If you’re an independent author, you probably already know that maintaining a good online presence and building a readership is crucial to your success. This is all the more important when you’re primarily self-published, and need internet buzz for people to engage with your work. More than any other type of social media, Twitter is the platform most likely to garner you many readers, simply because of its features. As a microblogging site, it gives you just enough space to get inventive and create a buzz quickly without boring your audience. Here are nine top tips to grow your Twitter following:
- Create or update your Twitter profile
Your Twitter profile needn’t necessarily reflect you (though it can), but it does need to reflect your own personality. Make sure that all of your tweets correspond to your personal brand, and that your messaging on Twitter is in line with the image you want to establish for yourself. Remember, this does not imply that you should be less genuine, only that you should be picky about what you share with your followers.
- Share curated content
Coming up with original content is well and good, but what can work wonders for Twitter is consistently sharing curated content. The best way to find curated content? Content discovery apps like DrumUp, Feedly, Pocket and Storify.
- DrumUp is an app that allows you to find good content online and queues them up for posting on multiple social media accounts.
- Feedly helps you create a personalized feed of the type of content you want to post, so that you have somewhere to draw from.
- Pocket works like, well, a pocket. The app allows you to keep anything and everything on the web that catches your fancy in your own “Pocket” so that you can revisit it when required.
- Lastly, Storify lets you find and create stories that can help with your content strategy.
Using these apps is probably the most effective way to get more followers, because they significantly reduce the amount of work that you have to do to find good content to post. The apps can even automate the posting process for you, like DrumUp does, ensuring that you stay active on twitter even when you need to be away.
- Share original content
While curated posts are good in achieving volume and consistency, original posts are important as well. Tweet strategically about the content you create – for example, producing and posting book trailers is actually an excellent way to get people talking about your work.
Get into the habit of writing or producing content that could help in marketing yourself. If you need to, hire freelancers like illustrators or video editors to create visual content for your social accounts. In case you do not have a budget to do so, there are several free tools you could use too.
- Learn the art of using hashtags
Twitter is all about hashtags, and hashtags can actually make or break your Twitter following. The problem recently has been that people tend to jam as many hashtags as they can into a tweet, but more is not always better. When creating your Twitter strategy, come up with a list of hashtags that you can use regularly. Create a hashtag for yourself so that people are able to find your original work, but for everything else, use carefully curated hashtags. The most successful influencers usually have a hashtag library that they draw from, and having one for yourself is not a bad idea.
- Follow influencers in niches relevant to you
To get active followers, you need to become one. The best way to get more people to see your tweets is to follow an influencer in your niche. An influencer is someone who has a lot of followers, and following one could help you tap into their network. The best part? If you retweet enough and produce enough content, you may even get a retweet from the influencer you’re following, which can up your own follower count significantly.
- Retweet and respond carefully, ensuring that you stay true to your personality the whole time
Even Twitter agrees with this: have an 80/20 split, where you retweet 80% of your content. Retweeting might seem simple, and it is, but you should definitely give a lot of consideration to the things that you retweet. Everything you retweet must fit your own guidelines for your personal brand, and if it doesn’t, it ought not be retweeted. The Twitterverse is a fierce space, and the last thing you need is to lose followers for content or opinions that you didn’t produce in the first place but are seen as responsible for because you retweeted them.
Remember your brand when you respond to anyone on Twitter as well. All your responses must contribute to your personal brand image, and you should never be confrontational unless you want to court controversy.
- Tweet at least once every day, or multiple times a day
As with anything in life, Twitter is all about consistency. If you tweet in sporadic bursts, the Twitterverse won’t be very kind to you and you will lose followers. Making sure that you post regularly is key to growing your followers. Start out by posting every day and then try and see if you can up that. However, in a bid to post more, don’t post bad content. Anything that you post must be of the highest quality, and it’s okay if you’re only able to manage a few tweets every day so long as you stay consistent.
- Live tweet events that interest your followers
The best part about Twitter is that it is almost real-time, and can garner instant responses. It can also work as a good online broadcasting tool, and you should take advantage of this. If you go to events that are popular, or watch them, it might be in your best interests to live tweet about it. People tend to enjoy online commentary, and regularly live tweeting popular events can help you build a following.
- Hold tweet sessions for people who want to get in touch with you
Committing to being online and responding to tweets from your followers is a great way to grow your following. By being available for sessions like this, you make yourself much more approachable. Of course, these sessions can be tricky because you’ll have to be careful of what you say so you don’t deviate from your personal brand, but the followers that you gain from doing this regularly are worth it.
Increasing your following on Twitter takes time, and it takes effort, but it is doable. On Twitter, content really is king and can pull in a lot of followers, while all the other suggestions made here can help you reel in the rest. Increasing your Twitter following also can have tangible effects on your work, as it has been proven to correspond positively to an increase in ROI. For something that has become a key marketing tactic today, Twitter is relatively easy to use and requires only consistency to be successful. Get started today, and you’ll see the difference soon enough.
Jessica Davis represents Godot Media, a leading E-Book writing service firm. Her areas of interest include technology, science and fashion.