Is Twitter a must have tool in your author marketing?
Will you fade away into nothingness without it?
What would happen if an author platform didn’t have a blue bird in its life?
Welcome back to the How To Build An Author House Series. I’m not sure if you’d fade into nothingness or if the world would indeed end. To go about your business without Twitter is a gutsy move though, and one I wouldn’t suggest.
Today marks my descent into Social Media and how such online tools can help build your author platform. I will be beginning with the monster that is Twitter, but before I do let me offer some advice for Social Media in general (and indeed author marketing as a whole).
There are dozens of Social Networks you COULD sign up for, and there will be many people in www. land that say you HAVE TO be part of this and HAVE TO be part of that. Now, I’m not saying they’re wrong, but let me just say this.
Everything needs a purpose!
By all means sign up to the next big thing and trial it. If, however, you find yourself not using it with any real vigour, drop it from your life completely. We only have so many hours in our life, and author marketing is there to help enhance our writing, not take over it.
You’ve been warned!
The Grand Daddy of tools for authors of all levels. The entire premise of Twitter is strange and I found myself trying to discuss its use to a fellow reader/writer just the other day. 140 characters to explain how you feel, what you’re doing and what you’ve found. How did this become big again?
When you look at it in its pure sense though its everything we need from a social network. It’s quick, precise, and to the point. Its simplicity in a bottle and the ideal tool to help any aspiring author platform rise from the flames.
I’ve already touched on how to find people on Twitter in previous posts such as HERE & HERE, so won’t go over this again. I do suggest taking a look though, because gathering an army (both to follow and to follow you) is the first step.
Today, however, I’ll focus on three aspects to leverage your author platform and kick-start your author marketing into overdrive.
How to Tweet
Actually Tweeting is easy. As long as you know how to type then anyone can do it. How you go about Tweeting on the other hand is an art in itself.
So many people sign up and spread their message in the hope everyone will read it. Why would they though? Seriously, why would they read your Tweet ahead of the other dozen that have popped up on their screen since returning from the toilet?
The clue is in its name. It’s called social networking for a reason, because it’s all about being SOCIAL. Would you go up to a stranger and say buy my book? If you’re saying yes then you’re a gutsy person, but most people would go up to someone and maybe say something crazy like ‘Hello’.
I know it’s hard, as we only want to talk about ourselves, but it doesn’t work like that, so try taking these following steps:
– Re-tweet, favourite, and comment on Tweets you like
– Try and get involved in discussions with fellow Tweeters
– Share links about things you read
– Are you an expert in something? Then Tweet Links to it
– Share content from people you become friends with
I tend to follow the rule that only 1 in 10 Tweets should be about my own work. That means for every time I link to this Blog (or in the future to a book) then 9 Tweets need to be interactions with others, re-tweets, and links from things I’ve read.
I share a lot of links on Twitter, arguable far too many. I read a lot of marketing articles and Blogs on writing and marketing. So what do I do? I Tweet them. I hope, in time, people may start taking what I share seriously, which may result in them taking my own writing seriously too.
When to Tweet
This is tricky because a good time to share in England might be a terrible time to share in the States. If you find a lot of your readers are from America, like mine, then you need to take this into account.
I suggest signing up for Tweriod, a great analysis tool. It analyses when my Tweets are shared and when my followers are online, therefore allowing me to plan my messages around the times people will most likely see them.
Analysing your Tweets is vital, just like analysis of your Blog is. You don’t have to go into huge depth, but if you can discover good times to connect then you’ll find your author marketing becoming much more efficient.
Another tool I use is Buffer, which allows me to automate my Tweets. If you come across a lot of articles at once then add them to Buffer and release them every 10 minutes, every hour, or whenever you feel. I also use this sometimes to send Tweets as I sleep, because like I say, a lot of my readers are from America and with England being 5 hours in front, well, it makes a whole load of sense.
To Hashtag or not?
I am useless at Hashtagging, and its something I need to improve on. I’m man enough to say it, and it’s something I hope to get better at, nay, I WILL get better at.
Hashtags.org is a great tool to use to see what’s trending and which hashtags are creating some discussions. If you’re part of a niche for example, this could be a great way to connect with people.
Considering Twitter is built around discussions, hashtags are a great way to hone in on, and then join a discussion relevant to you. I need to get better at this, because without doing so I’m neglecting a serious tool within Twitter. Overall, by using and following Hashtags you’ll:
– Keep up to date with trends
– Meet new Experts
– Allow People to find you
– Leverage your authority
– Strengthen your author platform
Twitter is a serious tool I feel all writers should be apart of. Saying that, you need to have a purpose for being on it. For myself, Twitter is my main focus when it comes to finding, sharing, and interacting with others. This Blog is my hub, but Twitter is my main author marketing tool.
I always have it on in the background, looking for new articles and discussions, and it’s the thing I always share to when I find something interesting. Other tools like Facebook and Google+ have a purpose too, but they differ considerably to how I use Twitter.
I’ll repeat my advice from earlier: Everything needs a purpose!
Twitter is huge, and if you use it correctly it could become your BFF. If all you’re going to do is neglect it, well, maybe you should place your resources elsewhere.
Thanks for reading guys and gals, next time I’m delving into one of Social Networks new guys, Google+. I have a guest post from Dominic Lidgett who will offer his sound advice on how you can utilise this powerhouse site.
Until next time,
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million
How do you utilise Twitter?
Is it your main author marketing tool or a side project?
What tools do you use?
Join the conversation below and share your experiences.