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The Social Media Mindset

Twitter is changing how I do…everything.

Okay, not everything. Not, like, laundry.

But when my husband points out that our squatter is back, I immediately grab the camera. So I can tweet it.

This cat was here when we got home from vacation.

Being an author who uses social media, I’m always searching for things I can post. Which means I’m constantly assessing everything that happens in my life for fodder. A couple of times a week, I ask my kids, “Can I tweet/blog that?”

Blogging isn’t simple anymore. I set up my original blog because I have opinions on everything, and blogging seemed like a good way to spout off without annoying the people around me. I’ve never been able to structure my blogging. You know, on Monday I’ll do this, and Wednesday I’ll do this. It’s always totally random.

But I’ve discovered that titling those totally random posts has become very difficult, because I tweet those posts (and, of course, the ones here). I want people to click the link or retweet, and guess what? They won’t do that if the title of the post is “Random Stuff.” Or worse. Generic blog titles are killer. So now I not only have to wrack my brain to come up with something to blog about, I have to wrack it for a clever title, too!

For those of you using social media, how has it changed your perspective or the way you do things?


17 Responses

  1. Ooooh, yeah! If I don’t have at least one new FB post every day, people are emailing and calling to see if I’m okay.
    It took me a while to embrace Twitter, but now I set up a schedule of tweets on Tweetdeck. I check my Twitter page a couple of times a day because I have friends who communicate with me there, and I want to thank people who have retweeted (RT) my tweets. That’s only polite, after all. And while I’m there, I have to tweet any news in my little life.
    BTW, Natalie: Congratulations on being adopted by a cat. The cat who adopted me 16 years ago says it’s time for bed, so off I go…Maybe I should tweet it…Y’think?

    • I love the ability to schedule tweets! I just still have to come up with stuff to schedule. LOL

      I’ve been adopted by three cats–and NOT the one in the treehouse. LOL He’s a local and apparently just likes to nap there.

  2. I find myself taking photos of things I would’ve never taken photos of before all of this social media. What did we ever do with our time before all of this. Ha!

  3. You are right about titles. SOMEWHERE I read an article about blog titles and how to develop titles that make people want to click to your site. Wish I: 1) knew where I read that and 2) used the information when I formulate my blog titles. LOL

    I notice a camera the other day that was advertising a feature where you could send your pictures directly to your facebook page…there was a button on the camera. So you are not the only one whose life has changed due to social media. We’re all be affected. In fact, if you go back and look at my columns in the RWR, I wrote about social media and how it is affecting our interaction with others.My concern at that time was that people were tweeting from conferences, or parties, or meals and I wondered about the impact of the people with them. Shouldn’t we be more involved with the people sitting beside us than the people in the cyberworld?

    But finding topics to blog about can be (IS!) tough. And since I’m planning on running about the cyberworld in February for my book release, I am digging up topics now. I don’t blog on writing or craft. There are people more experienced than I to address that. Plus I’m trying to reach out to an audience beyond writers. While writers are readers, not all readers are writers. My personal opinion about blogging is that I want to read about personal slices of life (like we have here and like you did today.)

    YIKES! Am I chatty today, or what? You can tell by looking at this reply that I should be doing something that I’m avoiding! LOL

    • LOL! Hope you got around to what you were avoiding. 🙂

      I try to think about what makes me click a blog link, because it’s rare. It has to be intriguing and specific. And that’s hard! I totally agree with your philosophy. I blog about my books when it’s relevant, but never from an instructional or exclusionary perspective. I hope the non-writers who read my blog like seeing the glimpse into being a writer.

      As for the Twitter thing…funny story. I was at a convention last year, and couldn’t believe anyone would be tweeting instead of paying full attention to the actors on stage. I would be distracted and miss stuff, and we paid a lot of money to see them. Then this summer, I was texting a tweet at a soccer game, complaining about the inconsiderate people in front of us, and missed a goal! LOL So I illustrated my own issue.

  4. I’m just like you, Natalie! I’ve tweeted pictures of the huge screw that flattened my tire, a plate of food, my dog, books on a shelf at the store, my son’s blue and orange shoes, and other random stuff that I might never have otherwise bothered to take a photo of.

