Frugal and Focused
Second in the Survive and Thrive series of HowToDoItFrugally
series of books
Tweeting for Retailers
Tweaking Your Tweets and
Other Tips for Integrating Your
Twitter has become the Web
phenomenon of the decade
many say they "don't Get it,"
even those who think they do "get
appear to be missing a lot in
terms of using it to market
It is much more than a
tell-all tool! This book will:
1 . Tell you how to set up a Twitter
2. Tell you how to keep it
simple. What you can't ignore at the
peril of poor marketing and what you
can get away without doing just
fine, thank you.
3. Give you ideas on
what you can tweet about--and
guidelines for how much personal,
how much marketing!
4. Help you get over your fear of
marketing (or over being shy about
writing tweets) by giving you
examples of tweets with critiques
(can you believe!) for you to learn
5. Help you with tips for keeping
the time you spend on tweeting (and
other social media) to a minimum.
6. Show you how to harness the power
of an entire online campaign, both
in terms of reaching your audience
and in saving you tons of time.
7. Nope. Not every Twitter app known
to Tweetdom! There are some 70,000
of them at last count. Only
tried-and-true ones, the ones you
Read the Spunk-on-a-Stick blog
interview for some
Twitter techniques and tips
is the Web phenomenon of the decade even though many say
they "don't Get it," and even those who think they do "get
it" appear to be missing a lot in terms of using it to
market effectively. It is much more than a tell-all tool!
This book will:
1 . Tell you how to set up a Twitter account easily
2. Tell you how to keep it simple. What you can't ignore at
the peril of poor marketing and what you can get away
without doing just fine, thank you.
3. Give you ideas on what you can tweet about--and
guidelines for how much personal, how much marketing!
4. Help you get over your fear of marketing (or over being
shy about writing tweets) by giving you examples of tweets
with critiques (can you believe!) for you to learn from.
5. Help you with tips for keeping the time you spend on
tweeting (and other social media) to a minimum.
6. Show you how to harness the power of an entire online
campaign, both in terms of reaching your audience and in
saving you tons of time.
7. Nope. Not every Twitter app known to Tweetdom! There are
some 70,000 of them at last count. Only tried-and-true ones,
the ones you need.
Frugal and Focused Tweeting's
online book launch powered
by Aggie Villaneuva of Promotion a la Carte.
What People are Saying
Frugal and Focused Tweeting
“Experts say that when business is slow, the last budget one should
trim is advertising. Frugal and Focused Tweets lets a
retailer have their promotions online and do it very nearly
Ricciardi, President of About Face
“In thirty-five years in the industry, there are only a handful of
retailers I have observed reach the success level of Carolyn
Howard-Johnson. There is only one thing you need to learn
from her to succeed . . . everything she says!”
~ Randy H. Eller, industry speaker, business consultant, and
President Eller Enterprises, LLC
“As a columnist for Home Décor Buyer, Carolyn’s no-nonsense
approach to retailing and her easy-to-read writing style
made her a coach to thousands of retailers.”
~ Jim Carper, founding editor of Home Décor Buyer
“The use of social media by retailers is tricky business. Frugal
and Focused Tweeting for Retailers details
practical strategies for retailers to connect with their
target audience in a way that delights them, builds
relationships, and creates a sense of community with people
of like interest. It will help you not only drive new
traffic to your site, but it will also help you create a
loyal following of repeat clients . . . It’s a treasure
trove of information."
~ MaAnna Stephenson, Web site
training and designs and author of Blogaid's how-to on using
For all who
want to successfully compete in the marketplace regardless
of the services or products being offered to a consuming
public, her books are like a congenial roadmap with all the
shortcuts and detours to your future prosperity.
the Heart with Art Therapy
1 - The
Basics: What Did You Say Twitter Is?
