By Sue Ganz-Schmitt
When my third book Planet Kindergarten was nearing launch in 2014, I was figuring out how to get a presence on Twitter. I was an avid Facebook user but did not understand Twitter. It was an overwhelming waterfall gushing down my feed compared to the steady easy to manage stream on Facebook. I just didn’t get it. 140 characters what was the point?
Facebook’s algorithms frustrated me at that point. My fan page posts to my several hundred followers would get me seven impressions if that. Plus you can only post a couple of times a day on Facebook without annoying people, so without buying ads to bring loads more followers to my page, I was lonely there.
So I jumped in and have fallen in love with Twitter as my top social media choice ever since. I still use Facebook but primarily for my closer network of family and friends.
On Twitter, I now get about 1M+ impressions a year. I found a place to connect to other space enthusiasts, and a place to find and curate information. It’s not just about having content for me. It is that I am crazy to learn more. So with every post I share, and every post I find, I am becoming more savvy to my fields of interest. And I find I now have some pretty interesting topics for dinner conversation. By the way, did you know that Exoplanet Gliese 436 is coated in burning ice?
Aside from paid promotions to attract followers (which I haven’t found cost effective), the price of growing your Twitter community is time. Time to find and follow like-minded Twitter users, and time to attract followers with your consistent and appealing posts.
One of the things I learned right away is that you don’t want a slew of posts, one after another (which can put people off when you dominate the feed). The other thing is that I get far more impressions for a post with an image than one without. My favorite tool –Buffer –helps me with both of these issues.
Whenever I visit a web page with an article and an image I want to share on Twitter – I right click my Mac’s track pad (using two fingers) and Buffer shows up in the menu. I select Buffer, and it creates a post and let’s me pull the image in and even add additional images from the article by scrolling through them in the Buffer post window. I can then edit the text if I choose and select which of my Twitter accounts to post it to (it works with other social media like Facebook or Instagram too). It is so easy!
Buffer lets me share my post right away, add it to a queue, or allows me to schedule it in the future by date and time. I pay $10.00 for the service monthly, but you can also use it for free with a limit of 10 posts per day in your queue (vs. 100). I tend to fill my Buffer for the week on Monday (9 posts per day), and then each day, I can check in on Twitter and reply to comments, retweet others posts, and find timely new posts that I want to add to the days offerings. It’s a great way to ensure you consistently tweet every day even when on vacation.
Using a queue saves me hours of time every day when I would otherwise get on for a few posts and get sucked into the vortex of random social media that would lure me to a sad video of an octopus coveting a teddy bear on a fishing line that gets yanked away. As the credits would roll, I would realize another day of writing time – squandered away. Time to pick up the kids.
My favorite tool to help me follow the users who are right for me, and to unfollow the rest is: Statusbrew. It is a free service that lets you follow up to 50 users a day, and unfollow up to 100 a day. You can copy another users following, or find users by key hashtags/keywords that are important to you. You can easily see who unfollowed you, find your fans that you are not yet following, and a lot more. While this service is free, you can opt to pay a monthly fee starting at $10 for fewer limits.
One of my own guidelines is to keep my followers equal to or at a greater number than those I follow. If someone doesn’t follow me back, I unfollow them. If they are an expert in a field or a newsource that I want to follow and that isn’t going to follow me back – I make and add them to a list. I never follow spammers or marketers who follow me. I am here to build a real community, and not just numbers.
Here’s to finding your space on Twitter. Find me there and I will follow you back!
Helpful LinksStatusbrew: https://app.statusbrew.com
Sue Ganz-Schmitt is the author of Planet Kindergarten, and it's soon to be released sequel Planet Kindergarten - 100 Days in Orbit. She also wrote. The Princess and the Peanut and Even Superheroes get Diabetes. She is my Superhero because she showed me how to better use Twitter.
Sue’s website: http://www.sueganzschmitt.com
Sue on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PlanetKBooks