Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Twitter Mini-tutorial

I've been asked a few questions about twitter and thought this mini tutorial might help. I sent it to one person and then realized it might help a bunch more if you aren't feeling confident about the twitter monster yet ;)
Here's a real tweet I'm using now and what my tweet means broken down into segments:
Goodreads #giveaway 3 books, A Healing Heart by @angbreidenbach http://ow.ly/klvWJ 1 man can help, but can she trust him?
1. The tweet is 125 character spaces long, but can go to 140. If you use all the characters, there's no room for people to retweet or add a comment on it. Try to leave 15-20 character spaces. Punctuation, characters, and spaces count in the 140 character space message.

2. I used the # (number sign is called a hashtag) to specify giveaway is a topic on twitter that people follow so #giveaway might be a topic on twitter.

3. A Healing Heart by @angbreidenbach is both my book title and my name, but I used my twitter handle so other twitter folks can follow, but also so I know the tweet has happened. Then I can thank the person, favorite the tweet, and retweet the tweet. I can also check to see if I'm following the friends who tweeted for me if my twitter handle shows because it alerts me to a tweet about me or my book. Without it, I never see the tweet come through and have no way to track or respond. Lately I've used this a lot to specify my "book title by author's name". It will easily bring anyone back to my twitter account where my website is listed on my bio. I used to just use my actual name, but then realized the marketing opportunity I was missing. So I added my twitter handle as my name in shared tweets.

4. The shortened link means I've gone to hootsuite (or another website that lets me put a long link in and get a short one that looks like this: http://ow.ly/klvWJ Here's what the link really is: http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/50843-a-healing-heart Do you see how much longer and how many more characters it takes? This gives me a lot more room to write more of my message.

5. Other websites that shorten links are places like bitly. You sign up for a free account, copy/paste the long link, and click shrink. Then you can copy/paste or use as needed the shortened link for purposes like twitter or saving space in the html coding on your blogs and website and newsletters.

6. Here's my hook to get people to click the link and sign up for the contest: 1 man can help, but can she trust him?

7. I use hootsuite.com to preload my social media for twitter, facebook, linked in, and my facebook fan page. I have a free account that allows up to 5 different social media accounts. I can switch between them right on the home page. I can shrink links too. I often write the tweet, then copy/paste to send out via email for friends to tweet. But I know the length and have shrunk the link in hootsuite first. I've also preloaded it to go out to the social media for the date and time I want in advance. I'm getting better at this each day, I hope.  :)

So when you send your tweets, put in those elements. Put in your twitter handle, not mine, lol. Then you'll see when people tweet for you. Use a hashtag on an important word that could be a trending topic on twitter. Some are #mustreads, #fiction, #contest, #Amazon, and more. You can create your own too. But the reason for the hashtag is that you want to be in a line of topical conversation. the # sign means you can use that word to search out that topic on twitter.

Do you tweet?


And yes, I'd be honored if you copy/pasted my original tweet into your timeline and told folks about the Goodreads contest!

Here it is again: 

Goodreads #giveaway 3 books, A Healing Heart by @angbreidenbach http://ow.ly/klvWJ 1 man can help, but can she trust him?
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