Twitter for Authors: How to Build your Platform & Connect with Writers and Readers
If you’re a busy author, Twitter might seem like a chaotic jungle. But with its short-form content, videos, and over 330 million active users monthly, Twitter is one amongst the popular social media platforms. Apart from that, it is a great way to promote your book and yourself as a writer and get noticed.
Given the fact that Twitter is a significant part of your author platform, how much exactly should you be tweeting per day? Or per week? How active are you when it comes to promoting your books? Should you focus more on promoting? Or focus more on conversations with your fans?
Are you pondering over these questions and looking for a set of guidelines for using Twitter to promote your book and grow your brand? Here are some of our top tips for making the most out of Twitter.
The Essential Elements to Know for Using Twitter
Before we can dive into the basics, take a breath, and remember that everyone starts at level zero.
- Anatomy Of A Tweet: To begin with, let’s start with the anatomy of a tweet. Tweets are composed of 280 characters or less. It might take some time to get used to, after having no word limit on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. But even with these limits, it’s very much achievable.
- Retweets: A retweet is another person’s tweet you choose to share with your followers. You can just hit the retweet button and post the original message to your followers. In simple language, a retweet is similar to ‘Share’ on Facebook.
- Hashtags: A hashtag is used to categorize your tweet, which will make your message more visible on Twitter. You can use hashtags to organize your conversations around a specific topic or trend. It will also help you meet and get in touch with people who share similar interests as you. When you click on a hashtag, you will be taken to the rest of the search results for that specific term.
- Linking & Mentioning: If you’re worried about links taking up most of your 280 characters, Twitter’s link shortening feature helps you paste a link of any kind. It will automatically convert it to 19 characters. Added to that, if you want to bring your tweet to anyone’s attention, all you have to do is include @username of whoever you want to mention. It is brought to their attention.
- Craft An Intriguing Bio: Your bio should be easy to read. It should explain what you do and how you can help your readers. Be sure your bio doesn’t read like a sales pitch. Using a little humor goes a long way. Also include a clickable link to your website, book, or other social media platforms. For your profile picture, choose a professional-looking headshot. Use a picture of your book or a suitable image relating to your genre for your cover image.
Find the Right People
There is a thriving community of writers when it comes to Twitter specifically. Even though it might be hard to find them if you Google, it’s not a hard feat when it comes to Twitter. You need to get involved and social with the community, to help build your brand. And the best part about it when it comes to Twitter is that people who might usually seem inaccessible to a budding writer, are easy to find on Twitter.
To find an editor, an author, or publishing fast, you can use the search field on Twitter. All you have to do is type in editors or authors and the niche to see the list of names. Follow other writers. Like and retweet their content. If you do it, many others will do the same and return the favor to you.
The best way to find readers who belong to your niche is by searching for the keywords you often use and see who else writes about them.
Interact A Lot & Engage With Followers
Right from the get-go, if you know your niche, you should make a list of people you follow and make sure they also write in your genre. This way, you will be able to build relations easily and interact. If you want to succeed on social media, you have to interact a lot.
People crave for attention. Everyone wants to be noticed by others and create meaningful conversations. It’s a two-way street. If you notice them, they notice you.
When it comes to engaging with your followers, you can start by responding to their tweets at first. Eventually, you can improve and start asking questions on a live Q&A, also by stimulating chats.
When someone tweets that they have read your book and liked it, respond to them. Ask them what they liked the most about it. Or about their experience. It would build a conversation and eventually lead to more readers buying your books.
Be sure that when you talk, you don’t only talk about your book, but about subjects and matter related to your book’s niche. If you get your followers interested in the topic, they will be potential readers who will buy your book. Always learn to captivate your followers with your tweet.
Start Writing Valuable Tweets
Remember, every tweet you post is a sample of your writing. If your tweets are interesting, people will follow you and get intrigued to buy your book. Make sure every tweet entertains your readers, excites, and amuses them. If you manage to accomplish that, you win.
If you assume that since you have a Twitter profile, you can write about anything you want, you’d just be spamming your readers. It would lead to them unfollowing you, and you wouldn’t want that. So make sure whatever you tweet has value to it.
For instance, you can tweet about behind the scenes of your writing process. You can also offer advice to that particular area of expertise, writing tips, what you’re currently reading, favorite quotes, things you’re passionate about, etc.
Hacking It With Hashtags
If you’re looking for a more natural way to draw the attention of readers interested in the same topic as you, hashtags are your savior. Hashtags help people see your tweets more often. When someone searches for those specific words, they will be happy to find genuine tweets related to it. It will also result in them following you so they can read more of your tweets.
Remember never to overuse your hashtags. Keep it to a maximum of three per post. Also, never include hyphens or spaces, then your hashtags won’t work.
Here are a few hashtags as a writer you need to be aware of:
Choose the Right Profiles to Follow
Just because people share the same interest as you, doesn’t mean you need to follow them. Once you gain a certain number of followers, it’s best to learn to filter who you follow and choose from the lot.
Always remember that following other writers and creating a conversation with them is good. But you also need to connect with potential readers. Look for profiles that are interested in the subject matter you write about.
Also, do not follow automated accounts. The best way to know the difference between genuine accounts is by going to their account and seeing how many times they post a day. An average human posts around 10-15 times a day. But a bot posts around 2000 times a day.
Bots also love anonymity. So if you go to profile and find that it’s not a real name, instead of jumbled numbers and letters, rest assured it is a bot. Another primary role of bots is to boost up the posts of other bots. They rarely create original posts. If you find a stream of retweets, there’s a high chance it’s a bot. A combination of these three above mentioned factors is enough to prove if the person following you is a bot or a genuine person interested in your work.
It’s not advised to have bots in your follower list because they will not read your tweets. A hundred genuine followers you can interact with are much better than having 1000s of automated accounts that won’t read your tweets.
Reciprocate to Those Who Often Retweet Your Content
As your followers continue to grow on Twitter, it isn’t going to be an easy feat to keep track of the ones who are active on your profile and retweet what you post. But, they are the followers who’ve taken the initiative to understand your niche, retweet it, and help you gain more audience and readers.
The best way to figure out who this list of followers is is by putting them into a list. This way, you can retweet to them in return and reciprocate when they tweet something nice. This way, you will keep the conversation going. If everything goes well, you will find yourself with more followers based on their recommendations.
But also make sure not to retweet a lot of promos. It’s occasionally nice to retweet a promo for another writer friend or a budding writer who has shown a lot of interest in your work. This way, you will be able to engage with a lot of other readers from their profile who would find your work right up their ally.
Keep Up With The New Promotional Tools and Trends
Twitter often introduces something new on their platform. So make sure you keep up with the new promotional tools. Jump on it, and start using it once it’s introduced, because it will be novel for your readers. Hence, they will most likely click on it to see what it’s about. It would get you more viewers who might create a rush in readers buying your book.
Also, keep up with the trends on Twitter. It is another way to expand your reach on Twitter. If you see something from the writing community trending, don’t be afraid to tweet about it. It shows your readers you’re up to date with what’s happening on the platform and help create conversations.
When it comes to succeeding on Twitter, these are the key points you need to know. Twitter might be about promoting your books and telling your readers about your work. But at the same time, it is also about creating conversations, contacts, and relationships that will come in handy.
To sum it up, you, as a writer, should take social media seriously and learn to have fun while doing it. It could help you boost your career. The final suggestion is that Twitter is an excellent place to promote your other platforms. Be it your website, a blog post, or a book review.
Having a good Twitter profile in addition to your website and newsletter will be an asset to you and your brand.