Germany Kent, Author of “You Are What You Tweet” Shares Twitter Tips


Known as The Hope Guru for her previous nine published “The Hope Handbook” series, Germany Kent newly released her 10th book. Rather different from her previous books, “You Are What You Tweet” offers an optimistic but spiritual outlook on using Twitter to build your brand and a step by step guide for the beginner tweeter. Kent discusses with me, some common twitter hacks. Is it ever okay to buy followers, should you privatize your account and why 140 characters are enough to tweet!

There is so much truth in the title of your new book, “You Are What You Tweet”. I initially thought of the saying, you are what you eat. How did you come up with the title?

It was a God sent title and I am very proud of it. It was all him and I am the vessel through it all. After carefully studying the trending topics and writing styles on Twitter, the title really just summed it up for me. When he gave it to me I said, ‘Ok God, alright it’s fine.’ It’s the reality of communication on the site. It is much deeper than 140 characters. It is a way to maximize your human potential.

In your book, you mention tweeting daily. Since I am an avid social media user, there are times where I may do what I call a social media fast where my restriction for myself is that, I can’t log in to my personal Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I’ll do it randomly and at different time lengths. Most recently I gave up social media for a couple of weeks during the Lenten season that passed. Would you recommend users to do a social media cleanse? If so, how does this interfere with your suggestion to tweet daily?

A social media cleanse? Yep! {Laughs}. I started laughing because I never thought about it that way. It’s brilliant for you to say it like that. I do that all the time. Specifically, I did it this weekend. I’m too addicted to Twitter and I needed to take a day off. You do have to step back every now and then and take some time away. The social media cleanse. You need to write a short book about that. I’m telling you, you need to get you an e-book about that put that out there and develop from that! I love that! You better put it in writing. I’m telling you.

What is considered over tweeting? Is it different from a professional standpoint vs an average day person who uses Twitter as another social networking site?

Your tweets should be posted at different times of the day to reach different people. If you are posting something and it is the same message, that is overkill. If you aren’t getting the feedback you may want to change the tone or the subject matter. That means you aren’t breaking into their mindset. They aren’t feeding off of what you are saying. They aren’t connecting.

I love each social networks for different reasons. I like that Twitter connects us through tweets and hashtags. One of my favorite things is live tweeting during a show, participating in Twitter chats and connecting with businesses. What are some of your favorite things about Twitter?

When I think about how effective it could be in growing your brand, I think a lot of people are missing out on the list. The hashtag is like an adrenaline rush. It’s your way of finding out exactly what is going on. Trending topics are the magic of dialogue.

There are over 500 million daily tweets, over 300 million monthly users. We know building an organic following does not happen overnight, you have to creep before you walk. Whether you are tweeting for yourself or on behalf of a business, what are some guaranteed tips that will build a following? Should users ever buy followers?

The key to gaining and building followers on Twitter is understanding your target audience and engaging with them. The biggest thing for me is making sure you are connecting with the types of people who can help you in what you are trying to do or someone who is able to boost your awareness. One of the things that I say in the book is making sure you are able to get something from the people that you follow. Whether it is coupons, daily motivational tips, updates on movies or whatever it is, make sure you are not following people just because. You want to make sure that you are trying to make a connection with people that can expand your reach in what you are trying to do.

Regarding purchasing followers—it depends on what you are trying to do. If you want your numbers to soar and let’s say you are Procter and Gamble, it may not be a bad thing to participate in the Twitter tools that allow you to grow your audience. There are so many of them and I mention about 15 of them in the book. There are companies, some are paid others are free. The ones that are paid do a better job obviously, at growing your profile. It is just like any other small business. But you do have to invest in it. I tell my clients it is an investment in knowledge. Everything is about direction and focus. Only you can determine what you’re trying to do and what place you’re trying to get.  What works for you, may or may not work for me, so you have to be clear about what you are trying to build. That is the key. That Is the first question you must ask yourself, what am I trying to do with my social media. What am I trying to grow? Because you should be growing something.

