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5 Tips for New Social Media Users

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Social media has been described as a “jungle” by many people.  The reason for this is that social media has its own technology, social etiquette, and unwritten rules of usage.  Many businesses have in-house social media experts, or outsource their social media needs.  However, what can a novice entrepreneur or author do to navigate the Amazon jungle of Social Media?  Here are some basic tips on getting started in social media:

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1. Don’t overload the system
Don’t flood the system with posts.  Most people enjoy posts of cute kids and animals, inspiring or amusing quotes, or beautiful landscapes—in moderation.  However, users may start to get frustrated if you share too many of them.
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2. Respect Your Audience
Respect Your Audience’s Belief System
If you want to be inclusive, make sure that you don’t post material that might beoffensive to some people.  I know people that have de-friended others on Facebook, and been de-friended, because of posts that were incompatible with their values. For example, if you want to attract followers from a variety of religious backgrounds, you might want to reconsider posting moralizing photos and text.  Keep in mind that your passion might not coincide with other users’ passion. For instance, some of your followers may not be interested in viewing numerous political posts–especially if they differ from their own political beliefs.

Respect Your Audience’s Time
Don’t share, or re-tweet, everything that you like; that overloads the system. It forces users to sift through more posts than they would like. “Like”ing “favorite”ing, and “1+”ing posts is sufficient, in many cases . I shared so many posts at one time—for weeks–that Google+ locked me out of the system for 24 hours.  Some Facebook friends may share every inspiring, or amusing, post that they find. Most people are too busy to glance through dozens of posts, especially YouTube videos.  I ignore some of their posts because I don’t have the time to look at them, or listen to them.
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3. Listen to the Experts
Members of the Google+ help community gave me valuable advice when I got locked out of Google+:

  • Send out fewer posts at a time, or people may delete you from their circles.
  • If you must send the same post out more than once a day, try to comment on it, or edit the text, in some way.
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4. Be Aware of the Distinction between the Social Media Sites:
Every social media site is unique in how it works. A Google+ friend compared Facebook to a group of friends sitting around chatting over a dinner table; Twitter is equivalent to a huge, noisy crowd in a football stadium, and; Google+ is similar to a few close friends eating pizza on a couch while watching a favorite movie.

  • Facebook is useful for sharing family news. It is also a platform for the discrete promotion of authors and other entrepreneurs.
  • Many people try to sell products and services on Twitter.  People may also mention what’s happening in their personal lives.
  • Google+ is not a site for aggressive sales. It’s a place to interact with people in a friendly manner. Other users won’t want to be bombarded with virtual commercials.  One man used this analogy: Would we want watch our favorite show and be interrupted constantly by commercials?
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5. Be Aware that Social Media Sites are more than Marketing Platforms:
People don’t want to hear constant sales pitches online, by phone, or on TV; that’s aggravating.  For example, I got frustrated when one of my favorite movies was split up with continual commercials. The entire movie consisted of ten minutes of movie alternating with ten minutes of commercials.  Frequent repeats of commercials, or advertisements, are also aggravating. An example of this is a certain reality show that is often interrupted by commercials that never change. In the same way, a flood of repetitive promotional posts will annoy online users.

Three experts have practical ideas on how to market yourself, your services, or your product on social media:

  • Jeff Bullas, in an article entitled “38 Tips on Social Media Etiquette for Business”, says that a good rule of thumb for Facebook is to divide posts in this manner: 80% personal and 20% business-related. He also states that Facebook users should respond to every comment, good or bad. On Google+, it’s important to thank people and add commentary.
  • Chris Makara, in his article titled “I’m Surprised by These Mistakes Made with Google+ Profiles” suggests that people engage other people, within reason. We don’t want to flood them with messages.
  • Krista Bunskoek has a helpful article entitled “10 Tips: How not to Use Google Plus” on SocialMediaToday.com. She also recommends Jeff Bullas’ 80% personal/20% business-related rule of thumb for posting.

In conclusion: Engagement is the main component of success on any social media site!
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About the Author:  Traci Lawrence writes about her passion: communication, relationships, the value of individuals and rising above verbal bullying, or trash talk. She lives in the Northern Virginia area of the USA and teaches English, among other subjects. Please find more on her blog, and read her book: Accept No Trash Talk

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing
http://www.111publishing.com
http://www.e-Book-PR.com/
http://www.international-ebooks.com/
http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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How can Authors Paint Pictures with Words?

 

 

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Successful authors may use just a few words to evoke an image, or they may use a whole page. Poets may use only a few words to describe a person, or a scene. Novelists may use a whole page to describe the same person, or scene.  In either case, the reader will be able to feel, smell, see, or taste what the author is describing.
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What are Visual Triggers?
Visual triggers are words, people, or places that paint pictures in our minds. For instance, if I write the words “She moved as slowly as a sloth”, the reader is likely to envision the slowest-moving mammal on Earth that sleeps in trees as a defensive measure.
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Why is it Important to Trigger Visual Cues with Words?
Visual cues are important in order to give the reader a wider vision. We want to more clearly visualize what is being written. It’s the difference between viewing a tweet and clicking on the tweet in order to get taken to the related website.  For example: recently, I saw a tweet that advertised a beautiful diamond ring. That tweet prompted me to go to the website to get the wider vision of that company’s products and services.

The reader needs to be helped to look through a wide-angle lens, not a telephoto lens. For example, a reader will appreciate Shakespeare’s character, Hamlet’s, famous “To be or not to be…” soliloquy more if he understands the context of the soliloquy: Hamlet has recently been visited by his father’s ghost who informed Hamlet that he was killed by Hamlet’s uncle. According to most sources, the despondent Hamlet is considering suicide during that soliloquy.
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What are some types of visual triggers that authors use?

