Renee Writes

Posts tagged Twitter

#IWSG – Learning to use Twitter

I know social media isn’t the best way to promote your work, but it is great for networking. Learning to use it properly, so you don’t waste a lot of time is the trick though, and it’s what I’ve been working on lately (when I’m not writing). The hardest part for me is knowing what to say…

I schedule basic tweets to go out, like promotional stuff, my blog posts, author spotlights that I do and things of that nature. But it’s not enough. You need to connect with other authors. It’s easy to just reply to people who reply to one of your tweets, or even to reply to someone else’s if you have something (hopefully nice) to say. It’s another to know what to tweet that doesn’t involve promoting something.

When I see what others talk about, I think… oh this is easy. I can do this. Then when the time comes, I sit there looking at the screen thinking, “I have no idea what I’m supposed to type.”

I try to talk about what I’m doing, especially when I’m writing or editing, but most of the time I forget. Lately I’ve been leaving Twitter open so every time I get the urge to say something about what I’m doing, I just have to click over to my browser and start typing. I even have a list of hashtags to choose from so I can reach others through my tweets.

Hashtags, I’ve learned in the last several months, are extremely important. They’re how others on Twitter find topics they want to engage in. So learning which hashtags to use has been the second hardest thing for me.

At first I would start typing in different keywords with the # symbol to see if it came up on the list. I figured if it came up, it was a hashtag that was used often, and this is mostly true. The problem is, there could be keywords I’m not even thinking of that are better. So my search began for the hashtags everyone’s using.

One way is to just watch which hashtags other authors are using. Check out those searches and see what is being shared so you have an idea of where and when to use that particular hashtag. I did this for a while, but it still seemed to be taking up so much of my time. I could spend hours researching popular hashtags for authors.

Then Joshua Robertson gave me a link to a site that listed some popular ones that authors use: 44 Essential Twitter Hashtags Every Author Should Know

From there I’ve made three lists. One is hashtags used for connecting with readers, one is for connecting with other authors, and the other is general indie publishing type hashtags. I’ve since done occasional searches for other lists, and I keep updating it, since hashtag popularity changes and new ones are always being used.

It’s so much easier now that I have the lists though. Sometimes, I even read through my hashtags for inspiration on what to talk about.

Here are my lists for those who are interested:

To reach readers:

#MustRead
#BookGiveaway
#GoodRead
#FridayReads
#AmReading
#Fantasy
#YA
#StoryFriday
#TeaserTues
#FreeBook
#FreeDownload
#Kindle
#InstaFreebie
#FantasyArt
#FreebieFriday
#SneakPeek
#HeadTalker
#Thunderclap

Industry Tags:

#IndiePub
#SelfPub
#SelfPublishing
#BookMarketing
#Ebooks
#Publishing
#GetPublished
#Digital
#IndiePubChat
#IndieAuthors
#PromoTip
#AskAuthor
#IARTG
#SupportIA

Writing Tags:

#AmWriting
#Grammar
#WritingTips
#WritingTip
#Writing
#1K1H (1000 words in 1 hour)
#WriteTip
#WritingPrompt
#WriteChat
#NaNoWriMo
#AmEditing
#WordCount
#WriterWednesday #WW
#WritersLife
#WritingParty
#WANA (We Are Not Alone)
#WIP
#Creativity
#WordAThon
#StoryStarter
#ISWG

Are there any hashtags you use (not listed here) that work for you? I’d love to add them to my list! Please share them in the comments and have a great month! Happy writing (and reading)!

Oh, and don’t forget to read some other great #IWSG posts here!

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Twitter Misuse: Don’t Make These Mistakes!

I’ve been noticing more and more that people are misusing Twitter (as in breaking rules set by Twitter), mainly in the area of Spamming. These are things that can get your account banned, so it’s worth looking into. Especially since there are a lot of people out there telling others that these things are what they should be doing to build their followers.

One of the biggest things I’ve seen is people following thousands of people, then unfollowing everyone including those who have followed back in an attempt to make themselves seem more popular than they are. Sadly this isn’t an isolated event either. Through using Statusbrew, I have noticed more than a dozen people a week who have done this to me.

It’s one thing to unfollow people who don’t follow back if your purpose for using Twitter is to network with like-minded people, but to follow just to get the followbacks and then unfollow everyone who has followed you is really rude and inconsiderate.

For me, it’s very irritating and reduces the person’s credibility in my eyes. I’ve actually removed authors books from my to-read list (which is extensive) for this kind of behavior. I’d rather read books from authors who are willing to network with me and get to know me as an author as well. That’s the main reason I use Twitter is to get to know other authors and help them promote their work (and hopefully have them promote mine as well). It’s a way of increasing everyone’s exposure. But people who want all the glory and have no interest in connecting with or helping other authors are not worth my time.

I only unfollow for 3 reasons:

  • Offensive behavior
  • Doesn’t bother to follow back (unless it’s someone I have an interest in following because I’m a fan of their work)
  • Follows me, then unfollows me after I follow them back.

If you’re following and unfollowing indiscriminately just to make yourself look more popular than you really are, not only are you risking losing your account, but your following is likely not to be loyal to you. You’re also risking your reputation.

After a lot of trial and error, I found the best way to get new followers is to 1) be an interesting person to follow by not just posting ads, but also fun stuff for people to read and regular updates (which I’m trying to do more of because sometimes I just don’t know what to say). 2) Engage with people! If you’re trying to network with other authors, talk to other authors: say hi, ask them how they’re doing, respond to their tweets, retweet their tweets, invite them to be interviewed or write a guest post for your blog. If you engage with another author this way, their followers are likely to follow you as well.

The other big thing that I’ve seen is people using @ReneeScatts simply to send me an advertisement for their book or other product/service. The purpose of the @ replies is to engage directly with someone on Twitter, not to promote yourself or your business. I’ve had a few people who started doing this on a daily basis to try and get me to buy their books, and I ended up blocking them in the end.

Again, this is something that not only can get your account suspended or banned, but it annoys people. It’s like the Twitter version of telemarketing. No one likes telemarketers, so don’t be one on social media. It’s another thing that can harm your reputation as an author.

Bottom line is, while it’s okay to promote on social media, your main goal should be networking. That’s what will get you more followers, readers and ultimately sales.

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