Making the Most of Your Mini-Marketing (Or a Tweet Is a Terrible Thing to Waste)

Thursday, October 09, 2014
I was on Twitter the other day, scrolling through tweets and shaking my head in that judgmental, “writers-you-can-do-better” way.

Until I…er…checked my own timeline of tweets. A bit of an awkward moment, that was. Because what I found was a whole bunch of auto-tweets, the tweets of posts that go out whenever I add something new on my personal blog.

It’s not wrong, really, this automatic marketing. It’s a good idea to hook up with the feed feature on your blog so that you don’t have to think about adding a post every time you actually write a post. But if that’s all the thinking you’re doing with Twitter, then you’re wasting your mini-marketing platform.

To make the most of Twitter—and other social media platforms, you have to engage with readers. I think of it as the 3 Ms: Mindful Mini Marketing. I try to remember to think about what I’m putting out there. (Even though, clearly, I sometimes forget.)

So how does one mindfully market with only 140 characters?

Sometimes, I mention people by name. If I’m reading a great book, I’ll give the name of the book and let the author know what I love about it. If I read an insightful blog post, I’ll do the same and share the link. When I participate in a Rafflecopter giveaway, I’ll add a personal mini-comment to a tweet.

There are other ploys that grab me, too. When I see an intriguing title to a blog post, a title that engages my imagination and curiosity, I’ll give it a click. If I see a provocative discussion in a Twitter chat, I have to check it out. And humor? That almost always hooks me. It doesn’t take much to make a personal connection, to engage with people. Conversely, it doesn’t take much to turn people off.

When I see a tweet that’s doing double duty from Facebook, when I have to click on a tweet so that the smidgen of text makes sense, or if I see a nondescript phrase like, “Hello Writers,” I skip it. I’ll bet you do, too.

Twitter can be a great mini-marketing tool, helping you to gain followers who are truly interested in what you have to say—and what you write. But that kind of following takes a thoughtful approach, so think before you put something out there.

Because it may only be 140 characters, but you can’t afford to waste even a tweet.

(What always gets your clicks? Or what makes you cringe? Share your best mindful mini-marketing advice!)

~Cathy C. Hall


Suzanne Pitner said...

Great post, Cathy. Thanks for giving me the jab I needed. Yes, I'm guilty of the auto post whenever I post to my blog. Also, when I get busy, I tend to not get on Twitter, and that's not good. Twitter has been analogized to a cocktail party, and I think it's true. There are so many conversations, and when we jump into them, we make all sorts of new friends and connections. I love Twitter for that reason. I've met so many people I wouldn't have without Twitter. Also, the chats are a terrific way to meet others. Twitter is less about marketing and more about networking. Networking sells "you". And "you" is what readers are buying when they buy your book.

Renee Roberson said...

I'm guilty of a lot of what Suzanne said, only posting links to my blog and going weeks at a time without posting anything at all. I think I'm going to sign up for TweetDeck soon so I can start doing more "posting with a purpose" and bringing in more content for my general platform. It helps you schedule posts ahead of time so you don't get sucked into Twitter for hours at a time, which isn't always good for productivity! What makes me cringe is when someone follows me (usually some sort of business) and I follow them back as a courtesy and get an immediate direct message related to buying a product of theirs. That will make me unfollow someone in a heartbeat.

Margo Dill said...

I am not a follow back kind of girl. And I lose followers all the time because some people only follow you because they want you to follow them back. This is crazy to me. . .I follow people who engage with me, retweet me, that I know from something else, that are famous (yes, I'm guilty), that i like, that offer me some information. I hope I do the same. I try for both WOW! and myself to be generous with RTs and to get info out to the world and to help promote others. It's not easy, but you are right, Cathy, you have to be mindful and engaging. BTW, love your screenshot there! ;)

Cathy C. Hall said...

Suzanne, I love the cocktail party analogy! Good Twitter: Talking back and forth in an engaging conversation. Bad Twitter: Talking AT someone. :-)

And Renee,ugh, the business follow. If it deals with writing or publishing, I'll follow. And good luck with Tweet Deck (said the writer who signed up for it and has yet to actually use it!) :-)

Margo, I thought you might like that screenshot. ;-)

Anonymous said...

You've hit on a topic particularly relevant to me right now as I'm reading Kristen Lamb's "Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World" and "We Are Not Alone: The Writer's Guide to Social Media." I'm more than halfway through both of them and recommend both. Tons of info and just good common sense.

Auto-posting seems like such a great, time-saving idea, but let's face it---it's pretty much just so much spam. I (literally) just last night took my blog off all auto postings. It will take me a minute or two to post new blog entries to FB with a personal comment, same with Twitter (and allow me to add relevant hashtags) so why not? It hit me last week with my post on the Howl-o-Weenie fest. Not only did I spam everyone with the auto-post, but people out there who might have been genuinely interested, i.e. #dachshunds, #doxies, #dogs, never saw the post because it was on auto. Not good marketing. At all.

Social media is, just as the name implies, social. Auto-posting is not social, it's spam. I feel like a dummy for not dumping the autos sooner. But, well---old dog and all that. :) Also, it's fun to get on Twitter when I'm watching a fave TV show and yuk it up with other fans as I did during last night's Castle episode. People are witty and engaging, aside from the occasional knucklehead, and it's a great way to gain followers (who are also potential readers) without hitting anyone over the head with "read my blog, read my blog!" I'll still share a link to my blog posts on Twitter & FB & Linked-In, but I'll do it with a personal comment, not a spam-bot shout.

Wow. This is long. lol Last thing. Since I ignore auto-posts, what made me think others don't do the same? Live & learn. *sigh*

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