Monday, February 4, 2013

You've Been Re-Tweeted...

First time I got a notification of being retweeted on Twitter, I almost felt violated. I didn't know what to think. I was (and still am) fairly new to this 'flash network media'. I'm a bit of a talker, so to say what I have to say in 140 characters or less was a bit daunting.

And to top it all off, I didn't have a single clue as to how Twitter worked.

Hashtags... sounded like something to do with drugs and making sure you knew where you were at all times. Not that I would know anything about drugs.


Moving on.

So here are a few things I have learned along the way with Twitter. Remember, this is just me. If you have any other bits of advice, PLEASE for the love of all that is holy...SHARE! Thanks.

Okay, so you are limited to what you can post on Twitter. 140 characters or less. So links should be short and hashtags, I'm discovering, are a MUST. 

Hashtags: From what I understand, these little beauties will post your 'Tweet' in accessible areas relating to the word. You type in #IhavenoideawhatIamdoing and it will get lumped in on a page with everyone else who just used that hashtag.

What messes me up: are words with no spaces. The writer in me wants to put them in!!

Some # hashtags I have been using: #asmsg, #rpg, #d20, #epic, #epicfantasy, #highfantasy, #gamergirl, #nerd, #amwriting, #amreading, #amazon, #smashwords, #kindle, #nook.

What they mean and how to use them: Let's take the #rpg and #d20 ones for example. RPG means Role Playing Game and d20 is a 20 sided dice. Mostly gamers know these things and since I write fantasy and love RPG's, I try to use these hashtags whenever I tweet a link to my book.  

(Example: "I write #highfantasy that reads like an #rpg. #d20, that's how I roll! (Amazon link)")

If you don't know what a hashtag means, like #asmsg, you can Google it. (What does asmsg mean on twitter?) I discovered that ASMSG means Authors Social Media Support Group. I would have never known. Seriously. You'll have to do a search for some hashtags that would be relevant to your writing.

And then of course, there are the trending hashtags.

The trending ones are listed off to the left. If you are clever enough (hello, you're a writer!) you can work these into your tweets to promote your book. Once, the trending hashtag was: #10factsaboutmybestfriend. So I tweeted this: "#10factsaboutmybestfriend: I wrote her into my book! (Amazon link)".

Which is totally true. Trinara is based off of my best friend from high school. Sort of.

Links: While there are lots of places to help shorten your links for Twitter such as Tiny URL and, you can run a search for others. Otherwise, your link will get shortened by Twitter most of the time. But not always and you are using up valuable limited space.

I started off with a notebook and have dozens of hashtags written down. Recently, I spent some time creating a document to keep open while I am on Twitter where I can copy and paste some of the tweets that got the best response. I usually quote something from my book reviews, add in pertinent hashtags followed by the link to my book.

So for anyone new to Twitter like me, I hope this helps to get you started or at least make the experience more enjoyable. I'll post again on Wednesday with some other information I found helpful so I don't spend my entire day sucked into Tweeting on Twitter.

Have any tips to share? Have any hashtags you like? What are some of the clever things you've posted?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm getting better about hashtags and remembering to use them! I just don't have time to spend watching the Twitter feed though.

Luanne G. Smith said...

I'm a Twitter fail. I just make stuff up and hit publish. Probably why I don't have very many followers. :) #twitterfail

Donna Hosie said...

It's only in the last three months that I have really started to understand how I can make twitter work for me. It's a great tool for authors.

Mark Means said...

I rarely use hashtags because I'm just not that involved with using Twitter. I mean, I've been on it almost since the beginning, but am still not 'habitual' like I am with other social media (such as Google Plus)

Totally know what you're saying, though, about the writer in me screaming at having to keep things brief...even if it's at the expense of grammar rules :)

BookCupid said...

wow, thanks. I'm fairly new to Twitter. Had no idea how important hashtags are.

Mel Chesley said...

@ Alex ~ I hear ya. I am actually posting the rest of this tomorrow. I realized what Wednesday was and changed it. But I talk about how I only spend 20 minutes a day on Twitter.

@ L. G. ~ lol! I was that way for a very long time after signing up.

@Donna ~ It is a great tool. But again, only if you know what the heck you're doing!

@ Mark ~ Yeah, I had to force myself to make it a habit. But being so limited...augh!

@ BookCupid ~ Yes, hashtags are very important! You can run a search for ones you want to use to see how popular they are.

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Unknown said...

I've often wondered if using a shortened URL makes people less likely to click a link you put into a tweet, since they can't see the actual source of the link. That's just me, though.

I could do with some hashtags that fantasy Twitter users use; if you've any recommendations, I'm all ears :)


Unknown said...

Hashtags are great but it also helps to have others retweet your stuff. Others are more likely to do that if you retweet their stuff. For every tweet you post on twitter, try retweeting a few from others.