This Chatty Cathy can’t lie: I love Twitter. Some authors think of tweeting as just another chore, but I find the site invaluable for connecting with readers and sharing publishing industry news with other authors. Book reviewers find me on Twitter. So do families that have adopted children, as I have.
Why is Twitter fabulous? Consider this:
- 326 million people are active on Twitter – 67 million in the US, 259 million internationally
- 80% of Twitter users have mentioned a brand in a Tweet
- 26% of US users check Twitter several times daily; a further 20% at least once a day
- 80% of users are affluent millennials (and they buy!)
Now, do I spend endless hours on Twitter? No. My workday revolves around a strict writing schedule. But I do find time throughout the week to spend several minutes catching up with friends in the Twitterverse.
Wondering how you can grow a vibrant Twitter following? It’s easy with these following strategies.
Make Sure Fans Can Find You. Don’t rely on fans accidentally finding you—bring them to your Twitter account! Include your Twitter handle on your email signature, business cards, and swag you give away. On your website, you should have a link to your Twitter account or a feed embedded into your site.
Follow First. Don’t be shy—if you’re tweeting with a friend and others jump into the conversation, follow them. Or search hashtags for topics of interest. I’m an adoptive mother and have met many similar families on Twitter through #parenting and #adoption. I’m also a middle-aged gym rat and meet other like-minded souls through #exercise, #healthy, and #relax.
Follow Back. Unless the follower strikes you as being a bot or someone who posts inappropriate content, you should follow back. To find new followers and manage the ones you have, you can use various tools to make following and unfollowing easy.
Pin Your Best Tweet. On your profile page, you can pin an important tweet, such as a current promotion or an upcoming release. It should be a well-crafted tweet so that it inspires other tweeters to follow you.
Provide Useful Content. Twitter is a large, boisterous cocktail party. If you have something interesting or helpful to say, people will listen. The rule of thumb is one-third of your content should be targeted towards your writing career and the other two-thirds to content related to your interests or expertise. For example, prior to writing fiction, I owned a PR firm, and my past expertise often leads to blog posts (like this one) tailored to help other writers with their marketing.
Use Images. Did you know that Tweets with images get 150% more retweets? Be sure you use photographs or eye-catching images to promote your book. If you are worried that you can’t create a nice looking image, use a tool like Canva to get you started.
Engage. If you’re simply lurking, you’re wasting a valuable opportunity to connect with friends who may become readers of your book. Engage followers by commenting on followers’ posts or by posting a question to encourage others to respond. Seventy-seven percent of Twitter users feel more positive about a brand when their Tweet has been replied to! Also, make sure you check in regularly to respond to mentions, direct messages, and retweets. You will want to use every opportunity possible to show the flesh and blood person behind the persona.
Be Consistent. To ensure you maintain a vibrant Twitter following, you have to be consistent. That means that you must post every day, including weekends. If you don’t, you will be forgotten and eventually unfollowed. Using a social management media tool and scheduling Tweets in advance makes this easy work!
Have Fun. If you view Twitter as yet another chore on the self-publishing road, you’re missing the platform’s sheer power and connectivity. I’ve met fascinating people from across the globe. Many of my Twitter friends have gone on to purchase my books, offer to review or lend advice in one of my areas of interest. With an investment of several minutes each week, you’ll enjoy the same success.
Using these tips will help you build an engaging Twitter following and grow your fan base. Do you have Twitter tips to share? Please comment below!
…and don’t forget to follow @christinenolfi!