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Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

Kristen Lamb — Photo

Posts Categorized: Dr. Twuth

Dr. Twuth–Because social media shouldn’t make you want to punch kittens.

Welcome to Tuesdays with Dr. Twuth, here to answer all your questions, problems and concerns about social media. Since social media (done properly) involves interacting with other humans, it is just a good plan to have an advice column handy to help navigate the emotional waters of keeping thousands of friends happy and speaking to us.

My alter ego, Dr. Twuth can be counted on to give you the best information on social media. And, since a spoon full of sugar humor, makes the I’d rather be punched in the face than read about social media marketing medicine go down, fun is always a guarantee here with me, Dr. Twuth, Text Therapist. The tips offered here are all based off my #1 best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media  and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer.

If our goal is to build an author platform in the thousands to tens of thousands, then we will have to approach ALL social media 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 social media–regardless of platform–without devolving into a spam bot. If social media makes you want to slam your head in a door, then you are in the right place. Just call on Dr. Twuth, because the Twuth will set you free.

On to our peeps in need…

Dear Dr. Twuth,

I have a Twitter problem and I know that you have the solution. I have Real Life friends and fellow writers as my Twitter followers. Recently I got an angry message from a non-writer friend who was pissed off by the amount of links to writing and book marketing advice I’m sharing. She’s just not interested in that stuff. And I suspect that many of my future readers won’t be either. 

Should I tell her to just unfollow me on Twitter and chatter in Facebook? Or is there a healthy balance to be found in creating interesting content for well, lots of different kind of people? How can I please diverse followers (and myself)?

Best Regards,

I Don’t Want To Be A Spammer

Dear Spammy,

This is a really good question and a dilemma many writers face. First of all, since we cannot control others without illegal use of duct tape and a shock collar, we need to look to our own behavior first. One of the biggest problems I see with writers is that they get on social media and become the All Writing All the Time Channel. 

Afraid to stray from the comfort zone, many writers tweet about writing and talk about writing and blog about writing. And, while they will connect to other writers, it can be a turn off for that group of people who will (hopefully) one day be readers. I find it a tad ironic that all the links you are posting about marketing to readers is ticking off the potential readers. Our enthusiasm for writing can be seen by outsiders as selfishness if we aren’t careful.

The best marketing for readers–aside from a darn excellent book–is likability. People buy from who they know and who they LIKE. Connect with people. Talk to people. Be a person. We need to look at why people are gravitating to social media by the millions if we hope to use this tool effectively. Serve the need. Social media has become the new village square where people can meet, talk, chat, and share. We have a very human need to connect. Connection only happens when we care about others more than ourselves. We have to listen more than we talk.

I know it might be hurtful your friend said something, but she might have done you a favor. Others could have just quietly unfollowed and faded away without explanation. Criticism can be painful and embarrassing, but it can also help us make real changes for the better.

One tactic I teach is the Law of Three. 1/3 Information, 1/3 Reciprocation and 1/3 Conversation. We need to maintain a healthy balance in our social media discourse. Part of the reason for the Reciprocation and Conversation is it proves we are listening as well as talking. I would recommend that if you want to forward on blogs, look for some that appeal to more than just writers.

The #WANA711 group just finished my Blogging for Author Brand Class and they have some of the best blogs on the web….and they have all been trained to blog about something other than writing. They have been trained to come up with content that will connect to potential READERS, so this is a wealth of material at your fingertips.

This group blogs on all kinds of topics–nostalgia, faith matters, family, health, history. I, myself, can only read so many writing blogs before it just becomes white noise. #WANA711 has been a breath of fresh air with exciting content that makes me think, cry or even laugh out loud.

In the end, I believe that if you are proactive and seek balance in your conversation everything will work out fine. Yet, do not feel that you are required to hang on to toxic friends, either. If you work hard to balance your posts and this friend still pitches a fit, then it is time to just let her move on. It is painful, but our close support network is vital, so it needs to be comprised of people who like us for who we are and are willing to support our goals and dreams….and buy beer.

