Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Seven More Twitter Tips for Writers



Is Twitter useful for writers? I'm not sure, but that shouldn't stop you from experimenting. Here's a range of tips for writers who are beginner to intermediate Twitter users. Most of the tips are easy to implement, so they won't gobble up precious writing time.


I) Your Twitter Page: Look Professional, Promote Your Work


Beef-Up Your Bio


1) Include phrases and words people are likely to search for related to your writing.

2) Create a separate Twitter page to promote your events or upcoming publications (articles, blogs, books).

I recently launched a humor blog called "The Chronic Single." In the screen shot below, I created a Twitter page to promote a performance/reading I did at a theater festival in Washington, D.C. (I'll be changing the description to promote future events in which I read/perform other material from The Chronic Single.)

Add Background/Wall Paper (Step-by-Step)

3) Use a photo of yourself or your book or other image as background for your Twitter page.

I've suggested this before, but implementation is more complicated than it appears. Here's how to do it (follow red arrows on screen shot below)
- click on Gear icon at top right of screen.
- click Design in middle left of screen.
- pick an image from your computer.
- click Tile checkbox

The finished product with photos from my recent reading/performance at fringe theater festival in Washington, D.C.

*Note: This can be a little bit of a pain. Twitter limits photo and images for wall paper to 2 MBs. As long as images are NOT high-resolution, you should be OK. Otherwise, you may need to resize the image.  If this sounds like too much of a hassle, skip this tip.

II) More Tips for Finding Good Followers


4) Follow top writers in your writing niche or genre. Don't know many authors in your niche? Use this tool to find top writers.


5) Then:

- follow who they follow 

- follow their followers

6) check out hashtags they use. Useful? Use them and follow other people who follow those hashtags.

III) Measure Success


7) Is Twitter working for you? It is if:
- You're adding followers who like your tweets and retweet them.
- Followers are visiting your Web site. In your Web traffic tracking tool, people who come from Twitter will have "t.co" listed as a referrer. (You have a Web traffic tracking tool, right? Major blog platforms, such as Blogger, include such a tool. Don't have one? Here's one of the simpler, free traffic tools: Statcounter)

More Twitter Tips for Writers

- Getting Started with Twitter: One Writers Frustrating Experience

- Tips for Managing the Twitter Mess

- Nine More Twitter Tips for Writers Confounded by Twitter 

- More Quick, DirtyTwitter Tips for Writers: Tweeting Tricks

Art attribution at image at top of page: By Pictofigo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons



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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Measuring Your Social Media Success: Klout Scores?


Klout is a questionable measure of your online influence. I never paid much attention until I saw an job description for a writing job in which applicants needed to have a minimum Klout score of 35. Klout attempts to measure how often people interact with you on various platforms.

My Klout score hovers around 53 and recently peaked at 58. I'm active on the four major social media platforms and blog twice a month.  (A score of 70 or more is considered very good.) For context: Obama has a Klout score of 99, comedienne Margaret Cho has a score of 64, and the AFLAC duck ranks a 47. (Read about someone with a Klout score of 34 who lost out on a job to a person with a Klout score of 67.)

Personally, the only measure I care about is traffic to my blog (3,000 page views a month), and more importantly, people who have signed up for my blog (240). Both numbers are pitifully low and unlikely to impress anyone.

My Stats

- Twitter: 3,600 followers (@rsquaredd)
I use hootsuite to schedule two weeks of posts at a time. I'll post in the morning and the evening. I'll often repeat posts but switch around the times, under the assumption that different people check Twitter at different times. Adding lots of followers on Twitter is easy, but I get the least traffic to my blog from them.

- Facebook Fan Page: 2,000 fans (randyrosswriter)
I lucked out on this one: A couple of years ago, I had a personal page and I spent a lot of time adding friends. Once I had 1,800 hundred friends, I converted my personal page to a fan page. Since then, I have added very few fans and, of the ones I have, at most 500 pay attention to what I post.I post links to this blog in various groups in Facebook and get a fair amount of traffic.

- Linked In: 1,400 connections (Randy Ross)
It's relatively easy to add people to Linked In, especially if your are active in various groups. Something seems to have changed lately on Linked In: I'm getting contacted by people that spam me with direct notes if I connect with them. I'm going to be more selective from now on. I post links to this blog in various groups in Linked In and the site continues to be one of my best sources of traffic. I've met a few folks that have become online friends with several who have done nice favors for me, such as retweeting and sharing my blog posts. (I try to return the favors as well.)

- Google+: 238 people have me in their circles (Randy Ross Writer)
I'm not that popular, but I post links to my blog in various groups. I get a fair amount of traffic and a lot of comments (good and bad from people).

I'm also on Goodreads, but not that active. Goodreads isn't measured by Klout.

The screen shot below shows how Klout decided to give me that score and my average scores over that few months.

For More on Measuring Your Online Progress*

 *Note: these articles were written last year before changed their measurement algorithm.


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