Hi everyone, and thank you for tuning in to another episode of the We Make Books Podcast - A podcast about writing, publishing, and everything in between!

This week we’re talking about awesome and sometimes scary world of social media.  Here’s the thing: Rekka is a pro and Kaelyn is terrified of it, so you, kind listener get to hear it from both sides.  Social media can be a very important tool in your publishing arsenal but it’s also a really intimidating place, especially if you’re new.  This week, we’re talking about ups and down of social media, what to keep an eye out for, how to be a good online citizen, and how to manage both your expectations and stress.

We Make Books is hosted by Rekka Jay and Kaelyn Considine; Rekka is a published author and Kaelyn is an editor and together they are going to take you through what goes into getting a book out of your head, on to paper, in to the hands of a publisher, and finally on to book store shelves.

We Make Books is a podcast for writers and publishers, by writers and publishers and we want to hear from our listeners! Hit us up on our social media, linked below, and send us your questions, comments, concerns, and the best story you have about cover copy that resulted in reading a very different book from what you thought you were getting..

We hope you enjoy We Make Books!

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Kaelyn (00:07):

Hey everyone, welcome to another episode of the, We Make Books podcast, a show about writing, publishing and everything in between. I'm Kaelyn Considine and I am the acquisitions editor for Parvus Press.

Rekka (00:16):

And I'm Rekka, I write science fiction and fantasy as RJ Theodore.

Kaelyn (00:20):

And this is a stressful episode for me.

Rekka (00:22):

We have Kaelyn tucked comfortably under a blanket. We've got to heat her on her. She's wearing comfy clothes. We gave her stuffed animals and hot tea just to try and entice her to even have this conversation.

New Speaker (00:36):

So we're talking about social media today.

Rekka (00:39):

Um, we do focus a lot on Twitter because it's probably the place where social media finds you getting yourself most into trouble. And so we had a lot of discussions on pitfalls, warnings, how to be a good citizen of the internet and so on and so forth. And so most of this episode does focus on Twitter, but we touch on a few things that I think are true across all of the social media platform.

Kaelyn (01:03):

Yeah. And we're kind of on opposite sides of this here because, um, I, I do not enjoy social media. Um, it's a pretty significant source of anxiety for me. I just, it's, you'll hear more about it in the episode. I'm, I'm just not, not a big fan. So, uh, that said, I do recognize the importance of it and you know, the tricks and tools to navigating it. So we talk a lot about that as well in here.

Rekka (01:29):

So, and I use social media fairly frequently. I don't necessarily tweet every day or put something on Instagram every day. I definitely do not add stuff to Facebook. But yeah, I use Twitter probably the most. I use Instagram second most. Twitter is the easiest one to sort of fall into a habit of just interacting with because even if I don't have anything to say, I can probably find something from a friend that I can retweet. So I am generally active on Twitter. And so while it doesn't necessarily cause me anxiety unless we're having a particularly bad news cycle, which lately, um, but I do find myself opening it as a matter of habit for the dopamine hit of seeing new stuff.

Kaelyn (02:11):

Yeah. And see, I don't get the dopamine hit. I get the anxiety spike.

Rekka (02:15):

The cortisol spike.

Kaelyn (02:16):

I get the cortisol spike.

Rekka (02:17):

Yeah. So if you get nothing but cortisol spikes, you've got some advice for you and if you are more willing to dive into it, we've just got some general advice and how not to put your foot in it on Twitter.

Kaelyn (02:29):

Yeah, it's um, look, you know, it's not for everyone and you know, we, we talk about this in this episode and um, but it is an important tool for interacting with communities and Hey, speaking of interacting with communities,

Rekka (02:43):

yes, we have feedback from someone who left us and left us a really nice review review.

Kaelyn (02:50):

Uh, lelalime.

Rekka (02:51):

We're going to assume that's how it's pronounced.

Kaelyn (02:54):

Lelalime, I like it. Okay. Um, high quality content for those looking to publish. So glad I found this podcast. The distribution episodes are amazing. Thank you. Thank you, Lelalime.

Rekka (03:03):

And how many stars did we get?

New Speaker (03:04):

Five stars!

Rekka (03:05):

Tell me again. I love it. All right, so if you have been enjoying this podcast or if at the end of this episode, perhaps as your first episode, you find that you did enjoy this podcast. We would super appreciate a rating and review because it helps new people find us when they are browsing podcasts in these podcasts. You know, browsers as it turns out. So, um, if you don't think that you're, if you've already left a review, you can still help new people find us by sharing the episode with a friend. If you think it would be something they're interested in -

Kaelyn (03:36):

On Twitter.

Rekka (03:36):

On Twitter, maybe. Perhaps.

Kaelyn (03:39):

So, anyway, speaking of, let's, uh, let's, let's, let's -

Rekka (03:43):

Let's get this over with for Kaelyn

Kaelyn (03:44):

Let's just do it. Enjoy everyone.

Rekka (03:57):

So I've got to tell you, Kaelyn did not want to have this conversation.

Kaelyn (04:01):

I didn't.

Rekka (04:01):

She still doesn't. She's only here because it's snowing and she can't go home.

Kaelyn (04:07):

That's not, okay, first of all, I love snow. So that is like, if we could sit outside and record this in the snow, I'd feel a lot better.

Rekka (04:15):

Maybe if it were 60 degrees and snowing outside. It's not quite that.

Kaelyn (04:19):

I see. I don't, I don't know. I don't mind. It's not, it's not terrible.

