Wednesday, March 28, 2012

140 Characters & Your World Is Complete! So Twitter Away

There is no doubt that #Twitter is a fascinating tool of #social #demographics. There I said it all in 79 characters including spaces & hash marks! Or did I? "They" tell you that above and beyond all the marketing you must do for your own book, you have to network in the social manner using all the tools available. "Social Networking" including all the tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and on and on and on, is a critical factor in getting your name out there. So one day you decide Twitter as well has to be in your arsenal. And you load this program, start learning the ropes and begin to twitter away.

Of course it does not help to Twitter unless people are "following" you. Notice I did not say "reading what you write" I said "they are following you". This is called "followers" in Twitter. How do you get "followers"? Well you have to start "following" people. The viral network has begun for you. So you follow them, and many on Twitter have a deep regard of social grace, so they follow you back. And then of course some of them with even more grace actually "re-tweet" or "RT" what you put out there. And soon you find your list growing. Maybe not the 20,000 followers that others have but you get a few. And you are a happy camper!

Now of course your writing abilities kick in. You have to express yourself in 140 characters or less. That includes a URL and all the hash marks if you use them. So now you go and sign up with a system like Bitly for free to make your URL as short as possible to keep that 140 limit!

Okay, you have the hash marks down. You have the following and followers down. You have the etiquette down. You have the URL thing down. You sit and think of the best way to actually "market yourself" on Twitter. So you begin to actually read the Tweets that are coming your way. And you get advice on what and how to tweet. So the other day I sat and actually read for a few hours the tweets coming through my system. It was fascinating. 

Let us go through some of them shall we:
  1. Buy my book here at Amazon
  2. Tweet Blog posts so you do not look like you are trying to tweet your books.
  3. Do not tweet blog posts because people are sick of reading blogs
  4. Do not tweet blog posts because you do not maintain a blog. After all you wanted to write books not blog!
  5. OMG! You do not have a blog? Where the hell have you been for 8 years? Start a blog they tell you. (You sigh and say to yourself "add it to the list".)
  6. Tweet homely nice things. Like "Love Everyone Today" and every one of your followers will get all mushy and go to your blog and web site and buy your books.
  7. Do not tweet homely nice things, because people just say when they read them "bleh".
  8. Go to the quote of the day site, steal a quote and tweet it. Even if it is a stupid, idiotic, mundane quote. After all it shows you are well-read and you care.
  9. Free Day @ Kindle and/or Smashwords. 
  10. My book has 4.8 rating in stars for reviews. You have to see it!
  11. Harry Potter went digital.
  12. Pay me $30 and I will show you how to get 20k of followers in a month. 
  13. Pay me $25 and I will show you how to get reviews.
  14. Pay me something and I will RT for you. 
  15. GM everyone. I woke up with a back pain.
  16. How is everyone today?
  17. Throw out Writer quotes like "Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. ~G. Fowler" (Actual Tweet). Makes you look well-read!
  18. Have a great picture like @LenoreWolfe. The woman does have a great pic! Worth following. (Especially consider this Tweet - "Some author photos scare me. What does your author photo say about you?"
  19. Be funny.
  20. Do not be funny because no one will get your sense of humor.
  21. Be kind and nice.
  22. Forget kind and nice. Just Twitter what you have to and get out of the system.
  23.  For Goodness Sake - Just Twitter! Someone will read it!
Just a small sample of course. A real small sample. Yet I do admit I have my favorites. These people use scheduled Tweets from a 3rd party program so 24 hours a day 7 days a week they are tweeting. Actually if you look at their numbers it works. Because they are active all the time. But I seriously do not understand how they spend the time setting up such a schedule. However, if it floats their boat it is all great.

So now you are addicted as well to Twitter. Add it to your list. Because you cannot take your eyes off of getting higher numbers in those who "follow you". And of course you follow them. So you have to think of ways to become even more and more witty and stand out in the crowd. Hey, you are a writer, suck it up and do it! Because if you do not, or if you keep on putting out Tweets which are totally meaningless then still a lot of people will follow you but you sure are not using that time to write your next great best seller which you can then Tweet about. And you join Tweet lists. So people will tweet about you and follow you - and you do the same for them. So you tweet and tweet and forget all about writing. Because those lists can get mighty long. 

I admit, fully and with glee, that I do exactly what the above tells you to do. I do not want to be an existential non-entity on Twitter! I have to do something, anything to pick up sales, to get my name known, to make this blog a 7 in Page Ranking which it once was years ago, before I let it languish. My bad! But then, silly me, I thought you should actually have something to say, in order to be a good blogger and social networker. But guess what? Twitter has proven me totally wrong on that score. You just need to .. well... TWEET!

And even with all this tongue-in-cheek attitude, I do have my favorites. First of all I use TweetDeck which is from Twitter itself. And I happen to like reading stuff from certain Twitter people (even though they schedule most of their tweets.) @Melissa_Foster and @dcPriya (Ashley Barron) to name two. So I am in Tweet heaven.

And wow! Every one of my Tweets can go to Facebook and all my Facebook posts go to Twitter. Automatically (once you allow it). So I can flood people with all sorts of information from my head.

The only thing is well, to be honest, just like all the others, Tweets about your books and your writing, (in the writing-author-reader world of tweeting) usually simply do not work. Because everyone is tweeting to everyone else about their books, their freebies, their blogs and God only knows what else. And the blog posts! I think I have seen every opinion of what should be done and what should not be done under the sun. One person says "Do X" the other "Do not even think about doing X". One famous author will tweet about how they became famous without using any marketing and another one will tell you the only way they became famous and selling oodles of books is to use all the Social Marketing tools available and Tweet away as much as you can. So you see there is really nothing you can actually gleam in terms of the ultimate truth in Tweeting. So why not just lay back and enjoy the fun. You never know what 140 letters with spaces and hash marks can do. And besides, it teaches you to redact your writing into only essential words. So your next book will be titled: "For The #Love Of #Country #Romance" Subtitled "#Vampire #Relationships With #Zombies". 

So what is the secret of success in Twitter? How do you really do it and get your name known? Here is your answer!

So for pity sake FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER!

Books by Ted William Gross

If you wish to purchase the books at Smashwords click here.


Ashley Barron said...

Thanks for the mention, Ted! Twitter is the most effective marketing tool I've ever used in business, and the hashtag function is the reason. Ingenious!


Thinkhappy said...

Hi Ted, what a nice surprise to be mentioned here on your blog. Many thanks to Ashley for linking me to it. I am a tweetaholic and probably need a 12-step program, because although auto-tweeting is necessary, I organically tweet all day and night, and personally answer my DM's. Twitter is wonderful for meeting people and it's just so much darn fun!

Thank you again - great article - and don't waste your money on 20K followers. Just be yourself, engage, enlighten, and entertain, and you'll find bunches of friends. Oh, bribery of chocolate helps:-)


Rachelle Ayala said...

Ted, what a hilariously entertaining tongue-in-cheek hoot! (58 characters with spaces) [suite not included]

Jennifer L. Oliver said...

This was a great post - and so true!! There is a ton of advice out there on how to promote yourself. I am on Twitter, and half the time I haven't the slightest idea of what I should tweet. I suppose I'll get it eventually. ;)
I am now quite curious though as to what I might find in an hour of watching tweets go by. This should be fun!
Thanks for sharing!