Here’s a little-known author secret: If an author wants to develop a voice on social media, Twitter is one of the best platforms to use. However, Twitter may not be the best platform from which to sell books.
Many authors miss the value of Twitter. It’s a powerful platform for gaining visibility.
However, if authors hope to build a following on Twitter and then post information about their book, including a direct link to Amazon, and sell so many books they become bestselling authors, they may be surprised to find their hopes dashed. Typically, authors don’t see large numbers of book sales generated from their Twitter activity even though Twitter boasts of over 330 million monthly users.
Each day over 500 million tweets are posted on Twitter, and over 80% of Twitter users access the site using mobile devices. Hundreds of millions of Twitter users have this platform available at their fingertips.
So, should authors use Twitter anyway or not? Yes. Let me tell you why.
Advantages of Using Twitter
One of the most significant benefits of Twitter is real-time interaction. As an author, it’s essential to keep connected to your fan base.
Therein lies another advantage…fan bases. You can easily and quickly build real-time fans.
Don’t have a fan base? Start today to connect with those who have an interest in what you write about. However, you need to stay connected.
Let your readers get to know you…the real you. The beauty of Twitter is you can post comments, quotes, memes, and videos. Doing so allows your Twitter followers to get to know more about who you are.
Twitter Mistakes to avoid
Avoid the mistake many authors make: only tweeting about your book or your blog posts.
Have you ever gone to a networking event and met someone who only talked about themselves? Or, worse yet, all they wanted to do was immediately sell you something? People avoid these types of individuals offline and on.
Your time on Twitter needs to include conversation, retweets, and commenting on other people’s tweets. Only a small percentage of the time on Twitter should be spent promoting your books and products.
If you’re the guy (or gal) who is one big promotion, people will avoid you.
Automation Lessens Engagement
Automation has its advantages, but if you automate every Twitter post, you miss many opportunities to comment in real time. It’s important to engage with your Twitter connections. Conversations are entirely possible on Twitter, but when you automate your tweets, you leave no chance for real-time discussions.
Here are a few of the quickest ways to engage with others on Twitter:
- Thank them for retweeting your tweets (thus getting more visibility for your tweets).
- Answer questions.
- Pose questions.
- Retweet tweets.
You can also follow hashtags on topics and current events of interest.
Three Main Twitter Focus Areas
To get the most out of Twitter, add these three activities to your process:
- Use hashtags.
- Create lists.
- Engaging in conversations.
Additionally, you need to be consistent with your Twitter posts. When you post on a daily basis, are willing to have a perspective and point of view when you do so, and use Twitter as more than a place to sell books, you will build a loyal Twitter following.
1. Use Hashtags
At any given time, hashtags are connecting like-minded individuals. Fair warning! Hashtags also can trigger angry conversations, polarization, and personal attacks.
Hashtags are identified by the # symbol used in front of a word or phrase that identifies messages on a specific topic. Examples include #superbowl, #metoo, #blacklivesmatter, and #makeamericagreat.
These have been among some of the most popular hashtags ever, but there are others. For instance, writers often use #amwriting, #writetip, and #pubtip.
Each hashtag has the potential to spark great mini-conversations that other Twitter users engage in as well—or use for a considerable amount of mudslinging.
As an author, you can become visible by creating conversations and using hashtags to identify them. Be prepared; even if you think your position is correct, there are bound to be those who disagree with you… and have no problem letting you and others know (by using your hashtag to make their opinion known).
Tip: If you include another user’s @-handle, they will see your tweet, thus giving that update more visibility and a higher likelihood of generating a conversation.
2. Use Lists
I love the Twitter “list” feature. Lists allow you to categorize people with whom you are interested in keeping connected. These are people whose tweets you want to read, comment on, and share.
Lists are powerful. They allow you easily to access the information you need to find within the endless stream of tweets.
For instance, if you have a book about health and nutrition you can create a list of people who tweet about health and nutrition, other health and nutrition authors, experts on the subject, and podcast show hosts who feature health and nutrition experts.
Tip: Not sure how to set up your lists? Click here to learn the step-by-step process.
3. Have Conversations
Everyday conversations occur on Twitter in real-time. These conversations could about a commercial on Super Bowl Sunday, the latest tweet by POTUS, the stock market rise or fall, or a book that hit the New York Times bestseller list…or anything else.
Therefore, Twitter conversations provide authors like you with yet another way to share perspective and point of view. Additionally, solving problems or answering questions on Twitter offers a powerful way to engage in conversations. By offering help, you begin to build a following specific to your industry, expertise, or knowledge base.
Yet, as mentioned, when you post, you open yourself up to criticism from others. That’s just part of the territory. Don’t take things personally; Twitter has its share of online trolls, those who have nothing better to do than look for people to target. If you don’t engage with them, they usually move on to their next target.
Why These Three Things are Important to Authors
In reality, readers often buy a book because they like, or dislike, an author. If they feel they know you, can relate to you and want to get more of you, they buy your books. Twitter allows you to build familiarity with your readers and, as you do so, to sell more books.
Take time to play around on Twitter. If you’re like me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how powerful this platform can be for authors, speakers, coaches, and consultants.
Let me know what you think about using Twitter by sending me a tweet at https://twitter.com/kathleengage (or leave a comment below).
About the Author
Kathleen Gage is the “no-nonsense, common sense” online marketing strategist, speaker, author, product creation specialist, and owner of Power Up For Profits. She helps entrepreneurs package their expertise into money making products and services. Her clients are driven by making a difference through their own unique voice.
Although Gage is best known for her no-nonsense approach to life and business, when she’s not working with clients, creating information products, writing books or speaking on the platform, she can be found training for a marathon, walking her dogs, working in her many flower gardens, feeding her horses or playing a fierce game of cards.
Kathleen’s memoir – The Gap in Between – is scheduled for release in early 2018.
Visit her website at www.powerupforprofits.com.