2 - Your
Twitter Goals and Checkup
CHECKING TWITTER RESULTS
First-Step Twitter Tools
YOUR TINY TWITTER BIOGRAPHY
YOUR TWITTER MONIKER
YOUR TWITTER WALLPAPER
4 - Build
Your List of Followers
RECRUIT YOUR CUSTOMERS AS FOLLOWERS
ˇ Invite your customers to Tweet with you
ˇ Invite those on your media list
ˇ Plumb other lists for followers
BUILDING LISTS OF FOLLOWERS
ˇ Accept those who follow you
ˇ Invite Tweeters who are interested in your products
ˇ Watch the #FollowFriday or #FF entries
ˇ The Find People link
ˇ Tweeters who use Twitter’s Listed feature
ˇ Host Twitter chats
ˇ Run a Twitter contest
ATTRACT NEW FOLLOWERS WITH SWEET TWEETS
ˇ Everyone loves Tweets about Tweeting
ˇ Another friend maker is the Retweet function
ˇ Sweeten your Tweets with value
ˇ Build your own Twitter lists
ˇ Let people connect with you at a local level
5 - Other
UBIQUITOUS LINKS AND TOOLS
ˇ The star
6 - Do
Those Other Twitter Links Affect You?
ˇ How actively do Tweeters Tweet
ˇ Following and followers links
ˇ Your Listed statistic
LINKS UNDER “HOME”
ˇ Your moniker or username link
ˇ The Direct Message link
OTHER MAJOR LINKS
ˇ Trending Worldwide
ˇ RSS Feeds
7 - One to
the Nth Power: The Exponential Clout of Your Online Efforts
ˇ Tweets are the workhorses
INTEGRATE ONLINE CUSTOMER PURCHASES
INTEGRATING WITH OTHERS’ ONLINE PRESENCE
ˇ Favor others online
ˇ Jumping onto others’ blogs
ˇ Drop in on anyone who mentions you
ˇ Your e-mail signature
ˇ Join a Twitter chain
Give a Twitter party
INTEGRATE ONLINE FREEBIES AND CONTESTS
INTEGRATE YOUR ADVERTISING
APPENDIX ONE: YOUR GLOSSARY OF TWEETING TERMS
APPENDIX TWO: SAMPLE TWEETS
APPENDIX THREE: APPLICATIONS TO ORGANIZE YOUR TWITTER
APPENDIX FOUR: MORE STUDY FOR BETTER TWEETING
APPENDIX FIVE: SAMPLE BLOG ENTRY
APPENDIX FOUR: SAMPLE MEDIA RELEASE
Frugal and Focused Tweeting
MBR Bookwatch: June 2010
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575
Frugal And Focused Tweeting For Retailers
Reviewed by Paul T. Vogel
No 'brick and mortar' business can survive in today's
marketplace without including the advances in communications
technology represented by the computer, the internet, web
sites, the Blackberry, Facebook, blogging, and now --
twittering. That's why Carolyn Howard-Johnson's "Frugal And
Focused Tweeting For Retailers" should be considered
mandatory reading for all business managers over the age of
30. And that's because younger generations than that, the
phenomena of twittering is already well established and near
universally entrenched. Using 'social media' communications
technology is vital for successfully competing in the
marketplace regardless of the services or products being
offered to a consuming public. "Frugal And Focused Tweeting
For Retailers" is a 130-page compendium of invaluable,
practical, instruction, tips, and techniques for integrating
this new technology into marketing and management,
maximizing results for publicity, promotion, advertisements,
and sales; customer relations; internal communications, and
more, making "Frugal And Focused Tweeting For Retailers"
an invaluable and highly
recommended addition for personal, professional, academic,
and community library instructional reference collections
and supplemental reading lists.
interviews and reviews associated with the online launch
for Frugal and Focused Tweeting. The launch was
planned by Promotion a la Carte.
Find a fun recipe along with a review at
Martha's Kitchen Korner.
Frugal and Focused Tweeting for Retailers
Howard-Johnson puts nearly three decades of retail
experience plus oodles more in the fields of journalism,
public relations, publishing, and marketing into her
Survive and Thrive series of books. She consults in the
three Ps, publishing, promotion, and publicity, and is the
author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series
of books for writers and several award-winning books of
fiction and poetry.
Howard-Johnson founded and operated stores ranging from home
décor to gifts to antiques and other collectibles. She also
owned and operated the souvenir shop at the world renowned
Santa Anita Race Track. She served on the boards of
directors of periodicals like Gift Beat, of the malls
where her stores were located, and on the boards of
cooperative catalogs her stores utilized. She also served on
the California Gift Show board of directors. She has written
for assorted industry periodicals including Home Décor
Buyer and LA Mart. She puts this world of
experience in retailing to work for you with this series of
Survive and Thrive books and in private
Howard-Johnson was named Woman of
the Year in Arts and Entertainment by members of the
California Legislature. American Business Women’s
Association Impact Council also named her Woman of the Year
and Pasadena Weekly honored her for literary
activism. Her Web site is HowToDoItFrugally.com. She blogs
www.frugalretailing.blogspot.com. Here she is pictured
with Frugal and Focused Tweeting for Retailers.
