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Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

Kristen Lamb — Photo

Daily Archives: March 15, 2011

This blog Welcome to the ninth 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 Twitter Tool

Twitter is one of the most powerful tools for building a platform. But just because we have a tool, in no way gives us license to BE a tool. Twitter is one of those platforms that actually does much more than people realize, but those powers are best used for good.

The search function on Twitter is a writer’s best friend. Yet, I have seen this used for evil spammy behavior. It doesn’t work. It is annoying and anyone I see do this I report as a bot.

The search function allows us to comb the millions of tweets floating in the Twitterverse for key words. So I can run a search (word filter) for any word used any time on Twitter. Maybe I love James Rollins, so I want to know not only what @JamesRollins is talking about, but I want the skinny on anyone discussing “Altar of Eden.”

The search function can help me see any time certain key words are mentioned. “James Rollins” or “Altar of Eden.”

What is UNCOOL is when writers (particularly self-published writers) use this function to steal attention.

So say I am chatting with a friend and I tweet:

KristenLambTX: OMG…I just finished Altar of Eden by Rollins and it was sooo good.

Within 20 seconds I get:

@thrillerguy If you liked “Altar of Eden, check out the book reviewers are raving about “Bones of Cairo” (link to his book).

And if this isn’t bad enough, when I click on thrillerguy’s profile, I see:

If you liked “Altar of Eden, check out the book reviewers are raving about “Bones of Cairo” (link to his book).

If you liked “Altar of Eden, check out the book reviewers are raving about “Bones of Cairo” (link to his book).

If you liked “Altar of Eden, check out the book reviewers are raving about “Bones of Cairo” (link to his book).

If you liked “Altar of Eden, check out the book reviewers are raving about “Bones of Cairo” (link to his book).

If you liked “Altar of Eden, check out the book reviewers are raving about “Bones of Cairo” (link to his book).

@thrillerguy is using the search function to spam for him. UNCOOL IN THE EXTREME. Not only am I annoyed because someone hijacked my conversation, but then I find it isn’t even a genuine compliment. It is automated self-promotion. UGH!

Don’t be a Twitter Tool. There are a lot of gadgets offered, but that doesn’t mean they are a good use of our time or even that people enjoy being on the receiving end. People are flocking to social media to get away from this kind of junk. We don’t appreciated being spammed in our sacred space.

Twitter Tip–Use Twitter Search as a Tool (to Connect)

Writers tend to get on Twitter and congregate with other writers, which is okay, but readers aren’t all writers. Twitter’s search function can be used to connect with people who have the same backgrounds, interests and passions and then make friendships based on these commonalities.

I come from a military family and am a military wife. I have a Twitter column searching for terms like Air Force and USMC, and have made friends with other military wives and service men and women all over the globe. These are people who read my blogs even though they aren’t writers, and who are excited to know a writer and eager to help me become successful.

When we befriend people who aren’t writers, they are often way more impressed with the fact we finished a novel than our writer friends. Unlike us, these folk don’t have a hundred writer friends. To them, we are kind of a celebrity, even before we publish which is seriously COOL. These people can grow to become some of our strongest supporters as READERS.

Using the search function to make friends and forge relationships is always a great idea. How? Free-write a hundred words that describe you and your interests. Take time to run searches for people who love to talk about the same things–knitting, pets, kids, teenagers, music, jazz, bellydancing. Make some friends! One day, they will be your greatest cheerleaders.

And, if you want to know the ins and outs of how to use these additional Twitter functions? Buy a copy of We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. I use small words and PICTURES to walk you through all kinds of cool Twitter features like the search function.

Tweet ya later!