Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

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Posts Tagged: hashtag conversations

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 second installment of Twitter Tuesday. 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. This blog will help you rule the Twitterverse without devolving into a spam bot.

Today we have to do things differently. Why? My tips involve the hashtag conversations, but if you don’t know what a hashtag is or what it does, the tips will make no sense. Feel free to scroll down if you happen to be hashtag savvy.

For the rest of you, you might find yourself asking, What the heck is that # thingy I see all the time?

Here’s the deal. If you listened to me last week then you ran out and downloaded TweetDeck at the first available opportunity. Wait, what? You didn’t?

Okay…we’ll wait. *whistles, checks watch*

Kidding! But, seriously. Download TweetDeck (or a similar application). Trust me. It will make life simpler.

What is a #? That little # symbol is going to help you build a worldwide following. I know. That’s partly how I did it.

So what is it? Well, when you first join Twitter, you are all alone…save for the celebrities that Twitter gives you, but it isn’t like you and Ashton Kutcher are going to chit chat. So, you are going to have to make some friends. Hashtags will help you meet people who love to talk about the same things you do. When you place a # with a keyword at the end of your tweet, Twitter slots your tweet into a conversation shared by people all over the world bound by topic.

Some popular writer hashtags are:

#writegoal (place daily writing goals and keep each other accountable), #amwriting, #pubtip, #indie, #bookmarket, #amediting, #nanowrimo, #agent

Thus, when I tweet about my blog, often it looks like this:

@KristenLambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help build your platform? (link goes here) #writegoal #nanowrimo #pubtip

My Tweet now will not just go out to my specific followers, it will be seen by the THOUSANDS of people all over the world who might be participating in those three popular hashtag conversations.

Why I recommend you download TweetDeck is that you can slot each hastag into its own column and then follow the people and conversations. When it comes to social media, we must interact and be vested in others, or we risk being perceived as fake and selfish. The hashtag is to help us meet and converse with others. It is not a new way to spam our fellow tweeps.

This Week’s Fail Whale

Using an auto-tweet system with hashtags.

BAD idea. This can get you banned to Twitter Limbo.

I am totally against authors using auto-tweets anyway. If our face and name are our Twitter identity, then our tweets need to be US. Writers are not @Starbucks. We can’t get away with auto-tweets. No one expects to have a conversation with @BestBuy. They will, however, expect conversation from us. And don’t think you can cheat. People are smart and will smell an automatically generated message a mile away…and then promptly ignore you, report you or unfollow you.

At the very least, they will think you are a big fat phony, and, in an age of people looking for authenticity, that is bad. It won’t win any friends, so I recommend just avoiding anything automatically generated. We really don’t need a Thank you for following me. Check out my awesome blog (link) sent to our direct messages. It’s not personal. It’s spam.

It really is better for you to tweet less, but it be genuinely you, than it is to assign a machine to pump out your message. Millions are gravitating to social media to escape spam. Bring these tactics into their sacred space and the penalty can be steep.

But, okay, you feel you must auto-tweet. Don’t say I didn’t try to talk you out of it. Do NOT include a hashtag. It is very likely you could clog up a whole column with your spam…um, tweets. Maybe you didn’t mean to, but since you weren’t present, you didn’t get to see the mess your auto-tweets were creating (think Mickey Mouse and the brooms). Then people get angry and they report you and Twitter bans you from using the most powerful tool you have to connect with people worldwide.

You could accidentally gum up all three hastag conversations like this:

@KristenLambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help build your platform? (link goes here) #writegoal #nanowrimo #pubtip

@KristenLambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help build your platform? (link goes here) #writegoal #nanowrimo #pubtip

@KristenLambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help build your platform? (link goes here) #writegoal #nanowrimo #pubtip

@Kristen LambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help build your platform? (link goes here) #writegoal #nanowrimo #pubtip

@KristenLambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help build your platform? (link goes here) #writegoal #nanowrimo #pubtip

Now, I might have meant well, but folks on Twitter use these hashtag conversations to interact with a broader pool of people. If they see my tweet over and over and over and it is taking up the whole column, do you think it inspires them to like me? Or hunt me down with torches and pitchforks?

Also, the reason that I recommend TweetDeck is that you can see if your tweets are gumming up a column. I scan the #writegoal column to make sure I don’t already have a tweet talking about my blog in that column. If I do, I use another hashtag #amwriting or just wait to tweet about my blog. I try to only tweet 3 times a day to self-promote my blog. Morning, afternoon, evening to catch different Twitter crowds.

Make it a rule to promote others more than yourself, and you will rule the Twitterverse and even make some really awesome friends. Forget traditional marketing. Social media is a team effort.

This Week’s Twitter Tip

Now that you know what hashtags are, add them or change them when you RT for others.

I might see a writer who has an outstanding blog…but she didn’t add any hashtags. So, when I RT, I stick in a couple. Try not to do more than 3. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, it just (to me) feels less “spammy.”

But, what if one of your peeps has a GREAT blog and they did use hashtags? If you RT and leave the same hashtags, then you risk gumming up a column with the same link. So change them.

@KristenLambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help build your platform? (link goes here) #writegoal #nanowrimo #pubtip

RT @KristenLambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help you build your platform? (link goes here) #amwriting #fiction #writer

Now my message will go into three totally different columns. This helps more writers SEE my blog and I don’t risk clogging up the conversation. People who follow the # conversations will really appreciate that. Also, it makes it where I don’t have to add 8 hashtags to the end. I know my tweeps will help me out.

I hope you enjoyed this installation of Twitter Tuesday.

Tweet ya later!