When I first joined Twitter in May 2015, I had no idea that I would have such a bond with the website. It was just a new place to market my writing, and something I joined because I had heard that it was good to have an online presence as an author. It was a little sort of online diary, nothing more, and I would often put up excerpts from my writing in progress. It is now 2020 and I have since accumulated
……nearly 23,000 followers.
Now, a lot of you are probably wondering how I managed to achieve such a high number. Trust me, I wonder that too, and so, in this blog entry, I am going to try and work out why I have such a ‘following’ (excuse the pun) as rebauthor1.
In the early stages of my account, I would make it my goal to follow 50 people a day. That in itself made such a difference. Why? People were getting to know me, and I was making the effort to know them. Over the years and through making friends on the website, I have been lucky enough to not only market myself, but help others too. This is my first biggest piece of advice. Yes, for us writers, Twitter is a portal to showcasing your books, and yourself, but what you have to remember, more than any of this, is it’s really about making connections with like minded people. When you have that – the marketing is natural. What you don’t want to do is bombard your followers with links to your book.
It’s all about balance. Maybe at first post a link to your books, but then share an article about an author who has been in the news lately, perhaps after that share a quote about the love of writing…. anything that makes people sit up and relate to what we’re all going through – our passion and our get up and go attitudes to getting what we want more than anything, to be an author.
I know that there will be some of you reading this who are shouting at the screen, saying, How can I know what it’s like to market a book when I’ve never been in that position? I say to you, that is a a very good point and I am not – in any means – trying to force my experiences down your throats, but rather, give you a guide based on what I’ve found works for me. It is not my intention to self publish a book, as I wish to go the traditional direction, but in all honesty, even if I did, I would still do the same things I’ve been doing for years. Why? Because – it works.
You make friends, you build connections, you help others, you market (think of it like a happy little circle!)
Twitter is a marketing tool, but it is – more than anything – a place for you to build lasting connections with people who are similar to you. The #amwriting community is like an out of hours weekend club where everyone who loves books comes together and raves about writing. How wonderful is that?
Remember to take the time to thank people for their communication with you. It is so important. This is why I am such a fan of the #ff (Follow Friday, where a user lists accounts that they think other writers should follow) It’s a huge thing for those who need a helping hand, aka if they’ve just started on Twitter, but it’s also just a really kind thing to do and it shows that you’re taking the time. You’re noticing these people. The people on your list aren’t just numbers. They’re friends. I used to thank every person who followed me, but my account has become too popular that I can’t keep up! Once a week thanks are enough….. Don’t go overboard like I did!
Don’t be afraid to tag your idols, too – I have mentioned Anthony Horowitz, Darren Shan, and even the writer of Life on Mars, Ashley Pharoah, in my tweets before. Now all three of them follow me, and support me on my writing journey – how cool is that?! 🙂 They’re human – they will understand the ups and downs, and share some really cool things online too. Have any questions? Just tweet em! Note: Obvs don’t do this all the time, idols have lives too!
Make up your own little #hashtags….. I have ‘You know you’re a writer when…..’ which has really helped build my community, because it is hopefully filled with facts that I post every day, which all writers are able to relate to….. In the past, I had #rebwrites but that quickly petered out, because I realised my tags needed to be more specific, and, like anything you set out to do, it is all about learning.
Retweeting is a good tactic as well. Don’t do it too much, though. If you want to retweet a post that you’ve just written, leave it at least two hours and then that way you can see if it’s getting enough exposure, or whether it needs a little boost.
Hope that gets you started on boosting your account. If this proves useful, I’ll do a part two for everyone!
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