A4A: Easy Tantalizing Twitter Tips to Unexpected Exponential Growth
Hello Lovely Our Write Siders,
Let’s talk about the bird in the room.
It is this scary, overwhelming, fast-moving place! It’s easy for those who are less tech-savvy *waves* to get overwhelmed and feel out of place. It functions very differently from Facebook, where it’s all about emotions and *being friends*, whereas Twitter is about gaining *followers.* Many set up their account and yell into the void, never quite getting ahandle on how to actually interact and connect with others. BUT if you take the time to learn twitter, it is the place to become a leader (with followers, aaaahhh, see what they did there?) And the way to do that is to:
Follow influencers in your genre. See what they are sharing and emulate that. What posts are getting the most hearts, tweets and comments? Create your own posts along those veins, share their posts, and similar content. Influencers should be authors in your genre, but should also be reviewers in your genre, and readers in your genre. If you are looking for a traditional publisher or an agent, then you want to follow those influencers as well. You don’t need to buy twitter followers (despite the thousands of accounts that will follow you and suggest otherwise) but you do need to manage your followers carefully. You don’t want to end up upside down on your follower count. I tend to keep mine a careful balance of followers/ following. How do you do this? Follow an average of 20 new accounts a day (again, focusing on readers, reviewers, and authors in your genre.) and once a week clean your list of those who don’t follow back. You can do this using a handy free tool like who.unfollowed.me
Engage Your Followers
I spend at least 15-20 minutes a day, every day, interacting with people on Twitter. This is part of my Marketing in Minutes a day routine. First, I respond to any mentions, retweets, or hearts I got. Then I go through and heart, retweet, and comment on other people’s posts. I will also share mentions (tagging people on Twitter, such as when I share a guest post on my blog,author interview, book review, recommend bloggers to follow, or just to call someone out for being awesome.) Everyone loves to be noticed. Notice people and they will notice you.
Hashtags are probably some of the most confusing bits on Twitter. You should always include two, but no more than three, but make sure they are the right hashtags and that you are using them in the proper context. So help me, if I see one more author include #amreading to promote their own book, I might very well cry. You and I both know darned well you are not reading your own book. Instead, use the hashtag as a way to call attention to what you are actually reading (because as Stephen King says, the best way to learn to write is to read great books.)
Here are some great hashtags for authors:
Don’t forget to add # before each of these. Make sure you are using these on the correct day, and in the correct manner.
Twitter is a fast-paced animal. Co-scheduler recommends posting 15 times a day! So what do you post to fill that time. Most market influencers recommend following the 80/20 rule. 80% should be interesting/ fun/ news posts and only 20% should be sales posts. I am sure if you take a moment to analyze your top influencers in your genre, you will see that they are doing very much the same. So share other author’s content, share interesting articles to readers, share fun memes relevant to your genre. That remaining 20% of your posts should be a mix of subtle “buy my books” such as a book reviewers post, a quote image from your book, or an author interview. That means you have to get these pieces of content, but the great part is that you can re-use this ever-green content. Not sure how to create book quotes? OWS Creative Studios has a great service that will create twitter cards for you.
From Review Quotes:
To book quotes:
You can also promote sales, sign ups to your newsletter and following you on other social media that isn’t a competitor to Twitter (like goodreads, Youtube, or Amazon, probably not a good idea to push Facebook or Instagram.)
Now, we all know you can’t live on Twitter. Rather than trying to hop on every hour or so to post, use a nifty free tool like Hootsuite or Buffer, or if you are on a lot of social media sites and want to share different content to all of them, invest in something like PromoRepublic
Track Your Results
This is a key part of any marketing strategy. Essential. Yet, so few authors do it. With Twitter, they make it so easy that there’s really no excuse NOT to do it. How? Let me tell you. Go to your Twitter profile page. On the right you will see a little graph that says “Your Tweet Activity.” This shows for the last 24 hours. But right below it there is a link that says “View Your Top Tweets.” Click on that and it will show you data for the last month. Want to up your tracking game? Create a spreadsheet and track each month what tweets are getting the top views, likes, and retweets. Each month, add to the sheet and that will give you a longer term view. This helps you adjust and adapt your twitter strategy for the short AND long-term. And it only takes 30 minutes a MONTH? You have no excuse not to do this. This will be the biggest tell on whether or not Twitter is working for you.
Follow these easy tips and you will find your influence on Twitter growing exponentially. Anything else on Twitter got you stumped? Let us know in the comments below. We’re always happy to help.
Until next time,
Heidi Angell is a bibliophile, lexicomaniac, and wordsmith. When she isn’t writing or reading, she enjoys helping fellow authors on their writing adventures. Learn more at www.heidiangell.com
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