This is the biggest thing people need to be mindful of: an interesting byproduct of our preference for transparency is that we like people to be real, especially on social media. Be who you are and don’t be afraid to have a point and people will start to notice. They will start to engage with you.  If they like something you said well enough,  they will either favorite or retweet what you say and they will then pass it on to their followers who in return may probably start to pay attention.  And before you know it, you will have a streamline of followers.

Personally, I notice when I get a couple new followers, after a few days or so they unfollow. I strongly believe because I didn’t follow them back! Because of that, as much as I would like to grow my following I do not get pressed over it. What do you think is a good remedy for that issue?

You know you will have to have peace within yourself when it comes to that. There are going to be times where people will follow you and you are not going to follow back. Whether you are busy and you didn’t notice that they followed and a lot of people don’t take the time to see who has followed them, especially people who have larger accounts. Don’t feel pressured or guilty to follow people who have followed you.  A lot of the experts I deal with will say the social power of Twitter isn’t about who you already know but about who you can meet. Even if you are following people who don’t follow you back you can still take away something from their timeline and learn something from that person. I feel like every single day you can learn something new from everyone you come in contact with if you open your mind to being in the moment.  Aspire to become a thought provoker and an opinion leader. Once you do that you will have people following you out of the wazoo because they are focused on the message you are giving to them and they could care less whether you are following them back or not.  They are feeding off of what you are providing. It’s a social responsibility that we all have; don’t try to be someone else.  Stay in your lane, do you and walk in your purpose.

I have the gift of gab and sometimes 140 characters aren’t enough! What are your suggestions to keep tweets short and concise?

I hear it all the time. The character limit allows you to become a good editor because it allows you to get your thoughts across accurately. I tell people all the time, if you focus, really really focus and come to terms with who you are trying to reach, 140 characters are enough. It is enough to get your point across. Inspiring messages go over well. When I do conferences, I ask people these questions before they send a tweet: ‘Is it true?’ ‘Is it kind?’ ‘Is it necessary?’ If you can’t answer yes to those questions, you have to move on to something else.

I’ve seen private accounts, some I follow some I don’t. There are instances when I would love to retweet them—-but I can’t. Is privatizing your profile ever a good idea?

It depends on what you are on there to do. If you are on there to connect with family and close friends and have no intention of integrating twitter as your brand, then definitely having it private may be a great option because you are not at risk of people retweeting something you say which will get held against you.

We’ve seen the quote retweet and tweet analytics that was recently added to each tweet. How do you want to see Twitter improve over the next year?

I think if people continue to use it as the wonderful communication tool that it is; it will continue to allow us to connect with all types of people all around the world. As far as improving, I think people should become more engaged with it, use hashtags more and get into the different groups that will benefit them more. The most important thing is to connect with like-minded people.

I shared a lot but I learned a lot. There is power in twitter. Once you discover it, you are well on your way to be in the position that you need to be in, whether it’s for your business or personal. It really has that type of impact once you find who you really are within the whole network.

I’ve come across many Twitter profiles and the majority of their feed are Instagram links. No engagement what so ever. With the rise of Instagram, do you think users are leaving Twitter behind?

I do not. I think Twitter hasn’t even reached its peak yet. I think it is still growing because different people all over the world are starting to learn about Twitter and to be engaged with it. It has a long way to go.

Instagram is a popular tool for people who want to post pictures and say a word or two. But I don’t think it’s a competitor as much as I think it’s a compliment. If you aren’t posting links to some of your other sites I think you are missing out. It is an incomparable marketing machine.

I think you need to post a minimum of three tweets per day. When it comes to only posting links to redirect people to other sites, I don’t think that is smart.

Looking back, I remember when Myspace was a hot commodity and now in mainstream social media, it isn’t even a thought. Do you think Twitter will ever lose its zest? Do you think something else will come along and take its place, similar to Facebook taking over for Myspace?

I do believe it will have a shelf life. When that is, I don’t know. But, companies have gotten on Twitter. I don’t know if you have noticed or not, most of the times when I buy cereal, it now has a twitter bird. Next time you go to the market, pay attention to the marketing that has been done with the boxes for social media. There is a Facebook and Twitter logo.

Twitter is a hot commodity and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I don’t know of any other platform growing up, other than the encyclopedia, that offers so much resourceful information.

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Copy Edited By: Courtney L. Branch

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