All the best,

Dr. Twuth

See how easy this is? Do you have a social media dilemma? Is someone making you crazy? Do you feel alone, afraid or unsexy? Leave your question in the comments or if you would like to maintain anonymity, e-mail Dr. Twuth at kristen at kristen lamb dot org. Just put GIVE ME THE TWUTH in the subject line.

I am about love and offering a human touch to this digital world. My Dr. Twuth identity is #MyWANA certified, or certifiable, I can’t recall which. But, hey, it’s free so if you don’t like my advice, I promise to give you 100% refund (There will be a $15.99 processing fee for said refund).

Let me, Dr. Twuth, help you out. Remember, the Twuth will set you free.

Tweet ya later!

Dr. Twuth–Because social media shouldn’t make you want to slam your head in a door.

Welcome to Tuesdays with Dr. Twuth, here to answer all your questions, problems and concerns about social media. Since social media (done properly) involves interacting with other humans, it is just a good plan to have an advice column handy to help navigate the emotional waters of keeping thousands of friends happy and speaking to us.

My alter ego, Dr. Twuth can be counted on to give you the best information on social media. And, since a spoon full of sugar humor, makes the I’d rather be punched in the face than read about social media marketing medicine go down, fun is always a guarantee here with me, Dr. Twuth, Text Therapist.

The tips offered here are all based off my #1 best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer.

If our goal is to build an author platform in the thousands to tens of thousands, then we will have to approach ALL social media 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 social media–regardless of platform–without devolving into a spam bot. If social media makes you want to slam your head in a door, then you are in the right place.

Just call on Dr. Twuth, because the Twuth will set you free.

On to our peeps in need…

Dear Dr. Twuth,

I just read an article describing the new Facebook system of subscribing and I am wondering what you think of random people being able to subscribe to our FB pages and see updates? Is that something we should do if we don’t yet have a fan page? Will the subscribe feature replace fan pages? If we do put a subscribe button, do we allow comments from subscribers who are not friends? I fear random spammers subscribing to everyone and leaving comments about cheap viagra. I post different things on FB and Twitter because all of my FB friends are people I know in real life.

Signed,

Spooked by Subscriptions

(Emma Burcart www.emmaburcart.com)

Dear Spooked,

Facebook, like any social site, needs to grow and adapt in order to survive. Some adaptations are useful, and others not so much. Just go ask the whale that had legs….wait, you can’t. Apparently he was eaten before he could have kids.

And that nifty eye in the back of its head seemed so promising.

Social sites are all in competition with each other, and, if they see that people are gravitating in large numbers to a competing social platform, they call together all the most brilliant and creative minds in the technology world…to copy what the other site is doing.

Think of Queen Bees in high school. MySpace used to be the reigning Bee, but once everyone had a date with her they went chasing after Facebook, the new girl in school with the Ivy League background.

Poor MySpace dressed in even flashier flash and shamelessly copied Facebook until it was just kinda…sad.

It seems now that the reigning Facebook Bee is now getting a dose of her own medicine, with Geek Chic G+ and Talk of the Town Twitter. Instead of feeling secure and just being Facebook, she is now pulling a MySpace and looking too much at others instead of just being herself.

The downside of this is it is just weird and sad and kinda pisses off everyone who already likes Facebook for being Facebook. Your real friends don’t need you to change to like you. They already do.

So now that Facebook has a spray tan and speaks with a fake British accent, it’s just…off-putting. This confuses, perplexes and annoys people loyal to Facebook. We keep reminding her of MySpace and how she had to leave school to “go live with an aunt” *wink, wink*, but it’s no use.

The upside is that so long as Facebook can keep the flash and pop ups at bay, these changes might be fine….if she will leave them alone long enough for any of us to get used to them.

