Okay, so I’ve been using Twitter a lot these days and I’m having a lot of fun with it, so I decided to do up a quick blog post on how (I believe) you can make the most of your Twitter if you’re a writer or author. I’m going to assume you have a Twitter account and kind of know how to use it- if not, keep reading and if you’ve got any questions leave them in the comments!
Assuming you have a basic idea of how Twitter works, it means that you’ve probably followed a few people. I do not encoruage follow for follow mantality, but there is no doubt that sometimes someone right up my alley follows me and I follow them back. If you like someones tweets often, give them a follow- even if there is no promise they will follow you back.
Okay, I know right off the bat some of you are going to hate me for this, and disagree. Auto-DM’s. You’ve probably gotten them when you follow someone. They send a clearly automated message along the lines of “Thanks for the follow! Here is a link to my book, please buy it.”
I personally hate them. I find them tacky. I won’t deny the fact that they do have the ability to get your book in front of more people but I know a lot of people who consider auto-DM a reason for an instant unfollow. If you want to DM someone, go for it! But I suggest going with something genuine, not automated.
Where do you stand on auto-DMs?
Twitter takes time
It will take time and work every day. It can be a hard place to “get in” and “stay in” and it can take a lot of work. I’ll be honest. If I don’t go on my Twitter for a few days, I know I’m going to come back with less followers than I had. But, that being said it’s important not to get caught up in being on Twitter 24/7. There are no promises that having lots of followers on there is going to make you a best seller and while it’s important to have a social media presence, it’s also important not to let it take over your life- you’ve gotta have time for writing after all!
Get a scheduler
It took me a long time to actually get on a site that allowed me to schedule posts for when I wasn’t around. I knew for months that I should do it, but I never got around to it. And now that I have… oh gosh, I’m so thankful I did. It makes my life so much easier.
I use Buffer.com and have a free account, which means I can schedule up to 10 posts at a time. I’d rather do more, I won’t lie, but it’s been working for me. And that way, if I’m not at the computer for a week I’m still able to be posting at least once a day.
Need I say this? I mean, come on. We all know we have to use hashtags. Probably. Sometimes, not using them is more than okay, but it will limit how many people see your tweet. The thing about Twitter is that people search hashtags, so if you want to be found you’ve got to use them.
When using hashtags make sure you use ones that actually represent what you’re tweeting about. Also make sure you have a little bit of fun with them. It’s okay to use one or two you makeup or know never get searched.
#Writerslife, #Amwriting, #AmwritingRomance (or any other genre), #AuthorLife are all common writing ones I use.
But it’s also a good idea to use some other ones in there that have to do with what you’re tweet is about. Right now, working on a polyamorous romance, I use #poly if it fits.
Also, keep an eye on trending hashtags and see what you can play with. Even if it’s just a game that is trending that you want to get in on- it might open you up to new people.
It’s not just about writing- or your book
Okay, here is a quick one. It’s good to keep your tweets around roughly the same thing, that way people who follow you know what you’re all about- but mix it up every now and then. Personally, I think you can never go wrong with dogs.
Take part in chats, lists, and all that fun stuff!
Chats are so much fun to take part in and they connect you with people who are into the same kind of stuff you are. There so many of them out there, taking part all days of the week, that you should be able to find at least one that you like.
Note: What is a twitter chat?
A Twitter chat is a public Twitter conversation around one unique hashtag. This hashtag allows you to follow the discussion and participate in it. Twitter chats are usually recurring and on specific topics to regularly connect people with these interests.
Lists are another good way to connect with people. They are easy to make and fast. They also allow you to keep tabs on people! I have one for Canadian Authors and Canadian Fantasy Authors.
Now what about the actual tweets?
Okay, so I want to start off by saying that there is no hard and fast rule. Keeping your tweets mostly based around the same 5-10 themes will help you connect with people who are into the same stuff as you (I mean, you follow a fitness twitter for fitness tips not for pics of cake, right?) but that doesn’t mean you should limit yourself. Let your social media be a reflection of you. A professionalish reflection.
When it comes to tweeting, I like to try and mix it up. 95% of my stuff is writing related. Interviews and other writing advice both from my site and others, pictures/links normally of books- mine and others. But mostly I like to tweet about my wordcount, my work in progress, and my ideas. I also try to retweet 3-5 things a day.
The other 5% is normally silly stuff. Dogs, food, whatever I see that I really like.
And how many times should you tweet? This is a tough question that I don’t think anyone has an answer to. I’ve seen some people say you should tweet at least 20 times a day. I don’t. Most days.
Normally I tweet about 10 or so times a day, including retweets. Unless there is a hastah I’m having a lot of fun with, or I’m really putting off writing.
How many times a day do you tweet?
So, that’s alll I’ve got for you today! My basic tips to working with Twitter. Did I forget anything? Disagree with anything I said? Let me know in the comments!
I posed a couple questions throughout the blog, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them!