Rekka (04:22):

Something about snow feels like it softens the cold a little bit.

Kaelyn (04:26):

Yeah.

Rekka (04:26):

But when we're walking through parking lots with it blowing in my face, I was not feeling like it was comfortable.

Kaelyn (04:30):

Because the thing is that the snow ups the humidity level immediately. So I know that doesn't sound like it's a good thing, but it does actually make it a little bit warmer.

Rekka (04:41):

Which is weird because cold foggy days feel colder.

Kaelyn (04:44):

Yes, yes. You know what? That's freezing fog. I'm not one of these fancy weather scientists Rekka, okay?

Rekka (04:54):

Or weather magicians even.

Kaelyn (04:55):

Definitely not one of those.

Rekka (04:58):

But yeah, we're talking about social media today and um, I will, although Kaelyn already tried to get us to talk about snow for an hour instead,

Kaelyn (05:05):

I look, I had a whole bullet point list of interesting points, fun facts, uh, reasons we should all enjoy snow. It's, I was told no, we're going to talk about Twitter instead. Um, so I will just say a upfront, I, I am not that into social media. Um, those of you who listen to the show regularly who follow us will probably notice I don't interact on Twitter that much.

Rekka (05:28):

Um, no matter how many times I tag her.

Kaelyn (05:30):

Social media to be blunt, gives me a lot of anxiety. Um, I just, part of it is my personality. I'm a very private person. Um, I don't put a lot of my personal stuff out into the world. I just don't really do it. Um, also I had a very traumatic experience when I first joined Twitter. Um, so I had avoided Twitter for a very long time and when I came on at they were kind of like, Oh, okay, what's your Twitter handle for your business cards? And I said, I don't have Twitter. And they were like, Kaelyn, you need to get Twitter. I know, I don't, it's fine. No, Kaelyn, you have to have Twitter. Okay, fine. So I created a Twitter -

Rekka (06:09):

So your Twitter account is not consensual.

Kaelyn (06:13):

So I created a Twitter account. I went online, I followed my coworkers, a few of our authors at parvus. And then the first one person, person, quote unquote, I found that I wanted to individually follow was uh, the first cat of the newly elected prime minister of New Zealand. And this cat's name was paddles. And paddles was like, poly dactyl had like, you know, says she had like these giant feet and they called her paddles cause it looked like, you know, she had paddles on and I was like, Aw, this is adorable. And tweeting about all these cute little animal things, two days later Paddles died.

Rekka (06:49):

Rip.

Kaelyn (06:49):

Paddles got hit by a car and -

Rekka (06:53):

Keep your cats inside folks.

Kaelyn (06:55):

That to me was the signal from the universe of Kaelyn, you do not belong on Twitter.

Rekka (07:03):

If you friend and follow people on Twitter, you will destroy their lives.

Kaelyn (07:07):

Oh God. You say that. But like I'm genuinely concerned that's going to happen. Anyway. So the whole point is that um, you're actually gonna get some interesting perspective in this episode because Rekka is a prolific social media user and very good at it. I avoid it, only interact when absolutely necessary and even then still sometimes try to avoid that.

Rekka (07:30):

Yup. Um, so if you feel like Kaelyn about social media, no, but like this is really one of the points that I was going to bring up in this episode. You do not have to be on social media. You really don't. Everyone's going to tell you that you do.

Kaelyn (07:47):

We've told you a few times that you do.

Rekka (07:50):

Yeah. But if you're not going to use it, if it causes you mental grief and anxiety, yeah. If it's not an effective tool for you and you don't enjoy interacting on it or it distracts you from your actual work, it's not a tool for you. Delegate it to someone else. If you feel like you must have a Twitter presence and if you say, well, I'm not a big enough author yet to do that, just reserve the username come back later.

Kaelyn (08:24):

So we keep saying Twitter. Um, Twitter is of course not the only social media out there, but you know, let's not sugarcoat that. It's the most commonly used, especially in writing,

Rekka (08:33):

I would say in the author sphere. Twitter is big. Um, indie author sphere actually Facebook is pretty fricking big.

Kaelyn (08:39):

Okay.

Rekka (08:39):

Um, there are a lot of authors, especially those who came from a background of fanfic that use Tumblr. I would say if you've never seen Tumblr before, like don't even, don't even go there. I go to Tumblr, I'm like, I don't even know what I'm looking like when did this post become other people's replies? Like I don't like it's just, using it -

Kaelyn (08:59):

Every now and then, I've tried to look on Tumblr and I just don't understand what I'm seeing.

Rekka (09:04):

Every now and then. I, yeah, I follow a link that someone else's referenced. Um, you know, a friend of the podcast, Alexander Roland, um, has a couple of articles and they live on Tumblr and I've read the articles, but like, as soon as I figure out that I'm no longer reading the article and suddenly I'm reading comments somehow, like I, I just leave because that's not why I'm there. So, um, Tumblr is a whole sphere of like social media biome on its own. And I would not say it's a huge one unless you already exist there as a real person with a background of interacting with people, I don't think you're going to set up a new tumbler as an emerging author and really find footing there.

Kaelyn (09:42):

It does seem to be an, I would be curious to, there's gotta be statistics on this somewhere, the new users on Tumblr because it seems like there is a large group that got in when it was first a thing and everyone else is like us where we've looked at and go, Nope, Nope. You know what, I'm good.