Back to your question about subscriptions. I had only fleetingly heard of this change–FB changes her look more than Lady Gaga–so I put on my “expert” hat and did some thorough scientific testing (I punched a lot of buttons and yelled at my screen).

After a thorough analysis, I believe Facebook might be on to something. Social media has always been about human connection, but I do think there were some initial mistakes made that Facebook is now trying to correct…by copying Twitter and G+. But in fairness, if someone solves your problem, there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Instead, Facebook has launched Twit+, with the feed feature of Twitter and the privacy control of G+. Twit+ has some promising features.

(I made up the name Twit +…but seems appropriate to me. Maybe they can offer me money for the rights…or not).

It’s a tad less weird.

FB originally had people becoming a “fan” of others, but this smacked of a wee bit too much emotional commitment than most people felt comfortable with. Thus, it make it easier when we could simply “Like” people.

There are people on Facebook that have a lot of information I’d like to be privy to, but it’s tough sending a Friend Request. Jane Friedman, editor at Writer’s Digest, posts some amazing content, but it isn’t like we are going to stay up late talking about boys and braiding each other’s hair.

Thus, to just be able to “subscribe” to her public posts makes me feel less like a stalker, and Jane feel less like prey.

Subscribing to a feed is passive and unidirectional and makes us privy only to the person’s public posts. Let’s face it, some people we like as information hubs. The subscription, to me, is just all round less…icky.

Twit + might make it easier to keep on top of relevant feeds.

I think FB is now looking at ways to make sure we can get people in our feeds that we care about. For some reason, I can’t see my friends in my feeds, but I can see some weird guy from Peru who writes about erotic llama massage. Yeah, I need to go organize my peeps…after I get through my Circles.

Anyway, not being able to keep up with preferred feeds has been a source of much controversy. In Twitter, I can use Tweet Deck to easily keep up and FB knows this….ergo Twit +.

Twit+ actually can help us balance our private side and public side. 

Twitter is fun and awesome, but there is a downside. EVERYTHING is public, unless you DM. But, you can only direct message one person at a time, so this could get cumbersome. Thus, if you are a celebrity author, like James Rollins, your life is out for the world to see.

If you want to keep up with friends and family on social media, you need a separate account and that just is a headache. With Twit+, however, this problem is solved.

Unlike Twitter (and perhaps better) Jim could also make posts that only appear to certain groups (this is the copying G+ part). We (strangers) can subscribe to his FB feed and see about new books, signings, etc., anything that falls into a “public” post.

But, if Jim wants to post things he doesn’t want the world to see, he just chooses the setting before hitting enter. Sort of like in G+ you can post to certain circles if you are posting a skydiving squirrel, but change it if you are talking trash about your boss.

Granted, we have always been able to select who saw what on FB, only NOW we have the added advantage of my next point.

Twit+ alleviates pressure on the 5000 friend ceiling.

I like having a regular FB page and am not thrilled with having to go to a fan page. In fact, I am putting it off as long as possible. It lacks the two-way communication I dig with the regular page.

Ah, but as my “friend” numbers climb, I am growing ever closer to my regular page hitting critical mass, and then I will be forced over to the fan page. Facebook’s new Twit+ alleviates pressure off the 5000 person limit. Some people can simply subscribe and that frees up friend spaces for real fake friends.

I must confess that Facebook might be onto something with Twit+, but will she leave it alone long enough for us to care/catch on? That’s the real question.

Is she pulling a MySpace, or is FB more like Lady Gaga than we realize? She wears s diamond lobster hat, and we laugh and feel kinda sorry for her….until Swarovski Shellfish become the hottest NY fashion *scratches head*.

At the end of the day, my advice to writers is to live your social media life as if your mother is reading every post. My mother actually is reading all of my posts. She is the governor on my stupidity. If I know I’ll get a call from Mom, I don’t post.

Writers are a new kind of celebrity and I feel the successful authors of the future are going to have to be much more interactive with their fan base. This is why I never ever post anything negative, refuse to take part in rants, and don’t give away loads of personal information.

