Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Beyond this Blog: Do You Tweet?

Do you feel like you’re lagging behind in the world of technology as a writer? If so, you’re not alone. Although many writers now use an array of social networking sites to get the word out about their books, websites, articles, events, etc., many of us are still spinning our wheels to catch up and make the best use of such sites.

One of these tools is, of course, Twitter. I have a Twitter account, but my occasional tweets fall far short of using it efficiently. So for folks like me, the Editors at published the following advice for writers who want to use the site as a platform for their work.

9 Twitterific Tips

How to use Twitter to gain exposure:

Let's face it. Twitter has taken over the world. From Michael Jackson's death to earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, many people find their news out from Twitter first. What's to stop them from finding their next book through Twitter? Only your ability to tweet successfully. Malle Vallik, director of digital content and social media at Harlequin Enterprises Ltd, says that "if you are a good Twitterer, people will trust you - even if you are a brand- and will trust your recommendations. And word-of-mouth is the best marketing tool". Twitter is fast and friendly and can help you reach hundred of new readers as long as you're using it correctly. Here are some simple tips for keeping a successful Twitter.

1) Retweet. "RT" or "retweeting" is taking a Twitter post from someone else and rebroadcasting it to your followers. This pushes your @username into different social graphs, which results in clicks back to your profile.

2) Use Hashtags. These are a word or phrase prefaced by a hash symbol (#), for example #ebooks. This will group your tweet with other people who have used the same hashtag and therefore create more traffic for your Twitter.

3) Update frequently... If followers are continually checking your page and nothing has been updated in a week, you're going to lose those followers.

4) ... and make timely and appropriate tweets. But tweeting what you eat for every meal is not likely to be appropriate or interesting either. If something big happens, don't wait to tweet about it. Twitter is one of the most useful tools for instant news and you should use it to your advantage.

5) Be strategically self-promoting. No one wants to read a Twitter that constantly toots its own horn. Enter conversations tied to your book's topic and be engaged enough so that when you bring up your work, it doesn't sound like a shameless sales pitch. Otherwise your followers will feel like you're just using them.

6) Have a personality associated with the brand. If you're an author, be yourself and let your humanity shine through. The personal interaction allows customers to feel loyalty to a brand.

7) Jazz up your Twitter. Links are a great way to do this. You can link to your website, to articles that you're interested in, even to pictures of friends and family.

8) Be careful what you Tweet. Because Twitter is so instant, it's easy to fire off a complaint. But unlike a verbal complaint, a Tweet doesn't go away as easily. Before you Tweet make sure your statement reflects you as a professional and not you being irritated and wanting to vent.

9) Have fun. Invent new and exciting ways to engage your Twitter community. Have contests, polls, jokes, raffles, giveaways, whatever you can think of to entertain and inform your followers.

These tips and tricks can help you navigate your way to a successful Twitter following.

(This excerpt reprinted with permission,, June 2010 Newsletter.)

1 comment:

Norm de Ploom said...

Wow, Nancy! What a bundle of good information and research you provided. I have never visited Twitter so this will give me lots of information to help me dip my toes into the water.