Most writers and authors of all kinds — be it book, article, or blog – are terrible on Twitter. Yes, it’s really, really, really that bad, like one struggling author on Twitter blogged about drowning in a sea of promotional tweets by fellow writers:
“My first reaction to experiencing the writing world around Twitter was despair. Not a surprising emotion as you scroll through writer tweets after writer tweets, each trying to convince you to check out their book, read a sample and buy, buy, buy.”
Whether a newbie, or a frustrated-with-tweeting author, follow these Twitter tips to get your social media strategy working more effectively:
1. Brush Up on the Basics
If you haven’t checked out the official Twitter for Authors best practice guide, then do. Like Twitter itself, it’s a quick and easy read (albeit longer than 140 characters). If you’re a newbie, practice tweeting (non-promotional), making replies, and using hashtags – but don’t go wild with twittering it up too much just yet.
2. Just Say No to (Most) Promotional Tweets
It’s ok to tweet sparingly about a newly published something, a special event, a remarkable review, or other such brags. That’s fine; readers like happy news. Just don’t overdo it with 24/7 variations on a promo theme. Think like a smart, small-business entrepreneur and save the sales pitch.
3. Be Real, Don’t Auto Tweet
If you’ve signed up for automated tweeting from a variety of “social media in 10 minutes a day” site hypes, stop it, like now. It’s not as if you’ve been getting many sales from it anyway, is it?
As Twitter’s own manager of Journalism and News reveals, go with a live tweeting mode about something besides yourself and your stuff. Try some new things like:
- · Tweeting along with Comedy Channel’s hilarious @midnight #hashtagwars
- · Joining Jimmy Fallon’s weekly hashtag game
- · Replying to other’s #FridayReads tweets
- · Offering suggestions to tweeps with #bookwormproblems
- · Looking for accounts with “bookworm” or “bibliophile” in their profile and engaging
4. Tweetup with Celebrities
What’s the best thing about Twitter? It’s tweeting with favorite TV, movie, music, sports, authors, journalists, and more big-time celebrities on Twitter. Ok, so sometimes they use ghost-tweeters (and generally say so when they do), but more and more celebs do their own live tweeting thing.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the latest NASCAR driver that regularly tweets with fans. Country music star Blake Shelton often surprises fans with a shoutout tweet. Find a Shorty Award winner or nominee for the best author on social media on Twitter to emulate.
5. Be Creative and Mix it Up
Traditional publishers do look for talented writers with a built-in following on Twitter and other social media sites. Show off a variety of tweets with pics, replies, hashtags, humor, and commentary and the like.
Don’t bore your potential readers/followers with constant “freebie ad” tweets. Do have more fun by tweeting differently to grow your readership with these tips.
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