Frugal and Focused Tweeting
Before We Get Started
My first Survive and Thrive
book, A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store
Promotions, was designed to position any
independent retailer as the go-to store for the
products or services it sells. That book was based on my
experience as founder and operator of independent gift shops
serving several different clienteles. This book is based on
my experience as a Tweeter—from the beginning of
Tweetdom—for retailers and my fellow authors.
You’ll notice I capitalize
words that have been inspired by Twitter, and there are a
bunch. Twitter has infiltrated our entire culture and the
caps are meant to remind of us how important Twitter’s
influence has become.
I’ve also put some words in
bold typeface to cue readers that they can find their
definitions in Appendix One of this book. It wouldn’t hurt
for readers new to this micro social network called
Twitter to peruse that section early on, especially if they
are also new to the great world of the Web.
Tweeting is sometimes thought
of as outside the usual business box (don’t you believe it!)
because it’s fun and breaks some of the old rules. It
follows that a book on Tweeting should attempt to follow
suit. Using caps and putting font in bold lets the process
feel light and easy. Besides,
Twitter is new. Twitter is exciting. Twitter has a life of
its own. I can't help myself.
I don’t inundate you with long
lists of applications designed by people to help you
manage your Tweets. There are, indeed, thousands of such
applications. 70,000 at last count. Instead, I give you the
one (or the ones) that came highly recommended to me or the
one I’ve used with success. And trust me, I look for
There is no point in
cluttering your Twitter life with extraneous stuff until
you’re ready. That’s why I put some of the links for you to
explore in a chapter called “Do Those Other Links Affect
You.” You can Tweet a long time—and do it
effectively—without many links you find in the right column
of your Twitter homepage. That’s also why I put some of the
essential help that applies to most every aspect of Twitter
in the Appendix where you can find what you need easily.
Twitter was designed to be a simple communication device. I
propose to keep it as simple as possible, or at least as
simple as you want it to be.
I want my books to be quick
studies for retailers who want to focus on specific aspects
of their marketing campaigns, in this case Tweeting and
integrating Twitter with their other social media. I
hope this one boosts your entrepreneurial spirit and
provides enough detail to take the fear (or dread!) out of
doing what you must to carve your niche among Tweeters
interested in stores, shopping, and the retail industry.
Some readers will be old
timers. I try to give enough details that newcomers won’t be
left scratching their heads and asking, “Well, yeah. But
just how do I go about that?” And I believe there are enough
new ideas, slants on old techniques (if we can call anything
about Twitter old!), and inspiration in this book to make
seasoned retailers and even techies sit up and take notice.
To take that one step farther,
I'm begging those of you who are veteran Tweeters not to
skip the first section of this book because the basics feel
familiar. I don’t want you to miss valuable tips. As an
example, there is a knack to biographies of any kind, but
Twitter bios—like all things Twitter—must be brief. What you
say in the few characters you are allotted can encourage
people to follow you (much like becoming your friend
on Facebook) so they can learn more about your store and how
it can benefit them . . . or not. Just because you have
written your biography doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve a
little sprucing up. So read on. Think not in terms of just
Tweeting but in terms of focused marketing using Twitter as
I also want to encourage
readers to open a Twitter page so they have a visual as they
read this book. A printout of a page—your page once you get
started—may help somewhat, but the formatting may not be
I try to
give my readers the exact placement of Twitter links, too.
This is a how-to book, after all, and I want to be kind to
beginners. But because Twitter is new and because technology
and social networks seem to feel it’s their duty to
add new handy knickknacks to their sites and to make them
more beautiful, links move around. Without notice! If a link
isn’t where I said it would be, keep searching. You’ll
probably find it. If you see a new link, click and explore.
By that time, you’ll be so Twitterfied, you’ll have no
difficulty figuring new things out.
By Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Author of the HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers
(Retailers are writers--think of all that blogging and
Writers are retailers--think of all those books we must
We think of spring as a time when tweeting is in the air.
