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.