That new FB function where you can report your location???? Seriously? Are they working with Homeland Security now? But, that is for another day.

So Spooked, I wouldn’t concern myself too much with this. If you talk a lot to family and friends and don’t want the world to see (even via subscription) just go to your Privacy Settings and make your default setting Private.

This way, when you have a post about your blog or your book that you want subscribers to see, you just change the setting for that particular post. And just apply the Mother Test and you will be fine.

All the best,

Dr. Twuth

See how easy this is? Do you have a social media dilemma? Is someone making you crazy? Do you feel alone, afraid or unsexy? Leave your question in the comments or if you would like to maintain anonymity, e-mail Dr. Twuth and put GIVE ME THE TWUTH in the subject line.

I am about love and offering a human touch to this digital world. My Dr. Twuth identity is certified, or certifiable, I can’t recall which. But, hey, it’s free so if you don’t like my advice, I promise to give you 100% refund (There will be a $15.99 processing fee for said refund).

Let me, Dr. Twuth, help you out. Remember, the Twuth will set you free.

Tweet ya later!

Dr. Twuth–Because social media shouldn’t make you want to drink heavily.

Welcome to Tuesdays with Dr. Twuth, here to anwer all your questions, problems and concerns about social media. Since social media (done properly) involves interacting with other humans, it is just a good plan to have an advice column handy to help navigate the emotional waters of keeping thousands of friends happy and speaking to us.

My alter ego, Dr. Twuth can be counted on to give you the best information on social media. And, since a spoon full of sugar humor, makes the I’d rather be punched in the face than read about social media marketing medicine go down, fun is always a guarantee here with me, Dr. Twuth, Text Therapist. The tips offered here are all based off my #1 best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media  and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer.

If our goal is to build an author platform in the thousands to tens of thousands, then we will have to approach ALL social media 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 social media–regardless of platform–without devolving into a spam bot. If social media makes you want to slam your head in a door, then you are in the right place. Just call on Dr. Twuth, because the Twuth will set you free.

On to our peeps in need….

Dear Dr. Twuth,

I found a Direct Message from “MomCat_Reviews” and the message says she “Uses TrueTwit validation service. To validate, click here,” and then there’s a link to click on. Well, I already know those kinds of links are usually from a hacker and have a virus. So I tried to send MomCat_Reviews a DM asking if she sent that Tweet and telling her I think her account might have been hacked. When I tried to send the tweet, I got a message saying, “Recipient Not Following You.” I thought someone had to be a follower to send a DM. Is that correct? And since the tweet won’t go through, I suspect a hacker sent this, and I wonder how they were able to send a DM. Do you have any advice for us about Twitter hackers?

Thanks, Dr. Twuth.
Hoping For Better Tweet Days

Dear Hoping,

You are a good tweep looking out for your peep this way. Humans have to stick together to keep the machines in their place. Your letter actually has a number of points that need addressing. First of all, validation services. DON’T USE THEM. For normal people who are only befriending a handful of peeps they know, this might be okay. But, those of us who are on social media to build a large platform need to remove as many barriers as possible to others trying to follow us.

When it comes to Twitter, it takes ONE click to remove and report a bot or offensive person. So this whole need for a validation service is kind of lazy. It isn’t like we have to get an order from a judge to remove someone. Just CLICK. We can all do this.

Validation services make people who are trying to follow us click on a link and go through steps just to follow our tweets. I can’t speak for everyone, but as for myself? I ignore anyone who makes me jump through hoops. I have real family to make me jump through hoops for approval. I figure I have enough high-maintenance relationships in life without volunteering for more.

Validation services not only make others trudge through cumbersome extra steps, but they also make them leave Twitter. This can open our followers up to hackers and phishers. Giving our Twitter followers a digital social disease is not exactly a way to make long-lasting friendships, if ya dig.

