Twitter Tuesday #1

Welcome to the first installment of Twitter Tuesday. In the spirit of Twitter, this blog will be short and sweet and to the point. There is a lot of bad advice floating around when it comes to how to use Twitter. Is it because these “experts” are wrong? No, but they may not be giving advice that’s good for authors. 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.

This Week’s Fail Whale–Unfollowing People for Inactivity

I have recently read some blogs where writers talked about unfollowing people for inactivity. I never unfollow anyone unless they are:

1. Abusive

2. Inappropriate

3. A bot.

Why? Because we never know why that person is being inactive. They could have had their computer crash, gotten married, deployed or been temporarily thrust into witness protection to hide from an evil twin who has ties to the mob. We don’t know! Thing is, they aren’t taking up any room, so why cull the herd? The Six Degrees of Separation is our friend. We could inadverdently unfollow the person who might have made that critical difference in our career. Play it smart and leave it be.

This Week’s Twitter Tip–Download TweetDeck

Regular Twitter is fine for the regular user who is only keeping up with a handful of people. TweetDeck makes it possible not only to follow thousands of people, but also genuinely interact….and it keeps you from wanting to slam your head in a door repeatedly (which is always a plus). Yes, there are other similar applications, but TweetDeck is my favorite and the example I use in my book.

Tweet ya later!


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  1. When I heard you were going to write a shorter post, I thought, “Kristen? Short? Hah!”
    But you seriously pulled it off. And great advice too. Tweetdeck is an amazing way to sort through the never-ending twitterstorm and keep your sanity.

    1. Okay Albert… :P. Just kidding! I didn’t think I could do a short one either! Guess it surprised both of us. I can always tell people who don’t have TweetDeck (like you a couple weeks ago). You can tell they feel like they are trying to drink from a fire hose. You are going to LOVE it. I have columns for EVERYTHING. Next week I will explain hash tags ;).

      1. Yay! Thank you for explaining Twittery things like hash tags – so far my experince of Twitter has been like banging my head against a wall…. I just don’t get it! Will definitely have a look at TweetDeck if it makes things clearer. Looking forward to next week’s installment. 🙂

  2. I love Tweetdeck. I never used Twitter even though I had an account until I downloaded Tweetdeck on my Android phone. Now Twitter is my favorite thing.

    1. Twitter seriously sucks (my POV) if you don’t have TweetDeck. If you follow more than ten people you have no clue what’s going on. And, of course Twitter’s benefits increase in proportion to the number of people you are following, so even following ten people isn’t all that great. The more you follow, the better the experience. but you MUST have TweetDeck or you will just want to throw yourself off something high.

  3. I downloaded Tweetdeck for my iPhone and it is great. But when I downloaded it for my Mac Computer, I had a lot of trouble with it. Posts weren’t posting, @mentions etc. My goal this week on Social Media Day (Wed) is to figure out how to make the most of the deck. I have unfollowed people for being too controversial and not considering how their comments (most of them political and negative) their followers might be leaning on the political spectrum. I try very hard to be upbeat, supportive, and kind on twitter. I love the conversations I have and the Tweeps I have gotten to know better in our little sound bite status updates.

    My teen thinks it is weird that we converse on Twitter. She uses Tumblr (where all the teens and young peeps are now that their parents have overtaken Facebook).


    1. I’ve had a similar problem with TweetDeck. Sometimes posts just don’t show, and those are only the ones I’ve noticed. How many have gone by without me seeing them at all?

  4. I have the Tweetdeck app on my phone and LOVE it. Looking forward to Twitter Tuesdays…I’m still pretty new to it and have plenty to learn.

  5. So glad you started this, and congratulations on acheiving brevity. Great advice! At some point, please explain how to put in a picture that opens right up rather than opening a website. I’m not sure I even know enough about that to have asked the question coherently. Thanks for your post.

  6. I just recently started using tweetdeck. It’s been great. Before I was missing all kinds of stuff buried in twitter stream.


