Welcome to 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. This blog will help you rule the Twitterverse without devolving into a spam bot.
Today we are going to take a Twitter Time Out and let you guys share your griefs about Twitter. Heard of Dr. Ruth, Sex Therapist? Well, today I am introducing you to my alter ego Dr. Twuth, Text Therapist (Dr. Twuth is accredited by one of the best mail-order PhD universities in the Bahamas. She isn’t a real doctor, just plays one on the Internet).
Have a question about Twitter? A problem? A sticky wicket? Let Dr. Twuth help, because the Twuth will set you free.
Dr. Twuth–Putting the “smart” back in smart phones.
I figure we have had almost thirty Twitter Tuesday lessons, why not let you guys chime in? So bring it on. Give me your Twitter woes and then Dr. Twuth will pick the best ones for the Twitter Tuesday posts. For instance:
Dear Dr. Twuth,
I get so nervous on Twitter. I feel like everyone is going to think I’m crazy and will laugh at me.
Dear Hopeless Tweeter,
Just go make friends with @PiperBayard. She is the Twitter social butterfly and can introduce you to…everyone. No, seriously, like she knows everyone on the planet, even little pygmies who just got their first smart phones in the African bush. Piper can show you the ropes. Also, @DonnaNewtonUK is another must-have peep. She is amazing and brilliant and can tweet the ear off a statue.
These Twitter gals will have you laughing so hard you will forget your social insecurities. Also, one final benefit is that, next to Piper and Donna, you will likely look super normal. Hey, it’s why I hang out with them.
See how easy this is? Dr. Twuth is all about love and offering a human touch to this digital world. Dr. Twuth is #MyWANA certified, or certifiable, I can’t recall which. But, hey, it’s free so if you don’t like her advice, she will give you 100% refund (There will be a $15.99 processing fee for said refund).
Tweet ya later!
One of the reason’s I love being in Europe: I get to see your posts while everyone else is sleeping! Nice to meet Dr. Twuth. Thanks for the good advice and, as always, starting my day with laughter. It’s been said possibly way too often, but … you do rock!
Oops – typo – one of the “reasons” – no apostrophe. The school teacher in me nearly fainted.
Dear Dr. Twuth,
What should I do when I run into Tweeter that follow me but protect their own tweet so that I have to go through three layers of hell to follow them back?
On a related subject, what about Tweeters that have 1000 following/followers but ZERO tweets. Should I follow them?
Please help Dr. Twuth.
Anxiously awaiting in Cyber Limbo
Twitter love is all about give and take. If that Twitter Partner wants to be a Twitter Playah? All take and no give? Let him play elsewhere. If a tweep has twenty layers of protection around his tweets, then something is up and you don’t need any of that mess.
Thanks Dr. Twuth!
That is what I thought but it sure helps to get confirmation from the master.
No longer in Cyber Limbo~
Thanks for asking my question, Gene. I don’t play the protective-layer game. They can unprotect if they want me to follow them.
Ohh, good questions!
And good answers Dr. Twuth!
Comical. I actually have several questions. Mostly about social media, but since I’m still reading your book, I’ll hold off and see if I get my answers there. I love the community you have developed on Twitter with #MyWANA. Even just the small tidbits I’ve gleaned here and there has had monumental improvements on my social networking experience.
So to everyone else, don’t hesitate to ask, I believe Dr Twuth may really have all the answers.
WANA and Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer (we really need to abbreviate that one, lol) have already provided me w/enough twuth to feel like I’m actually scratching the surface of this social media thing–if nothing else, I downloaded, use (and even have to turn off) Tweetdeck (so I can get something done) 😀
That’s the best part: these tidbits add up to a whole lot of knowledge.
Dear Dr. Twuth,
Yesterday someone tweeted me an unwarranted opinion about overusing hashtags drives readers away. Personally, I feel it connects different readers who wouldn’t otherwise read my blog. All my hashtags were related to the link within the tweet. So I replied to the person diplomatically but was thinking in my Cee Lo voice “twuck you”. I’ll need to buy your book. I’d rather take your advice (lol).
Twick and Twisted
Yes, this is called being a Hastag Ho. Some tweeters are just more comfortable with Twitter love. There is nothing, per se, wrong, but for those who don’t understand #s or are come from families where #s were never talked about without shame, this could create tension. My advice is to keep #s to no more than 4. More than 4 can garble the text anyway. Your other free love tweeps should be more than happy to spread your message and change your #s.