These days it’s a year-round occurrence. Last I checked
there were some 70,000 apps for Twitter. But I believe in
making it easy. So let’s cut some of the background chirping
and go straight for Twitter essentials. Here are some tips
from my Sharing with Writers newsletter (Subscribe using the
sign-up form at the top of the column on the right.). There
are enough tips here to get newbies started and give
old-timers some new ideas.
Note: The stars denote an application or tips that I
consider essential or use all the time.
Sign up (easily) at
To find appropriate people to follow on Twitter account, use
It's as important to use Twitter to learn new things as well
as to get your message out so try to be inclusive in who you
Wow! Here's a way to make your tweets do double duty,
encourage you to keep your tweets focused, and refresh your
e-mail signature as often as you tweet. Use Wise Stamp
) to automatically feed your latest tweet into your latest
Evaluate how you're doing on Twitter and how others are
doing but do be careful 'cause stats can be misinterpreted.
a great new Twitter aid. It will help you personalize your
Twitter backgrounds or wallpaper:
You can clean out your nonfollowers from your Twitter
www.mycleenr.com --but only if you have 700 or fewer.
They're working on more. My current favorite for unfollowing
www.justunfollow.com because it’s easy to use—i. e.,
frugal of time.
*Emergency Tip: One of the
major drawbacks to social networks like Facebook and Twitter
is that your account can be suspended. After all that work
building them! And sometimes through no fault of you own.
Here's an article on what to do if it happens to your
Regarding HashTags at
http://www.hashtags.org:Did you know that by using the #
(hashtag) sign before a word, you can tag your tweets? This
site tracks the most popular hashtags. As an example, I use
a hashtag #Tweeps4Writers which indicates that the tweeter
I’m recommending is a resource for writers. If you look that
hashtag up right now, you’ll find many authors, book
marketers, and even some agents I’ve recommended in the
your shortened link in your tweet first so that when the
tweet gets retweeted, part of the link doesn't get lost.
from author and marketing guru Tony Eldridge: Create an
AddThis Button (Social Bookmarking) to your website or blog
This one is fun because it's an easy-to-follow video!
Here's another video from Tony Eldridge on TweetLater and
other Tweet Scheduling Tools.
To find out who’s following you, go to:
Take a poll on Twitter:
Fun Only Twitter Tip:
you seen this fun Twitter application?
Wahhhh, I want
a computer mat with my followers' faces on it!
You can assure your tweets get more attention if you
research the recent trends on Twitter at
www.twopular.com, then design a tweet or two accordingly
and use hashmarks (#) to tag them.
Poets can treat their fans to Haiku on Twitter? It’s a
focused way for poets to focus and still connect with
www.makeliterature.com/twihaiku/twitter-poetry. It also
provides reviews, critiques and opportunities for your work
to get retweeted by others.
biography on your social network sites. They say 82% of
unsuccessful twitter accounts have no bio. Even if you use
Facebook, as an example, for your personal friends only, it
is only a courtesy to introduce yourself. You’d do that at a
people not following you go to:http://friendorfollow.com/frugalbookpromo/following/
Why would you want to do that? Generally you don't want to
follow people who aren't interested in a two-way
conversation and you certainly don't want your stats to show
you following hundreds of people more than follow you!
If you think your tweet might be worthy of a retweet, keep
it to 120 characters. That leaves room for the retweeter’s
own @username in it. Your followers are more likely to
retweet if they don’t have to work too hard at it.
Learn where a
tweeter lives by using real-time tweets at
www.twittervision.com. It’s valuable for author or
retailer events confined to a specific area. Watch it for a
minute to find people in your area or to find twitterpals in
other places in the world.
Did you know that Twitter is increasingly being used in ways
related to search engine research? If not, turn to CNN for
just one evening’s news and you’ll get it. How can you turn
this into something that will help position you as an
This Twitter tip is for those trying to reach folks in other
parts of the world. It’s a twitter translation tool.
Retweet Tip: One of the
tricks to getting wide exposure on Twitter is to get other
people to retweet your tweets. Here are two articles that
will tell you how to do it: How to Get Retweeted by @GuyKawasaki:
and The Science of Retweets by Dan Zarella:
favorite method is to give information that people are
likely to want and need. The other is to occasionally ask
to be retweeted.
friends and/or followers about the success someone had
because of a service you offer or information in your book.
