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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know about you all, but I could really do with some lessons on Twitter from other indie authors. So, got something you think people might not know about Twitter? Post it here. Oh, and if you have a Twitter handle, post that too (mine's in my signature).

I'll start. I just discovered the power of the LISTS feature on Twitter. Why is it cool? Because you can click on a particular list and see only posts by the people you added into it. For example, I created a list called Friends, composed of people I've actually communicated with, either here or on Twitter.

Here's how to start your own list on Twitter:

1) Click on a person's profile

2) Click on the more user actions gear wheel

3) Click on Add or remove from lists

4) A small dialogue pops up. If you don't have a list created yet, make one here.

5) Place a checkmark in the box. This will place the person into that list.

To view your list, click on your own profile photo. You'll see five main subheadings in the middle of the page:

TWEETS | FOLLOWS | FOLLOWERS | FAVORITES | LISTS

Click on "lists". You'll then see a stream of tweets from only the people you added to that list :)
 

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Active chat hashtags are awesome. Twitter is a big part about participation. So for example, I will absolutely be participating in #DowntonAbbey when it premiers again in January. If your Twitter profile is appropriately decked out, just being YOU in Twitter chats for live events, shows, etc. can be all you need to pick up a few new readers.

I also love #wordmongering and other author support hashtags where you reach out and encourage other authors. #wordmongering is write :00 to the :30 then take a break. I always produce more when I have to be accountable to others.

Finally, short is king. As authors, we have a tendency to use ALL 140 characters, but study after study shows the shorter tweets are the ones that are most RT'd.
 

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I could use some more tips myself in this since I know I'm not using Twitter to it's full potential, but my tip isn't so much new but it's a common mistake and for a thread compiling tips warrants mentioning. Whatever you do, don't spam your followers with a constant stream about your books. I've gotten rid of so many author twitter followers because of this because after awhile all it does is clutter up feeds, especially when the person has them set to automated post every so often.

Thanks for the tips about lists, Sever. I hadn't actually played around with that yet. If anyone wants to follow me, my link is in my signature.
 

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Thanks for starting this. I'm busy making lists thanks to your directions!

Oh, and I have a tip, too. justunfollow.com makes it very easy to see who has followed or unfollowed you.
 

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Think very hard before you send auto DMs (direct messages). A couple of indies I've followed recently are using this tactic. It was popular and more accepted about five years ago. Now, it's seen as spamming.

Twitter is supposed to be about engagement and conversation. If you set your account to auto-DM every person who follows you, you look like a bot, at best; out of touch and annoying, at worst. Auto DMs are often impetus for immediate unfollowing.

Here's a Twitter chat schedule: http://tweetreports.com/twitter-chat-schedule/

And here's a list of author-specific hashtags: http://www.bookmarketingservices.org/ultimate-list-of-author-specific-hashtags/

Also, don't put any punctuation or symbols in a hashtag or you'll break it. After the #, letters and/or numbers only, no spaces.
 

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PaulLev said:
Here's another tip: Click on your picture (small picture) in upper right corner. Click on Twitter Ads in drop-down menu. Click on Analytics in upper left. You can then look at the activity on your tweets, and what's happening with your followers. A well disguised and very useful pair of features.
You just beat me to that Twitter Analytics tip, Paul.

I also use the Lists option (My interesting People) to bring down the total number of followers (numbering nearly 2,000) to a more manageable 100 or so of people who tend to post interesting stuff. I am also quite selective in following (and getting followed back) by people who have displayed an interest in the topics that interest me and which I write about: Modern History and Space Exploration.

Did you know that the current and former astronauts on the International Space Station are active on Twitter and regularly send down tweets about their daily activities as well as the most awesome photography of the Earth as they pass over some of the most spectacular terrain on the planet? The two most interesting are: https://twitter.com/AstroTerry and https://twitter.com/AstroSamantha

My Twitter handle is @philiplaos
 

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No tips here, but I have a question: does anyone know how to reuse photos you've already uploaded to Twitter? I'm thinking of my book cover, which I've already attached to more than one tweet. So far I've either re-uploaded it from my computer each time, or retweeted someone else's tweet that has it attached, and edited the content of the tweet. Is there an easier way?
 

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One technique that is very popular right now is "favoriting."  This means favoriting others' tweets, as a method of engaging with them.  It's easy to favorite -- just click on the star underneath a tweet you like. 

