More and more writers are joining online networking sites. Last week, we talked about hashtags. This week, I’m not going to jump into Twitter right away, but go into tips about using social media properly.
When you sign up
While promoting is important, other authors and even readers, don’t want to only hear about your book. People are interested in you, as the writer, not just what you write. Be yourself. This also means setting up your Twitter account under your penname. Not the title of your book because that is going to change and you aren’t going to want to make an account for each book. That would be counterproductive. Tweet under your account so that it’s not confusing. One thing that is interesting, is the recent interest in creating accounts under characters as books and is in itself, a source of a post in itself.
You’ll need a bio. This helps to establish who you are. Let your personality shine through. Provide a url where you can be found and a profile photo.
What to Talk about
Figuring out what to talk about can be a bit difficult. Don’t just try to sell your book. Again, this falls under be yourself. Nobody wants to read about how great your book is constantly. Be interesting. Talk about your life and what is going on with you that others might like to know about. While you don’t want to give a blow by blow, readers and writers are interested in what’s going on with you. We don’t necessarily need to know what you ate for breakfast, unless it was really different. Respond to others, jump into conversations. There’s always something going on that will give you the chance to interact. Don’t just lurk and stand in the shadows because you won’t make friends that way.
TIP: on Twitter, add a period in front of the tweet so everyone who follows you sees it, rather than just the person you’re tweeting.
You don’t have to always have original content. When you find something interesting, share it with your followers. On Twitter this is known as re-tweeting, and Facebook, sharing.
Although I said don’t talk about your book, this doesn’t mean don’t share news such as how a book is coming along, about upcoming blog tours, new publications, good reviews, etc. There’s a balance to everything.
When you get followers, don’t auto DM or PM to thank them, especially if it’s to promote your book. Don’t be a spammer. That’s one of the quickest ways to lose followers. Also, remember there are a lot of people out there with varying opinions. Although you can’t please everyone and you may by accident offend someone, don’t go out of you way to be rude. Be aware of what you’re saying and how it’s coming out.
Some ideas of what to talk about:
Post story ideas or WIP lines.
- Ask questions related to a story you’re working on, for instance, if you need help with something. Experts are all over the internet.
- Link to new blog posts by you.
- Participate in hashtag chats. (for a list, go back to last week’s post)
- Talk with your readers. Show them the person, not just the writer.
- Share articles that interest you
- Get support from other writers. No other person will understand what you’re going through when you get writer’s block or are nervous to hit send on a submission.
- Ask for help. This also goes back to the finding an expert, but sometimes, we may need help getting resources for a workshop or finding something in particular. As your followers.
- Give your readers updates on how your story is progressing.
- Get discounts. Often you’ll find authors or publishers tweeting about discounts on books or courses.
- Find guest bloggers.
- Meet local writers.
- Share writing tips.
- Post pictures.
- Tweet conferences. This is good for people who can’t go to the conference. Not only does it give them a chance to live through it through your tweets, but also gives them the info they may need. Or likewise, if you can’t go, then you’ll be kept in the loop.
- Talk about writer organizations and workshops going on.
- Get to your goals by doing online challenges with other writers. For example 1k1hr
Also check out this article for more tips: 50 Power Twitter Tips