Tuesday, November 22, 2011

SHARING GOOD NEWS: A Twit speaks on Tweets

By Kathleen Pickering  http://www.kathleenpickering.com

I’m calling myself a Twit because it took me so long to understand the REAL value of Tweeting. If there is a glimmer of a chance that I’m not alone in this, I’d like to share the value I’ve discovered, as well as offer tips I have found to enhance the Twitter experience.

Two very cool events have happened that I want to share. When I “tweeted” the first one, the proverbial light bulb finally illuminated in my marketing head on the enormous benefits of Twitter.

I tweeted this:

Just learned my 1st Super Romance WHERE IT BEGAN earned 4.5 Stars from RT: http://www.amazon.com/Where-Harlequin-Superromance-Kathleen-Pickering/dp/0373717547/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1317497566&sr=8-4

Of course, Twitter shortened the link automatically for me. For my mystery writing/reading friends, RT = Romantic Times Magazine.

Well guess what happened? Within an hour, incredible author notables (and I dare say friends or acquaintances) such as, F. Paul Wilson, Christina Dodd, Beth Ciotta, Allison Chase, Cynthia Thomason, and Mary Stella re-tweeted my announcement to their friends.

Let me say this: HOLY QUACAMOLE! Paul has almost 3000 followers, Christina Dodd enjoys the company of over 7000 friends. Talk about spreading the good news!

That means my message was received by an exponentially larger audience than my own. (Which sits at under 1000 friends and will hopefully grow as I become more active.)

So, for those of us who could use a suggestion . . . or seven . . . on how to enhance the Twitter experience, here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Short but Important: the first words you choose to post are critical to catching friends’ attention. I humbly submit, however, that as authors trained to “hook” a reader, that should be a comfortable task.

2. Less is More: If you saturate your channel with uninteresting material, folks will start passing over your Tweets rather than clicking to read more. Be INTERESTING with fewer tweets with links than over-posting babble. The more clicks per tweet you receive, the longer your Tweets stay alive.

3. Timing Counts: That being said, visibility goes a long way to receive attention for your messages. “Packaged” Tweets (bundled together at one time) are not as attractive as well-spaced notices. Folks are saying posting every 30 minutes to every hour, or once every 2-3 hours is optimal for business activity.

4. Keep Your Post Alive: An interesting Tweet with a clickable link to more information that is news worthy can stay alive for over three weeks if done correctly. What is correct you ask? First, it helps if you have a good friend base established (or begin one with an amazing first Tweet); Second, Tweets with links to websites, blogs, freebies and contests do very well.

Now, here are some FREE tools I discovered to enhance your Twitter experience:

A. Tweet Scheduling: There is a free application that helps you set up your Tweeting schedule of--don’t forget-- compelling Tweets. Click here: It’s called, TIMELY.

B. Sharing Photos: Check out POSTEROUS as a free and easy means of uploading photos to your Tweets while keeping within the 140 character requirement.

C. Get More Followers: I find this link incredibly clever for earning more followers. Offer something for free (an e-book, a contest on your website, gift certificate, and interview, etc.) by getting Tweeters to repost your Tweet to their friends or on Facebook, etc. It’s a great way to amass an e-mail list as well as gaining Twitter friends. Check out CLOUD:FLOOD for more information.

So, this Twit has finally caught on the the Twitter experience. I’m hooked, now. Better late than never and really looking forward to more Twitter fun. I hope these tips help anyone out there who may have felt as awkward as I over not understanding Twitter.

Does anyone have any other Twitter tips they can share?

Oh, and, as for the second event I’d like to announce? You’ll have to wait for my next blog!

Hope your Tweeting week is grand!



  1. Some other things that are helpful:

    If you're a writer, don't simply retweet "buy my book" over and over again. Please! This is so not going to interest me in buying the book.

    Other handy links:

    Twit Cleaner: http://thetwitcleaner.com/
    Identifies bots, inactive people, people who are tweeting repeated links, etc.

    Looks for spammer activity.

    Friend or Follow
    Identifies anyone who isn't following you.

    Linda Adams

  2. Kathleen, first of all congratulations on that fabulous news concerning WHERE IT BEGAN. To get published is great in itself; a favorable review kicks it up a notch.

    Second, I am bookmarking, evernoting, blah blah, your post concerning Tweeting. I learned quite a bit from your itemized paragraphs. I'll give it one more shot. Thank you.

    BTW...who stuck the turkey on the KILL ZONE logo? It's cute!

  3. I recently flew to a twitter branch. *flounders* I've found twitter to be incredibly useful - all sort of things I don't know about are getting tossed around in twitter circles.

    But my ability to wield the twitter for my own good... is lacking. Thank you for this article. Timing is one thing I need to work on. :) I'd heard about being able to schedule tweets, but didn't realize it was an outside application. I've been poking around on Timely, and I think it will really help me!

  4. Using hashtags can greatly increase the potential readership for your tweets.
    Here's a post
    about some of the best hashtags for writers.

  5. By the way, our fearless web guru Joe Moore provided the Thanksgiving turkey on the banner. Thanks, Joe!

  6. Thanks for all these valuable tips, everyone! This is excellent. I'm adding them to my Twitter arsenal.

  7. Thank you, Joe! This is my first Harlequin publication and I am thrilled. Receiving a 4.5 (of 5) review for the first time out of the gate feels awsome!

    And, hey, romance can certainly be a mystery let alone suspenseful, so I'm grateful for the indulgence of mystery writers!

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  8. For Twitter, be consistent and offer something a value. As little as a smile, as important as a crucial link. Quality followers are built over time. Establish trust. Then when you have an announcement to make, you've got the right. Just don't keep making it over and over.

  9. Great reminder I need to get my twitter stuff organized! Congratulations on your book and great review!

  10. Romance is in the air! And hopefully your pocketbook too! Way Cool Kathleen!!

    Romance is heavy on mind lately, as this is my anniversary week, 23 years & counting & the romance still boils over regularly. Double thanksgiving every year!

    I just tried both Timely and Cloud:Flood, posted a free ebook ad on both. We'll see what it does.

    by the way... if you want to check out how the Cloud Flood thingy looks on the user end head on over to www.basilsands.com & you'll get a free copy of my ebook short story collection "Geeks Rule" for your efforts. ;-)

  11. Jim-- very going points.

    Clare - happy tweeting!

  12. Happy Anniversary, Basil!

    Let us know how Timely and Cloud:Flood work for you!

  13. I just signed up for POSTEROUS and tweeted a photo. Thanks for the tip!