Friday, March 18, 2011

Fun with Twitter

Two or three weeks ago, a writer friends and I both had Twitter accounts with perhaps 20-30 people following us, maybe following about the same number of people.  The other day, I clicked on her name and she was being followed by about 300 people.  I was amazed.  I don't know if that's good, but probably it is, especially when both of us have new books out we hope people will read.  So, I asked her how she did it.  She told me she picked two categories she wanted to emphasize and followed lots of people in those categories.  Then, she used hashtags to recommend these people to each other for following purposes.  I had no idea about hashtags, but I've spent about a week playing with them on Twitter, and found out some interesting things.  If you see a tweet with #something in it, you can click on that (it's a hashtag) and get a list of messages about that.  So since I wanted to find memoir writers, I clicked on #memoir and read the tweets looking for ones not YA, not over the top, not boring.

 I followed a lot of those people.  I also tried other categories, and some of the people Twitter recommended on the special tab at the top of my home page.  I soon was following 100 people, with 30 following me.  Then, I picked out a few really good ones and listed them after this hashtag, #WW  or #FF.  They thanked me for recommending them, and some followed me back.  I retweeted some of their special comments.  More followed me.  I'm creeping up, now at sixty, which is twice where I started.  It's a bit addictive, though, you can lose an hour if you're not careful.  But I suspect just a few tweets a day will keep things going once I've ratchetted up a few rounds.  It's very interesting to read the tweets about writing and see all the energy that goes into writing and reading in these days when we keep hearing that books are dying.  I think they won't, but ebooks are growing more and more important.  Anyway, in case you need to have a Twitter presence, I thought I'd pass on the glory of hashtags.  Have fun!


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Laura. I have been clueless about Twitter, but I will have a book out this summer, so it's a good time to learn. What's your Twitter name, so I can follow you?

Lorelei said...

Oh, yes. My Twitter name is llmhoopes. I wish I had been more creative, but it's too late now. Feel free to follow me, and I will follow you back!

S Kay Murphy said...

Laura, I love you! I was just thinking the other day that I'm not using Twitter effectively to get myself out there. As soon as 'the dog book' is ready for publication, I'm off to the races. Thanks for the guidance!