Planning

Writer Tech Tip: Twitter Exposure & Hashtags

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Hashtags are one of the most commonly used tactics to improve exposure on Twitter. You simply add # and the term so that your tweet targets other Twitter users who visit that hashtag as a common interest to yours. It’s a great way to promote anything you have to share whether it’s just an opinion or an actual product. But is it as simple as it seems? Do your tweets actually reach as many people as you think? Let’s take a deeper look at this Twitter usage.

Last week I wrote a post about getting more out of Twitter using several sites to analyze how and what you tweet for more strategic exposure. One of the sites listed in that post was Hashtags.org which provides a number of metrics and information about a hashtag including whether it even exists. Among the analytics available for free is the hourly trends for the hashtag over the last 24 hours. Why is this important? Most people agree that 2 or 3 hashtags should be enough for a tweet. Suppose you have more hashtags in mind to use than this. How do you decide which ones to use? Answer: check hashtags.org for activity trends as well as current engagement for the terms you want to use. Here’s an example:

Let’s say I wanted to tweet something and had #fantasy, #scifi & #wordpress in mind to use but I only wanted to have two in the tweet. I would look-up #fantasy and at the time of this writing here’s the results:

Fantasy Hashtag

There’s been a recent jump in activity so I may want to use this hashtag. Let’s see the trend for #scifi:

Scifi Hashtag

Hmmm, while #scifi is ticking upward too it isn’t as high in engagement as #fantasy. Let’s take a look at #wordpress:

Wordpress Hashtag

While #wordpress is trending down it is still much higher in engagement than #scifi at this time. For now, I would choose #fantasy and #wordpress.

So, this is a quick way to decide how to choose your hashtags to best promote your tweets and possibly gain more exposure. You may experience more re-tweets, follows and favorites than otherwise. I hope this helps with your Twitter engagements.

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Have you used hashtag.org yet? What other ways could you put this tool to use in your tweeting? I’d love to hear from you so won’t you leave a question, idea or strategy in the comment section? I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

Thanks for reading!

PHS

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Note: no logos have been used – only screenshots for instruction.

Clip art licensed via Microsoft Office

 

Back View of Man Running on Stairs

Writing is Long Distance Running

Running ShoeI was out running the other day and came to a downhill grade. It was nice to cruise along feeling comfortable – much easier than going up hill. I wished my writing was this easy on a regular basis. I also wished I was running writing the NaNoWriMo in November.

Then it hit me, running isn’t constantly easy and neither is writing. Like running, writing has uphill challenges as well as other. With running you might face rain, heat, snow, wind or any combination of these conditions. When writing I face any number of difficulties that challenge what I’m doing from distractions of various forms to keeping up with the business of writing to discouragement over what I’m doing.

So if writing and running are similar in that challenges constantly abound, how should I approach writing in regard to running? For those who reading and are runners you already get this. Running is simple but requires both some planning and positive mindset. Runners often plan the schedule, mileage, pace, type of training and many other details.

Back View of Man Running on StairsCompetitive runners (and even those of us who run races for our own benefit otherwise) also plan their race strategy. Yes, there is a strategy to running a distance race. Check out the first American 10,000 meter Olympic champion Billy Mills in the 1964 Olympics. He ran behind for much of the race and then edged up later before finishing with incredible burst. When it came to the last push he was ready and finished with an amazing final kick to the finish. He had a strategy that he executed to perfection. Interestingly, no American even medaled in the event until Galen Rupp finished second to his training partner, Mo Farah of Great Britain, by only hundredths of a second. Both men had similar race plans and beat heavy favorites from other countries.

Writing is the same way. As a writer on a long project you must have a plan to accomplish your goal of finishing the book and publication. Overall, you must be willing to meet constant challenges and retain your morale through these to finish this “race”.

I’m not taking part in NaNoWriMo this year since I’m working on other projects but I have written the largest part of a novel’s first draft in a month. It is a marathon that is challenging. When next I attempt this I will have a plan that is more than how many words I intend to write per day. I will plan ahead with an outline, character sketches, plot lines (and write to them) and many other details.

My hat’s off to those who are starting the writing marathon in just a few days. I wish you all well. Get your sleep, plan for it and stretch for the goal and then enjoy the accomplishment. Run strong, far and finish with strength, speed and determination.

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? What do you anticipate will be your biggest challenges? I’d love to hear from you so won’t you leave a question, idea or strategy in the comment section? I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

Thanks for reading!

PHS

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Cover art image licensed from iStockPhoto.com

Clip art licensed via Microsoft Office

Back View of Man Running on Stairs — Image by © Royalty-

Tech Tip: 5 Ways To Get More Out of Twitter

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Writers, do you need more information out of Twitter? Perhaps you already have HootSuite and schedule tweets as well as view reports about your reach. Maybe you need more information about the performance of your account. Here are three sites that provide information you can use to improve how you tweet. BE AWARE that all these sites show free information but offer more for payment. I’m not instructing you to pay for anything – only providing sites that show basic information at no charge. Just like with Hootsuite or JustUnfollow, if you want more than the basics it costs money.

Twittercounter - This tool helps with long-term analysis of your Twitter account and is especially helpful with marketing. You can see months of information including who has followed you, who you have followed and how many tweets you have sent.

You can also receive their helpful newsletter with tips for Twitter like these:

Tweriod - This is another online analysis tool that provides reports about your Twitter account regarding best times to tweet. If you are promoting something you can find out when your followers are most active and available to interact with your tweets.

adsTwitterads.Twitter – this analytics page allows you to see your engagement in the world of Twitter. Once you click on the link, click the Anylitics drop-down menu and choose “Twitter activity”. This site is where you can sign-up to use ads on Twitter but it has several useful pieces of information with several charts including:

  • Impressions performance over the last 28 days – you can adjust the time to specific months too
  • Engagement rate
  • Link clicks
  • Retweets
  • Favorites
  • Replies

hashtag searchHashtags.org – this site lets you search for hashtags to verify they exist and for what they are used. It has a simple search field at the top of the page and provides information for the hashtag that includes:

  • 24 hour trend graph for the hashtag – this tracks the recent trends
  • Related hashtags
  • Related tweets with the hashtag – this can be useful to determine whether it fits your tweet well

retweet rankRetweetrank.com - need to know how you’re doing with your tweets? Use this site to check how much your tweets have been re-tweeted. This is handy for verifying what your reach is so you can track your reach over time and how effective your promotions and ads are. Just enter your Twitter name to check.

Bonus Material: Read this article from Nicholas Rossis which compares marketing on Facebook and Twitter. This blog post from Marc Guberti gives even more information about using Twitter for marketing. While you’re on Marc’s site you can receive his free book about improving chances of getting more retweets.

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Do you need more performance information from your Twitter account? Do you use other tools for gathering analytic information? What other information do you track for your account? I’d love to hear from you so won’t you leave a question, idea or strategy in the comment section? I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

Thanks for reading!

PHS

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Note: no logos have been used – only screenshots for instruction.

Clip art licensed via Microsoft Office