I’ve just been getting your posts in my in box for two days now, and my has my optimism multiplied to getting this social media thing figured out. Thank You, Kristen!
I am new to Twitter, but have been using it to promote my blog on WordPress since it is hard to get seen over there. Is there an etiquette I should be using for tweeting my own horn???
No more than four times a day and use different #s. If you are socializing on Twitter properly, your tweeps will help you carry that message. It also never hurts to promise them beer.
Okay, I’ll buy you a beer Saturday morning if you RT me tomorrow. Well, at least coffee.
I think #WWBC could be even more, um, creative with beer.
Oh. This is good, I only have ever put it out there once. And have forgotten the hashtags every time. Sheesh. And I like David’s idea — pay it forward!
Four times seems like a lot, so I guess I haven’t been abusive. Hahaha!
Beer for everyone!! Here here! (Toasting giant mug as beer sloshes on table).
I tweet a notification about my new posts about once every three to four hours. Will catch different waves of Twitter peeps. The key is making relationships so that others are willing to repost and share. That is the point of social media. Otherwise, we tread dangerous spammy waters. Make sure you are taking time to socialize and all is good.
Great discussion going here. Cheers to beer and figuring out Twitter!
😉 Enough said. Thanks
I always get a smile from your posts. Here’s one that I was asked, but I’m sure Dr. Twuth’s answer would be loads funnier than the one I gave.
“My target audience isn’t writers, so why should I hang out with other writers on Twitter? I’m trying to build a following of readers.”
(So that there’s no confusion, I’m completely pro-writer-hanging-outing . . . that didn’t come out nearly as well on paper :P–Let’s just say that I think every writer should be part of #MyWANA)
Writers are the
craziestbest people to hang with on Twitter, but staying in the comfort zone is not for those who desire to eventually connect to readers. My advice is that writers collect with other writers, but don’t be afraid to talk to non-writer tweeps. If we don’t branch out for fresh blood, our Twitter stream starts looking like a DNA sample from an Arkansas trailer park.
Being from an Arkansas trailer park, I can attest that my DNA seems to be as perky and happy as the Doug the DNA from Jurassic Park…although I can’t attest that I’m not also part dinosaur.
I love this post title and the line about Piper and pygmies is hilarious! And true.
Dear Dr Twuth,
How do people come up with their hash tags? For example, I tweeted something about the film industry and couldn’t find a hash tag that fit. I wanted to do something like #film or #musicvideo but couldn’t find those or anything like them anywhere. So, do I just go to Twitter.com and start a new hash tag, write in my own
I like to use hashtag.org to find relevant tags. It also shows how often the tags are used, if ever. Simply type a tag you’re considering in the search box and hit search. It’ll take you to a graph and a list of the most recent tweets using that tag. Those tweets can be useful, too, because there are often similar tags w/n the tweet.
Rumor has Hashtag Creation is actually a Twitter drinking game, called “Pin the Tail on the Topic.” Many writers start drinking with breakfast. Actually they skip the Cherrios and just open the scotch instead. Since these writers (musicians, artists, Starbuck’s baristas) are lonely and depressed, they just slap #s in front of words and hope that someone will respond from the darkness. If enough people respond, the # becomes more accepted and standard use. Kind of like how Bob Marley songs were once about getting high and revolution and now they are used in cartoons. #MyWANA is a good case in point. (You can also just try a #. Make a column and see if people are using it and in the correct context.)
No wonder I’ve been confused! LOL! Thanks, Dr. Twuth
I was going to create #WWBC a few weeks ago, but about that time someone else created it. I guess I have stronger mental powers than I thought.
Kristen, you come up with the funniest comments. I love your sense of humor!
You are so tweet, Kristen! Thanks for the shout out. As a matter of fact, I did meet a Bayaka gentleman once, though we aren’t actually in touch on Twitter. A friend of a friend. You know. That Kevin Bacon thing. I love making new friends on Twitter and introducing people around. To anyone wanting to meet some great people, give me a shout, and I’ll show you around. It would be my pleasure.
Any help would be appreciated!!!
