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!

How Indie Authors Can Promote Their Books Like a Marketer

As a marketing consultant, I hear many indie authors say that they simply don’t think like a marketer. They try: they read articles (like this one) and books, attend webinars, and hire people like me to advise them. And educating yourself is the perfect first step! But despite what some may lead you to believe, book marketing isn’t a science. There are best practices, but no hard and fast rules that work for everyone. That’s why you need people who think like marketers to evaluate your specific situation to develop a plan to market your books in the best way possible. And one of these people can be you!

Here are some tips that I give my authors to get in the mindset they need to market their books just like a book marketer would:

You are your brand

When you are an author, this is the number one thing you should remember. In most cases, there is not a clear line where your books end and you begin. People following your social media presences are following you! This means that they don’t just want to hear about your books, but they want to feel connected to you (author you, that is). Think about the elements of yourself that complement your books. If you write books geared towards parents, try sharing your own experiences as a parent. If you write about space, geek out about space-related news with your audience. Find genuine elements of yourself that fit your “brand” and run with it!

You may not be your target market

I’ll summarize basically every marketing 101 course (and save you the $4000): you may not be your target market. This means when you’re crafting content, you have to think about what your target market will like. This isn’t necessarily what you like. If you write YA, the best way to reach your readers may be through Instagram instead of Facebook. Even if you are your target market, you have to think holistically when posting. Take politics, for example. I’ve run target market reports on authors and found that even though they are liberal, 50% of their audience is politically conservative. This means you may want to steer clear of the political posts on your author pages so as not to alienate any portion of your audience. Save that for your personal pages.

Promote, promote, promote!

It can be easy to either post too much or too little about your books. A very fixable problem that a good chunk of authors face is they don’t post about their books enough. You’ve written them, they’re great, you’ve got to promote them! Of course, you should do that in a way that’s engaging for your audience (don’t spam them), but don’t be shy about talking about your books. People who like your author page know what they’re getting into. They want to hear about your books. Think of any other brand that’s selling a product; it would be silly if they barely ever talked about their product. I totally get that tooting your own horn may feel awkward, but it’s necessary to make sure that as many people as possible know about your books.

Conclusion

I firmly believe that every author has the ability to think like a marketer. You already have the creative and story-telling chops, all you need is some confidence and to start thinking about promoting your books like a marketer would. If you’re looking for someone to help you get started, we should talk: email me at bookishmediastrategy@gmail.com.