There are three ways to trigger pictures in a reader’s mind:

  1. Suzanne Arruda is an example of a modern novelist that uses detailed descriptions of settings and characters. Literally, she paints pictures in the reader’s mind. The reader is transported to 1920’s Kenya and Europe. When I read her novels, I feel the heat, I smell the smells, and I can visualize the people and places about which she writes. I am on safari. I am solving mysteries and murders.
  1. William Wordsworth was one of the most famous English poets of the early 19th He knew how to paint pictures with a minimum of words. Any reader of Wordsworth’s poetry will find himself instantly transported to Wordsworth’s beloved corner of England, the Lakes district, with only a few words. Wordsworth’s brief descriptions of local streams and hills transport me to those streams and hills. I am lying on the cool grass, relaxing in a much less hectic time and place.
  1. Bloggers fall somewhere in the middle of poets and novelists. Bloggers will normally use more words than a poet, and fewer words than a novelist, to get their point across.

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How to Use Words as Visual Triggers
Some forms of writing don’t lend themselves to detailed descriptions of characters and settings. However, examples, analogies, and metaphors are useful for most writing—fiction, or non-fiction. Some examples and metaphors in my book include:

  • Diamonds start out as soft carbon. Over millions of years, heat and pressure compact the carbon, pushing it deeper and deeper under the Earth’s surface. The fully-formed diamonds are the strongest mineral on the planet.
  • A fine china teacup begins as a shapeless lump of clay on a potter’s wheel. The teacup is formed on the potter’s wheel. Then, the teacup is fired in a kiln, painted, and glazed. The final product is a rare luxury item, inaccessible to the general public.
  • Michelangelo, the famous Italian Renaissance sculptor and artist, formed some of the most breathtaking sculptures of all time from huge slabs of marble.
  • Meat can be tenderized in a solution of citric acid, such as that in pineapple juice. Meat that has soaked in a pineapple-juice marinade for at least two hours will be tender because the citric acid has broken down the tendons in the meat.
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In my book, I used the examples and analogies above to illustrate the benefits of challenges. I wanted to illustrate how hard work, “pressure”, and “heat” can improve the lives of people in the end. I wanted people to visualize themselves as a flawless diamond, a teacup so precious that I have never seen one, a celebrated sculptor/artist, and meat so tender that it can be cut with a fork.

Traci Lawrence writes about her passion: communication, relationships, the value of individuals and rising above verbal bullying, or trash talk. She lives in the Northern Virginia area of the United States and teaches English, among other subjects.  Please find more on her blog, and read her book: Accept No Trash Talk

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing
http://www.111publishing.com
http://www.e-Book-PR.com/
http://www.international-ebooks.com/
http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Writing

 

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Write to Your Passion – Like Tennessee Williams

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What is Passion?
A great example of a writer who was successful because he wrote with passion and authenticity is Tennessee Williams. It is said that his play, The Glass Menagerie, is somewhat autobiographical. For those familiar with this play, it’s obvious that the playwright had strong feelings about his characters and the society in which they lived. Successful writers will follow Tennessee Williams’ example of identifying what they care about and writing on those subjects. It’s also important to show heartfelt emotion without going into unnecessary detail.

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What is heartfelt emotion, or passion?
A Wikipedia article explains that passion is an intense emotion, such as; enthusiasm, desire, or a positive affinity or love towards a subject. Passion also has a dark side. It can be linked to intense negative emotion, such as hate.
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Why is it Important That Our Writing be Passionate?
We need to write about that which we have strong emotions, positive or negative. Simply put, we need to write about what we care about. Why is this important? Writing is like acting. People can tell if you’re emotionally connected. The most respected actors are the actors who are not “acting” a certain role; they are “being” a certain role. For example, if we see someone like Meryl Streep in a movie, we don’t think that she’s portraying the character in a skilled manner. Instead, we feel that she has actually become the character. She is not divisible from the character. In the same way, writers want their material to flow smoothly. Writers cannot write material that flows smoothly unless they care about the subject of their writing.

  • Suzanne Fetting, Confidence Coach, defines passion as energy in her blog. She says that passion fuels the fires of inspiration and that it motivates us. It’s hard to write about that which doesn’t engage us emotionally. How Do We Find Our Passion.
  • Mary DeMuth, guest blogger on Michael Hyatt’s blog, says that one of the best ways to find our passion is to find where need and joy collide. A good example of this would be a job that contributes to society in a positive manner while it utilizes our unique talents. Another way that she suggests that we find our passion is to ask our friends to identify what is our main personality characteristic. For instance, our friends may define us as “artsy”, “intelligent”, “athletic”, and so on.

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How Do We Balance Our Passion in Our Writing?
It’s important not to be too emotional in our writing. When I was using some of my own life experiences while writing my first book, I spent a lot of time editing them because I was too emotional about those experiences. I edited certain passages fifteen times, and I still found that too much strong emotion came out in my words. In the end, I believe that I made my point clear with less emotion and fewer words. Readers don’t need a lot of details to understand a particular emotion that is being portrayed. In fact, too many details may be distracting. So, we want to keep details to a minimum.
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Traci Lawrence writes about her passion: communication, relationships, the value of individuals and rising above verbal bullying, or trash talk. She lives in the Northern Virginia area of the United States and teaches English, among other subjects. Please find more on her blog, and read her book: Accept No Trash Talk.

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Posted by on August 6, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Writing

 

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