An example would be, “Sharing with Writers subscriber
received a working computer from a fellow subscriber when
she was out of work after surgery.”
a really big list of Twitter aids go to John Kremer's
Twitter Tools page:
Find who is mentioning you or your book’s title on Twitter
by going to
Add you blog to Twitter by using Twitterfeed.com.
Don’t add your Tweets to Facebook using RSS feeds if you
tweet frequently. Your Facebook pals may get tired of you
when ten tweets a day appear on your Facebook page!
Twitter Tip: List
your book in Author Directories in different categories of
interest. Use these links:
last two: You can use the lists links or by tweeting
Jennifer Tribe (http://twitter.com/jennifertribe)
with your title and expertise.
)is a service that alerts you anytime your name, book title,
product, or company is mentioned or Tweeted about!
reach of your Twitter efforts at
www.Twellow.com Put yourself in all relevant
categories. It may just be "Authors and Writers" but you may
fit other places, too, depending on your area of expertise.
Like "Teaching." Or, in my case, "Marketing" and
"Publishing." You can categorize yourself in up to ten of
Back up your Twitter account and records with
Carolyn Howard-Johnson collects Twitter
tips for her newsletter. She says, “people
keep asking me how Twitter can help sell books and other
merchandise. Maybe it can't. But it will brand you if
you keep your tweets content laden and on target instead
of talking about going to bed and what you ate for
breakfast. Great branding leads to sales of all kinds.
When I hadn't been tweeting long my Twitter Promo record
included: Three blog interviews. Two podcasts. And a new
friend who helped me plan my first trip to the New
York Stationery Show when I spoke there--frugally! (-:
My Twitter address is
Don't make Tweeting hard. At it's best, it is simple and
fun. Take what you need and leave the rest. It can be a great
success with only a few Tweets a day, some personal (no need to
get too personal, though!) and some razor-sharp marketing, like
specials and discounts. The only iron-clad rule is for a Twitter
account that is meant to work for you, is that you must stay
Find at least one tip on writing,
promotion or tech on every page of this Web site.
"Careers that are not fed die as readily
as any living organism
given no sustenance."
Studio photography by
All Carolyn's Frugal Books Are
Available on Kindle
As Well as Paperback
Helpful Books for Writers
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Fiction and Short Stories
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Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers
"I have been a professional writer 40 years, and am also a
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students. I emphasize to them that while research is 90% of
writing, and the actual writing is about 10%, there's another
100% out there called promotion. Carolyn shows numerous ways to
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~Walter Brasch, author
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Spirited Woman Interview
You'll love Nancy Mills' Interviews
with Famous Women Writers
(When you check out the link, scroll down to see the
one featuring Carolyn!)
interview with Spirited Woman Nancy Mills included a bit of
nostalgia. The way journalism used to be before computers,
what it was like to be in New York in Christian Dior's time,
how Good Housekeeping magazine used to be. Sign up with
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Awards for Carolyn's Books, Blogs and More
The New Book Review
101 Book Blogs
You Need to Read
Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites
for Sharing with Writers blog.
Best Book Award for The Frugal Book Promoter (2004) and The Frugal Editor (2008).
Reader Views Literary Award for The Frugal Editor
New Generation Award for Marketing and Finalist for The Frugal Editor
Book Publicists of Southern California's Irwin Award
Military Writers Award of Excellence for
Tracings, A Chapbook of Poetry.
A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotion wins author Military
Writers Society of America's Author of the Month award for March,2010
Award from Military Writers Society of America, 2010.
MWSA also gave a nod to She
Wore Emerald Then,
a chapbook of poetry honoring mothers
And more than a dozen other awards for Carolyn's novel, short story collection and poetry.
See the awards page on this site.
Twitter is so popular that sometimes we get the equivalent
of a busy tone when we try to access it. Annoying yes?
Well I have an anecdote for you. Once, I sat on the board of
directors with one of the principals of Enesco, makers of
the just-growing-famous Precious Moments. The board was
trying to resolve the ever-present problem of waiting in
line to register at tradeshows--with very little success.
This gentlemen who was experiencing similar problems with
retailers needing more product than his company could
produce, said: "Sometimes lines can be a very good thing."
Of course he was right. Witness how people are willing to
stand in lines overnight for the new edition of the iPhone.
Having to wait for something sometimes signals success and,
in general, folks want to be part of success!
Find tips on writing, promotion or
tech on every page of this Web site.