Becoming less of a Twitter twit
Last week was one of my sharpest learning curves from a work perspective for a very long time. I have written and edited for years, but social media (apart from the obligatory and easily mastered Facebook post) has always been a bit of a terrifying zone for me.
But my desire to reach my readers and share my stories with them is ultimately a lot stronger than my terror of all things technical. So I picked up a very useful book by Ian Sutherland (Advanced Twitter Strategies for Authors) about reaching your audience through Twitter and proceeded to immerse myself in this rather intimidating area.
Perhaps if you are reading this now, I have reached you, which is awesome! Let me know if I did! (And if you sign up for my monthly competition on my site or send me an email -paula[at]paulamarais.com – you could win one of my books.)
Of course this is not my first foray into Twitter – I did enter #PitMad a few weeks ago with some good results. But unlike Facebook, which seemed a more natural fit for me, Twitter’s weird “bitly” handles meant absolutely nothing to me until I learnt what they were for (the monitoring aspect is a great way to see what my readers like to hear about), and hashtags are often so overused, I can’t work out what the author is actually saying. (Do they know they should keep their hashtags down to about three? I certainly didn’t, although instinctively, I guess one actually does.)
Furthermore certain Twitter etiquette may still be a bit of a minefield to me. But that doesn’t mean I’m not prepared to work it out. As a writer, I lead a fairly isolated life (that is, until the kids descend from school) and trying to work out the technicalities of apps/programs (I’m also working my way through MailChimp and Scrivener) sometimes leaves me wishing somebody else could do this for me.
I’m an artist, a creative, and not particularly practical, but still, if things start to fall in place and I am able to chat to people across the world who share my interest in good literature, coffee, words, writing and travel, then I’m getting this right. And if my readers get to read my books too, that would make this very steep mountain worth the climb!
What are your best tips for social media as readers or writers? Do you have particular handles you like to follow? And what recommendations do you have for me as I continue my journey?