Sunday, August 16, 2015

Discussion Post: Blogging 101 - Using Twitter to your advantage

My Discussion Topic This Week - Blogging 101 - Using Twitter to your advantage.

I know there are other social media sites to worry about, but for a blogger, Twitter seems to be one of the most important. So for this post, I'm going to focus on it, and I'll do other social media in another post.  

My Twitter account is something I opened almost immediately after creating my blog, because other bloggers said in their Blogging 101 posts that Twitter was your friend, that Twitter would help you make connections, would drive traffic to your blog, etc.... So I opened an account.  Then I learned that you could sign up for a Twitterfeed account (google it if you don't know what it is because it's super helpful), and I immediately opened an account.  You can link it to your Twitter and/or Facebook account and have it auto-post your blog posts to Twitter and Facebook.  So I signed up and it started posting my blog posts to Twitter for me.  I felt like I was using Twitter, and thought that would be enough.  Nope.

I wasn't really using Twitter.  No one seemed to find me. I didn't gain followers.  The authors didn't see my reviews of their books, or rarely did.  Twitterfeed was using my twitter, and only once a day.  I still didn't know how to really use Twitter.  It wasn't until I posted a particular review that I finally learned what I might be doing wrong. The publisher of the book I'd just reviewed found my tweet somehow and Tweeted about it using all these tags and hashtags.  A lightbulb went off over my head.  I realized that if I wanted people beyond my small Twitter following to see my posts, I needed to do something that would make them be seen.  So I looked at what that publisher had done and realized what the key elements of their post were:

  • They tagged the author
  • They hashtagged certain key words, like #book and #review
  • They tagged other people or groups I didn't know

So I started to realize the following:

  • You tag the author (especially if it's a great review) so that they can a) see how much you loved their book; b) so that they'll retweet to their followers who may come and check you out, and c) so that you can promote the book and author even better because your post will get more attention.
  • For purely selfish reasons, you also tag the publisher.  If they like your review and see your name a lot, this could this mean forging a relationship with the publisher and potentially receiving more ARCs in the future.  No, getting ARCs isn't what blogging is all about, but if you try to tell me you don't want to get ARCs, I won't believe you.  LOL!
  • Then there were the hashtags.  It's taken me a while to figure out what the purpose of hashtags is.  But it helps people find conversations of interest to them.  If you hashtag a word, it kind of becomes a keyword that others can find.  So by hashtagging #book and #review, or #giveaway, it gets notice.

Here's what a recent one of mine looks like:

Very cute book, btw.  Ahem, anyway... What I've noticed since I started doing this is that authors are seeing my tweets.  They're retweeting them to their followers.  Their followers are visiting me.  I'm able to interact with these authors.  I've gotten more review requests from authors in my email.  Tagging the publisher has caused them to retweet my tweets, and they're tagging these book groups and other people, who then also come check me out.  My GFC followers may not have grown as much, but I don't really care because traffic to my blog HAS grown.

Now, I still don't claim myself as a Twitter expert.  I'm sharing the few little things I have learned.  I'll leave you with one more.  Don't be afraid to post it more than once a day.  I let my Tweetdeck do the initial post early in the morning.  Then later in the afternoon, early evening, I do a second tweet of to look like the one above.  Time of day seems to make a difference too.  I make sure my second tweet of the day is somewhere between the hours of 6 and 9 pm... as it seems that's when the most people will see it.

So that's what I've learned.  I hope this has been helpful.  So how do you  use twitter? What are your tips and tricks?

Let's discuss...

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