If any of you get weird tweets or DMs (direct messages) with a link to click, this is often the work of a hacker. DO NOT CLICK FISHY (PHISHY) LINKS…PERIOD. If someone sends you a tweet or DM that they saw a picture of you or a video, THIS IS A HACKER. Even if someone sends you a link via DM that looks legit, I recommend you do a little confirmation before clicking. Send this person a DM or even a tweet confirming the person actually sent you a link. It takes a half a minute and saves a lot of heartache.

And, yes, the person must be following you in order for you to send them a DM.

If you cannot DM the person and warn them they might have been phished, just send a polite tweet. Hey, I am getting odd DMs from you. You might need to change your password. If this person gets irritated or defensive, then the worst thing they can do is unfollow you. Not that this is a bad thing. High-maintenance people are almost as annoying on-line as in person, so just unfollow and move on. Avoiding toxic peeps will keep your hair from falling out in clumps. Prevention is key.

As far as what we can do to avoid bots…

Be careful what you tweet about. If you talk about s_ex AT ALL, the bots will pick up certain key words and light on you like fruit flies on an overripe banana. Same when we talk about any kind of medicines or high-tech gadgetry. If anything you mention is something spammers love to fill your e-mail with– offers for se-x, p0rn, hydroc0d0ne, peeeeenis enlarge-ment–first of all, there are better things to talk about on-line.

But, say you just came home from the hospital and want to tell your tweeps you are alive from being hit by an ice cream truck. If you tweet, Hey, I am fine. All I need is rest and oxycodone…the bots will get you.

So, we have to either not talk about these things on social media (Twitter especially) OR we can camouflage our key words. Earlier in the year when I bought a Ma_c com-puter, I always used spaces and hyphens to fool the word search technology that spammers loooove. Humans will understand what a M-ac co-mputer, an Ip0d and an XB-0x are…bots will not. This is the defense.

Ah, but the best defense is a good offense. When anyone tweets you just a link, click on their profile. If this looks like a spammer, block and report on the spot. Better yet, block and report then retweet and add @Katy456789 is a nasty spam bot. Everyone please block and report her. If Twitter gets 20 people blocking and reporting a profile, they will terminate @Katy456789 with extreme prejudice. No muss, no fuss.

You guys know I am all about teamwork. If we all go on the offensive with a Zero Tolerance Spam Policy, these bottom feeders will scurry off elsewhere. With enough collective vigilance, we could drive the spam bots to the brink of extinction, and wouldn’t that be lovely?

All the best,

Dr. Twuth

See how easy this is? Do you have a social media dilemma? Is someone making you crazy? Do you feel alone, afraid or unsexy? Leave your question in the comments or if you would like to maintain anonymity, e-mail Dr. Twuth at kristen at kristen lamb dot org. Just put GIVE ME THE TWUTH in the subject line.

I am about love and offering a human touch to this digital world. My Dr. Twuth identity is #MyWANA certified, or certifiable, I can’t recall which. But, hey, it’s free so if you don’t like my advice, I promise to give you 100% refund (There will be a $15.99 processing fee for said refund).

Let me, Dr. Twuth, help you out. Remember, the Twuth will set you free.

Tweet ya later!

Dr. Twuth–Because social media shouldn’t make you want to drink heavily.

Today we are going to switch the format just a little. Tuesdays are now simply, Dr. Twuth Tuesday. Why? Well, I am sure you guys have all kinds of social media questions and conundrums beyond the world of just Twitter, so my alter ego, Dr. Twuth can be counted on to give you the best information on social media. And, since a spoon full of sugar humor, makes the I’d rather be punched in the face than read about social media marketing medicine go down, fun is always a guarantee here with me, Dr. Twuth, Text Therapist. The tips offered here are all based off my #1 best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media  and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer.