Rekka (10:15):

Yeah. I do not need to participate in this. I'm, I don't know why I don't get tumbler because in terms of layout, it reminds me a lot of live journal, which I spent years on, but there's some disconnect in my brain between, and maybe it's because it's too close to live journal. Um, but there's some disconnect in my brain where I just, I look at it and I'm so confused. Um, LiveJournal by the way, not a social media platform you really have to worry about right now. Um, the other one being Facebook and which we touched on real quick and Instagram, Instagram and Instagram is becoming more and more of a medium that people use to communicate.

Kaelyn (10:34):

But I feel like it doesn't hold conversations as much as Twitter.

Rekka (10:36):

It does not hold conversations well. Um, without a certain prestige level and paid ads, you can't really provide links so you have to make that one link that you can put in your user profile, really do its work, which we'll get into that too. Um, or actually I'm afraid we won't get into that because I'm afraid we're going to talk mostly about Twitter and I think that's fair guess I, so I'm just going to say, um, for your Instagram, um, any social media profile where you only have one spot to put a link, look into the service link tree for, um, making that link go all the different places you might want it to go.

Kaelyn (11:11):

Yeah. Um, we are in this going to talk mostly about Twitter for the reasons we just gave. Um, some of these will, some of the things we're going to say of course will apply across the board, but for purposes here, it is really gonna mostly be Twitter.

Rekka (11:25):

And the reason it's not more Facebook because there's plenty of an audience on Facebook and I think we're all pretty familiar with how it works is because Facebook is very, very intentionally squashing anything but personal pages on people's walls. So in order you're not going to go onto Facebook and find an organic audience that is a thing of the past. You are going to pay for your audience and you're also going to have to pay to make your posts, reach the people who already chose to follow you. So it's really, I mean, Facebook is winning. The house always wins on Facebook and um, so unless you are prepared to spend marketing bucks, like I wouldn't worry about Facebook as a social media platform.

Kaelyn (12:08):

Yeah. So focus is primarily Twitter here. So let's talk about all the reasons it scares the hell out of me.

Rekka (12:15):

Yeah. Why don't we start with you. How does this make you feel Kaelyn?

Kaelyn (12:20):

Not great. Um, you know, as I had said, I, a lot of my reluctance to use Twitter is I don't like putting a lot of my life out there in the world.

Rekka (12:33):

Okay. So that's one bullet point that I did want to address. Um, you need to be authentic. That doesn't mean you need to bare your whole ass on social media. You can react to things the way that is natural to you as a human being. Like you might in-person or you might interact with someone at a book reading. You still want to, you know, convey your personality in your tweets, but that does not mean you need to tweet about like personal details or your family's health situation or your finances. You do not have to share anything with somebody that you aren't comfortable making part of your public portfolio because that's what you are doing.

Kaelyn (13:14):

Yeah. And look, I mean people do it definitely. Um, -

Rekka (13:18):

We are not recommending it.

Kaelyn (13:20):

Yeah. It's, you know, look, if you know, there's something on your mind that you want to get out there and you have, you know, people online that you've talked to about this stuff,

Rekka (13:28):

But again, that's that you want to get out there. I'm saying, you know, as an author profile, don't feel that you need to be posting 24 times a day, which means once per hour, which means some pretty great finding fine grain stuff about your life that is either not interesting, not relevant or not anyone's business. And then if you put all that stuff out there about yourself, then there are people who may become obsessed with you and then all that information is in their hands to do with us. They will. And they may not become obsessed with you for good reasons. Misery or worse.

Kaelyn (14:04):

Yeah. And it's, you have to remember that anything you put out there, anyone can see, unless you have some very locked down sort of account things.

Rekka (14:16):

There are twitter profiles where the profile itself is locked. But then that's not doing the social media thing.

Kaelyn (14:20):

Yeah, exactly. So then you're kind of defeating the purpose of what you had meant to do to begin with.

Rekka (14:27):

On Facebook, you can choose whether a post is global or just your friends or private or just a group of friends that you've set up. But Twitter, it's account level locked down or not now.

Kaelyn (14:37):

So on that note, I will say that another thing I found very intimidating that Twitter is, I barely knew how it worked. I understood the premise of it. Do you know how long it took me to figure out how to reply to a tweet rather than retweet it? It was embarrassing.

Rekka (14:53):

You know, it's funny is, um, there's a movie called Chef starring John Favreau, and if you haven't seen the movie, I do recommend it. And the premise of the movie is kicked off by him starting an accidental Twitter war with a food critic, restaurant critic, because he did not understand that he was not sending him direct messages and he, speaking of being bare ass on the internet, showed his whole ass to the internet and, um, became infamous rather than famous. And eventually it all worked out for him because it's Hollywood. But, um, you know, that's, that's not really a good look. So be sure that you understand as can suggest how to use the technology so that you're not inadvertently doing things that you don't realize you are.

Kaelyn (15:50):

That's the thing is that I, I've never been a very online person. Um, I, when Facebook became a thing when I was in college and this was, you know, if there's any of our younger listeners out there, you used to need an email address that ended in.edu to sign up for Facebook. What they were doing was they were adding certain colleges and universities at a time. It was just their way to onboard everyone, so it wasn't like a deluge of users. So when my university got Facebook, it still took me over a year and a half to sign up for it. I just was not interested in it. I have never been someone who really lives and exists online. And to that end, I don't know a lot of the lingo and the terms and etiquette even, and it's very scary because I know they exist. I just don't know what they are. And the last thing I want to do is go online and put my foot in my mouth.

