Friday, July 12, 2013

Twitter Has More Value Than U Realize! by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

I would guess that 80-90% of my Facebook friends, including real life face-to-face friends, believe that Facebook is more valuable than Twitter--especially to their business and book sales. 
I used to be one of them. 
Until I took a year and truly immersed myself into Twitter. And honestly--it took a year to REALLY understand it. People use Twitter differently and for various reasons and so you will get millions of opinions on the same topic when you start searching for info. There are many Twitter apps. Some are great, others ok, and some not worth the time. It took an entire year to try them out for myself, see what worked for me, and how it could benefit my work, and how best to implement it. 
For any author who is developing an author platform, Twitter is indispensable, as long as you understand it and use it in a beneficial way. 
For instance, at the time of this writing, out of the 3,502 people following my Facebook author page, only 1,158 are Facebook friends. The other 2,344 are mostly from Twitter at roughly 67%. I would have never had any access or connection to these valuable people, without Twitter. In fact, Twitter was also the channel for pushing the last 20-30 blog followers to my personal blog. I'm not sharing these numbers to boast about my efforts since there are many others who have much higher rankings and followers, but to show you the value of Twitter in case you are not utilizing it to its full potential. 
The Don'ts of Using Twitter
Newbies like to use Twitter like a megaphone, spamming links to their books, website, blog posts, and sales on Amazon. In fact, I wrote a blog post awhile back on A Lesson On Spamming. Like Facebook, Twitter is a social platform, and while it is different from Facebook, it must be treated as a social platform. It will cause you to lose followers, get blocked (and you won't know it), and lose credibility among those who continue to follow you--they've just gotten really good at ignoring you, are doing the same thing, and therefore, neither of you are hearing each other, or they are no longer active. Other newbies don’t know what to do or give up altogether. 
Twitter has evolved over the years and has become a valuable breaking news source and evens the playing field giving us commoners access to big name stars and athletes. For businesses and others, it eliminates the middleman or the gatekeepers. Authors can have REAL conversations with readers without having to spend thousands to travel to a local book signing, it gives people a chance to express opinions on products, services, or actions of others. It allows people to spread info about things that are important to them and make things go viral without spending millions in marketing efforts. While some of this also happens on Facebook, it seems to spread faster through the Twitter sphere. 
Want to Better Understand Twitter?
Take the time to read through their HELP section. It’s full of helpful tips, rules, explanations  and how-to’s. Ask people for their opinions, offer your blog to other authors, run Twitter contests for readers. Facebook is NOT the only place for contests. Learn by watching others, pay attention, read and educate yourself, and then do it. The best way to learn is by doing it. 
Google websites by your friends and people you admire, appreciate, or trust in their knowledge. On their website, click their Twitter buttons and follow them. You will learn best through friends, competitors and READERS. You have readers and potential readers on Twitter. Don't ignore them. Several of my Twitter followers have TOLD me that they don't even have a Facebook account. Therefore, Twitter is the only place I CAN connect with them--unless we connect elsewhere. These readers are already talking about their favorite books by retweeting their favorite authors, posting campaign hashtags, and posting links to their reviews, but you cannot be included if you don't have a Twitter presence--or at least an active Twitter presence.  
Don't overlook the value of Twitter, by spending all your social media time on Facebook!


Patty Wysong said...

Thank you, Jennifer. Twitter is a huge ugh for me. I know it has great value but I've not been able to wrap my head around it. Learning how to use it well is an investment, and I need to just do it.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Patty, You are welcome. I hope you will jump in and start learning how to use it. Twitter is such a valuable and powerful resource. Blessings!

Heather Day Gilbert said...

I was hesitant to start tweeting, but I have fallen in love with it. Little blips of helpful links or info...RTing great's really a connection tool. And it's SUCH an easy way to connect w/other writers in your genre...say, #histfic or #Christfic. However, FB author page is definitely more personal. Twitter is more just a public shout-out device to help each other or make each other think or smile, if you're using it right.

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Karen deBlieck said...

Thanks for this helpful post. I've been taking baby steps in getting more active on my social media and Twitter is the final frontier for me. :) Thank you for letting it know that it can be done and pointing us in the right direction.

I love visiting this blog but I'm wondering, based on the two offensive posts above, if the comments should be moderated. I'd hate for others to be deterred from learning here as I have because of such horrible language.

Thanks again!

Jody said...

Such a helpful post. I've been wanting to take a twitter world tour with my book like I read about but don't have the first clue how to do it.


Thanks, Jennifer

Terry Burns said...

I removed the offensive posts and reported them to blogger. We could start moderating posts, but it is set now so that we get notified when things are posted and if they are offensive are immediately removed.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Karen and Jody, You are both welcome! Glad you found the info helpful and I hope you will stop by for more tips in the future. Have a blessed day!