Tag Archive | twitter

Stop Getting Upset When You’re Unfollowed on Twitter…

twitterunfollowWhen you are new to social media, and specifically twitter, it’s all about gaining followers. The question begs, WHY are you following people and why are you gaining followers? Are you an author and wish to reach readers and other authors who will in turn do tweets for you to get messaging out? Are you an interviewer or reporter and want your words and messages heard? Are you a reader and want to tell people about the books you’re reading? Or, are you what we lovingly call a voyeur who simply reads the tweets of the people they’re interested in, never commenting or posting on their own? People on twitter will generally follow like-minded people and others will follow people because of what they’re posting.

No matter how people start following you, stop staring at your follow numbers and WORRYING ABOUT PEOPLE UNFOLLOWING YOU. Really, just stop. I used to check all the time. When I first started building my follow list, I’d be devastated and confused when I discovered people unfollowed me. I mean, why would they do this? “I’m not provocative, I’m funny. What did I do? Don’t they like me?” The reality is, they stopped following me for whatever reason they wanted. There are just so many things you can control in life, and other people’s actions are NOT one of them.

Want to hear the #1 Follow Rule on Twitter? Follow people who follow you or seek out new people to follow. Retweet people, comment on people’s tweets. Participate in twitter hashtag parties. It is the simplest and most direct way to gain new followers – and these are like minded people for the most part. That said, I still get unfollowed all the time. For this example, right now I just went to www.justunfollow.com and checked the recent amount of people who unfollowed me since I last checked, which was yesterday. In that time period four people have unfollowed me. It’s usually as high as twenty. EVERY ONE of these people are authors. I no longer get upset when I see this. But don’t think sometimes I’m not tempted to actually tweet an author and ask them WHY they unfollowed me. But that sounds a little “stalky creepy” and I’ve decided against that tactic. And don’t get me started if I discover I’ve been blocked. That ALWAYS freaks me out a little, but in an effort to stay sane, I let that go.

Now that I have over 26K followers, what is happening is many times people will follow me in order for me to follow them back. THEN they unfollow me. It’s a tactic they do to gain followers, but not have a high following count and a tactic they will do hoping I will do a tweet for them to my high follower list. It’s not nice and it’s sneaky and doesn’t sit well with me, but it is what it is. With justunfollow.com I now have the ability to see who just unfollowed me and I go and unfollow them right back. I don’t confront, I don’t retweet, I just do this non-passive aggressive thing and move on. NOW, that said, there are people who simply don’t follow others, and they have great content to share – so remember, YOU are in control of who you wish to follow at every moment.

Sometimes an unfollow is a mistake. I have had a few very good friends suddenly disappear from my lists. When that happens, I call them out on it and they are usually surprised. It really is only a simple click and someone is unfollowed.

So, I leave you with this. Stop worrying. You don’t know most of these people, you’ve never met most of these people, you’ve never interacted with most of these people. They are strangers. Stop worrying if they don’t follow you or unfollowed you. Return the “favor” and let it go. Then go follow 50 new people, commenting on a few great posts, find a few you haven’t supported in a while and retweet them, and then call it a day.

Life is way too short to be offended by people who you’ve never interacted with in the first place. My favorite phrase? “Don’t let it rent space in your head.” Post great comments and your peeps will find you. Or they won’t. It’s all good.

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Social Media – It’s Not A One Size Fits All World

one sizeYou see a lot of people on social media posting the same thing over and over, across multiple platforms. It could be book links, or promotional blogs, or here’s what I made for dinner, or the same rant about the world. You know, the tweeter who only posts his books and then on google+ does the same thing. The FB friend who only posts photos of her daughter and discusses her beauty over and over. There are definitely people that after awhile when I see their posts, I cringe, because I know what’s coming. You don’t want to become that poster.

The fact is, social media is not a “one size fits all” world. People go to social media for different things, the same way readers love different genres, and magazines are niche. Here’s a quick synopsis of some of the social media outlets and what their participants are looking for.

Twitter: A great place for small little 140 character tweets. You can do a book promo, ask a quick question, do a cute game – but people want something quick, fast and then… you’re outta there. I will tell you – consensus is if you only post book promo tweets you are assured of getting blocked fast. Do two to four a day, but no more and spend more time interacting with people or doing different kinds of posts. And be nice on twitter – I can’t tell you how many people think this anonymous world gives people the right to be mean. Arguing with people on a public forum like twitter is never a good way to make friends.

Facebook: To me this is a more personal place where it’s totally acceptable to talk about your family, what you ate, things you did, ask questions, polls, play games. People expect it. Just mix it up. And, if you expect anyone to see your posts and comment on them, you have to interact with people. There is no way around it. You don’t comment or like any of your friend’s posts, Facebook will shove you down in analytics and folks won’t see your post for hours.

Instagram: This is really Facebook, but in pictures. People don’t really want to talk on there – they just want to post photos. Comments are ok, but liking their pictures is what people are going for – to show you enjoyed their photo post.