It's a low-key way to engage.  The person whose tweet you've favorited will see that you've paid them a compliment by favoriting their tweet.  But you don't disturb your other followers because they don't see the favoriting in their streams.

Twitter analytics tracks favorites as engagement.

Also, if you want to remind yourself to follow up with someone off of Twitter, favoriting a tweet is an easy way to keep track.  Just check back to your favorites list later.
 

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My Twitter handle is @Weibart. I think the best trick I've found is using Tweetdeck. It allows you to assign, whatever Twitter users you want, a column which displays all of their tweets, and you can create as many columns as you like to view an array of tweets at once. This has been extremely helpful and it's a big part of my writing routine. Tweetdeck allows you to find and categorize Twitter users you can group together. I have a few columns in a row of Twitter users who share helpful self-publishing advice, and after that I have about 5 columns for helpful hashtags, etc.

Here are a couple of the most helpful users I've found on Twitter: Elizabeth S Craig & Joanna Penn.

Elizabeth S Craig, to me, is a great example of how to approach Twitter right. She tweets tons of helpful links for writers and that's inspired me to make a routine of tweeting links that I find useful. She has a killer, searchable website called Writer's Knowledge Base: http://hiveword.com/wkb/search If you type Twitter into the search engine, I'm sure you'll find a ton of useful advice about how to utilize Twitter. It's been a huge help to me.

Joanna Penn is another example of how to use Twitter right. She also tweets a ton of helpful links and does some very interesting and helpful interviews with a variety of guests.

Getting back to tweeting helpful links I find, I'd definitely advocate that. If you're reading an article while you're having a morning coffee, before you go to the next article, use the site's Share on Twitter button. It takes me about a minute to rewrite the tweet as needed, add hashtags that might help people find it, and I've also found it useful to include the article writer's Twitter handle "via [insert Twitter name]. I've also found it helpful to include the Twitter handle of the subject of articles. I tweeted about Alan Moore's new line of digital comics, which included the digital comics line's Twitter username, and it ended up getting retweeted by Neil Gaiman so that was exciting.

Bookmark a folder of websites you read regularly and tweet about their articles when you find interesting ones. I'd also looked into a service like Tweetdeck which I've found is a huge help with organizing the messy reading experience of Twitter.
 

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I am exceptionally gleeful that this thread was created. Thanks, Sever. Thank you guys for the great tips. I'm going to set aside some time today to go through them and make notes and scurry off to implement. I'm really hoping to get the hang of Twitter.

@dawnmckenna63

 

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I have followed everyone listed in this thread, and a few more I found on your pages.

@MyraScottWriter

I have a long history as an Internet marketer, but have never gotten into Twitter. I probably need to, but the idea of developing a content plan for Twitter on top of everything else just leaves me cold. I have too many other things to do to worry about being relevant, helpful and witty for the Twitterverse.

I also know there's no free lunch! To get something out of it, you have to put something in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My pleasure guys, and really good tips so far, stuff I definitely did not know or grasp! ;)

I wanted to touch on a small branding note: some authors have a different profile photo for all of their social media accounts. I've found it's far less confusing for your audience if you have the same profile photo for every avenue, including kboards (some readers find us here!).

Also, it's best to make the photo the most appealing side of yourself. This is a known thing in public presentation--there's a name for it, but it escapes me right now. For example, if you have a skeptical look on your face, people subconsciously reflect that. Same with an angry look. There's emotion conveyed visually and subconsciously. So, what message are you sending with your profile photo?

It's the same as book covers--we are judged on them.

This article is more appropriate than the one I posted earlier:

http://www.standoutbooks.com/author-photo-tips/

Anyway, it's been on my mind for a while now, thought I'd verbalize it at last :)

That keep tweets short idea is fantastic, same as the favoriting posts! Didn't realize it's considered interraction.
 

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Farkimentally speaking, my current profile pic is the same for all social media, but it's not much of a profile pic. No idea what it "says". What it "says" to me is that I'd just gotten my butt kicked in Zumba class.

Unfortunately, I despise having my picture taken, so it's all I have. I have a photographer friend ready to take some new, more professional pics when I'm flush enough to afford her.
 

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DawnLee said:
Farkimentally speaking, my current profile pic is the same for all social media, but it's not much of a profile pic. No idea what it "says".
It says "sultry", "intriguing".

At least to me.

My advice - Do not change it... propagate it around the interwebs. It's a damn fine pic.

Philip
 
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