I’m often still surprised at how many people ask me basic Twitter questions every day. I certainly don’t mind helping and answering, but I wonder: Twitter has a wonderfully helpful and detailed Help Section. Why are folks asking me (or anyone) when the answer is most certainly found in Help? And there are so many other wonderful resources available at the touch of a few keys. Why not hit those?
So, today I provide you a list of where I go when I’m stumped. Let’s deconstruct.
I Google everything. If I don’t know it, most likely someone else out there has asked the same question and the answer is there floating around. I found that using Google to find specific information (or really any search engine) requires some guidelines:
1) Be specific while keeping it simple. What’s that mean? If you’re looking for say, a hotel near your local airport, say ‘Cleveland Airport hotels’ instead of ‘What’s the closest hotel to the Cleveland airpot?’ Make sense? The first will likely give you a list of valid options with a pricing list, while the second will likely give you separate entries.
2) Use one word where three will do. Instead of ‘What does Pi mean?’ instead say ‘Define: Pi’ which immediately gives you the definition at the top.
I could go on all day but read the basic Search guidelines — they will help you, I promise!
Twitter has a great Help Section, as I mentioned above. Many people new to Twitter are confused by all the lingo: what’s a RT? What’s a hashtag? What in the heck are Lists? It’s ALL in the Help Section and easy to understand.
To find the Help Section, simply go to the gear (round) button on the top right and click >> on the drop down menu, click on Help. It’s THAT easy. Then either peruse the various topics, or type in a specific term (again, the least amount of words possible).
It’s virtually impossible to get a real, live person from Twitter to respond to you (even if you email them), so look in these areas first.
Not my favorite platform, I find Facebook’s Help Section to be somewhat limited. So, I always check there first, and then move on to either Mari Smith’s site or to Social Media Examiner (which features a number of experts and updates daily), and Social Media Today is also very helpful and informative.
In Facebook’s defense, they do have decent customer service. If you have an issue not found in forums, you can email them and they do get back to you — at some point, usually long after you’ve found the answer.
Regardless of your feelings on Google+, it is a Google product and therefore, important for any author to have for no other reason that their Author Ranking. Learn what it is here and how to use it. Create a Google+ page if you’re an author, or really any business. Check their Help Section also for answers to your questions.
I find Pinterest really easy to use (my 3-year old niece taught me). I mean, come on. The concept is basic: pin pictures to a board you create, or find pins others have and pin to your own boards or share . So, pin purple things to a purple board. Pin books to a book board, etc.
The only real difference I see between Pinterest and other social media sites is that they generally frown on ‘the hard sell.’ I see Pinterest as a way to round out your author brand, display your interests in a visually stimulating way. The also now offer business pages (just like Facebook and Google+) to make it clear that your page is about business. To learn more, visit Pinterest’s excellent Help section here.
Hope you find this information helpful. Any questions? Check the Help Sections (sorry, had to), or ask me. 🙂
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Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs, #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.