Why Authors Should Love Twitter
By Brittney Karpovich, Marketing/Social Media Strategist, Smith Publicity
I want to make a case to authors that Twitter is useful to book marketing. Although there is a great debate about where to spend time online, I believe Twitter works very well for authors. It gives you a quick, easy way to connect with others of similar interests, create meaningful relationships, and cultivate fans. Mixed into a content flow with other things, author tweets can include directly sharing content from your book and blog posts. By cross-promoting your book and your blog (and linking this information to your website), you can drive traffic to your site. Additional visits to your website equate to more exposure for you and your book.
As a Twitter user, you can also share information from other people. You can retweet articles, photos, and blog posts 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 increasing your audience, more people will be exposed to your author brand.
How Authors Can Use Twitter Effectively
Being an active member of the Twitter community means trying to post at least once or twice a day — or more if you have enough interesting things to say. Tweeting consistently makes sure you are engaging with followers and being visible to people. It also helps other Twitter users find your account. 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 essential way for authors to promote themselves and their books.
Here are a few things to understand when using Twitter as an author:
- 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
- Hashtag: using the number sign (#) before a word or phrase. By using the hashtag 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 interests to your own
As an author, following other authors and publishers can help you develop ideas for tweets. 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 grow your audience.
Grow your following
There are a few ways to grow your following:
- Follow people you want to follow you back
- Use hashtags for relevant 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 or your book. It 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 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 expected to be seen.