Getting Twitter Followers

Get More Twitter FollowersAre you getting the most out of your Twitter experience?  Followers are key to getting the word out about you and your books. When I first started tweeting, I thought that the followers would come to me. I am sure you can guess how well that worked out! I was amazed to discover that finding followers was easy, once I went looking for them.

Follow Readers

Twitter can be a valuable marketing tool–but only if you have people who are seeing what you have to offer. As I mentioned above, follow other people first, don’t wait for them to find you! You have to go out and find your audience and Twitter offers you a super easy way to do that. Do you write paranormal romance? Use the #paranormal hashtag to find Twitter users to follow. No matter what your genre, there are hashtags for it, so spend a few minutes  and find your audience. (Keep a list of those hashtags as well so you can use them in future tweets.) You can combine hashtags to narrow your search.

Make sure you seek out readers, not other authors. Following authors is great, but they aren’t your target audience. So focus on finding readers first, then once you’ve built up your follower base, work on connecting with other authors in your genre.

Fill Out Your Profile

A lot of authors waste the space in their Twitter profile, filling it out with information that is irrelevant to their books. Don’t make this mistake! When you follow someone (and they have notifications turned on), they get an email announcing the fact and Twitter includes your profile information. Make sure you’ve listed the books that you’ve written, their genre and where to find them. Include a link to your website as well so potential followers can check you out.

Make Following You Easy

Stay away from validation services like True Twit. True Twit claims to keep spammers from following you, but what they are really doing is keeping legitimate people from following you. Do you care if a spammer is following you? You don’t see their tweets and they can’t direct message you unless you follow them back. So don’t annoy your potential followers (and readers!) by making them fill out a CAPTCHA to follow you. Twitter makes communication fun and easy, so don’t complicate it unnecessarily.

Get HootSuite

I’ve said this many times before, mostly because I am so impressed with how easy HootSuite makes Twitter. You can use it for free, so there is no reason not to get an account.  HootSuite lets you see all of your Tweets, your Direct Messages, Mentions and any other searches you want to add. (Keep track of your genre hashtags and participate in Twitter chats.) You’ll spend less time managing your Twitter experience and more time writing, which is what this is all about! HootSuite will also manage your Facebook profile as well as any other social media sites you are on.

Twitter is all about connecting with people who have similar interests and sharing information. It’s not about direct sales, so don’t think that you can Tweet a constant stream of ‘buy my books’ to your new followers. Focus on sharing content and driving potential readers to your website to pique their interest further.

Do you have a tip for getting more followers? Add it to the comments and thanks for sharing!

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Twitter Made Easy

Twitter Made EasyYesterday there was a bit of discussion in the Writer’s Cafe (on KindleBoards) about using Twitter for KDP Select Promos, as well as its general use, so I thought I would write up a quick post on how to use Twitter effectively.

Get HootSuite

I’m not kidding, go download it right now. HootSuite will make sense of Twitter for you and it’s free so there is no reason not to use it.  After you have it all set up, take a minute to look around. In addition to your Home Feed, you’ll get columns for Mentions and Direct Messages which makes it super easy to respond to any one who has tweeted to you or about you. If you click Add Stream just above Home Feed, you can add searches. I like to keep an eye on my genre related hashtags, so I can see what people are talking about.

HootSuite allows you to import up to five Social Media account for free. It is so much easier to keep track of everything if it is all in once place. If you have more than five accounts (or want access to analytics and extra fuctions), you’ll need to upgrade to HootSuite Pro. (HootSuite will give you a 30 day free trial of the pro version.)

How to Tweet

At the very top left corner of your HootSuite Window, you’ll see a ‘Compose Message’ box. That’s where you type your tweet. Whenever you type another user’s handle before your tweet content, the tweet appears in that individual’s stream. For example, if you start your message with @d_dangerlove, your tweet will go directly to me, as well as anyone who follows both of us. If you do not mention anyone at the beginning of your tweet, it will go out to all of your followers. So if you are doing a KDP promotion, make sure to put the account you want to retweet you prior to your message about your book.

Once you’ve got your message, just select which account you want to tweet from (if you have more than one). You can also schedule your tweet to go out at a later time, which is a good idea. Instead of sending out ten tweets all at once because you are in front your computer, schedule them to go out through the day so that you reach a broader range of your followers. When I did my last KDP Promo, I spent 30 minutes setting up my tweets for 2 days, this made it a lot easier to concentrate on the rest of my promotion.

Tweeting ‘Buy My Book’ Over and Over Will Not Get You Anywhere but Unfollowed

Sending out the same ‘buy my book’ tweet over and over (even if you reword it) is not going to sell books. Mix it up–retweet your followers, tweet a note when you update your blog, host a contest (don’t give away your book–you want people to buy that), send out an update on your work-in-progress. If someone sends you a tweet saying they loved your book, retweet that with a link to buy your book.  Tweet when you get a great review or are about to break into the Top 100 on Amazon. If you don’t know what to tweet, scan some hashtags to find interesting links to retweet or go look around on Pinterest and find something related to your genre to share. Get creative, you are a writer!

There are a lot of authors on Twitter who tweet a constant stream of buy my book tweets. Personally, I don’t get that strategy because not only is it annoying, but seeing so many of the same tweets means that I don’t even bother to read them when I am skimming my Twitter stream.

Questions?

Let me have them. And if you want more information on how to use Twitter effectively (including how to get a lot of followers painlessly), head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of The Self Publishing Toolkit.