Nonfiction Authors Podcast host Carla King interviews Megan Aronson: How to Use Twitter Spaces To Build Your Brand & Platform with Audio Conversations.
Event Date: August 3, 2022 | Time: 10AM PT / 1PM ET
About Megan Aronson
Megan Aronson is a writer, public speaker and National Opioid Recovery and Mental Health Advocate who lives in the red rocks of Sedona, AZ. She is one of ten people in the U.S. serving on the bipartisan Advocates for Recovery Survivor’s Council founded by Newt Gingrich, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, and Van Jones. After overcoming an extraordinary number of challenges in her life including a rare seizure disorder and her husband’s opioid addiction, she is currently working on publishing her memoir, 47 Chances, which details her extraordinary story of love versus addiction. https://meganaronson.wordpress.com/
Join us here on August 3, 2022 at 10AM PT / 1PM ET
- Follow Megan on Twitter for announcements on the Women’s Writers Group
47 Chances (the book)
In this episode…
- Twitter Spaces 101.
- How to join Megan’s Women’s Writers Space. Women in the NFAA are invited Aug 10 at 10am MT.
- Using Twitter Spaces to grow your email list (Twitter Revue).
- Using Twitter Spaces to build your street team.
- Using #hashtags.
- Twitter Spaces as a podcasting tool.
- How to add value to your Twitter Spaces presence.
- What to talk about on Twitter Spaces.
Hello and welcome to the interview series for the Nonfiction Authors Association. Today’s session is with Megan Aronson and we will be talking about How to Use Twitter Spaces to Build Your Brand & Platform with Audio Conversations.
I’m Carla King, your host, and I’m happy to have you with us today. This interview will last only 30 minutes and you can find recordings on our Nonfiction Authors Association website and social media platforms including YouTube.
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And now I’d like to introduce our guest.
Megan Aronson is a writer, public speaker and National Opioid Recovery and Mental Health Advocate who lives in the Red Rocks of Sedona, Arizona. She is one of ten people in the U.S. serving on the bipartisan Advocates for Recovery Survivor’s Council founded by Newt Gingrich, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, and Van Jones. After overcoming an extraordinary number of challenges in her life including a rare seizure disorder and her husband’s opioid addiction, she is currently working on publishing her memoir, 47 Chances, which details her extraordinary story of love versus addiction.
Hi Megan! Welcome to the podcast!
Hi, thank you so much for having me, Carla. It’s such a pleasure to talk with you today about Twitter Spaces.
Carla King 2:34
Yay– and you know, wow, you have a lot to talk about. You have quite a story of obstacles overcome, and it’s great that you are talking about it. It’s very needed, you know, overcoming our challenges is important to share—and you’re talking about it on Twitter Spaces. And I was super excited, because I got on Clubhouse, and I couldn’t sustain it, and I want to do this. And Twitter is something that I’m, you know, more attracted to, because I’ve used it for a long time, or it’s been around for a long time, even though, you know, there’s always something happening with all of these platforms. So, can you just—first before we delve in—a lot of us haven’t even heard of Twitter Spaces. So, what is it and how did you get started with it?
Megan Aronson 3:27
Well, Twitter Spaces is a new social audio platform through Twitter and the already existing platform there. I got started on it just out of curiosity. I kept seeing these purple bubbles popping up at the top of my screen and little topics that were intriguing. And so, you know, at first I was kind of like, like you, like I don’t want one more platform to have to learn. But then I got curious, I just started jumping into a few spaces and listening, and I started to realize the power of Twitter Spaces—to connect people across the globe, across time zones, and center them around topics that they share interest in. And it just brought the avatars, you know, these people that I had known just as a picture on a screen, to life, through their voice and their inflection and created a much deeper level of connection, and a really excellent opportunity for networking.
Carla King 4:29
Thanks for that. And you know, the avatar is the little picture of yourself on all of these social media platforms. So, let me first ask you, a lot of people are trying to figure out what social media platform to be on. Why are you on Twitter and why would you recommend Twitter as a good nonfiction author space to embrace, first of all?
