January 27, 2014

Something to Tweet about


Most of the members in our Christian Poets & Writers group on Facebook have blogs and books in need of readers, and, yes, I do too. Actually, I have a bunch of blogs, books, and e-books, which I wish would sell like flowers and candy on Valentine’s Day! But here’s the thing: If we merely focus on ways to generate sales for ourselves, we hold the tiny goal of self-promotion before us instead of focusing on the far-reaching impact our writing can serve for Christ, the Gospel, and the church.

As you know, Jesus commanded His disciples, including us, to go out into the world and reach the far corners of the earth, and, now is an ideal time to do that. With the advent of the Internet, the Good News (Gospel) of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection can reach around the world in seconds!

So, how can we make our tweets on Twitter or posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social sites more effective in reaching larger goals?

Be catchy and concise. Remember, we only have 140 characters to use for a tweet. However, this example has only 98, which made it easier for my followers to retweet the post on Twitter and reach their followers, too, with this quick word: “The Aramaic & Hebrew for Jesus is Yeshua. How blessed we are to have a Savior who begins with YES!”

Be uplifting. Regardless of the troubles or traumas we experience and write about, ending on a note of faith points to the healing power and forgiveness of Jesus Christ that readers surely need too. For example, I posted, “If you're caught between a rock and a hard place, climb The Rock. Things will look higher fast!” Or, on Halloween I posted,“Ill spirits trick, but #Jesus treats us. Have a Hallowed Evening.”

Quote scripture. Posts or tweets of a Bible verse, which include the book, chapter, and verse, can help to strengthen faith and guide relationships or decisions. If a verse strengthens you in some way, it will undoubtedly help other people too. Or, provide a hotlink to a blog post you have that focuses on scripture. For example, I posted, “Pray with Jesus - http://lnkd.in/bSjFq-g - in the Lord's Prayer or Our Father & help unify the Body of Christ.”

Tweet a quick prayer or call to prayer. For example, when our politicians were deadlocked on crucial issues that affect all of us, I posted a call to pray “Psalm 19:14 for our leaders: May the words of their mouths & meditations of their hearts be approved by You, O LORD, our Strength & Redeemer.”

Draw readers by showing interest in them. Don’t command people to buy your products or help you out financially. Consider them and their needs, then give a hint of what you’re writing about and how your blog post might help. Or tweet a quick word such as “Life isn't always fair. God is!”

Offer tips related to your writing genre. Poets, for example, have usually heard of iambs or iambic pentameter but are unaware of other feet in metered poetry. So I wrote, “Thank God for poetry lessons in nature: upbeat ta-TA in the iambic tail of a wren; downbeat trochee told by a sparrow's tail.” Another time, I posted: “Listening to a bird call in a single note of 10-12 syllables! Accentuate the even notes & have iambic pentameter & poetry!”

When I was researching and writing life-health encyclopedias, however, I posted a different type of writing tip: “Researching! Accessing state library resources on the Internet with numbers on my local library card.” Those types of tips offer helpful information, which can also include hotlinks as appropriate. For example, I posted, “Jump away from those conclusions http://christianpoetsandwriters.blogspot.com/2013/08/jump-away-from-those-conclusions.html” with that link to the blog discussion.

Encourage people you connect with by retweeting or sharing their posts. Also known as an RT, a retweet can help your followers on Twitter see whose work you enjoy or whose words you appreciate. Often, this becomes reciprocal, giving opportunity for both Tweet-ers to be heard and followed by more people.

Okay, tweet to advertise occasionally too. For example, I posted “#Christmas gifts for #Christian #poets, #writers, and #poetry & #nature lovers - http://lnkd.in/d22tB9u 2013/12/17” in hopes of gaining buyers of my books and e-books. In addition, the hashtags # highlighted key words to alert people with similar interests to follow my tweets. I’ve also posted promotional info such as, “Helpful links for #Christian #Poets & #Writers added to Resources page of my website – http://www.marysayler.com.”

If you have additional tips on the types of tweets and posts you appreciate, let us know in the comments below. Thanks. And:

Remember this Golden Rule for every tweet or post: “Tweet other people as you want them to tweet you.”

©2014, Mary Harwell Sayler