    I also find myself thinking that a moment or event would be tweet-worthy. Usually while driving in the car, which means I’ll forget it before I ever tweet it! I hadn’t really thought about how social media has changed the way I think, but Twitter and FB definitely have. For better or worse.

    When I blog on my personal site, it’s anything from my latest vacation to my ever-evolving writing process to how to tame your inner critic. It’s whatever’s on my mind that day. I know my personal blog is more writer-focused, especially since I draw a lot of Scrivener users, but that’s okay with me. It’s more of a community for me than an advertisement. I expect the focus will change once I’m published.

    I like to have fun with my blog titles, but sometimes they’re so abstract that you can’t tell what they’re really about. I once gave a speech entitled “Like a Bunny” to my Toastmasters group. Everyone thought I was going to talk about sex, but it was actually about my tendency to job hop. 😉

  5. See, I think “Like a Bunny” is a great title to tweet a link to. Intriguing and specific. LOL

    I HATE that driving in the car (or showering) makes it so easy to think of or encounter things to tweet or blog about–or even put in our books. It’s so hard to retain the thought!

  6. Yes!!!

    It’s amazing, really. I find myself thinking, oh, I should have brought the camera. That would’ve made a good blog post! My kids now say, “don’t you dare tweet that.”

    When I first started my blog, I tried to share writerly, wise things, but, quite frankly, I ran out. ; ) Now I share things like the time my dog slipped out of his collar at the school and jumped in a random older lady’s car. I kinda blog my life. LOL And titles? You mean I have to come up with catchy titles? ; ) Oy vey.

  7. Sorry. I’m the anonymous above. I wasn’t signed it. : (

  8. oh, man. I tweet all the time. It’s to the point that DH will occasionally come home with pictures for me to tweet. Heck, he did my devil horns on my twitter pic!

    I tweet about my life and family to the point that I’ve picked up followers who I don’t think are readers, but they’re other moms or dads. 🙂

    • Shoot, sorry, I skipped this last time I came by. 😦

      I love that your dh gives you photos to tweet! Mine thinks I’m nuts for using Twitter at all.

      Moms and dads who follow you for that reason might also be readers! You never know!

  9. Here lately social media has taken up too much of my time. I try really hard to twitter but it feels kinda like you have to be on there all the time to really use it to your advantage and make friendships, etc. I did learn how to post a picture on Sunday. I post one of my cute, precious Boston Terrier Ike and no one commented. And I was really proud I had learned to do that. Sigh.

    Most of the time no one comments on what I say. I mostly just go on there and retweet contests or blogging stuff. Sometimes I reply to tweets but unless people know me, most don’t bother replying.

    And I’ve got to wonder the true value of social media. Does it sell more books and what’s the ratio of books sold to time spent not writing or helping kids with homework or paying attention to your kid’s football game?

    I’m pretty sure I’m spinning my wheels because I’d be willing to bet that no one has bought one of my books because of twitter. I think I’d probably have better luck with a blog or interacting more on Goodreads, but I could be so wrong. Good topic!

    • I feel your pain, Liz. I’m so haphazard with Twitter and Facebook I feel it can’t make any kind of difference. Most of the people who follow me are authors.

      BUT, some are readers or bloggers. And I’ve picked up some new readers, for CERTAIN, both authors and non-authors. Maybe only two, I don’t know, but that makes haphazard worth it to me. 🙂 And I can say unequivocally that I have bought books either because they were brought to my attention on Twitter, or because there was so much buzz on Twitter that I had to find out if they were worth the buzz. (They often aren’t. LOL But I still bought or borrowed them!)

  10. Twitter drives me crazy. LOL I guess it moves too fast for me, but I’m working on it. With the way the big bookstores are closing, it looks like this social media is going to be a key player in marketing. It’s time consuming for sure, but I think there is a magic balance out there that will allow us to write, promote and live life. Now if I could just figure that part out I’d be one happy camper! 🙂

    • Oh, it’s too fast for me, too. I only follow about 400 people but every 30 seconds I have a hundred new tweets. I’ve controlled it a little by breaking it into lists, and only skimming back an hour at a time. Well, most of the time. LOL

      I have no clue how people do it when they’re following 10,000 or more people.

      That magic balance has always been elusive, even *before* social media got added to the mix! LOL I guess like the journey, the striving is the worthier part. (Twenty points to whomever can identify that reference!)

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