Megan Aronson 5:02
Well, I’ve been on Twitter probably since it first started. I was working for a company at the time and just kind of thought, well, this is going to be something big. So I started right when it started, and it’s become my primary platform. I just really enjoy the people there and the networking. So it’s been really nice, then, to take the platform that I already had, and just integrate the Twitter Spaces into it as another level of networking. So we created this Women Writers Twitter Space that we do regularly now, and it all started because I thought, well, there’s gotta be other people like me that are wondering, ‘How does this thing work?,’ and so we just started one Space to teach people just the basics of it. And that turned into this incredible support community of women writers who are all at different points of their career, and we’re just cheering each other on now.
So let’s start with a Twitter Spaces 101 Basics. So, the first thing you need to know is that Twitter Spaces does not have full functionality on a personal computer. So you want to be using your mobile device. Otherwise, all you can do is listen, you can’t engage and interact. So when you get into a Space, if you’re just listening, you’ve got a couple different ways that you can do Twitter Spaces, you can do it as a listener, you can do it as a speaker, or a co-host or a host. And there are a lot of different types of Twitter Spaces out there. So you might have a space that is just one main person interviewing another main person. Or you might have a space where there’s a couple of hosts that are interviewing several speakers, kind of like a panel, or you might have one that’s an open roundtable discussion centered around one specific topic or question. And usually, that topic or question will be in the header for the Twitter Space when you click on it.
So, first of all, when you see a space that you’re interested in, just try it out, go click on it, and just listen, you have nothing to lose. The only thing is, they’re gonna see you in that room. That’s it. They’re gonna see your little bubble on the screen. So I just encourage people to start trying it out. There’s also a lot of recorded Spaces, they do record them, and they stay online for a month or so. So you could just go listen to some of them and see how that sounds, you know what it feels like, kind of get a feel for it. But if you’re in a room for even 5-10 minutes, you’ll get an idea of how this room is going, and what exactly the topic is, and if it’s possible for you to contribute to the conversation by requesting the microphone. So in the bottom left hand corner of your screen, you’ll see a little microphone button. And you can hit that, and then it will send a request to the hosts, and they’ll approve or deny that request, and then you turn from listener to speaker, and now you can unmute yourself whenever. I always tell people that it’s kind of like an open mic night, we use a lot of open mic night terminology– you’re on this stage, you pass the microphone, that kind of thing. And so you just wait until it’s your turn to be called on, and then generally you speak for one to three minutes. And you’ve got emojis at the bottom of the screen so that you can interact. They’ll light up and let the people that are speaking know that you’re enjoying what they’re saying through parts or clapping, or laughter as well.
Carla King 08:27
I’m looking at my smartphone here, and I was looking for a Twitter Spaces app, but it’s not an app, it just comes with Twitter, correct?
Megan Aronson 08:35
Yes, it just comes with Twitter, it’s just there at the top of your screen, you don’t have to download any sort of app or anything like that. And then it’s just really a matter of how you want to participate, how much you want to put into it. Because if you’re just interacting as a listener, you can still get so much out of it. You can follow everybody that’s in the room. Go click on their little pictures, and then that will take you to their profile, you can follow them. And usually they’re online, so they’re going to follow you right back. You could DM the host afterwards and say, “Hey, I really enjoyed that thing that you said,” and start nurturing a relationship. And you just never know who you’re going to meet in one of these Spaces. You could meet an editor or a media contact that’s going to be really valuable for you. You just never know who’s going to be in one of those Twitter Spaces for you. But it’s really very simple to use.
Carla King 09:29
So let’s talk about hashtags.
Megan Aronson 09:30
You’ll see at the top of your screen, Twitter Spaces that are being hosted live by the people that you follow. So that’s one option for just clicking on them and finding them. Or you can use hashtags like #spaceshost #twitterspaces, or #bookchat. Those are some of the best ones. And that will just give you old recordings of them or you’ll see hey, there’s another one coming up on Saturday. A lot of these recordings are Twitter Spaces on a regular basis. Every Thursday at 10 is what ours is. So it’s something that you can come back to again and again.
Carla King 10:10
And I imagine there’s a lot of influencers on Twitter Spaces.
