Today's challenge is to use twitter more effectively.
Apparently, writing a 'first impressions' post isn't popular. :-) That's okay. I have researched for years the "how I did it" stories of successful self-marketing authors and the "how you can do it" advice of paid publicists. There are plenty of overlaps, and those are the suggestions I think worthy of passing on. But not everything works for everyone.
A sound piece of advice for using social media is, be a presence in many, an expert in few. Some authors become known through their remarkable blog posts, others through twitter (which I dislike, but it has worked very well for many authors); some through U-tube, others through GoodReads; some through FaceBook, others through Google +. The point is, not to be a presence in everything, an expert in nothing. Invariably, I have found, those who succeed have focused their energies on one or two channels as their method to build relationships and become known.
However, even if you don't intend to use Twitter as your main squeeze, each social media channel is useful in its own way to supplement the one or two you want to focus on. So, if you're not on Twitter, get set up on it. If you already are, review your profile for the following 4 things:
- Are you using your professional photo as your avatar?
- Does your bio describe the kind of writing you do and include SEO key words for that genre?
- Have you included your website URL? (do this by putting the URL in the "website" field of your profile.)
- Make sure your tweets are set to public (just don't check 'protect my tweets') (And BTW, make sure your FB posts are also set to public, not just to your friends.)
To find readers, do a search in Twitter's search panel, using keywords that readers of your genre might use in their tweets, such as the names of successful authors, the titles of books, or well-known characters in that genre. Read the tweets and follow those who appear to be readers of your genre, or subject for non-fiction.
In order to increase your following, instead of thanking those who follow you, re-tweet or favorite one of their tweets. When you tweet, remember to use hashtags for your books and genre (#ebook, #science fiction, etc.)
If you decide Twitter is going to be one of the main supports of your marketing plan, you will probably have to sign up with Socialoomph to pre-schedule tweets in bulk and Justunfollow to grow your list of active followers.
Here is a great link to more advice on using Twitter, by author C.S. Lakin.