Twitter for Writers, Poets and Other Ne’re-Do-Wells
Twitter is a tremendous tool for writers and other creative types; short bursts of information, 140 characters max, the perfect medium for your message. But twitter can also be confusing and frustrating. This article will give you some tips and techniques to gain followers and increase your sales.
Setting up your twitter account is the first order of business. Your profile should intrigue your visitors and inform your followers about who you are and what you write. Your bio has a 160 character limit. Craft your bio carefully, you need to create a strong first impression for your readers; include a link to your blog, your book, your Amazon Author Central page, your Facebook page; whatever you think is important. Use strong keywords.
Spend time working on your header. Your header can be 1500×1500 pixels. Make sure it relates either to you as an author or to your book. Explore the settings. Find a color scheme that fits the overall image you want to project.
It’s vital that you not only attract a large number of followers, but that they be the right followers. Twitter is full of useless crap. One great resource to help build your followers is a service called Crowdfire (previously known as Just Unfollow). Crowdfire and similar services enable you to focus your user list to those folks that may be receptive to your books.
Crowdfire allows you to see who is following your feed, which of your followers are inactive and to quickly pare out the deadwood in your follower list. Crowdfire has several pricing plans. Right now, I’m using the Earth plan for $19.99 per month. With it, I can manage five twitter feeds, do unlimited follows and unfollows and have two team members to help manage my accounts. Right now, that service costs $19.99 per month, but unless you have a need to oversee multiple accounts,I’d recommend using the free plan. With it, you’re limited to following 25 users every 24 hours through the plan and unfollowing 100 accounts every couple of hours.
Using Crowdfire is easy. I use two methods to find followers: First, I enter the keyword search “mystery fiction” (or something similar) into Twitter to find users who are interested in mysteries. I follow up to 50 of those users. A couple of days later, I go back using Crowdfire and unfollow those users who have not followed me back. Rinse and repeat the cycle until you achieve your goals for followers.
The other technique is to find an author with a healthy twitter following and who writes something similar to your book. For me, I started with a local mystery author, Bill Cameron (@bcmystery). I looked at his both his follower and following lists and added those feeds that matched my user criteria.
I also use a hashtag search to find appropriate users; e.g., #Amwriting or #writingtips. These searches will target folks that are interested in writing in general. Hashtags are also an important tool for getting your message out, but more about that in a later post.
The last technique I use is perhaps the simplest: following back those users who follow me. You will gain some followers that are simply not worth following back. I usually check the new follower’s feed to make use its not a heaping pile of smelly trash (there’s a lot of that on Twitter, so beware).
Next time we’ll discuss how to craft your tweets and manage your account.
Cheers and #keepwriting