Megan Aronson 10:13
Yes, absolutely. And journalists, and people that are in the media and people that, you know, are also writing a book. So, for me, you know, it was really about—when we started—basically, the advice that I like to give if you’re thinking about actually hosting a Twitter Space, is that you want to either take what you have in your book and your brand, and break it down into content buckets. So for example, for me–with our story, I wrote a memoir, and my major content buckets are relationships, recovery, grief, personal development, and overcoming challenges. So if I want to host a Space, I could pick any of those topics and ask a question centered around one of those topics. Like–take relationships–and I say, “What’s the secret to a lasting marriage?” And that’s the question. That’s it. And it’s so simple, I just go and set up a Space, decide when I want to host it, and hit ‘schedule’. And now it’s out there, I can tweet it, I can share it. And then it’s a really easy link for people to click on when they’re ready for the actual Space. And it just turns into a way to really deepen your connection with the people that you are trying to reach on social media.
Carla King 11:33
Why Twitter, and not Instagram or Clubhouse?
Megan Aronson 11:36
I think for me, it really just comes down to Twitter is where I spend the most amount of time as it is. And Twitter is really working to create an all-in-one platform. They’ve got Revue where you can set up a newsletter signup. I’ve heard a lot—and I haven’t really ventured into it yet–but I’ve heard a lot about turning a Twitter Space into a podcast. And so it’s just kind of like, well, I’m already here on Twitter a lot. And I’m already connecting with people here. It’s just taking it to another level. And I have found that a lot of people are kind of disenchanted with Clubhouse and other apps like, like you said that, you know, maybe the trend is over. Now, I don’t know. But it just seems to be kind of-the way that Twitter has done it—they just worked some magic, that it’s just something that’s really easy to use, and a lot of people enjoy using it.
We have a group DM going as well with our group–the Women Writers Group that we do-and so it’s kind of a couple different things. [Follow Megan on Twitter to find the group.] Plus, they have Communities on Twitter now that are really starting to take off. So a lot of the Spaces are connected to Communities that you can become a part of like, Positivity Vibe Tribe is one of them, those kinds of things. There’s just endless possibilities for it, and that’s really what excited me about it—was that I could use a Twitter Space to do a book launch party. I could use it to ask a question that’s really centered around my work that’s going to draw in my audience. And they’re going to be more interested in my book now because I’m positioning myself as an expert on this topic.
And then you also have the option to position yourself as a potential guest speaker, because all these Spaces hosts are always looking for someone to come and be a speaker. So if you’re just taking a couple minutes to pop into a Space—which you can pop in at any point in a Space—you don’t have to be there from start to finish. If you only have 15 minutes, and you pop into a Space, you get a feel for it, you speak up, you request the mic, you have just made yourself known to that person. And now they’re going to see you as an expert on that topic. The more that you do that, you’re going to build relationships that are reciprocal, where they’re going to be happy to retweet your tweets, they’re going to be happy to share about your book.
What we’ve done with the Women Writers community is basically built ourselves a street team for our books. Every single writer that is involved in that community now has this whole community behind them that’s more than happy to tell the world about their book.
Carla King 14:08
So when you decide to start a group, how do you go about promoting it?
Megan Aronson 14:12
Twitter makes it really easy. You basically just go through a few clicks of the button, and it makes it very easy for you to tweet out your Space repeatedly. What will happen is, I like to send DMs to people the day before my Space, and I have a link right to the Space, and I just send a personal note that lets them know how much I want to see them and how much I’ve enjoyed having them in our community. And usually that makes people want to come and attend. And then another little trick that I use is, I create a graphic for it. And I tag people in that photo. And so then they’re more likely to retweet. You know, one of the best ways to get people to retweet your tweets is just ask and say please RT [ReTweet] at the end of your tweet. And when I do that, people usually share and help me spread the word about our next Space. So about those direct messages as DM’s. Okay, I find it very difficult to keep track.