Rekka (16:44):

Right. And if that is something that you feel like is more likely to happen than not, maybe just as I said, reserve the username. Maybe you're already using a username for your domain name or on Instagram. I mean like if there is social media that you do use and you are comfortable with, just grab the same name so that you can keep your branding consistent. Um, cause it's a lot easier to say we're WMBcast on Instagram and Twitter than it is to say I'm WMBcast on Twitter and WMBcast147 on Instagram because somebody's got to the name before you bothered to get around and register it. You don't have to use it. They're not going to close the account if you don't use it. Just make sure that you update your email if you change it and your contact information. So later in life when you decide, I do need to be using Twitter as a platform. You can hire a virtual assistant to handle your Twitter, you know, content for you with a, um, with the caveat that that means you are not going to be very authentic on Twitter because someone else will be posting for you, which means you've planned out your posts in advance, which means that's really more of a marketing campaign then you being on Twitter.

Kaelyn (17:50):

Yeah. And that's um, I think that's another good point to talk about is what you're using Twitter for. Um, you know, I know a lot of people that like that's how they talk to a lot of their friends most of the time, you know, everyone just kinda hangs out -

Rekka (18:05):

Like big public chat room.

Kaelyn (18:06):

Yeah. Everyone just kinda hangs out on Twitter. Um, for some people it is more of a marketing type thing, um, or it's just sort of a like, Hey, I'm out there, here's some stuff that's going on. But it's not really a Twitter about them. It's about their work.

Rekka (18:21):

Which is fine and that's the way you use it. And if someone follows you, seeing that content and they are comfortable following, you know, they don't unfollow you because they realize like, like you're not describing your Disney vacation to them, then that's fine. And you can even set it up so that you don't have to post that content yourself. Like if you send out a newsletter through your mailing list, you can have, um, usually the mailing list service will cross-post for you to social media. So if you attach it to a Facebook page and you've set it up to attach to a Twitter account, it will automatically send that out to the list and it'll use whatever image you used as the main graphic in the email. And then content goes up on Twitter without you having to think about it. Um, you know, just turn on your notifications so you know, if you get a mention cause somebody replied to it or something. Um, the other thing is that if you post a blog post, say you're comfortable using your WordPress website to add blog content, you can also cross post that content and have it published to Twitter or Facebook when the post publishes. And then you are adding content to Twitter without ever having to engage in the Twitter sphere of community.

Kaelyn (19:30):

Now let's say you do really want to engage in the Twitter sphere of community. Maybe you're like in a few writing groups and everyone's like, yeah, you know, there's this ongoing thread, or there's this great group of people you should interact with them. You know, just introduce yourself. How do you, how do you recommend kind of dipping your toe in that water?

Rekka (19:47):

Well, okay, so say you've already set up your account, we're just going to assume that you're starting with an account that you don't use much, but someone's like invited you over. Well that's great because now you have a friend that you can follow and that friend will follow you back. And if you say like, Hey, I'm new to Twitter, but you know, I realize there are a lot of great people here, so I'm looking for writers and artists or whoever, you know, whatever type of people, readers to follow and follow me back. Then maybe that friend who invited you will retweet that and then their entire list is exposed to that. And then maybe you get a whole bunch of automatic, not automatic as in automated, but like people who see that and are like, yeah, fine, I'll follow you. If so-and-so likes you, I'll follow you. So that's one way to start building your audience. Um, you, when you set up Twitter, it starts asking you questions about yourself and what your interests are and I think it starts suggesting you to other people with similar interests.

Kaelyn (20:41):

So yeah, if you go to, actually this is a fun statistic about me. Um, if you look at the people that I follow there's a couple hundred of them, a 4% of them are Muppets. I counted.

Rekka (20:52):

I was going to say, you did the numbers on this. I'm not sure it not a Twitter feed. You know, it's not how many -

Kaelyn (20:56):

No, I counted 4% of the people I follow on Twitter and Muppets.

Rekka (21:01):

Okay. So just to be clear, Muppets are good to follow and interact with on Twitter.

Kaelyn (21:05):

Muppets are great to follow.

Rekka (21:06):

Sockpuppets or not.

Kaelyn (21:08):

We don't want sock puppets.

Rekka (21:10):

Which is to say people who are, um, tweeting on behalf of someone else's agenda. Yes. And we don't want bots, which sadly this is not the future in which we'd be friend the robots. Um, you can usually tell them because they have like a very clearly, sure, I'll take that username sort of username. Um, and you know, then there are real people, real human beings who go on Twitter and behave badly and you're going to want to watch out for them. So everyone who responds to your tweets is not worth giving them a response back. Um, some people are going to very quickly exemplify why the mute and block buttons exist on Twitter. Um, speaking of which, if you are overwhelmed by some of the content that is on Twitter all the time, the mute and block buttons can help you avoid stuff that's either going to upset you or distract you or make you engage in a way that is not what you intended Twitter for.

Rekka (22:09):

So, um, there are accounts that you can follow that will have links that you can activate that will tie into your Twitter account and block like a whole mess of people for you. So if there's a group you don't like, say trans exclusive radical feminists, you can find an account that will block anybody who's known to behave in accordance with that sort of person. And then you don't even have to think about it later. I mean you might have to block the occasional person you catch on your own, but it if they block someone, like you'll automatically have blocked them. So like groups like that, it's easy to avoid basically. I mean you might eventually, depending on how you tweet, come under there like the tensions.

Kaelyn (22:53):

But the thing is, anytime you go out into the world, whether it be on your phone, at your desk or actually step out into the world, there is a chance you are going to run into less than pleasant people. Yeah. Um, which is why I don't do any of those things.