Google+: My newest obsession. This is different – people want to read a bit more content and it’s appropriate to give them a bit more – not an entire novel’s worth, but definitely leave more than you would on a tweet. Photos are great on here, but explanations of why that photo is there, or why you are sharing a particular link, is even better. Add hashtags so that google analytics can pick you up. This is a great link on How to Make an Awesome Google Post: http://dustn.tv/perfect-post

In every one of these mediums above, conversations are key. Answer people’s questions, comment on blogs. In every one of these, continuous and sole self promo to excess is bad. Unless you are on a “Facebook brag group” no one, including your good family and friends, wants to see a book promo post over and over. I heard this cool ratio to do FOUR fun tweets/posts to every ONE promo post. You still need to promote your books, but it shouldn’t be every single post.

Love to hear what you think!

Twitter Analytic Insights – Yes, These Are Your Followers…

Gratuitous Cute Kitty Photo

Gratuitous Cute Kitty Photo

Did you know you can find out analytics on who is following you on Twitter? You can see gender, interests, where they are from… It’s really interesting to learn. I have some author friends who’ve been blown away by the types of people following them. For me, it’s sort of what I expected. I am reaching a dual gender audience, who likes books, predominantly from the US, though there is a nice 14% following from the UK. They are interested mostly in books, mystery and crime and my top locations are NY, LA, UK and PA.

I guess the idea is that if I wish to do a small twitter campaign, I could segment this audience to reach only those people that fit into the top criteria of my most segmented demographic. The question is… will that help me sell books? I’m not sure, but I do intend to find out.

So, want to see your Twitter Analytics? Go to Twitter and then go to your “home page.” Find that little wheel looking “thingie.” On the new layout it should be on the very top right hand side and to the right of the “search” box. Then scroll down to Twitter ads, from there you look at the top of the page – the black bar and you’ll see Analytics. Click on that, and then click on followers. It will tell you all your follower stats.

I’ve also started playing around – it’s interesting to click on the analytics option, too, and see how effective your tweets have been – scroll through all of this – there’s a wealth of information they are providing right at your fingertips. I can gauge who is interacting with the tweet and which tweet actually generated a clickthru! I plan on watching this a lot and trying to see if there is a way I can use my followers more effectively with this information. I have even started adding photos to my tweets and this stat will also show you if people click on the photo. All of this is information you can use to help your tweets be their most effective.

If any of you have done a twitter ad against analytics, I’d LOVE to hear how it went or how you’ve used this information effectively for promotions.

And hoped you liked the gratuitous kitty picture – apparently this is something that helps stats – LOL – I’ll let you know.

NOTE: as of 5/19!!! I just found out that not everyone has this feature yet and it’s a ROLL-OUT! You see, I’m just learning these things too – so if it’s not working and you can’t find some of the things I’m listing, I apologize and… they coming!

Twitter: Why it Does More Than Simply Sell Books

Come follow me @elysesalpeter

Come follow me @elysesalpeter

Today’s blog is about the power of twitter. Many writer’s only media platforms include using Twitter and Facebook to promote their books. I never see them talking to people, just at people, and I think that’s a huge mistake and missed opportunity. These same authors get frustrated when they don’t get a lot of sales with this strategy and they come to the conclusion that “twitter really doesn’t help with book sales, at all.” I tend to agree, to a point. I believe twitter offers writers amazing exposure and I believe it holds the key to so much more that they haven’t even explored yet. Here’s some interesting things I do with twitter that have nothing to do with me just posting a “read my book” link.

#1) WRITING GAMES: On Fridays there is this awesome cool hashtag called #FP, which stands for Friday Phrases. What you do is simply type that hashtag in the tweet and WRITE a short story all in that same tweet. It is so much fun and offers a lovely way to get the creative juices flowing. And you’ll read other great entries and you can comment on them, building some cool relationships. Authors love nothing more than feedback and they appreciate it so much when you comment. Here are the two I offered this week:

#FP The child pulled her Grandpa along. “Just a little further Papa.” She led him to an open grave. He shook at her next words. “We’re home.”

“What’re you chewing?” I asked my 3 yr old.” “Orange gummies.” He licked his lips. “Mommy!” My 10 yr old cried. “Where’s my goldfish?” #FP

What’s great is that if people following the thread like it, they comment, you get retweeted and you might gain some new followers, too! Super fun. If you’d like to learn more about Friday Phrases, click here: http://fridayphrases.com/

#2) REVIEWS: This is harder, and more time consuming, but I look at all the threads and see the reviews that bloggers do. If I think they tend to review books like mine, I’ll start my research. I will follow them, then go to their webpages and start the process of writing them an email to see if they’d like to review one of my books. While time-consuming, it’s a great way to reach people I never would have met before and get an honest review from someone validated.

