Hey Gang, Please welcome the lovely Kristen Lamb. She’s teaching a free workshop about building author brands on my workshop loop and I love her so much I thought I’d have her post this week’s blog.
The Power of Positive Tweeting
By Kristen Lamb
As we careen headlong into the Information Age, the publishing paradigm is going through some major changes in an effort to catch up. A few years ago, social media was the “past-time hobby of teenagers.” Today? Facebook alone has over 500 million active users. Social media isn’t a fad; it represents a fundamental shift in how humans communicate. Social media is literally creating a global village where people can talk and gather and share information all over the world, and in the blink of an eye. But, with great power comes great responsibility.
Social media is a tremendous blessing for authors. For the first time in history we exercise some control over our future success. Our words and reputation can zoom all over the world in minutes and skyrocket to the stars….or come crashing down like a meteor.
Many of us grew up in a world with privacy. We didn’t have Caller ID, e-mail, cell phones, cell phone cameras and video recorders. The first time we got drunk, threw up on our shoes and fell asleep in the garden spooning a gnome, it was between us, Mom, and our high school friends. We didn’t have to worry that 35,000 people across the globe would see a picture of the debacle before we’d even sobered up. We had a blessed freedom to be kids, be stupid, lose our temper, lose our head, and then move on. Now?
Words, today, have more power than ever before, so we need to make sure ours are always positive and edifying. When surfing on-line in the comfort of our home, it is easy to get lulled into this false sense of security. This is why we must be ever vigilant about what we post, especially those of us who are using social media to build a platform to support our writing careers.
I teach, specifically, social media for writers. Our social media presence is different than a business or even a casual user. We straddle both worlds, and often we feel as if we are in social limbo. We have to make sure to be friendly and personable and interact, but we also must remember that we are a business and have an image to build and a reputation to protect.
In my book We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media content is my primary focus. For me, walking a reader through signing up for a Twitter profile wasn’t nearly as important as what that person did once she began to “tweet.” What should she say?
For all social media, I recommend my Law of Three—1/3 information, 1/3 conversation, 1/3 reciprocation. This keeps a healthy balance of interaction and self-promotion, while always being mindful to promote others.
Most of all? Be positive! Stick to constructive and peaceful topics. We all have a political view or religious opinion, but that has its place. Ranting and on-line arguments are unproductive, unhealthy and will force followers to take sides. If we truly feel the need to bluster, gripe, moan, groan or complain, then we need to call our therapist, pastor, priest, lawyer or any person whom we could sue in a court of law for repeating a word of what we said.
For everything else, I recommend that we always T.H.I.N.K. before we post.
T-Is is true?
H-Is it helpful?
I-Is it informative?
N-Is it necessary?
K-Is it kind?
T.H.I.N.K.ing ahead of time can help us always put our best foot forward. Even if someone attacks us or posts something that makes our blood boil, before we type that reply, we need to T.H.I.N.K.
We need to take time to ask ourselves if what we are about to post is true, helpful, informative, necessary and kind. If what we want to say doesn’t pass all five qualifiers, we then need to go for a walk, punch a pillow, or sing along to Cows with Guns on You Tube. Anything we post, we cannot take back and it can spiral out of control in a heartbeat. A social media platform is a tremendous advantage that can take our careers to new heights, but we must guard our reputation. What can take years to build can come crashing down with one tweet unless we are always mindful.
In the end, people love positive people. This doesn’t change in cyberspace. People have enough bad news and grouchy people. They cannot get enough of those who are encouragers, who go out of their way to help and support and offer kind words. Be a light on social media, and people will be attracted. The power of positive tweeting can change your life and the lives of others, and that is super cool any day of the week.
Kristen Lamb is the author of the best-selling book We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. Kristen worked in international sales before transitioning into a career as an author, freelance editor and speaker. She takes her years of experience in sales & promotion and merges it with almost a decade as a writer to create a program designed to help authors construct a platform in the new paradigm of publishing. Kristen has guided writers of all levels, from unpublished green peas to NY Times best-selling big fish, how to use social media to create a solid platform and brand. Most importantly, Kristen helps authors of all levels connect to their READERS and then maintain a relationship that grows into a long-term fan base.