Rekka (23:15):

And Twitter has a lot of them congregating in one spot looking for trouble. Yeah. I'm using search terms. You'll see a lot of folks, uh, who tweet and then a specific word in their tweet will have asterisks in it, in place of some of the letters, which is specifically so that someone searching for that word can't find them and just come in and start raising a ruckus for the sheer joy of making your life miserable.

Kaelyn (23:29):

Yeah. And see this is, this is another aspect of social media freaking me out. Part of it is that like, I am not afraid of these people. It's not, you know, that I'm, it's more that I don't want to deal with this and I don't understand people that behave this way. And to be frank, I just, I don't have time for it. That said, one of the big anxieties that I have about Twitter is people taking things I say the wrong way. Um, I know me personally that I'm never going to be tweeting anything that I think would offend someone because one, I just don't talk and act that way. And two I tried to make sure that something I'm putting out into the world, especially as a representative of my publishing company, I want to make sure is well received by everyone. I am always very worried that I'm accidentally going to say something that I don't know is going to offend somebody. I'm going to offend someone.

Rekka (24:30):

The thing to do, to avoid, honestly not offending somebody is probably just to avoid re-tweeting things. Um, you, and this has happened to plenty of celebrities where they have retweeted a message that on the surface sounded pretty good and then they found out that it was very much coated by a political group for and against very specific people. So, um, if you are not fully aware of the context of the subject matter, it might be safer for you to not retweet or do you educate yourself or make sure you read the whole thread and maybe read the comments and see what kind of, I mean it's kind of like there's a phrase which is good, good advice, never read the comments, never read the comments here. But if you are considering re tweeting at, you might want to be aware of how inflammatory it is and in which directions you're going to see people you know, inflamed in both directions on a specifically troublesome tweet. And this is one of those things where you do have to decide and it's, it has a lot to do with how you want to present yourself to the world. Do you want to be an activist and tweet things that have messages that mean a lot to you or um, support causes that you care about? Or do you want to frankly play it safe and maybe not ever retweet anything except you know, a new book launch announcement from a of author friend or from your publishing house of a, you know, a sibling from your publishing house.

Kaelyn (25:57):

I'm going to jump in here real quick and say that if you don't want to do the first one, you don't have to and don't let anyone make you feel like you do.

Rekka (26:06):

Right.

Kaelyn (26:07):

There, you will absolutely run into people that say, well, you support this. Why don't you get more involved in the conversation? And if the answer is I don't want to or I don't have the energy to or mentally, it's not good for me, that is a completely legitimate reason. And you will find a lot of very die hard people on Twitter for a cause that they care about or -

Rekka (26:31):

They're passionate.

Kaelyn (26:31):

A passionate and argument that they're passionate about. That's great that they can do that. It is soul draining for some people.

Rekka (26:40):

And for people who work multiple plus their writing and have families or other responsibilities that may really just tap them out. So if you choose to be an activist on social media, absolutely that's your call, but be understanding of someone else chooses not to be.,

Kaelyn (26:58):

Never feel pressured to participate in something you don't have to.

Rekka (27:03):

However, one thing that you can do to make more friends on Twitter, especially in the writing industry or the writing sphere, is to support your friends and fellows that you know and love. That's a great thing. Um, so if they're announcing a new book or they announced that they've just signed for a book sale, a, if they announce a, you know, a a book event where they're going to be at a bookstore or something like that, absolutely. Feel free to retweet that. They'll appreciate it and they might retweet your next announcement. Um, and that's just being a good citizen, you know, that's, you know, not doing it so that someday they do it for you, but you know, do it because you're part of the community. And that's what people who are in communities do is lift each other up.

Kaelyn (27:45):

Yeah, exactly. Just, you know, that when somebody's got something, they're trying to get out into the world, the more people that help them get it out there, the more people will see it.

Rekka (27:52):

Yeah.

Kaelyn (27:52):

Um, you know, it's just as you said, being a good being a Twitter citizen.

Rekka (28:17):

Yeah. Um, something else about being a good Twitter citizen is when you see somebody posting about a health issue, it is not your job to give them medical advice on Twitter. And I see that so often and um, it really, it's upsetting to the person who was letting you know that, you know, they were in a bad place and it doesn't put them in a better place. Chances are they've heard that advice before and they've already weighed and measured it. There's a lot of, I think people putting personal things out there that aren't looking to you to solve it for them, but everyone's got the problem solved in their head and they feel the need to comment and say, you should do this.

Kaelyn (28:35):

You know, they're looking for a friendly, Hey, hang tough. We love you.

Rekka (29:06):

You know, you'll get through this. I'm thinking of, let me know if there's anything I can do for you. Sending all our love, stuff like that. Like that's, that's the kind of support that you give on on Twitter. You don't give medical advice, send Twitter, your lawyer would not appreciate that. Um, so yeah, I mean that's one of the spaces where like it's, it's OK to engage but don't try to, I don't want to say manipulate, but don't try to guide that person to do anything as a result. Like they're sharing it with you. Hey, I'm having a rough time because of X, Y and Z medical condition or X, Y and Z financial situation or something like that. Um, but there are times when you really do not want to engage for reasons that would terrify Kaelyn and I'm talking about, um, mostly own voices conversations because if that own voice is not your own voice, that's not a place for you to talk. Now, it might be a great place for you to learn by just following along and being aware of what people are talking about. If it's, especially if it's something that you're interested in, especially if representation matters to you and your stories and you want to represent people who aren't always of your exact personality background, et cetera. Um, but don't engage, you know, there's, there have been conversations recently from specific marginalized groups where other people are stepping in and telling those marginalized people how they should be feeling right now. And that's not good. And that's a great way to get yourself blacklisted from several of these, um, these social circles.

