By Laura Drake
This was the conversation at crit group last week...
Me: So I was tweeting with Chicken on a Chain last night, and –
Jenny: Chicken WHAT?
Me: He’s a bull. Retired from the PBR, one of the best. You should’ve seen him at the finals in 2009 --
Jenny: You did not just say that you were tweeting with a bull. Hello – no opposed thumbs!
Me: Well I was more worried about his attitude. That dude is politically incorrect.
Hey – they’re no better. They then asked me if he tweeted about his cow girlfriends.
Sheesh. Romance Writers.
This conversation made me realize how entwined Twitter has become in my life. It’s my social media weapon of choice. I love it. Let me count the ways:
1. I found my Peeps
I am a bull riding FANatic, and there’s a huge PBR following on Twitter. If an event isn’t televised, someone is bound to be in the stands, tweeting the scores as the rides happen. This must have been what it was like back in the days of radio, listening to a prize fight. Your imagination fills in the blanks, and you actually bond as a group.
2. Entertainment & News
News: Earthquake in New York? Tornados in Texas? It’s on Twitter, first. And not just a talking head – but people who are experiencing it firsthand. People I ‘know.’
Entertainment: Humor hits – people are so clever! They keep me laughing through my lunch hour (okay, so I pop in now and again through the day too – fire me!)
Through responding to tweets and retweeting (RT for short,) I can support my peeps, and they support me. All in 140 characters! You don’t think that’s enough? Go create an account, gather a couple of friends, and check it out. It’s amazing! It’s a great lesson for writers in ‘write tight!’
The other day when I was writing, and had a question about what the PBR calls the ‘roadies’ that set up the arena before an event. I tweeted my bud, Joe Scully, a rodeo announcer, and he got back to me in two minutes with the answer! That’s quicker than Google! I’ve found whatever experts I’ve ever needed on Twitter. Gypsies, bullfighters, goat ropers, mutton busters. People are so giving and helpful!
5. Advertisement & Marketing
Notice this is listed LAST. For a reason. Nothing will make me unfollow faster than someone who does nothing but pimp – themselves or their friends.
Yes, I know – if you’re self-published (or even if you’re not) you have to promote yourself. But people, promote is in a different place in the dictionary than pimp. It also has a slightly different definition – it’s a matter of degree.
You don’t think you have "peeps?" Sure you do. I don’t care how esoteric your subject – someone on Twitter is interested. You may just have to get creative.
I wanted to broaden my scope – to follow peeps who would find my book interesting (I haven’t broken my rule #5 above...my book doesn’t come out for over a year – plenty of time to connect on a personal level with people before I pimp promo.)
So I thought about it. Who else would like to read my PBR novels, besides PBR fans? How about people who live in the country? Small towns? Western states? Farmers, horse people, dairymen, even truck gardeners! Do you know how many people that is? Wow.
Find new hashtags to follow. That will help you find where those peeps hang out. #agchat helped me a lot.
Your turn. How do you use Twitter? How do you find your Peeps there? Do you follow animals, or is it just me?