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Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

Kristen Lamb — Photo

Posts Tagged: Dr. Twuth

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!

Welcome to Twitter Tuesday with Dr. Twuth. The tips offered here are all based off my #1 best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social MediaIf 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.

So who is Dr. Twuth? 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.

On to our tweeps in need…

Dear Dr. Twuth,

I think I’m a Twitter “Wallflower.”  You know, that person at the party who is too shy / freaked-out / just plain dumb to reach out?  That’s me. I really don’t know where to start.  I’ve been watching and learning all kinds of great info from the sidelines, but still, I haven’t worked up the nerve to jump in and participate.   Ugh!

And would you believe I’m a live performing rocker chic??
I know, crazy!

I could spend hours psycho-analyzing my issue (believe me, I’ve done it while holding up that Tweetdeck wall as everyone else happily Tweeted away), but enough about me.

Can you offer some easy-to-follow steps to get me jump started, please?

Many thanks,
Twitter Wallflower

Dear Wallflower,

Now that we are in the Information Age, Digital Age Authors face a new problem. In the olden days when people actually spoke to each other in person, many writers had a fear of public speaking. In fact, for many of us, it was our abysmal social skills beyond the world of Dungeons and Dragons that prompted our career choice in the first place.

This fear of public speaking, however, has now transformed into a digital phobia recognized by only the most highly trained armchair psychiatrists as Tweetaphobia Neurosa–or the fear of public tweeting. Many regular people suffer from Tweetophobia, but it is far more pronounced in the writing communities.

Why?

Writers seem to suffer the worst, namely because apparently the world at large assumes we all spell perfectly and never goof on grammar. There seems to be an unfair burden placed on writers to always be witty, interesting or profound. Sort of like how people expect comedians to be knee-slapping funny ALL THE TIME.

You’re a Clown Fish. Tell us a joke!

Since writers have the job of being interesting for an entire book, we tend to feel like we need to be equally riveting in life. It is this kind of pressure that, if left unchecked, can create the tweeting anxiety.

There is another problem.

To battle fear of public speaking, there is the age-old trick of just envisioning the audience wearing nothing but their underwear. For writers, this could be dangerous since most writers have an entire social network comprised of other writers…who probably rarely ever get out in the sun (and who probably really are in nothing but their underwear. Just ask @ChuckWendig). The mental image alone of so many pale-as-a-plucked-albino-chicken writers could cause retinal damage.

So what to do?

First of all, relax. People can expect us to never misspell a word or be fascinating in every tweet, but, hey, life is full of disappointments. We never help others understand that writers are indeed human if they never see us acting like humans. The cool part about being a person is that readers (non-writers of the human species) start to connect with us and that is always good.

Another tactic for combating Tweetophobia is to rely on your social media butterflies to plug you in. This activates what I like to call The Law of the Playground.

Remember being a kid and new to a grade? When you would go out for recess, what was the first thing on the agenda? Find someone you knew. Once you could find that person you already knew, making connections got easier. It suddenly became easier to befriend people because of the Law of the Playground.

I don’t know you, but Kristen knows you. I like Kristen, so I like you.

This Law of the Playground was one of the reasons I created the #MyWANA group. This is the place where you are guaranteed to connect to other Playground Connectors and WE will plug you into the Twitterverse at large. Not only will we instantly make you part of our twibe, but all of us have networks beyond #MyWANA and we can introduce you there as well.

The key to feeling comfortable on Twitter is to have a host or hostess introduce you around. Once we start chatting with others as people, this alien place–Twitter- seems far less scary and the anxiety will dissipate. Tweeting will then come MUCH easier.

As far as what to tweet? I have another law. I call this The Law of Three. Tweeting should be roughly 1/3 Information–links to blogs, articles, web sites, 1/3-Reciprocation (RT for others and a lot of times Information and Reciprocation can blend together), and, finally, 1/3 Conversation. TALK to people! If all we tweet are links and cutesy quotes, we look like a bot. Show others you are a person, too.

Humans have a hard time connecting emotionally with bots, but we really dig connecting with other people. Once we connect, we support because you are our peep…and THAT is how platforms get built. Just remember, there is no reason to be shy or nervous on Twitter. We are not alone! #MyWANA is a hashtag designed for the sole purpose of immoral support. Once part of a group, our confidence improves dramatically and tweeting will feel as natural as breathing.

Best of Luck!

Dr. Twuth

See how easy this is? Do you have a Twitter or social media dilemma? Leave your question in the comments or if you would like to maintain anonymity, e-mail Dr. Twuth’s slave assistant at kristen at kristen lamb dot org. Just put GIVE ME THE TWUTH in the subject line.

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).

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

Tweet ya later!


Welcome to Twitter Tuesday with Dr. Twuth. 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.

So who is Dr. Twuth? 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.

On to our tweeps in need…

Dear Dr. Twuth,

I spend way too much time on Twitter but it’s so much fun. Ah, social media – so much to do, so little time :-) Maybe I should just duct-tape my laptop shut? Dr. Twuth?

Signed,

Overwhelmed Orlowski

Dear Overwhelmed,

This is a common problem when it comes to writers. What few people know is that most of us writers can trace our genetic lineage to an offshoot of the ferret family–early homo sapiens must have gotten desperate for warmth right after the last Ice Age and cuddling went too far.

You can see how embarrassing this is and why we have buried the twuth for years…along with snacks, favorite pens and some killer bookmarks.

Anyway, it was at this genetic juncture that writers broke off the family tree from normal homo sapiens. Writers are actually a distinctive line of primates known by only certain scientific communities (the ones who failed Biology 101) as homo ferretus busyworkus--which scientifically explains the short attention span and the attraction to all things shiny. Most of you probably make nice nests of paper and fluffy things like sweatshirts and crocheted blankets.