Kaelyn (30:17):

Yeah. I mean, without going into too many specific examples, um, one thing, and this is, this results in me being underactive on Twitter, but I think it's better that way, is be conscious of who you're talking to and who you're engaging with. Um, you are going to come across groups of people that you would not normally find in groups if you were just at a party because everyone can kind of join together and be in the same place. So knowing that we're not here necessarily to talk to you just because this has happening on a public forum.

Rekka (30:50):

Just because you can see the post doesn't mean I'm talking like making eye contact with you.

Kaelyn (30:54):

Exactly. Yeah. Um, and being conscious and being mindful of that I think is very important.

Rekka (31:00):

And no, you know, whether you, if you're watching a conversation, you're like, Oh, well it's public, so I guess I can engage. I can add my 2 cents. Maybe if you think about it, -

Kaelyn (31:09):

Like, I mean, yes you can, but should you?

Rekka (31:12):

Yeah. You're, you're going to find yourself slapped back pretty fast if you try to engage in a conversation that is clearly not about or for you.

Kaelyn (31:26):

So now let's say you make a faux pas. Let's say youput your foot in your mouth, you stick your nose into a conversation that you really did not have much of a place taking part in.

Rekka (31:35):

As soon as you realize that -

Kaelyn (31:36):

Things happen.

New Speaker (31:37):

Yup.

Kaelyn (31:37):

Yup.

Rekka (31:38):

Um, as soon as you realize it, you let it, especially if someone comments to you and says, um, you know, for whatever reason, we don't appreciate you sticking your nose in. I'm sure it won't be phrased quite like that. Um, you can recognize that, you know, you overstepped your bounds by replying and saying, I, you know, apologize, that was none of my business and I didn't understand the full, I mean, if you didn't, but basically I, you recognize it and you admit it, but you don't make the whole conversation about you and how will you been called out and how you feel bad about it. Like just apologize and back the hell away.

Kaelyn (32:19):

Yeah. Now and that said. Um, if someone comes back at you and is, I'll, I'll even say if they're rude or they're unnecessarily nasty about it, um, sucks. Just deal with it.

Rekka (32:31):

Yeah.

Kaelyn (32:31):

Because you know, what, if the -

Rekka (32:32):

Don't keep engaging with them, the only thing you can do is let it go. And you know, there may be very full throttle and - ramifications of you making one tiny mistake or you know, just being overbearing in a conversation that you didn't belong in any way that may just kind of haunt you for awhile, but just deal with it. You know, if you agree that you were wrong in doing it and maybe even if you don't, especially if it's, you know, other people who are marginalized telling you that you've stuck your foot in it, um, just accept that that's, that's how it went and be more careful next time.

Kaelyn (33:07):

Yeah. It's um, don't it, it's not about you at that point. Um, the other thing that I will say is that there is, you know, there's a lot of, there's a lot of things that happen now that people involved with or circulating around that group be it, you know, sports writing, um, movies, culture, whatever your interest are. People feel the need to comment on it to say, I am appalled by this or I stand up for this thing. You don't have to have a statement on everything that happens from, I've read things on Twitter where people are going, I know it took me a week to acknowledge the controversy surrounding such and such an I just need to state that I am firmly opposed to what that person said. I do not in any way support anything they believe.

Rekka (34:04):

Like you never provided evidence that you would, no one thought you would need to say that.

Kaelyn (34:06):

Yeah, no one ever would think that you would. And also it's not like, you know, if it's a celebrity -

Rekka (34:11):

And in a week, everyone's forgotten.

Kaelyn (34:11):

It's not like you know this person. It's not like they're a friend of yours that you kind of feel like you are like, Oh God, I hope they don't think that about me too. You don't need to comment on everything. Um, if you're worried about where people might think that you stand on something, then may - you probably need better friends

Rekka (34:34):

Or you need to be more clear about where you stand. If it's important for people to know that the example I gave earlier of someone of celebrity re-tweeting something that they didn't fully understand the context of. Um, the solution was a couple of hours later or as soon as they were, it was pointed out to them. I don't really, I saw it after the fact so I didn't really see how long it took, but they said, I apologize for my last retweet. I did not realize that that was about that and I should have been more careful about re-tweeting the message on the surface. It seemed like something I agreed with having learned what it really meant. I do not agree with that and done you and I saw that person as it celebrity celebrated for correcting their mistake and moving on. You be careful about it and you moved, they were not defensive. They did not make excuses for themselves. They apologize directly and they were clear about what their actual stance was.

Kaelyn (35:24):

Now that said, you don't need to, you know, wear a hair shirt and whip yourself in, you know, the middle of the town. That's,

Rekka (35:33):

But that's, that's exactly it. Punishing yourself publicly is, is making it about you.

Kaelyn (35:39):

That's exactly what I'm saying. So like if you're not, apologizing and moving on is one thing, publicly flogging yourself is not helpful to anyone.

Rekka (35:50):

And making a show of your suffering and your repentance is, is making it about you when you hurt someone else. And this should be about you apologizing to them and letting them heal. Not constantly shoving it under their nose.

Kaelyn (36:03):

Yeah. So, you know, it's, and like I said, I, you know, I just get very freaked out by this. I'm not a big social media user. Um, I also, you know, just in my manners speaking and things like, I'm worried that things that I say could be misconstrued. I'm also worried there are people out there who will look to misconstrue them and here's the thing, there are.

