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Susan Furlong-Bolliger

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Member Since: Jan, 2012

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Tips for Taming Twitter
by Susan Furlong-Bolliger   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, October 13, 2012
Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012

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Useful Twitter tools to help authors with social networking.
This article was first posted on author Marilyn Meredith's blog Marilyn's Musings http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com/

If you are a writer and struggling to incorporate Twitter as part of your marketing platform, remember that quality beats quantity.  I’ve found that by using a few simple tools, it’s easier to manage Twitter time and reap the rewards of this powerful social network. 

 
HootSuite    www.hootsuite.com
HootSuite is a tool that allows users to schedule tweets in advance.  By using HootSuite, I can spend just one hour writing and scheduling my tweets for the entire week.   For the rest of the week, I just need to check into Twitter from time to time to keep up with correspondence.  This is a huge time saver! 
I use HootSuite to schedule tweets, mentions and new follower welcomes.  For example, if I know that I’m having a guest blog posted on a certain day I schedule fifteen or so tweets to correspond with the post.  Something like this:
 
#Writers check out my #blog post today at Marilyn’s Musings via .marilynmeredith http://bit.ly/4cqJYv 

 
Ffhelper   www.ffhelper.com
Twitter is all about “paying it forward.”  So, by mentioning someone’s work to your followers, they will hopefully reciprocate by mentioning your work to their followers thus increasing your marketing reach.  It’s easy to get bogged down with mentions; however, Ffhelper allows me to view everyone that has mentioned me and compose a return mention that includes their bio and URL.  All this can be done with just a few simple clicks.  Ffhelper is like having your own personal social secretary on Twitter.
 
For example: 
I #follow .marilynmeredith ~ Author of <> #blog 4 #writers.  Check it out at http://bit.ly/4cqJYv

JustUnfollow   www.justunfollow.com
Here’s a tip for writers on Twitter: follow back!  With an exception of a few people that post offensive material, I follow everyone back—even businesses.  I do this, because EVERYONE is a potential reader.  Plus, it makes Twitter more interesting if I’m communicating with a broad range of users from different backgrounds.  
 
There’s just one problem.  If the ratio of your followers to those you’re following is off balance, Twitter will restrict your ability to follow more users. To prevent this, I use JustUnfollow to manage my ratio. 
JustUnfollow allows me to find all my non-followers (people I’m following that are not following back).  Once I’ve identified my non-followers, I send them a followback request.  If they don’t respond, I quit following them.  By using this tool, I’ve been able to keep my account balanced and avoid the dreaded Twitter Lockdown.

 
TweetReach   www.tweetreach.com
One of my goals in using Twitter as part of my marketing platform is to reach the maximum amount of readers with the least amount of effort.  
 
In order to best manage my Twitter time, I use TweetReach to analyze the effectiveness of my tweets.  With TweetReach, I can plug in a tweet and measure the number of twitter users that I’ve reached.  I recently analyzed one of my tweets that I sent to my 4,500 followers and discovered that it actually reached over 150, 000 Twitter members.  I attribute the tweets effectiveness to the creative use of hashtags.

 
For example:
DEAD GIVEAWAY #mystery short receives 4 ½ stars from Night Owl! Check it out: http://amzn.to/OFEVVf #MustRead #Fiction 4 #Kindle
By using TweetReach, I have discovered these hashtags to be the most effective:
To reach readers:
#kindle; #fiction; #mustread; #amreading; #tweetthebook; #bookbuzz; #summerreads; #ebook #mystery
To network with other writers:
#amwriting; #writetip; #pubtip; #ian1 (Independent Author Network); #writegoal; #amediting; #amenl (All Mystery Newsletter)

 
Other Useful Tools
Here’s some other third party applications that I invite you to check out:  TweetDeck and Twhirl are useful for those with a lot of followers.  Also, the Twitter Apps for I-phone and Android are useful tools for accessing your account on the go.



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