Twitter for Authors
Whether you hate it or love it, Twitter is still an influential platform that can be used to tell the world about your new (or existing) book, but if you don’t use it that often or don’t even have an account yet, what should you be doing when it comes to this specific social media channel (if you want it to help in self-promotion as an author).
The likelihood is that if you’re reading this, you are serious about promoting your book and reaching out to a larger audience, so along with other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, Twitter is still a good channel to connect with others.
So, what is the best way of using Twitter and are there things you could be doing right now to make it work better for you? Here are our top eleven tips on getting the most out of it for you as an author.
One – What’s in a name?
This may be a little obvious, but, if you haven’t yet created a Twitter account, make sure you chose a name which is relevant to you and your chosen genre. For example, If you’re an author of historical novels and yet your Twitter handle is @fluffybunny1, you may find that people will make assumptions about your credibility when looking at your page.
If you have an existing and personal Twitter account, you may want to consider opening a new one specifically for you as an author, this will then allow you to align yourself more closely to the genre.
Two – Profile Image
People will make assumptions based upon what they see, so your profile image needs to do you justice, as an author it is better to use a professional photograph of yourself, a good head-shot will give the impression of professionalism from the get-go.
If you don’t want to use a head-shot, do instead use a high-res image of an element that’s tied into your book, it could be a logo or a graphic which is important to the series. But please don’t simply stick with the default image of the egg, you tend to see this used on many fake accounts.
Three – Banner Image
Like the profile image, the banner you choose to represent you & your work is important, it should be professional, relevant and clearly showcase your book/s. Obviously we would recommend that you have one designed which includes images of your work along with copy which promotes, but if you don’t want to do this, at least use an image which (again) is relevant and looks professional.
Four – Bio
Your bio should not be something that you throw together quickly, it’s one of the first things that visitors to your profile will read, so it should let them know what to expect from you. Admittedly, you do only have the space for 160 characters, but this doesn’t mean you should waste them, a well-constructed bio along with your profile and banner images should highlight your professionalism as an author.
Five – Followers
One of the most frustrating things of starting a new account will be the lack of followers, this may lead to the temptation in seeking robot followers, these are still a thing (although Twitter is always clamping down on them), but it is easy to gain followers with them and for a fee. The simple answer is….. Don’t, they are fake, they’ll never retweet anything you post and they will make your account look shady.
Gaining real followers takes time, it takes some effort and it will require you connecting with others, but then that’s what social media is there for, to connect with other people. So, take your time, engage with others, like, retweet and comment, and above all, have fun, before you know it your followers will start to grow, and best of all, they’ll be genuine.
Six – Follow others
Find other influential people within your genre and follow them, you’ll find that lots of people will follow you back, but you will also see how they interact with their own followers (which can be really useful).
Seven – Saying thanks
If people retweet content from your page, make sure your say thanks and tag them in the post using their Twitter handle, this may seem like a little be of work, but it really helps to grow relationships and your presence upon the channel.
Eight – Self Promotion
Now the main reason that most professionals use Twitter is to sell something, however, if your page is simply one continuous advert, people will switch off, think of watching a show on TV, you’ll sit through the ads, but they’re not the reason your watching, and if it was 30 mins of pure ads, wouldn’t you just change channels?
So, be sparing with your adverts, post content that you would want to read yourself along with a couple of ads.
Nine – Hashtags
Adding great content to your channel is important, but you want it to be found, and one of the best ways of doing this is in using Hashtags. So if you have written a post about self-publishing, you simply add the tag #selfpublishing to the post, this way anyone looking for posts on self-publishing will have a better chance of finding your post, just make sure you add several tags and keep them specific to your audience.
Ten – Lists
Creating a list in Twitter is a great way of staying connected to other users without having to follow them, you can bunch people together and go back to them when you need to, you’ll also find that most people love being added to one of these too.
Eleven – Use it
The main thing with Twitter (and any other social media channel) is that you’ll get out of it what you put in, if you take the time and effort to connect with others, post content that you find interesting, retweet, like, engage and follow others too, you’ll have fun, make connections and build a platform that will help with your goals as an author.
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