Twitter for Authors: Engaging Your Audience

Now that I’ve explored some best practices for authors on how they can format their tweets effectively, the next logical question is: what should I be posting? Taking a step back, a main goal with creating content on Twitter for every author should be engaging your readers. Active followers are happy followers, and growing engagement means they are staying engaged with you and your books. So when creating content, each author must ask themselves what will engage their readers? This will be different for everyone, but there are some guidelines that can be followed as jumping off points for every author.

Add Value

Of the social networks, Twitter is definitely where people seem to post the most, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be paying attention to this golden rule of marketing: add value. If someone is following you it’s safe to say that they want to see content about your books. Now I’m not just talking about promotions, I’m talking about writing updates, posting about your characters, little extras that they could only get from following you. Tying back to your overall brand is another way to add value because if your followers are interested in your books they are also interested in topics of your books. Just remember, before you post on Twitter (retweeting or otherwise) ask yourself one question: am I adding value to my follower’s Twitter feed?

Be Aware of Your Branding

I touched on this in my post about how Indie authors can think like a marketer, but it’s worth reiterating here. On Twitter especially, many authors may find themselves losing sight of their branding in their posting, most often in their retweeting. Ideally, even elements that you are reposting from other people on Twitter should tie back in some way to your brand as an author. You can use this to your advantage engaging your target audience. Do you write about science? Retweet some new developments in your field. Do you write cook-books? Share pictures of some of your cooking adventures. You can repost blog posts related to your field, cross-promote other authors in your genre, the options are endless!

Don’t be Spammy

Spam is the nemesis of engagement. Even the most well-intentioned author can fall victim to spamming, but it should be avoided at all costs. What does look like? It most often looks like posting the same tweet over and over again without mixing up the content. While volume of tweets, in theory, gets you more eyes, you’re shooting yourself in the foot by alienating the followers you’ve accrued. The more you spam the less engagement you’ll get, which in turn means there will actually be fewer total eyes on your posts.

Build Relationships with Your Readers

Twitter can be an excellent tool for building one-on-one relationships with your readers. It’s also a great way to spread word-of-mouth positive reviews! If a reader is saying nice things about your books, retweet-retweet-retweet! People can hear all day from you about how they should read your books, but if they’re seeing another person’s endorsement that’s pure gold in terms of book promotion. It can be scary interacting with readers (take for example, the dreaded Goodreads review section) but building a community that you can talk directly with, and they can talk to each other on your threads, is what it’s all about!

Next in the final installment of my Twitter for authors series, I’ll be exploring ways that authors can grow their Twitter presence. Make sure to follow along on Twitter or LinkedIn to keep up to date with my latest posts. If you’re an author who’s ready to take the next step in your social media journey, email me at bookishmediastrategy@gmail.com and we can talk!

Twitter for Authors: Crafting Your Content

Bookish Media Strategy recently launched into the Twitter-sphere (shameless plug, follow me @bookishstrategy), so Twitter and more specifically Twitter for author marketing have been on my mind. When utilized to its fullest potential, Twitter can be a powerful tool for an author to grow their social media presence and engage their target market. When misunderstood, Twitter can be downright frustrating. It’s easy to get lost in the vastness of the platform, but once you make your way through the weeds, there’s a whole world of potential for authors to promote their books.

When I sat down to write this post, I came up with so many best practices I decided to make this a three-part series on the ins and outs of Twitter for authors. This post gives tips on how to format your posts for Twitter. Stay tuned for future posts on engaging your audience and growing your platform.

Keep it Short and Sweet

What makes Twitter unique as a social media platform is their word count limit. Even though it was recently expanded, Twitter is best served with short-form punchy content. I know writers like to write but maxing out your word count every time you craft a tweet may be working against you.

Use Media

Don’t shy away from using pictures or videos to liven up your tweets. This will catch your audience’s attention if they’re scrolling through dozens of text-only posts. Here are some examples of authors that are using media in their posts to grab attention and add value.

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@JulietteSobanet via Twitter
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@smenonbooks via Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Your Links in Order

As a social media manager, buggy links are a pet peeve of mine. It’s important if you’re posting a link that the card is showing correctly. You can tell if something’s off if there’s a blank where the picture would be or the summary is wrong. When that happens, throw your link into a Twitter card validator; that should debug it for you. The link for that is here, and if you want a walk through on how to do it check out this Wikihow article. If it’s a post from your own blog, you may have to play around in the settings on the blog post to make sure that all your ducks are in a row there.

Format Your Posts for Twitter

When I find an author that feels like they aren’t getting value out of Twitter, they usually say the same thing: “Yeah, I usually just repost anything I post to Facebook or Instagram onto my Twitter.” Formatting your posts to Twitter is important. If you take the time to format your post specifically to the platform you’re posting it on, I promise you it will be worth the extra time it takes to do so. This way you can make sure your entire message is visible, and even add some hashtags.

 

Next week I’ll be exploring how authors can use Twitter to engage their readers. Make sure to follow along on Twitter or LinkedIn to keep up to date with my latest posts. If you’re an author who’s ready to take the next step in your social media journey, email me at bookishmediastrategy@gmail.com and we can talk!