Rekka (36:26):

And you can't beat them.

Kaelyn (36:27):

Yeah.

Rekka (36:27):

They, if they want to apply context to it, that you didn't put it in there and they can convince other people it's there. There's not much you can do about it. You can, if it really starts to blow up, you know, not respond to them, not retweet their thing, just say like look posts to clarification posts to clarification and try to not engage with everybody who, who's coming at you because that one person sent their, you know, their crowd after you. So okay. I, to be fair to the people who were just considering signing up for Twitter and now they've listened to all this and they're like, Whoa.

Kaelyn (37:02):

They're like, Kaelyn's right, stay the hell away.

Rekka (37:05):

What is going on Twitter? Um, I just wanted to market some books. So let's get back to like using Twitter as a book marketing plan.

Kaelyn (37:13):

There are a lot of wonderful, supportive kind people on Twitter and they can help you with your books.

Rekka (37:22):

However, if your Twitter account is clearly just you reposting or even using a third party like posting tool to just post, buy my books, buy my books, buy my books, then you are going to come off just as much as a used car salesman as you might worry, you will. That's why we say be authentic on Twitter. Just a couple conversational things in between, you know, Hey, I have a book coming out. Don't post three times a day that you have a book coming out. I mean, on the day of, if you are normally a active, an active Twitter user and you normally engage in conversation, chances are you're going to have friends re-tweeting your first book announcement posts throughout the day and you don't need to post it three times. When you post to Twitter, that post goes to the people who follow you. If you promote it at my go to more people, but don't do that. It doesn't, there's no reason. Um, a lot of, uh, independent authors have experimented with Twitter ads and they have found that there's no advantage to spending money to promote your tweets.

Kaelyn (38:23):

I actually go out of my way to avoid things that.

Rekka (38:25):

Any time an ad, a promoted tweet comes up on my feet, I block the user. So like that's my behavior as a, as a user of Twitter, not as somebody like trying to, you know, teach them a lesson or anything like that. And just like, I don't want to see that ad loads every time I open Twitter. So your Twitter list, the people who have been kind enough to follow you or follow you back will see your post. Now if they don't check Twitter frequently throughout the day and they also don't scroll all the way back or view their Twitter feed in the right order as opposed to like Twitter's decision on how it, what order it should be displayed in, which is a thing.

Rekka (39:03):

And you know, you just have to look into that. Um, so someone might miss it if they're on your list. So in your mind you're saying like, well, if I post a three times a day, then I should catch everyone on my list, whether they check in the morning at lunch or in the afternoon. But the fact is, I think people take about five minutes to scroll back through Twitter as far as they feel they need to go. And then we'll check back in at random times during the day. It's not like someone checks before breakfast checks at lunch or checks at dinner. Like Twitter's sort of like a thing that keeps showing up on your screen. Like I didn't even remember opening that. And here I am scrolling through Twitter again.

Kaelyn (39:33):

Yeah.

Rekka (39:33):

Those are for regular users who are your audience if you're trying to use Twitter to market your books. So those users are going to see your posts all three times and they're going to start getting irritated about it, especially if that's all your content. Um, I have seen in the past, people recommend using the third party apps I mentioned earlier, like HootSweet there's a couple like that, um, to set up content that rotates through and like you tell it, Oh, post four times a day from this list of posts and then when you get to the end, repeat it back, guess what? You can smell those. It's very obvious and I don't like them. I end up muting or blocking the people who use them because they're not engaging in any other real meaningful way. They're just trained to use it to make it look like they are so that when their book promotion posts come up, you don't feel like they're abusing the system. Do the thing where like your real new stuff comes out. Like from your mailing list or your website blog posts, those can go to Twitter.

Kaelyn (40:31):

Yup.

Rekka (40:32):

But if you are going to get in a cycle where you're repeating your content because you feel like that's the way to expose your content, like your, you're not thinking about Twitter, the way people that you're trying to reach on Twitter are using Twitter.

Kaelyn (40:43):

Yeah. So to kind of, you know, in, in summary, in conclusion, um, I kind of at the beginning of every year sort of make a little resolution myself that I'm going to be better at Twitter. So if you want to try and interact with me on Twitter, I promise I will try to be,

Rekka (40:58):

See this is like Kaelyn saying I'm going to try to be better at the violin, but Kaelyn doesn't own a violin or take violin lessons.

Kaelyn (41:05):

Actually that's not true. I do own a violin and I took violin.

Rekka (41:07):

Well, she has a Twitter account but she's not using it. She's not practicing and she doesn't do her scales.

Kaelyn (41:15):

Yeah. Um, no, but you know, it is something that I kind of know that I need to be better at this. Um, it's, I don't want to call it an unpleasant reality of my job because I don't think of it that way, but it is more of something I should do rather than something I enjoy doing. And maybe eventually I will just expose myself enough that I get more comfortable doing it. And I think that's what has to happen a lot of times if you're a little nervous. So if you ever -

Rekka (41:34):

My advice to Kaelyn.

Kaelyn (41:48):

try to interact with me on Twitter, I promise I will try to interact and it'll be, it'll be therapy for me. Exposure therapy.

Rekka (41:57):

So my, my advice to Kaelyn and I'll tell it to her here so that you can hear it, is just avoid sarcasm.

Kaelyn (42:05):

Which I'm not good at.