You bet, Susie. Give me a shout on Twitter so I’m sure to see you. I always check my mentions column. I look forward to getting to know you. 🙂
You (and your books and blog) made my introduction to Twitter a breeze. I can’t thank you enough. Keep up the good work. You’re the best!
My Dearest Dr. Twuth,
You have to be writing this for me. LOL! I am that hopeless Tweeter, that Nervous Nellie who made an idiot of herself on twitter yesterday by forgetting to post the link to her blog and then reposted it with Newbie here — here’s the link. Suddenly, my mug was splashed all over tweetdeck like a WANTED poster. I was mortified.
How could I have handled that better?
Question 2 – When posting that a new post is up on my blog do I post that once, twice, three times and with the same hashtags? Or do I spread the hashtags around?
As for Gene’s comment about the protected tweets. Insert a cough here — I was one of those people. Why? Because I got on Twitter to look around and when I decided to use it I forgot I’d set protected tweets in motion. Thankfully a new friend in Kristen’s Branding and High Concept class pointed it out and I changed it. Maybe some of these people are like me and don’t realize the hoops people have to jump through. You might want to consider pointing it out to them if you have time.
I will follow Piper and Donna, Dr. Twuth. I want to graduate from hopeless to hopeful soon. Thanks for doing this… please consider making it a regular thing.
Kate, Piper and I will help you 😀
We love to talk and chat, and the good thing is, because of the time difference between the UK and US – between us, we are on twitter 24 hours a day! lol
How many times can you follow and unfollow without looking stupid? Some people start looking like spammers so I unfollow and then suddenly they’re a bit human so I follow again. Also nervous of controversial tweeters. There is so much potential for getting shown up. Hopefully the fun outways the dangers. Love Twitter right now, thanks Kristen.
Twuthfully, most people aren’t paying that much attention. If they are, then they can get over it and be happy you refollowed.
Keep in mind that Twitter can spontaneously unfollow people on your list. I’ve known a few people that’s happened to. Also, people have unfollowed me often when they only follow a handful of people. I overwhelm their Twitter stream. I know it’s nothing personal, and I simply welcome them back when they get Tweetdeck. Most people realize that follows and unfollows can happen for many reasons, and they don’t take it personally.
I’ve had a couple of followers @mention me with the link to their blog. In other words the tweet looks like this:
@catie_rhodes check out my blog: http://www.address.com.
The people who do this are not spammers. They’re regular followers, also writers. I’ve also had regular followers DM me their blog link. I’ve wondered if this is a breach of etiquette or a legitimate way of pimping your blog.
By the way, I love “Twuck you!” I am keeled over laughing. ::struggling for control:: I am going to have to practice restraint not to start using this on twitter. Not because anybody makes me particularly angry, but because I love it.
Yes! “Twuck you,” especially love it that Lyfeslyfe used “in my Cee Lo voice.”
Lol. I love the “twuck you” too. I used to thank people for their “twatter” — that’s tweet chatter.
Honestly, when the first thing people say to me is a DM with a link, they immediately get put in my ignore column. I consider it a vile breach of etiquette. It’s like the difference between someone holding out their hand to shake yours and holding out their hand to beg. It’s a taking, not a giving. Just one woman’s take on this practice.
I’m speechless. Except for the howls of laughter. Twatter? My brain is not rhyming this with chatter — but then, my brain lives in the guttah.
My favorite is tweeps (tweet people).
What is ‘twuck’? (twitter yuck?)I am out of the loop of all this abbreviation stuff. 🙂
What does twuck rhyme with? (Hint: It starts with an “F” and Cee Lo Green has a long with the word in the title.)
long = song. Sheesh I need new glasses.
How do I keep from being attacked by two fat babies while I tweet? Also, if I have oven mitts on my hands, to protect from the biting, how can I insert a hashtag?
Muddling Through In the Midwest
Kristen makes hers do chinups on the edge of her computer desk. This wears them out so they have less energy to attack. Another technique she uses is to let him write his own stuff on his own computer. Of course, a 20-month-old does need some heavy editing.
If you put a 4 month old golden retriever in the mix, he will keep the babies totally occupied. You can then remove the oven mitts and tweet to your heart’s content. You may need to take occasional breaks to clean up the dogslobber.
I’m ROFL here, and I love the questions and answers. Especially the rule of 4: max 4 hashtags per tweet and max 4 horn-tooting tweets per day. Easy to remember.
