A Very Social February

February is all about love because of Valentines Day, but at the Blog Book Tours Yahoo!Group, the assignments for the month focus on the social marketing groups we all know... and maybe hate. These include Facebook, MySpace, Goodreads, and Twitter.

We're starting with Twitter because it's the fastest, easiest, and most powerful for marketing your other websites. It's also less of a time-suck than the more complex social forums. There are other added benefits about Twitter networking that I'll point out later.

In a nutshell, Twitter is a micro-blogging site that allows snappy posts of 140 characters. To participate, you follow other Twitter users and this allows you to see their updates. You in turn, are followed, and those people can read what you have to say. Keep this scenario in mind, because it's the key to how Twitter works, or how it doesn't if you don't "get it". Believe me, many people don't, and consequently feel it's a waste of time.

Now, to get started, and before the following and socializing begins, you need a few things upfront:

  1. An email account that is acceptable on Twitter like yahoo or hotmail

  2. A name that coordinates with your other website efforts if possible - I use blogbooktours everywhere I can

  3. A small photo for your homepage and post icon

  4. A well-written short bio

  5. The website link you will send readers to for more information

Now you're ready to set up your Twitter account. Go to and follow the directions, plugging in the information above.

Once you've gotten this far, you're ready to practice entering some updates. Introduce yourself in one, leave a blog link in another, tell us what you're doing today in a third. Do this several times more, perhaps throughout the day, to get Twitter into your conciousness and just to practice writing concise but meaningful messages. Be sure to bookmark your Twitter page to make it one of your regular stops several times during the day, much like checking your email.

Now you're ready to start following people and have them follow you back. We'll talk about how to do that in the next post.

And then you can follow me @twitter!


Helen Ginger said...

I second everything you said, Dani, especially the part about putting up a bio and posting some tweets before you start trying to find followers. I get notices that I've got new followers, so I go to their profile page to see if I want to follow back. If the person has no bio and no tweets, which means I know nothing about them, I usually don't follow them back -- unless it's someone I already know online, such as someone from the Blog Book Tour group.

Helen Ginger

Sharon Reece said...

Just a question about this. I'm already on twitter and have over a thousand followers but the name I'm using there has nothing to do with my writing. Would you suggest opening another account for promoting my book?


Morgan Mandel said...

A while ago I had signed up for Twitter, but never paid much attention to it.

Then you got me hooked on Twitter. It is now my network of choice for spreading the word fast about my blogs.It's terrific.

Morgan Mandel

Dani said...

You definitely have to learn how to use Twitter, and Morgan, you have it down now. Sharon, I have two Twitter accounts - one for BlogBookTours and one for QuakeBooks, and find that I end up overlapping my tweets and followers anyway. It's easier to just have one account, so as long as you're sending folks to your assorted blogs and websites, I wouldn't worry about it too much. It's too hard to transfer that many followers very easily.


Sharon Reece said...

OK. I'll just stick with what I already have then. Thanks!

BTW I originally found this group via Twitter. :)


Anonymous said...

I've been on twitter for a few weeks now, and I'll admit I am struggling to get it. So I'm really looking forward to this week.

Joan De La Haye

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm already there -

L. Diane Wolfe

susanalbert said...

You've got my attention, Dani--live tour coming up, new book coming out. This could help me spread the word. Thanks for the nudge.

Connie Arnold said...

I'm on Twitter and following you, Dani. Have met some great people there. Visits to my website have certainly picked up since I've been using Twitter. Looking forward to learning how to do it better!

Dani said...

Susan, get over to these two accounts and look at who we're following by clicking the "see more" button. Follow a couple hundred a day until you have at least 1,000, and almost as many follow you back. The back-followers are the ones who you'll be advertising that tour to. Send them to all the blogs by leaving comments, links, scintillating posts. You'll see quickly how the blog stats are coming from Twitter links. Practice with Herstories and your blog and make note of the impact as you get more Twitter followers. I think you'll be pretty impressed.


Lots of bookish people at both.

Ann Parker said...

Ummm... I'm a bit behind, but trying to catch up. On settings, should I check "protect my updates" or not?

Dani said...

Never Protect Your Updates unless you are forming an exclusive group, like only your family or your company, for example. This ensures your updates do NOT appear in the timeline, which is completely contrary to social marketing.