You may remember me posting How to Use Facebook for Authors a few months ago and it seemed to be a popular topic to talk about, so I thought I’d do a guide for Twitter considering I think it’s probably one of the most misused platforms there are.
What initially started as a fun and exciting social platform has gradually descended into something that verges on consistently producing spam. So here are a few tips on maintain an author twitter account.
What not to do:
- Tweet more than four times a day. (Especially if you’re automating them.) Honestly, unless you’re The Guardian or something, you don’t really need to be tweeting this often, especially not if you’re then retweeting other people’s stuff. There are 350,000 tweets sent every minute, let’s not clog that up with unnecessary waffle.
- Tweet irrelevant content. If you have an author twitter then only post author relevant content. Of course mentioning Tim Peake flying out the space station is very topical and a large part of British history, but a list of hottest celebs on Buzzfeed is probably not appropriate.
- Sell, sell, sell. Like all social media, it is there so you can connect with fans and readers. Promoting yourself and your book every five seconds will not do you any favours and is likely to damage your reputation, annoy people and clog up twitter feeds.
- Tweet because you feel like you have to. If you have nothing to say, just don’t say anything. JK Rowling is renowned for hardly ever tweeting but when she does, she’s got something to say and so people are more likely to listen. That doesn’t mean to say you should have an inactive account for months, Twitter needs consistency, just like Facebook.
- Retweet everything you come across. Nothing annoys me more than find that one single person has filled my feed with twenty retweets in the space of a couple of seconds. Especially if it’s not topical, it will just annoy people.
- Use tweet promoters such as CoPromote. You will find yourself ensnared in sharing content for the sake of it because yours will be shared in return. If you do decide to use something like this then make sure the content you retweet is topical to your personality and something you genuinely want to share with your fans.
- Follow people just so they’ll follow you back and boost numbers, then unfollow them.
What you should do:
- Create a twitter profile in order to reach a wider audience and interact with fans. Find out what they do and don’t like, get their opinion on your latest book or simply ask how they’re doing.
- Tweet relevant pictures and images of behind the scenes in everyday life, or humours memes relating to how you feel.
- Give sneak peaks behind the scenes and let your fans feel like they’re getting to see something that’s exclusive.
- Hold competitions, promote your book, announce blog posts live on your website – just remember to not overdo it.
- Get involved with your fans. Respond to tweets, favourite and retweet other people’s content and actively take part in the community. It’s called social media for a reason.
- Get involved with current events. If something is happening – like when Eastenders had a live episode – then by all means get involved, as long as it’s part of your personality, your brand.
I get annoyed when I see people misusing Twitter on a daily basis, and will often unfollow rather than put up with it. Many indie authors fall into this trap and I can’t even begin to count the number of people who follow me and then unfollow a day later when I won’t return the favour. Or even some people who will unfollow anyway because they’re only interested in numbers.
If you found this helpful, why not take a look at my guide How to Use Facebook for Authors.