Don’t know if you have any young kids, but if you do, be careful ROFL – you don’t want to roll over toys with sharp edges.
Thanks to both of you for the great suggestions. I gave them the 100lb Boxer to play with, but they poked him in the eye and now he’s in hiding. Scheduling the chin ups and currently hunting for a computer for them to tap on. Of course, their editing plus my own, is going to make for long evenings…
My biggest issue is that as a serious introvert who has worked extensively to overcome my reserved nature, my head still spins with the sheer numbers of tweeps I have! I can’t keep everyone straight, although I think there are many wonderful people out there. (I’m not sure I’d remember my family’s names if they didn’t introduce themselves daily.) Got any tips for helping me feel more personally connected?
Overloaded in My Study, Texas
The beauty of Twitter for introverts is that you don’t have to get up in front of people. You could even be in your pajamas, and we’d never know it.
Which begs the question, how many nude tweeters do we have in the bunch?….yikes…;)
You ask that like it’s a bad thing.
I’m sterilizing my keyboard right now! LOL. My point is that I feel bad that I don’t remember each and every wonderful tweep out there because I can’t keep them straight! Some people are great at remembering names and faces; I think those people are all extroverts. I’m not. I’m trying!
Piper is awesome! So supportive and encouraging. 😀 We need a Piper Bayard Day and a Kristen Lamb Day too. But, um, don’t expect gifts or anything. Okay, maybe a card.
And now a question…
Dear Dr Twuth,
Sometimes I tweet a lot. Hellos and thank yous and how ya doings and did you see that zombie horde shambling down the streets. Do I need some kind of disclosure in my Twitter bio? For those who don’t want to drown in my tweets? 😀
Ha! Piper admitted first…LOL….;)
Dear Dr. Twuth,
I was told by a fellow Tweep that when I use someone’s Twitter handle (for example, @Jewishgrandma) that only their followers can see it and no one else.
Is that true?
Hopefully Dr. Twuth won’t mind if I step in for this answer. 🙂
If the @ symbol is the first character of the tweet, then only that person and your mutual followers will see it (for the most part – Tweetdeck now has live streaming which shows everything). This is why you’ll sometimes see people lead off with a period or a ‘ like:
.@Tamaraleblancrw is an awesome person and everyone should know it. 🙂
The @ symbol anyplace other than the first character of the tweet doesn’t have limiting properties.
Jami, Sometime Assistant to Dr. Twuth 🙂
I don’t understand this part. If I put a period in front of the @symbol, what does that mean? Everyone sees the tweet, both my followers and that person’s followers. I’m sorry if that’s a stupid question, but I’m totally confused. (Thank you for your patience; I’m totally new to Twitter.)
If you put a period in front of the @ symbol, ALL your followers will see it, just like any normal tweet.
If you don’t put the period – if the @ symbol is the first character of the tweet – then ONLY your followers who ALSO follow the person you sent the tweet to would see the tweet. That’s what we mean by “mutual followers,” those who follow both the sender and the receiver.
In other words, putting someone’s Twitter handle at the beginning of the tweet is a way to make it less public. I do this all the time when I’m thanking people for RTs or responding to conversations. I figure my whole follower list doesn’t need to see those.
Twitter = big party
@TwitterID at beginning of tweet = normal speaking voice (only those close to both of you (follows both of you) will hear)
Any other letter or symbol at beginning of tweet = loud speaking voice (anyone paying attention to you (following you) will hear)
Does that help? 🙂
Yes, thank you. I appreciate the clarification!
I love reading your posts Kristen! You crack me up while educating me at the same time. What a great way to learn!
This is great – It’s not only entertaining, hilarious comments, but I’m learning tons. Very kewl,
Love it!!!! You want the Twuth? You *can* handle the twuth. (love that movie)
I don’t have a question for Dr Twuth, but love the idea. Is this your alter ego? Will we see a @drtwuth?
You are beginning to steer the ragged sails of my ship through the fog. You know? Like the old Raggedy Anne and Andy book? The one with the scary carnival ride?
Dr. Twuth? I thought you’re saying Dr. Truth. 🙂 Dr. Twuth, how often and how many hashtags should we use? Frankly, I rarely use any. However, I’ve seen people using hashtags in their entire tweet. Should I add hashtags often or not?