    • M on January 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm
    • Reply

    Can you filter tweets in Tweetdeck? I’m using regular Twitter, and someone that I follow is just OVER-Tweeting IMO. Over-tweeting makes me want to unfollow – I only check Twitter a couple of times a day, and all other persons Tweets gets lost in this persons hyper-active tweeting. I don’t want to unfollow though, because this an acquaintance and I don’t want to seem unfriendly by unfollowing.

    1. Yes, you can. That is what makes TweetDeck Awesome. You can put followers into columns. What I do is I create columns for those I want to pay attention to the most on the left-hand side of TweetDeck (Writers/Publishers/Agents/Close Friends). Then, I just let the “All Friends” Stream by in a far right corner. I scan to see if I see anything interesting. I regularly promote tweeters from the All Column to one of the left-hand Special columns. That way if someone bursts out a line of tweets it isn’t as bothersome because it isn’t the main focus of my attention. Make sense? Help you at all?

      1. Great! I have a couple people also who over-tweet. Thank you!

        • M on January 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm
        • Reply

        Thanks! Yes, that sounds perfect… in fact I’ve now installed it and I’m ready to start tweetdecking. I see you can add your facebook account as well- perfect 🙂

        1. Sorry for the blatant self-promo, but for a few dollars you can download my book and it will teach you some AMAZING things to do with TweetDeck. I am happy that helped and I think that you will enjoy Twitter much more now.

      2. Wow, I love that advice, I need to do that.

  7. Great idea, Kristen. I have your book and based on that I signed up for TweetDeck, but I don’t know how to use it! Help!


    1. The book will walk you through a lot, and this blog will add to that information. It can be overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it you will rule the Deck :D.

  8. P.S. – I can use all the advice I can get about Twitter, so I’m looking forward to Tuesdays. 🙂

    Kathy (again)

  9. I used to unfollow people for unactivity, figuring there was no point in following someone who hadn’t tweeted for six months, but you’re right. It doesn’t do me any good and who knows why they aren’t tweeting. So I’ll change that practice. Thanks.

  10. I downloaded tweet deck a few weeks ago, and it actually makes Twitter USABLE. It was the difference between being confused as hell and feeling comfortable in the mix.

    Of course, I’m only at 20 or so followers and 45 follows. So I’m a little fish.

  11. Tweetdeck rules supreme! It takes a while to get it working to your specifications, but it’s worth the set-up. I love the columns’ feature…I get to be as uber-organized as my Type A personality desires. 🙂

    My latest post – An Ode to Style –

  12. Thanks for this. I do occasionally delete people, but you are right, why not just leave them, even if I’m not interacting with them much. I haven’t tried tweetdeck. To be honest I tend to use my phone or ipad for twitter rather than the computer. Does it work on them?

    1. Yes, there is a TweetDeck app for cell phones and I have heard positive feedback.

  13. You are awesome! I’ve been using hootesuite since I started using Twitter, but hated not having an android app so I could access on the go. I checked out Tweetdeck on your recommendation and was pleased to find an android app. Yeah! Now I can read the tweets by groups like I want. Thanks for the suggestion.

  14. This is your shortest post I had ever read. I’ll try TweetDeck. I don’t even know what it was. It seems like a good idea.

  15. The only people I have ever unfollowed are the same people I have blocked because they were what my children refer to as “creepers”. I do block and report as spam a lot of twitter crazies. That is the one thing that makes me nuts and I really dislike about twitter. They dont’ have to be following me, or me following them for them to take my name and attach it to some bloggers writers needed now tweet.

    I once got a DM from someone informing me they were going to unfollow me because I tweeted too much. I looked back at my tweets that day and I had been tweeting a lot…talking to people about writerly things. OK, whatever.

    If there wasn’t a little thing called TweetDeck I would not twitter, this I know for sure…

    • laradunning on January 18, 2011 at 7:24 pm
    • Reply

    I use SocialOomph, but wil have to give TweetDeck a look at and see what its all about.

