Category Archives: Twitter Tips

8 Twitter Mistakes Writers Must Avoid

8-twitter-mistakes

Twitter has quickly become one of the most effective social media networks for writers. Even literary giants such as Stephen King and Margaret Atwood use Twitter to interact with fellow writers, fans, and publishing industry insiders. But as easy as it is to positively connect with all your Twitter followers, it’s just as easy to send a major faux pas flying across thousands of Twitter feeds in an instant.

Here Are Eight Of The Biggest Mistakes Writers Commit On Twitter—And How To Avoid Them!

  1. Submitting to agents and editors through tweets – Literary agencies and journals have submission guidelines and pages for a reason. Agents and editors are on Twitter to interact with fans, readers, and the writers they represent or publish, not to solicit queries and submissions. They consider it unprofessional for writers to pitch their works to them on social media networks, and it shows them that the writer has not done his or her research.
  1. Being inconsistent – Not using the same hashtag for a certain topic can cause confusion for your followers. We understand that in the flurry of tweets and trending topics, you might get caught up in the conversation; however, a little organization goes a long way. Keeping your hashtags and topics consistent ensures that people who follow you won’t miss anything important that you have to say.
  1. Neglecting @ mentions – Use the @ mention feature to direct your tweet at specific users so that they can spot your tweet and answer you right away. And don’t forget to reply to the tweets that mention you too!
  1. Tweeting infrequently – Maintaining an online presence reminds your followers that you’re there, you’re willing to engage, and you have interesting things to say. We don’t suggest that you glue yourself to your Twitter feed 24/7—but you should consider carving out some time in your weekly routine to check in online. You can even schedule your tweets for the entire week in advance using tools like Hootsuite to organize your Twitter feed. And if you don’t have the time or inclination to regularly tweet and engage with your audience, check out our Virtual Assistant program to see how we can do it for you!
  1. Cluttering up tweets with irrelevant hashtags – Using too many hashtags, especially hashtags that don’t have a solid connection to your tweet, can annoy followers. It takes up character spaces you could be using for your actual tweet, and spams the hashtag that doesn’t have anything to do with what you’re saying.
  1. Oversharing – Some writers air out their issues over social media, especially on Twitter, where they know they can get a reaction as soon as they publish their tweet. But oversharing is a turnoff for followers and potential readers! And flooding your followers’ Twitter feed with pushy sales pitches screaming Buy My Book! will cause them to quickly unfollow you.
  1. Networking, but not socializing – This goes back to what we just said about over-promoting: Twitter is for establishing connections and announcing exciting news, but don’t forget that you have to be social on social media! Strike up thoughtful conversations, jump into trending topics, and get to know people – don’t just cozy up to Twitter users you think can boost you and your writing.
  1. Treating Twitter like other social media networks – Twitter is not interchangeable with Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, LinkedIn, or other social media sites. Take the time to learn how best to utilize what makes Twitter unique from the other sites. Twitter is a great means to post a concise thought, a witty observation, or an engaging prompt. It’s good to remember that Twitter is for easy conversation, not lengthy anecdotes, works of fiction, or professional opportunities.

 

QUESTION: What other mistakes have you discovered that writers make on Twitter?

How Social Media Has Evolved—And Why It Matters To Writers

social-media

Unless you’ve been living in a rural cabin, pounding away on a manual typewriter, you know that technology and social media have been rapidly evolving over the past five years.  Facebook alone has changed dozens of times since it graduated from Harvard and launched itself into the greater public in 2006. In fact, all the major social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, and more—have regularly reinvented themselves.

Since social media is an essential part of any savvy writer’s author platform, it’s important to stay ahead of trends. If you’re still trying to “poke” friends on Facebook, or you don’t know what that weird ghost icon is all about, you might have a harder time keeping your audience engaged. But don’t worry! You can quickly get up to speed on the latest social media developments:

Social Media Trends That Writers Need To Know

There is a growing emphasis on imagery over text.

Even though it might rub writers the wrong way, when it comes to social media, that old adage is true: A picture IS worth a thousand words. With the advent of Snapchat (hello, ghost icon!) and Vine—and with other more established platforms like Tumblr and YouTube still steadily growing in popularity—images have become an important part of your status update.

