Let me ask you this question: Do you need a way into millions of minds, hearts, and pocketbooks?
“My (Twitter) followers have helped me grab the attention of powerful influencers, got one of my stories 30,000 reads on the story-sharing site WattPad, and landed me a job at a publishing house.”
We writers are overwhelmed by social media choices. But Twitter and Facebook rise to the top in every discussion of where we should roost.
Now, I love Facebook. But if you have a business page dedicated to your writing (vs. a personal “profile” page), Facebook rations how often that page will appear in followers’ feeds, and the estimates range from 5% to 20% unless you pay to play. But a tweet into the Twittersphere will land in absolutely every stream whose tweeter follows you. For free. Plus, anyone searching for information on what you post about can find you with a simple hashtag search.
I am a self-declared right-brain-creative technophobe. When my social media guru told me I should have 10,000 Twitter followers to look “relevant,” I freaked. I was stuck at 200 followers, and that had been a struggle. I didn’t understand the books about Twitter because they were written by left-brain techies who told me (in a convoluted way) what to do, but didn’t show me. I just had to figure it out for myself.
Twitter is obtuse. But the first step to soaring with the big birds is to understand the gobbledygook that constitutes a tweet. So, I’m going to show you how to do that. If you’re reading this on a handheld device vs. a laptop or desktop computer, you may want to do the finger gyration that supersizes what you’re looking at for the first image below. But we’ll break out the color-circled areas individually into larger images for explanation.
Line 1 (circled in red): This says that Alicia-Joy Pierre (her given name, or the name under which she registered her Twitter account…limited to 20 characters-gotta love Twitter…), whose Twitter name (aka handle) is @aliciajoyonline tweeted this information on August 15.
Line 2 (area circled in purple): Any word beginning with a hashtag funnels the whole post into the stream that is #writer, so everyone who looks for information in that stream will see it.
Line 2: (area circled in yellow): This is the web link to the top resources that Alicia-Joy is tweeting about.
Line 3: (area circled in green): @thecreativepenn lets the owner of that Twitter name (handle) know that her information was tweeted.
Line 3: (area circled in blue): #grateful channels this tweet into the stream known as #grateful.
The image below Line 3: sometimes when you click on the image, it will take you to a web link. This time it was not linked, so you’d just get a bigger picture.
Now, dropping down to the area under the picture, circled in pink:
By clicking here, you could send Alicia-Joy a tweet, as distinguished from a “message.” Tweets are limited to 140 characters, and are not private. Messages (explained below) are private. One other person tweeted back to her.
If you click here, you can “retweet” Alicia-Joy’s message. That would earn you gratitude from Alicia-Joy. 15 people retweeted her message.
This means that 13 people loved her tweet. You could have been the fourteenth if you had clicked here.
Here’s where you send Alicia-Joy a direct message (DM)…which is private…which is limited to 10,000 characters.
If you break a tweet down into these components, it will be easy to understand. It’s just hashtags (#), at signs (@), and web links, with short “verbiages” interspersed!
Cathy Turney is the author of Get 10,000+ Twitter Followers-Easily, Quickly, Ethically, available on Amazon. Her humorous tell-all about the real estate sales industry (Laugh Your Way to Real Estate Sales Success), won the American Business Association Stevie Award for Best Business Book of the Year 2015. She is a contributor to Huffington Post, tweets at @CathyTurneyLafs, blogs at www.CathyTurneyWrites.com, and emails at Cathy@CathyTurney.com.