Twitter can help any writer increase their online profile and find new followers that turn into new fans that read your books. Twitter has done a lot to help small time writers build their audience. There are still examples like George RR Martin tweeting out this:
I don’t tweet all that much, please check out my live journal page. 😉 #myfirstTweet
— George RR Martin (@GRRMspeaking) June 9, 2014
And getting a bajillion followers, but he is a rare exception. The rest of us build our following slowly using the best Twitter marketing strategies. This article is not going to give you basic things like using relevant hashtags, or joining on a Twitter chats. That’s too easy, and I want you to read tips that will actually help you get so famous as a writer that George RR Martin names a brutal, murderous character after you in a book that he’ll finish writing 10 years from now. #writerburn
Pay attention to what works and use it over and over
No, I’m not talking about Stephen King *coughChristinecoughcoughFromaBuick8cough* levels of using content over and over, I’m talking about watching what content topics drive retweets, favorites, and new followers to your account. As much as writers like to think that their every word is gold, like mine surely are, your Twitter audience will clearly show you that this isn’t the case.
Say you have one tweet that does really well and is retweeted. What topic from that tweet can you pull out and use over? What more can you say on this topic? When you find this, the old copy/paste won’t cut it here. You need to create something new and interesting that speaks to this popular topic.
You can do this easily by:
- Taking a well shared blog post and turning it into an infographic
- Filming your successful podcast as a YouTube video
- Creating images on the theme
- Having a meme worthy ‘image with text’ made
Sharing these on Twitter can borrow from the previous success and pump up not only your shares and followers, but your online presence as well. If you’ve really hit a nerve, and want to connect these tweets in one theme, work on it as part of your Twitter hashtag strategy.
There’s also the more direct approach where you send out the same tweet with different wording and images. Watch that filthy @Devumi Gorilla that manages our Twitter account do it the right way:
— Devumi.com (@devumi) June 9, 2015
— Devumi.com (@devumi) June 5, 2015
Create content that’s exclusive to Twitter and promote it
Create some Twitter FOMO by advertising the fact you’ll be doing something exclusively on Twitter for your followers. This will include contests, promotions, author chats, and creative tweets you’ll share.
You have to make sure to say that it’s exclusive to Twitter to drive people to your account. Twitter was built on groups of people getting together and feeling special, and feeling connected. Offering your fans exclusive content is just the way to do this now that Twitter is HUGE.
Here’s a book shop showing you how it’s done:
— Buzz Books (@buzzbookstore) May 31, 2015
They were sure to mention that you could only get it through the link shared on Twitter. This can drive retweets, favorites, and clicks as Twitter users try to help out other Twitter users by sharing.
Try to Unlock your Flock
A Flock to Unlock contest is something entirely unique to Twitter. The contest works by you setting goals for your audience to unlock prizes. Prizes can be monetary, books, discounts, or just unlocking new content.
How they work is by setting a target retweet, follower, or website hit goal. Once your followers get you to that number you can unlock the prize. It’s a bit of a game that disguises your quest to get more followers and expand your reach.
Writers have yet to really take advantage of this. Here’s Puma with their very successful Flock to Unlock campaign from last year as an example:
— PUMA (@PUMA) August 4, 2014
Their #ForeverFaster hashtag, and new slogan, was also promoted. Be sure to work a hashtag of your own into your Flock to Unlock campaign for maximum exposure, and to tell as much of your Twitter marketing story as possible. Live tweet book related events Are you going to torture yourself at a Book Expo or conference of some kind? Great! Live tweet your pain to us as realtime marketing is a very important aspect of Twitter marketing. It doesn’t just have to be a conference, you can:
- Live tweet a TV show that was adapted from a book
- Live tweet your writing process
- Build up to and live tweet an important meeting with a publisher
- Live tweet a movie that was based on a book — go to town on the differences and how much better the book is
Now you’ll want to either create a hashtag if it’s your original content, or use the hashtag of the event you’re live tweeting. Most conferences and media will already have a hashtag made already that you’re free to join in on.
For some truly beyond beginner Twitter marketing, use the new Periscope app from Twitter. This app turns you into your own online news station so that you can live stream video right when it’s happening. Meeting a publisher? Live stream what happens after and see all the retweets you get when you have a deal!
Alki David is another marketing writer, and he’s making a killing on Periscope with retweets and name recognition:
— Alki David (@alkidavid) June 9, 2015
Twitter Search uses for writers
I used Twitter Advanced Search to find a few of the examples on this article. With a recent revamp of their search feature, it’s now easier than ever to find useful information for your Twitter marketing plans.
You can now easily locate:
- Top tweets that are popular thanks to retweets and favorites
- A live stream of everything using your keywords
- Accounts related to your search
- Photos related to your search
- Video related to your search
What use is this going to be for you as a writer? Hoo, boy. So many uses. You can use it to find new writing opportunities. You can use it to find people who have read your work and mentioned your name or book title. You can use it to find people who like your genre. You can use it to answer questions people pose about something you’re knowledgable about.
The possibilities for Twitter search are endless. Refining them using Twitter’s Advanced search features can help you narrow your focus even more. You can find conversations from specific Twitter accounts, or to specific Twitter accounts. Narrow it to certain times by date. There are ways to narrow it by geographic region, and you can even filter by positive or negative comments have a chat with a negative reviewer! Here’s an example of what Twitter’s advanced search looks like, and what you can do with it:
Twitter is a huge playground of data, text, and endless noise. Being able to sort through it, and find a few people to really connect with, can be just what your account needs to grow. Better than that it can be a way to find that MEGA FAN who will buy all your books and push everyone they know to buy them too. Like those annoying Stephen King fans… #onelastshotatKing
Matthew Yeoman is a social media writer and analyst on the Devumi.com blog. Head to their website to learn how to get more Twitter followers, and learn about all things social media marketing. If you want constant updates and fun content, check out the @Devumi Gorilla on Twitter!