  16. I have just started using Tweetdeck and you’re right – it keeps you from wanting to bang your head against a wall just trying to read tweets.

    I can’t quite figure out how to delete a tweet I made yet… I’ve only been using it a week or so.

    Excellent post!

  17. Tweetdeck is awesome, both desktop and iPhone versions. I’ve only unfollowed, don’t laugh, when I’ve been unfollowed. Or if somebody’s tweeted something that just breaks all laws of decency. And that’s only happened once.

  18. Hootsuite is another way to organize Tweets and Social Media feeds.After trying TweetDeck, I uninstalled it (the thing was eating up processing power), but I like Hootsuite a lot.

  19. Ah, now I get it – it’s not enough to just “follow” tweetdeck on twitter. You have to register, then download an app, then click on the things (twitter, facebook, etc) you want them to merge into columns for you. Why didn’t I know this before? I feel dumb. :((

    1. LOL…I’ve been there and you aren’t dumb. This stuff changes so quickly I can’t even keep up. That’s why I blog about this stuff…the information changes so much it can make your brain explode.

  20. Nice post, Kristen! I know I had a period where I was inactive, before you and your book dragged my butt back. So I figure you never know when someone’s going to come back and be fascinating.
    I <3 TweetDeck.

  21. Sadly, so many people still don’t get Twitter. During the protests and state of emergency here in Bkk in May I was able to have real time photos, updates and interaction with people who were in the middle of the action all through Tweetdeck. I love it and I’m forwarding this blog.

  22. Yay! Thank you so much for writing about Twitter. Your blogging advice has helped me and I was going to ask your advice on how to use Twitter. I really appreciate all the information you share on your blog and have recommended it to several people.

  23. I use it and I love it. I even convinced my husband to use it last week after struggling to get him to realize why it is essential for an advertising guy like him. I don’t think I did a good job explaining all the features though, neither was I able to articulate an accurate introduction to the world of twitter, because I don’t fully get it myself! I think we’ll just have to read your weekly twitter posts now for help

  24. Signed up for twitter today and downloaded tweetdeck to my smartphone! One step closer to blindness!

  25. I did it! I’m on twitter… and it is really cool. Thank you for changing my perspective on the social media thing. The tweet deck was easy to download/ upload… hmmm I shouldn’t talk about anything to do with computers! Anyway, it is brilliant. Gotta read the rest of Twitter Tuesday and make the most of this.

  26. Hi Kristen
    Downloaded my Tweetdeck, now to learn how to twitter, LOL

    1. Type in, “Hey @KristenLambTX come find me #MyWANA. Then click on the #MyWANA and a column of supportive friends will appear. Worst case is I will come find you ;).

  27. I just went to tweetdeck and read three reviews that said tweetdeck was no longer “user friendly.” Have you found this? Would love to hear what your view is before I download it.

    1. I don’t have any problems with it. You don’t have to use TweetDeck. HootSuite will work too. Some people prefer it.Thanks for the heads up, but I haven’t had any issues.

      1. TweetDeck was being a memory hog on my laptop, so I switched to HootSuite.

        1. Good to know. Really I just recommend some kind of a management tool for writers. We aren’t regular people who will only be keeping up with a handful of people. we have to be able to manage tweets for our entire platforms which will eventually be in the THOUSANDS…so the regular Twitter fails terribly at managing this kind of tweet load, LOL.

    • Karen Klink on May 19, 2012 at 12:04 pm
    • Reply

    I have no idea what Tweetdeck is, but I’m going to find out. Maybe, like others, I will actually use my Tweet account!

  28. Loved this especially as I am so pants at Twitter – already downloaded the app – thank you from a story Devon

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kristen Lamb, Jenni Holbrook-Talty, Sondrae Bennett, gigisalem42, Margeanne Mitchell and others. Margeanne Mitchell said: Twitter Tuesday #1: Great info #advice […]

  2. […] you haven’t discovered Kristen Lamb’s blog, her tweet thoughts are a good […]

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