#3) FOOD: I love to talk about food. I wanted to do something different once for the holidays and the most amazing thing happened when I posted “Help, I need suggestions.” There are people from ALL OVER THE GLOBE on twitter and one woman told me her grandma’s recipe for a holiday dish called “Lobio,” which is Georgian Green Beans in Walnut Sauce. I made it for Passover and it was SO GOOD. Here’s the recipe to serve 6:

Ingredients

2 pounds fresh green beans cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 pound light-skinned walnuts
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1/2 cup vegetable stock
salt

Directions

1. Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add the green beans, return to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to set the color and stop the cooking. Reserve.
2. Place the walnuts and garlic into the bowl of a food processor and puree to a paste. Transfer to a medium-size bowl. Add the onion, cilantro, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, paprika, and vegetable stock and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Reserve.
3. Arrange the green beans on a serving platter. Drizzle decoratively with the walnut sauce and garnish with additional paprika for color.

#4) SLANG: In one of my books, there is an older gentlemen from the UK. I have been researching British slang and including it in the book. I then appealed to my #UK tweeps and started asking questions such as “Can my character say Gawd Blimey and Bloody Hell?” Or “What does Stone the Crows” mean? I can’t tell you how many people chimed in with what are BETTER ways to say what I’m trying to get across. How some of my phrases were just regional or simply not used any longer. What an amazing resource these people were and I never would have gotten these honest answers in a quicker fashion. I can read as many internet British Slang sites as I want, but when I have someone living there, right now, telling me “how it really is” – that is invaluable.

#5) INTERVIEWS: I had an author interview right on twitter! How crazy is that? #writerskaboodle will help you do an author interview and for 1/2 hour straight people come on, along with the moderator, and ask questions about you and your books. What a great way to answer your reader’s questions, live, via tweets.

#6) COMMUNITY: That’s right. Community – this wonderful world is all about people engaging with each other. This morning I posted about how I had no idea what to post for my blog today. Within minutes, people from all over the globe offered suggestions and I realized, “OMG, twitter really isn’t all about selling my books,” it’s about building a community of like-minded friends who can all engage and help each other.

So, my advice to writers is get out of the mindset that you are only using twitter to hustle your books. Have fun with it. Engage your followers. Ask questions that you really want the answers to. You will be surprised at how much more you get out of this wonderful resource.

If any of you use twitter differently, I’d love to know! And please come on over and follow me at http://www.twitter.com/elysesalpeter

Twitter – does it help book sales? I’m on the fence…

twitterLet’s talk twitter. I’ve been told that in order for twitter to be effective, you need to post often. You need to be specific about your posts, the links, the #hashtags, you need to create conversations, you need to gain followers, you need to respond to questions, you need to provide relevant content and direction. But at the end of the day, all authors want to know is… will twitter help me effectively sell books?

I’m undecided on this. I’ve been steadily building my twitter platform and now have over 16K followers. What that means is that at any given moment, if any of my tweeps (my affectionate term for followers) are actively on twitter at that time, they’ll see a tweet I’ve posted AT THAT TIME. It’s just a momentary snapshot. If everyone has thousands of twitter followers, how in the world is my little tweet effective for anything?

That said, I regularly tweet authors, book promoters, reviewers and any other relevant content that catches my eye that I think other people will be interested in hearing about. I try to join in conversations and as a result, when I do have an announcement about a book, I see my tweets “retweeted” into the hundreds of thousands. Sort of a “thank you” from other folks for helping them out as well. Ten years ago, this type of “helping and sharing” on social media, from virtual strangers, just wasn’t heard of, so to me, what a great way to reach a massive amount of people I never would have “met” in my current circles. (and it wasn’t heard of, because twitter hadn’t even been invented yet, having only come on board in 2006).

So you’d think I’d get more sales from all these tweets and retweets, right? Again, I’m undecided. And because I don’t necessarily, at least right now, think Twitter helps with book sales, I use twitter differently. For me, it’s a “means to an ends.” I search and voyeur twitter voraciously. I find people who are book reviewers in my category, and then I go to their web pages and query them to see if they’d like to review my books. One of my novels has a deaf main lead, so I go to deaf sites, then find their Facebook pages, like them on FB, then post on their page and THEN I look to see what other relevant companies I should also be following. I go back and forth and it can take an enormous amount of time. But, it’s opened up a lot of avenues for me. Using this technique, my books promotionally are on other people’s blogs that I never would have gotten on before, I’ve gotten interviewed by bloggers I never would have met, been included on various websites, and I’ve gotten followers interested in my work. I use twitter to help me find other avenues of promotion, not just to tweet. That’s almost secondary. (which is a strange thing to say… tweeting is secondary…hmmm)

One thing to note. I find myself caught up in social media so much that it can take hours out of my day. And those hours are cutting into my writing time. My hope is that by steadily building up my marketing platform while I’m getting new books out into market, that eventually this “means to an ends” will become a “sales to an end.”

We’ll see about that. But, in the meantime, if you’d like to follow me on twitter, please come on over at http://www.twitter.com/elysesalpeter. And, send me a tweet and let me know you saw me here – I’ll definitely respond! 🙂