Rekka (42:07):

I know, I know that. So that is primary advice, number one, you are writing flat text into a flat machine. Even the best choice of emojis to pair with your words so that people know it's sarcasm. You will still find people who misconstrue words. And since that is what Kaelyn is trying to avoid.

Kaelyn (42:24):

I've just solved it. I'm only going to tweet an emojis from now on and then everyone can make of them what they want.

Rekka (42:26):

Um, and be aware of context. So like that the celebrity who happened to retweet something that was actually for um, in supportive group, he did not support and his fan base called them out on it. Like just maybe be more aware of what you're re tweeting and it's, it's troublesome because in this case they did sound like good words on the surface.

Kaelyn (42:52):

Here's my Twitter advice. Stick with pictures of cute animals.

Rekka (42:56):

There are lots of accounts out there that you can fill your Twitter feed with such goodness.

Kaelyn (43:02):

One of my favorite ones I follow is just called In Otter News and you know what it is? It's otters.

Rekka (43:08):

I think there's an account called hourly wolves, something like that.

New Speaker (43:10):

Yeah, Fox Fox one. Yeah. So, I mean really most of the people that I follow on Twitter are Muppets and animals.

Rekka (43:17):

Which is your safety net because if you mute everyone but them,

Kaelyn (43:24):

Then Twitter is a beautiful place.

Rekka (43:25):

Twitter is not upsetting.

Kaelyn (43:27):

So yeah, if you just want to be tweeting things and you're not really, you're like, Oh I don't know. Just like if you've got a pet, just take pictures of your pet and put them online. I love looking at people's pets.

Rekka (43:35):

Just watch out for if you're posting photos for reflective surfaces and what they show cause you know, that's the whole thing. Um, especially for Instagram since we are talking about all the social media, but I know we focused on Twitter, but Instagram, um, the content you choose is needs to be interesting but also friendly and not look all staged all the time. Um, which is the best advice I can give you the best Instagram account that I was going to send you to for somebody who seems to have a really engaged following and everything like that I realized is Victoria Schwab. And she has a really engaged following, cause she already has a huge following anyway and they're going to follow her wherever she goes.

Rekka (44:10):

So the, the choice of Instagram account wasn't necessarily, um, you know, better or worse than also being on Twitter. But, um, I do like the photos she posts in so far as like author slice of life content. She doesn't get personal, but they're always semi book related, but not specific to her book launches, although some of them are because got lots of stuff to promote all the time because everything's happening for her right now. So, um, but yeah, be aware of the context. Be aware if, you know, if you are sharing pet photos, if you are sharing, um, you know, little bits of your life, just make sure that you're comfortable with them being out there in the public. I think count to 10 before you post anything critical.

Kaelyn (44:53):

Yep.

Rekka (44:53):

Um, watch your jokes. You know, you might think something's funny, but it's actually based on, you know, a long history of, you know, putting other people down. Um, don't punch down, punch up and you know, if any of this makes you uncomfortable and you didn't really want to go on Twitter in the first place, like here's your permission slip. You don't have to.

Kaelyn (45:16):

Um, you know, I know we talk about social media a lot and being important and by the way, not wanting to go on Twitter is not the same as not wanting to have a website.

Rekka (45:22):

Right, you should have a website but freaking website, no excuses. You don't need to, it doesn't need to be big or beautiful or have exclusive content. You just need to have a presence where someone can go find you.

Kaelyn (45:34):

Here is one thing I, this will be my parting thought when in life, but especially online. Remember and understand that you do not owe anyone your time or attention. So if people are tagging you in things, DM-ing, you, um, you know, trying to -

Rekka (45:56):

The nice thing is you can lock down your DMs and not accept any.

Kaelyn (45:58):

You can also lock down that people cannot tag you in things if you really don't like, but -

Rekka (46:05):

Or just turn off your notifications, let them tag you, but not have to have it ping in your ear.

Kaelyn (46:11):

Yeah. But even if you don't do that, you don't owe anyone your time and attention. So if it's getting stressful for you or if you just don't want to talk to that particular person, you don't even need to reply to them and say, Hey, I don't want to talk to you. So yeah.

Rekka (46:27):

And so you're going to meet people in your life who will tell you, you must have a Twitter account and we're not going to publish your book unless you have 500,000 Twitter followers. Those two statements are just not realistic and they're not fair. And they're putting a lot of onus on you as an author to go beyond the role of being the one who writes the books and become part of the marketing team. You will be part of the marketing team even if you don't go on Twitter.

Kaelyn (46:51):

Yeah. So you know, just be happy and be safe out there. It's parts of it can be scary, but for the most part you're going to find, you know, good people that can be helpful and kind and -

Rekka (47:05):

Yeah, you just be the same.

Kaelyn (47:07):

Yup. So we'll, we'll leave that there and if you want to interact with us on Twitter -

Rekka (47:11):

If you're already on Twitter. Once you sign up, make your first friend on Twitter @WMBcast and we will happily be your friend on Twitter. Um, and you know, we're there. Ask us questions, uh, leave us comments there. Uh, do a rating and review on Apple podcasts or Apple iTunes. Um, we've had a couple of new ones lately and we really appreciate it. Everyone's really enjoying the podcast and it makes us feel so good that this is helpful. Hopefully this episode was helpful and not 100% terrifying, although Kaelyn looks like she's going to cry, so we better wrap this up so I can get her a tissue.

Kaelyn (47:48):

Some more tea.

Rekka (47:50):

So we are also at WMBcast.com and patreon.com/WMBcast and we will talk to you in two weeks.

 

 

 

 

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