The evidence is right there in your Facebook feed: Notice how many more images you see versus posts with only text.  A written post of “I just got engaged!” doesn’t have the same impact as a photo of your hand wearing a flashy new piece of jewelry. In the same way, a post featuring your book cover art will grab the attention of more of your followers than a simple sentence stating: “My book was just published.” And Tweets that feature images get 313% more engagement!

K.I.S.S.: Keep It Short and Simple.

The shorter your content, the more engagement your post will receive. A study by NPR found that the sweet spot is forty characters or less! News articles have now been replaced by the “listicle.” Snapchat is just a photo and a line of text, while Vine presents only a six-second video.

And of course, don’t forget the ever-present meme. Let’s face facts: A well-written long post about a political figure will get less interaction on social media than a meme that features a short sentence on a cropped photo of the person in mid-sneeze. The lesson for writers? Keep your posts short and simple. A brief, bulleted list of your upcoming events with a photo from your latest book signing will resonate better with your readers than paragraphs of detailed information.

Change is inevitable.

The never-ending evolution of social media may make your head spin—and wouldn’t you rather be writing than posting, tweeting, or pinning? But guess what: All of these up-to-the-minute changes offer innovative, exciting ways to interact with your existing fans and reach potential new readers. (Find out which social media platform is right for you.)

Before social media, the only way you would have any contact with your audience was through snail mail or when you met them in person at a book signing. Now, you can instantly get the word out when your latest piece is published, and even provide a handy link to the online journal. You can share information and get immediate reactions and feedback from your followers. Instead of spending money on expensive advertising, you can generate buzz for your latest writing project across multiple social media platforms without spending a penny.

Social media makes it easier than ever to take the pulse of your readers, get them interested in your work, and keep them coming back for more. And sure—you can post the occasional photo of a cat in a pizza box or celebrate National Coffee Day with a picture of your latest overpriced cappuccino (placed strategically next to your book or the journal featuring your writing, of course!).

If the idea of maintaining your social media seems like a lot of work, check out our Virtual Assistant packages. We’ll do all the posting so you can spend your time writing!

Question: How has social media changed the way you communicate with your readers?

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Web Design Relief’s Links Roundup, August 2016

wdr linksroundup august

Welcome to August’s Links Roundup! On the horizon: strategy and clarity for your blogs; more bang for your tweet; why a mailing list is a must-have; and how to power up your WordPress site! Whether you create your own author website or we create one for you, we want to give you the best possible tools to build an effective online author platform and get your writing out there for the world to read.

Authors: You NEED A Mailing List via Book Marketing Tools – BK Walker explains why you can’t depend solely on social media to market your writing. Learn effective ways to stay in touch with your audience via email.

Why Do Most Tweets Go Viral? Our 10 Most Successful Tweets and the Psychology Behind Why They Worked via Buffer – How do you create a tweet that goes viral? Use these ten traits of successful tweets! Brian Peters talks about the psychology behind tweets that generate great buzz.

How To Blog In A Crowded Niche Without Getting Lost In The Noise via bloggingwizard – When you’re competing for attention in an oversaturated online market, it’s easy to think that no one’s hearing your message. Elna Cain talks about smart ways to develop a content strategy that gets noticed and gets results!

4 Tools to Turn Your WordPress-Powered Website into a Growth Engine via kissmetrics – WordPress is the most popular website-building platform because it’s so versatile. But all of the plugin options available can make it hard to choose what works for you! Here are four of the best WordPress plugin choices to drive traffic and boost your branded online presence.

Essential Vacation Safety Tips For Your Social Media (And More!)

You’re so excited about your upcoming vacation that you can hardly contain yourself! Finally, you’ll be the writer posting photos of umbrella drinks and tweeting about glorious sunsets, or blogging on your website about amazing Mayan ruins. Authors are always in search of new content for marketing and promotion: What better way to captivate your… Continue Reading

Web Design Relief’s Links Roundup, March 2016

Welcome to March’s Links Roundup! In this installment: a medley of user analytic tools for your blog; tips on how to make the most of what Twitter offers; an in-depth view of Google Analytics; and how to create astounding infographics! Whether you create your own author website or we create one for you, we want… Continue Reading

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