If our goal is to build an author platform in the thousands to tens of thousands, then we will have to approach ALL social media 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 social media–regardless of platform–without devolving into a spam bot. If social media makes you want to slam your head in a door, then you are in the right place. Just call on Dr. Twuth, because the Twuth will set you free.

On to our peeps in need….

Dear. Dr. Twuth,

Ok, so I have a Twitter question that’s been bugging me for several days now.  I’ve read WANA and I’m sure I’ve seen it in a post before that it’s polite to follow people back when they follow you.  But what if you’re being followed by people just hoping to spam you with their business?  It seems pretty easy to tell when you look at their tweets that all they do is spam.  I’ve even come across some Twitter names and profiles that look like real people, only to find they’re masking their company so they can spam unsuspecting me after I follow them back.

I don’t want to be rude, but is it polite to follow back these people, or just torture for myself?  If we’re supposed to take care with who we follow by looking to see if they’re people interested in conversation, shouldn’t we also take that care in following back?

Thanks a bunch.

Bonkers with Bots

Dear Bonkers,

Part of creating any social platform is, of course, being social. The answer to this question seems cut and dry, but it isn’t. Some people might be saying, Well, of course you wouldn’t follow back a bot! Yet, this can get tricky, especially when we have a lot of fellow writers acting like bots. This is one of the reasons we really should avoid automation as much as humanly possible.

I have attended conferences where social media experts spent an hour presenting ten different gizmos to make social media so easy the writer didn’t have to even participate. Just go to Hoot Suite and program in tweets and go back to writing. You never have to do anything! Your social platform will grow itself like a genetically enhanced Chia Pet!!!

Caveat emptor.

The danger in these approaches is that we are basically bots, so when others click on our profiles we can end up with a case of mistaken identity. Looks like a bot, acts like a bot, posts like a bot…probably a bot.

Due to Lady Gaga’s poor wardrobe choice, she was not allowed to go deer hunting ever again for safety considerations.

Thus, my first bit of advice is to make sure we are not behaving like bots because my advice is…IGNORE ALL BOTS, including Author Bots. This approach is lazy and selfish and there is no need to repay that approach or encourage it. Plenty of authors find time to be authentic. If James Rollins, Bob Mayer, and Jane Friedman can do their own tweeting, so can we. People may not hear from us 53 times a day, but do they really need to? Or even want to? Just tweeting or posting a status update 1-3 times a day is more than sufficient to remain top of mind.

I will go so far as to even recommend that, when a bot follows you, report them as spam and block them. Spammers should be discouraged as often as possible. Nobody gets a free ride in life, and, if we have to work hard for what we want, then the spammers should too.

As a caveat, though. I use a zero tolerance approach with obvious bots. @FreePorn is now following you. If a fellow writer acts like a bot, it is up to us to watch out for our creative brethren who’ve been led astray by misguided gurus. I would recommend following back just long enough to send a polite “Um, you have your digital skirt tucked in your digital pantyhose” message. Feel free to send them links to my blogs. Dr. Twuth is skilled at deprogramming bad social media cult influences.

Some writers are working hard to be “responsible little marketers,” and they really don’t know any better. We all make mistakes and we would all want to be treated with love and grace. Give it a day or two, and, if the offending behavior doesn’t stop, then feel free to wish them well and DM that you are unfollowing to “make room for real people.”

All the best,

Dr. Twuth

See how easy this is? Do you have a social media dilemma? Is someone making you crazy? Do you feel alone, afraid or unsexy? Leave your question in the comments or if you would like to maintain anonymity, e-mail Dr. Twuth at kristen at kristen lamb dot org. Just put GIVE ME THE TWUTH in the subject line.

I am about love and offering a human touch to this digital world. My Dr. Twuth identity is #MyWANA certified, or certifiable, I can’t recall which. But, hey, it’s free so if you don’t like my advice, I promise to give you 100% refund (There will be a $15.99 processing fee for said refund).

Let me, Dr. Twuth, help you out. Remember, the Twuth will set you free.

Tweet ya later!