Why Authors Should Learn to Love #Twitter

By Brittney Karpovich, Marketing/Social Media Strategist, Smith Publicity

Social media is an ever-evolving form of marketing. It seems like every day new information circulates on the Internet about which social media platform is best for authors.

Although there is a great debate about where authors should spend their time online, I believe Twitter has become THE place to connect with others of similar interests and to create meaningful relationships and cultivate fans.

Here’s why:

Twitter allows you to post frequent bursts of information that can range from sharing content from your book to sharing blog posts. By sharing information about your book and your blog and linking this information to your website, you are also driving visits to your website. Additional visits to your website equates to more exposure for you and your book.

As a Twitter user, you can also share information from other people! You can share articles, photos and blogs from people you find interesting. By sharing information that you don’t own, you begin to cultivate relationships with other people. These relationships help grow your following and by growing your following, more people will be exposed to your author brand.

Being an active member of the Twitter community means trying to post about five to 10 times a day. Although this number seems overwhelming, tweeting as often as you can ensures your message is visible to more people. People can locate your Twitter a number of ways. They may be searching for a topic you often tweet about or they follow someone you also follow.

Effective use of Twitter can be an important part of promoting you and your book. Twitter is a platform through which you can both promote your book and reveal your personality…for free!

Here are a few tips to consider when using Twitter:

Understand the Twitter lingo

Twitter has a language all its own. Some examples are:

  • Reply: answering someone who has tweeted to you using the “@” symbol
  • Direct Message (DM): directly contacting someone on Twitter—only you and the other person can view the conversation. Direct messaging is only possible if you and the person you’re messaging are both following each other.
  • Follower: a person who has an interest in what you have to say, and will see everything you Tweet
  • Hash-tag: using the pound symbol (#) or hash-tag before a word or phrase. By using the hash-tag the word/phrase you become more searchable on Twitter
  • Retweet (RT): sharing someone else’s Tweet with all of your followers
  • Trending Topic: topics that are the most talked about in a specific area. Becoming involved with a trending topic conversation may allow more people to see your Tweets and for you to gain more followers

Follow people with similar interest to your own

As an author, following other authors and publishers can help you develop ideas for tweets of your own. Twitter is a customizable social media platform where you follow only people you want to follow. Following people you think would be your audience is a great way to actually grow your audience.

Grow your following

There are a few ways to grow your following:

  • Follow people you want to follow you back.
  • Use hash-tags for important keywords, so if people search for those words your Twitter will be a part of the result
  • Retweet interesting Tweets from people you follow—so they may follow you back
  • Incorporate keywords and phrases in your Tweets and on your Twitter page. These keywords should of course be related to you and/or your book. This is valuable for SEO purposes, and because people routinely search on Twitter using keywords to find people they’re interested in.

Don’t be too promotional

Even though you’re using Twitter to promote your book and yourself as an author—don’t be too promotional.  People don’t want to read Tweets only about your book.  Find other things to post about; tips, fun facts or other tidbits of information you think your followers might like.

Be persistent

Be sure to post daily.  It is acceptable on Twitter to post multiple times a day. The more you post the more likely your Twitter handle (name) is likely to be seen.