Yes…I really can see you. You behind the stack of unread books and papers to be edited. Pay attention. Stop tormenting the cat with the laser pointer.

Anyway, yes we are born this way. It can be a genetic advantage in that the homo ferretus enjoys a heightened sense of curiosity and a need to explore, but this comes at a price.

Shiny things are our downfall.

Thus, anything shiny–like Tweet Deck–must be treated with extreme care. I highly recommend avoiding purchasing lava lamps or disco balls, despite how “cool” they would be to have in your office. And, when it comes to social media, we need to have a plan.

If we will brand everything under our NAME–the name that will be printed on the front of our books–this will help a lot. Too many writers are hiding behind a cutesy moniker on Twitter, then they have an equally cutesy name for the blog and then their Facebook page has their real name and the fan page has a pen name. These writers are trying to balance FOUR identities/brands. Since efforts are diffused, there is less impact when these writers participate on social media. So, using our NAME, will help a lot. Every effort is focused like—

Yes, like the laser pointer you are using with the cat. Could you please pay attention?

Thank you.

Your efforts on social media will be focused like that laser pointer you should not shine directly in your cat’s eyes because it can cause retinal damage. A focused social media platform will transfix followers the same way as your cat, who was so absorbed in the shiny red dot that he didn’t even see the dog.

A brand gives followers a focal point.

Another key tactic to managing social media is to create friendships and community. When we all work together, creating a platform is far easier. We can rely on others to help us if we actively seek to help and support them. I liken it to a barn-raising. When we all do a little for each other, big jobs suddenly become more manageable. Since we aren’t doing everything alone, we need to spend far less time on social media to still be effective.

This is one of the reasons that using traditional marketing tactics on social media is so ineffective. Most people won’t line up to help a spammer, so the writer has to do everything alone. This is why spammy writers need in excess of 20,000 Twitter followers to have any impact on sales. The ROI of this approach is dismal, because the writer is marketing linearly instead of exponentially.

Teamwork and service above self is always the winning combination….like nachos and coffee. Always a win.

Best of luck!

Dr. Twuth

See how easy this is? Do you have a Twitter or social media dilemma? Leave your question in the comments or if you would like to maintain anonymity, e-mail Dr. Twuth’s slave assistant at kristen at kristen lamb dot org. Just put GIVE ME THE TWUTH in the subject line.

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).

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

Tweet ya later!

Welcome to Twitter Tuesday with Dr. Twuth. 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.

So who is Dr. Twuth? 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.

On to our tweeps in need…

Dear Dr. Twuth,

When I had my avatar image taken my hair was long (oh how I miss my hair) A while back I had it all cut off ( I do this every 3 yrs or so. Don’t have a clue why) and now my hair is very short. I had new pics taken a few weeks ago, but I’m not crazy about how I look with short hair and have put off changing my avatar since I am, as we speak, wishing upon stars, fallen eyelashes, pennies found on heads and any other crazy suspicion known to man that might help my locks grow overnight.

True my question is based on vanity…I’m sure there are loads of truly important questions in this comment segment that you would rather answer, but Dear Dr. Twuth, should I leave my long haired and preferred avatar alone or should I replace it with my updated image?

Crazy for the Coif in Georgia. 

Dear Crazy,

Ideally our avatar should be of our face. I, personally find it distracting to try and have a conversation with a man’s muscled chest, in life and on Twitter (with a 6’6″ hubby, I have to stand on steps sometimes). I know romance authors love to put pictures of hot guys as their avatars, but mentally it is jarring to see a picture of a Chippendale’s model next to the name Jennifer or Susan. It’s just WEIRD.

What is even worse is when there is a picture of a hot guy and the author has a gender-neutral name like Carol or Sam. I find myself having to rewrite tweets to them so I don’t have to use a gender pronoun. I know I have a 50-50 chance of guessing the right sex, but why publicly embarrass myself?

I have a peep on Facebook who has a pic of a beautiful woman, but the name is a man’s. There are times I want to comment on something, but don’t know how to. I am too afraid I might mistake this author’s gender and embarrass both of us in a very public way.

So the best answer is use a picture of yourself that at least closely resembles you. Twitter is about a conversation and creating a sense of intimacy. In life, we don’t walk around wearing book-covers on our faces or dressed like Johnny Depp, and most of us don’t cross-dress so people don’t know whether to call us “Sir” or “Ma’am.”

Okay, again, @ClayMorganPA IS the standard exception. He and @KerryMeacham dig the pirate boots and cutlass and @ChuckWendig is a total instigator. What can I say?

Anyway…

If we went to a cocktail party, we wouldn’t introduce ourselves as Dragon Girl or Procrastinating Writer. We would use our names so people could know us and possibly become our friends. Twitter is no different. In fact, those who are the most authentic generally reap the greatest reward, and why wouldn’t they? If we don’t know your real name or even what you look like, how emotionally vested can we become?

Hiding behind cutesy monkiers and cute pictures is emotionally distancing and it is the habit of people playing on Twitter, not professionals. If we look up any NY Times best-selling author on Twitter, I guarantee you they have their NAME and a nice picture (likely the one used on the back of their books). If we hope to one day be like these authors, it only helps to learn what we can from them. Besides, many agents are now googling authors who query. Who will they meet if they google you?

In the end, long hair, short hair, no hair, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure the picture resembles you and that it is smiling and inviting. We are writers, not supermodels. So long as we have one head and two eyes and look friendly, we’re good (those with two heads or one eye are excused from using a picture).

All the best,

Dr. Twuth

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).

So gripe away and leave your woes in the comments for the expert rank amateur with candy. Let Dr. Twuth help you out. Remember, the Twuth will set you free.

Tweet ya later!