You Are What You Tweet: Harness the Power of Twitter to Create a Happier, Healthier Life offers an inspirational take on using Twitter and provides Twitter tips for authors. In You Are What You Tweet, Germany Kent teaches authors—and others—to adopt a positive mindset to become influential on social media.
Serena: You Are What You Tweet is the latest of ten inspirational books you have authored. What is the hardest part about writing for you?
Germany: Tuning everything out. I had to discipline myself to focus. I threw my total self into writing this book. For nine months, I totally focused on the book, blocking out Instagram, Facebook, cell phone noise, and other distractions. Feels like I’ve carried a baby to full term with this project.
Serena: When and why did you begin writing and do you see writing as a career?
Germany: I’ve always had a love for writing (and reading). I began writing professionally in high school as the editor of the school newspaper and then in college continued writing as a contributing editor. In graduate school, I spearheaded a department-wide newsletter for Residential Life to provide weekly motivational and inspirational messages of hope to students. I love to write. I take writing and being an author very seriously.
Serena: Describe the purpose of You Are What You Tweet. Who would most appreciate this book?
Germany: You Are What You Tweet is written to offer a source of wisdom and support strategies to people interested in increasing their online authority. You Are What You Tweet will be most appreciated by those looking to expand their social media presence on their journey to self-discovery.
Serena: When did you first get interested in Twitter? And what inspired you to write a book that helps people become Twitter-savvy?
Germany: I became interested in Twitter in 2012 and my fascination with Twitter has grown over the years. I see Twitter as a wonderful communication tool that allows you to connect with all types of people all around the world. So many people have asked me how to get started on Twitter and how to build an audience, etc. I thought it might be helpful to put together all of the information that I’ve shared and everything that I’ve learned with hopes that it might help many more people discover their Twitter power.
Lisa: What’s the biggest mistake that authors, in particular, make on twitter?
Germany: Either providing too much advertising about their books or not enough. And this is a fine line to walk because Twitter is a 24/7 cycle with individuals in different time zones. To safely gauge this, be mindful of the favorites and mentions as you post. Your followers interact, it probably means it hasn’t gotten on their nerves – yet!
Serena: Who designed the cover and how did you come up with the title?
Germany: You Are What You Tweet was a God-sent title. After carefully studying trending topics and writing styles on Twitter the title pretty much summed up the reality of communication on the site. Regarding the cover, I actually stepped out on faith and tried something new and different. I participated in an on-line service and received over 40 beautiful designs to choose from. I have Lisa Tener to thank for helping me select the winning design, which has received scores of positive feedback.
Serena: What are the strengths of Twitter compared to other social media platforms? What is one of the biggest challenges for people starting out with Twitter?
Germany: It’s easier to connect with people on Twitter [vs. other social media] who are very relevant to your message. Secondly, Twitter limits your conversation to 140 characters with each Tweet, which allows you to keep Tweets short and sweet and also allows users to stay focused with a target message for each post. The biggest challenge most people face when starting out on Twitter is a lack of direction. Twitter can be overwhelming at first, but for those who are willing to implement a few tips and tactics, such as those found in You Are What You Tweet, they will soon find Twitter very resourceful and rewarding.
Serena: How do you think reading your book will impact people?
Germany: Those individuals who desire to become social media savvy will benefit greatly from this Tweet book. The key to being influential on social media is sharing good content and having a real connection with others. Reading and understanding the principles in You Are What You Tweet will equip readers with effective tools and daily habits that will allow them to create a positive social media experience.
Lisa: What are one or two twitter strategies you use specifically as an author?
Germany: The first strategy you cannot ignore are hashtags— when you use the pound sign with no spaces (#) and type a word or a group of words together (exp. #amreading). You use these hashtags after your message or within your message. These words allow you to connect with others on Twitter who may also be fond of that same subject—other authors, writers and readers. It is also a wonderful database for finding resourceful information within the author community on publishing, book reviews, launches. You can follow the string of hashtags being used throughout the author community to learn effective ways other authors are utilizing Twitter.
Secondly, I recommend having a separate Twitter feed specifically catered to the book. Each book should have its own Twitter handle. Then, work hard to grow the book handle. This practice gets the pressure off of you promoting the book yourself – because it is the book’s twitter. I have found this strategy for connecting with the literary community. Some people follow my book but won’t follow me – it’s weird, but I’ll take it.
Lisa: Can you share two final twitter tips for authors?
Germany: Yes, don’t be afraid of Twitter. Train yourself to put your credentials out front so others may learn of you. You only have so many characters to make a good first impression so make sure your bio and picture are a great representation of you and your brand. Twitter is an advertising haven to showcase your bio and re-direct a wide audience to your website, podcast, blog, etc. If you are not posting a minimum of 3 tweets per day, you are losing out on an incomparable marketing machine.
Also, always remember you have a social responsibility when it comes to things you say on social media. If it is not relevant to your brand, don’t engage in it on Twitter. Once you post a message, it’s there for all to see and it could be retweeted before you have a chance to delete it if later you have second thoughts about your Tweet. So, always think before you Tweet: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? If not, let it be left unsaid. You Are What You Tweet!
Serena: Do you have any additional advice to share with other writers?
Germany: Yes. First I would recommend to other writers to find your voice, balance your thoughts and focus on your message. Secondly, get in touch with book coach Lisa Tener. She is the absolute best. Lisa’s newsletters and enthusiastic support are a wonderful way to get everything into focus. Also, she is readily available to offer her expertise and answer questions on her writing blog throughout the process. She was a tremendous influence.
Germany Kent is a social media expert, best-selling author, business consultant and successful commercial actress in Hollywood. She is a former award-winning university administrator and corporate executive, and is ranked as a top social media influencer. You Are What You Tweet is her tenth social media self-help book, she is also author of The Hope Handbook Series: The Search for Personal Growth.
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