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May 27, 2011

Blogging and Twitter

So it is the final day of Armchair BEA. Have you had fun? Did you enjoy my posts? I've really enjoyed reading the various topics and finding some new blogs. In between all my blog hopping, I've been able to finish a few books so I have reviews ready to go. So it has been a good week. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm tired. I'm going to keep this last post a bit short so that you can get around to the other blogs. See you next year!

The winners of my 2 Giveaways on Tuesday:
Mocked by Destiny ebook: Risa, Aimee, SpadesHigh, J. L. Campbell, and Scoot
Signed print edition of Dance Lessons: Teresa 

Today's Armchair BEA topic is Blogging about Blogging. One of the suggestions was how you use social media in your blogging. My topic yesterday was a bit about Twitter and many of the comments was how Twitter can be so overwhelming. I thought I would talk a little more about using Twitter as I believe it has greatly increased the awareness of my blog.

When everyone was first talking about Twitter I was adamant about not getting a Twitter account. I just did not see the point. Then I got my job marketing books and Twitter became a must. I've had myspace and I still have a Facebook account. I mentioned yesterday that I had a personal blog but it didn't garner much traffic. But my Twitter account has more traffic than all the others. I keep my Twitter mostly as a professional network so I am not concerned too much with who is following me (unlike Facebook where it is more a personal network of friends and family). I've had my Twitter account since October and I have 445 followers. I'm following only 212.

At first, I was like many of you and overwhelmed with the amount of information and how fast it turned over. I remember thinking I can't go to bed, I'll miss something. Here are a few tips I have used to keep from being overwhelmed.

  1. Be selective in who you follow. You will notice that I follow only about half the number of people who follow me. Determine who is providing information that you want to see and that is who you follow. By the way if a follower engages me in a meaningful conversation I am a lot more likely to follow them back.
  2. If the information is important it will be tweeted by many sources and several times through the day. So you aren't really missing anything important by stepping way or not reading your feed from the hour you were at lunch (or even overnight)
  3. If there are a few people that you don't want to miss their post then create a list with them. When you log into Twitter you can click on the list and see what they had been tweeting while you were away.
Now that you can manage your Twitter feed and not feel overwhelmed, the next challenge is getting connected. I mentioned that being in selective in who you follow is important to keeping your feed manageable. I have a criteria of sorts that I follow when deciding if I should follow or not.
  1. Are they a marketing/book/media professional (this includes my fellow book bloggers).
  2. Do they have more followers than following. If you have good stuff to say a lot of people will follow you. If you are following a bunch of people but no one is following you, then I think you're either boring or a spammer.
  3. Do they talk to me. The point of social media is to network and a part of networking is having meaningful conversations. (I might be lenient on what I consider meaningful).
  4. Were they recommended by someone else I follow (and I don't mean #FF).
The last tips I have for using Twitter to network is on content. What should you be tweeting in order to be considered worthy of a follow. If all you are tweeting is "come read my latest post" you'll get some followers but mostly it would be the same people that are already following your blog. It is ok to self-promote, but do it sparingly. I have my blog set to feed into my Twitter account so when I do a new post it is announced on my Twitter feed. I will then tweet is a few hours later. I try not to tweet is more than 4 times a day - morning, mid-day, evening, night. If it is a giveaway then I might promote it more. Other things to tweet...

  1. Observations about what is going on in the world (by world it could be the blogging world, the book world, or whatever sphere you are interested in).
  2. When you visit other blogs , tweet it - blogger has a share button in the header that is easily to send a tweet with and many blogs have social media sharing buttons.
  3. Retweet. If you like what some has said or think it is important information to share then click the retweet link
  4. Chat with other twitters. I jump into ongoing conversations all the time. It isn't really butting in because they are chatting in an open forum. 
  5. Get involved in the Twitter chats that take place throughout the week. @LitChat has a chat Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 4 - 5 pm US EST. There is #Followreader, #FridayReads, #bookmarket, and more. 
Well, I hope these tips help you navigate the wonderful networking possibility that is Twitter. I'm pretty sure many of my followers on Twitter regularly read my blog, though they are not following my blog. My traffic numbers are too high to be random people stumbling upon my blog, Speaking of Stumble Upon... that's a topic for another day.
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  1. Twitter has been a definite boon in regards to networking, both professionally and for the blog. I also sort who I follow topically with the Lists feature and use Tweetdeck, which helps me keep track of multiple threads.

    This has been a great (and exhausting!) week at Armchair BEA. So pleased to have gotten to know you and the other bloggers better.

  2. This is excellent advice about Twitter. Thanks for putting it together.

  3. Great advice on twitter. I don't have any lists yet but I certainly need them. I think I also need to pare down who I am following. I'm one that is following more people than follow me.

    I'm so excited to have won your giveaway. Thank you so much. I'm looking forward to continued chats!

  4. Being someone who still struggles to understand the twitter beast, I thank you for these thoughts.

  5. Great tips, thanks. I need to re download tweetdeck, get rid of some people I follow but I don't want to and get myself tweeting more regularly. I love twitter

  6. Hello, I stopped in via Armchair BEA. I think I disagree with you on one point-I follow twice as many folks as follow me. I probably am boring, but I do like following lots of tweeters because I have several areas of interest. I follow conversations about education, teaching, books, and book blogging. Often one tweep leads to another, and I feel I'm gaining a lot of valuable content by following so many twitter folks. Everything else you say here seems spot on. Armchair BEA was really interesting for me (who mostly lurked ;)

  7. I only recently started using twitter and I am thankful for this advice. One thing I always do is make sure when I post a review or info about a book is to link to author, narrator, and production company. I know this seems obvious, but it's a great tool to make connections.

  8. So much valuable information and truly food for thought. I think we get caught up in our numbers sometimes and forget what the bottom line is. You had a nice sweet reminder. I am following your blog and hope to learn even more from you. Donna