happen on Facebook? Mention it on Twitter. Direct traffic where you desire it to go. Those tweets are like little birds flitting from your blog flower or Facebook Page flower and dropping visitors (social media pollen).

A blog and a Twitter account are not two separate entities. They need each other; much like the bee needs the flower and the flower needs the bee. When we set up a system, everything starts to work together, one site fueling the other. After we gain some momentum, growing our author platform takes steadily less and less time.

In fact, the more cross-Pollinating Tweeters come together, the stronger their collective platforms will grow…because you are working as a TEAM.

For example: When I post this blog, I will also announce it on my Twitter and Facebook (cross-pollinating). Then, there are people in my network who will RT this link and then post on their Facebook page too. And guess what I do for them? I RT their link and then post that link on my Facebook page, too.

Not only does this give my Twitter followers a steady diet of great content, but my Facebook peeps get great links too.  And, since we are all in this habit of taking 2 minutes to post in two places, it is easy to see how small efforts can grow exponentially when we all work together.

Tweet ya later!