Megan Aronson 15:09
You know, it’s really a hard thing to try and keep up with. I don’t have any perfect system at this point. I do take notes when we’re hosting a Space so that I can keep track of everyone that’s in it. And then I also take screenshots when we have a Space so I can keep track and go back and look people up. And then what we did was we turned it into a community and created a group DM, so everybody’s in that group DM, and I don’t have to remember them every single time. But they’re also the people that tend to show up in my feed the most. So that makes it easy as well. Just think about what kind of value you can offer to someone. And so for us, with the Women Writers group, it was support. Going through, dealing with rejection, and querying, and writing the book proposals, and just getting the word count done for the book in progress. And so for us, we were just creating a support system. But it can be—what can you educate people on? How can you motivate people? Can you speak about personal development? Whatever value you can offer, you can do that either as a host or a co-host and pair up with somebody like I did. I have a beautiful co-host, Abby Schwartz, and she kind of helps me with all the backend, sort of managing the space while we’re in it. Or you can just engage as a listener. Either way, it’s going to help you build your platform, both through networking, and actually building your follower account.
Carla King 16:33
You know, it just occurred to me, too, that many authors want and need to blog and write newsletters and develop their platform that way, and to get subscribers. And Twitter spaces seems like a good place to make that first personal connection before you make an ask. So, do you actually make an ask and say, in Twitter Spaces, “Hey, subscribe to me?” Or do you leave that for your bio–your Twitter bio and link?
Megan Aronson 17:11
I would say it’s a little bit of both. I will give a really excellent example. In our Space that we host, we were sharing one week about what we were working on, and one woman said she had just started her newsletter. And we were also talking that week about what goals we were setting, and she said her goal was to get to 100 subscribers. And so,I will tell you, by the end of that Space, she had 100 subscribers, because she just was sharing organically in the Space what she was doing. So you really don’t want to get on there and be super self promotional. It’s much more about connecting. And then you know, you’ve got your information in your bio for people to find you. It’s really only appropriate if you’re the host to say, “Hey, come subscribe to me.” You can do that at both the beginning and the end, and when you reset the room throughout.
Carla King 18:02
Ah ha, so there’s a reason to be proactive and to start a group and be a host. Haha. That’s awesome. That’s awesome advice, Megan. All right, I’m sorry, we’re almost out of time. And I also just want to point out that these are good social media practices for any social media platform that you’re in, but the voice, the voice capability paired with the platform that we all know and love, or haven’t tinkered with yet, but should probably, is it’s pretty irresistible. So will you tell us how we can dive in with your Writers Space, and for the men, maybe another Writer Space, and anything else you’ve got going on so we can follow you and get more of what you’re doing?
Megan Aronson 18:52
Absolutely. I’m so sorry to leave the men out of our community, but we do have this fantastic Women Writers Space. Right now we are on a summer hiatus, but we will be having our next Space on August 10th, which is a Wednesday, at 10:00 am Mountain Standard Time. If you follow me at Megan Aronson on Twitter, we have recordings of past Spaces on there you can check out. And I will be posting top 10 Space hosts to follow. So that would be a really great way to start out and get connected with some of these global communities. And that’s about it. You know, I just say jump in, try it. The possibilities are limitless. Go down the rabbit hole like I did, and I have a feeling you’ll have a lot of fun.
Carla King 19:38
I think so too. And finally, give us your website, your book, where we can find you on the World Wide Web.
Megan Aronson 19:46
So I am working on a memoir that I have written and I’m now working on getting published. It’s called 47 Chances. It’s the story of how both my husband and my marriage survived his opioid addiction. Overcoming a lot of challenges. And the happy ending–we got on the other side of forgiveness. My website is meganaronson.com, and again, I would love to see you on Twitter. I have my DMs open. If you have any questions, I’m more than happy to answer them. I love talking about Twitter Spaces, so please feel free to connect with me however you’d like.
Carla King 20:22
I’d love to. Thanks so much for being our guest today.
Megan Aronson 20:28
Thank you so much, Carla.
And thank you to our listeners for joining us today and every week. For a list of guests and topics just check our schedule on the site, use your favorite search engine, or better yet, sign up for our mailing list by joining our free basic membership program at NonfictionAuthorsAssociation.com.
What Megan said…
“What can you educate people on? How can you motivate people? Can you speak about personal development? Whatever value you can offer, you can do that either as a host or a co-host.”
“You’re going to build relationships that are reciprocal, where they’re going to be happy to retweet your tweets, they’re going to be happy to share about your book. We’ve basically built ourselves a street team for our books.”
“If you’re thinking about actually hosting a Twitter Space, you want to take what you have in your book and your brand and break it down into content buckets.”