Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tanya Eavenson: Twitter Basics 101

I hear many people, authors and writers included, say they don’t understand Twitter or how to use it. In fact, I was one of them. Now, however, Twitter is my “go to” social media outlet. It’s not only a great place for marketing, but to connect with others who have similar interests and build friendships. So to help you better understand and utilize Twitter, I’ll share a few things you should know when setting up your account.

Bios and Headshots

First things first, your bio and headshot are important. Why? Because people will be less likely to follow you if they can’t learn something about you. Your headshot is the “egg” Twitter provides. Many times the “egg shot” tells others you’re an amateur that doesn’t know what you’re doing. While this may be true at first, others don’t need to know, so add your picture in place of the egg. It can be as easy as adding your photo, your book, or your favorite pet. It’s up to you so have fun!

Secondly, add your bio. You only have 160 characters/letters so make it good. I’m not saying to make it up, but use words that tell who you are as a person. Are you a mother? What do you love to do? Photography. Are you part of any groups? Here is my bio from Twitter to give you an idea.

Author, pastor’s wife, mother, writer for Christ to the World Ministries. #ACFW

My bio gives you a glimpse of who I am, what I like to do, and what type of groups or organizations I’m part of. Here is another bio from a friend of mine, Author Carole Towriss. I love hers!

I like long walks on the beach … oops, wrong site—I have four kids. Follower of Jesus, wife, adoptive mom, reader. Just north of Washington, DC

As you can see, there’s a differences between our bios, but both give you the idea of who we are in 160 characters or less. For more reading on bios, Mashable has a great post “How to Write a Rockstar Twitter Bio.”

Follow Me

Now that you have your Twitter account and your settings saved, you’re ready to start following others. One way to find others who have the same interests as you is search for key words. Let’s make up a fake bio to try this. Meet Elizabeth Roberts, my heroine from my novel Unconditional. She is a…

Wife, homeschool mom, owner of “Books and More” bookstore, & photographer who loves beach sunsets. #blogger #reader

Looking at Elizabeth’s profile, you’ll notice she is a homeschool mom (homeschool mom in second novel not yet released), photographer, a book store owner, blogger, and a reader. You can plug any of those words into the search, but for this example we’ll plug in homeschool. After you enter “Homeschool”, several Twitter profiles will pop-up. Elizabeth will begin to follow those she’s interested in getting to know.   

Here are a few more ways for you to get others to follow you. Share what you’ve read with others by retweeting someone else’s post, tweet daily, and use #Hashtags. What are #hashtags? They are a pound symbol followed by a word or topic like #homeschool. For more on #Hashtags, Training Authors has a great post for Twitter users.

If you look back at Elizabeth’s bio, she is a book store owner. With the holidays coming, she should be looking for ways to increase sales and promote her bookstore for the holiday season. She can do this by tweeting her book store and by finding authors she might be interested in inviting for a book signing. Elizabeth will add the hashtag #author to the search. Hopefully through the search, she will find authors she’d like to invite to her holiday book signing at “Books and More.”

Building Friendships

Building relationships in any arena of life takes work, even Twitter, but the good news is the steps are easy.
  • Show interest in others.
  • Read tweets and links, and comment on what you liked about their post.
  • Remember The Golden Rule and always try to be a blessing.
  • Be yourself.
 Do you have a Twitter account? If not, join today! While you’re there, stop by and say “hello” at @Tan_eave. See you on Twitter!

Tanya Eavenson enjoys spending time with her husband, and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Word Weavers International, and writes for Christ to the World Ministries. You can connect with Tanya on Facebook and at her website.

He will fight for her at any cost...

Elizabeth Roberts can't remember her past, and the present is too painful. She turns to nightclubs and drinking to forget her infant daughter's death, her husband's affair.

When his wife's coma wiped out the memory of their marriage, Chris Roberts found comfort elsewhere. He can't erase his betrayal, but with God's help he’s determined to fight for Elizabeth at any cost.

She wants to forget. He wants to save his marriage. Can they trust God with their future and find a love that’s unconditional?

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