Twitter For Authors – To Tweet or Not To Tweet. As Shakespeare said, that is the question. Once you’ve got your killer profile set up (read Twitter For Authors – Your Profile – Do This, Don’t Do That! for more information about your profile) you need to know the ins and outs of tweeting. Some of this may seem obvious, but as my following grows, I see some basic mistakes or misconceptions about tweets and tweeting. Twitter is great for support, meeting people and growing your brand. But there are some tweeting things to consider.
Twitter For Authors – To Follow or Not To Follow
This can be a tough one for people: how selective should I be in who I follow and who I allow to follow me (you can block people from following you). My rule: with a few exceptions, I just follow back. You never know who might end up seeing what you are about, and what you are promoting, whether it’s your books, your blog, or whatever. It more than likely isn’t going to hurt to follow them back.
Twitter For Authors – Exception #1
Now, it’s okay to be selective – if you don’t feel like someone is in sync with what you’re doing (marketing, supporting authors and readers, etc. or they’re into porn and you’re not – you get the idea) it’s okay to unfollow them. And here’s where we get back to the critical importance of your profile! I (and I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this) base who I want to follow and unfollow based on what they tell me in their profile. If I can’t tell anything about you, I’ll probably unfollow you (how do I know you’re an author who’s looking for the support of other authors if you have no profile picture and/or bio?) See how critical your profile is for projecting your brand? I know of people who won’t follow you if you don’t have a profile picture, or if the picture is not of you. Think about that and the impact for your marketing.
Twitter For Authors – Exception #2
The hashtag teams. Oh where do I start? #team whatever – I don’t care – I’m about promoting other authors, readers and myself (and keeping in touch with friends) – I don’t care about your team (unless it relates to authors or readers) and I don’t care if you tell everyone that I unfollowed you. You probably don’t care about my books and that’s okay. But leave me alone :).
Twitter For Authors – Exception #3
The Internet marketer, the product line, the Apple Store, or any store for that matter, the politicos. I unfollow and block these because they’re not helping me and I don’t care about promoting them. Now some would say it doesn’t matter, or it beefs up your following. I say why have them in your list if it’s not helping you or them. It just eats up space on my Twitter stream.
Twitter For Authors – The Mentions
The mention is where someone sends you a public message to your Twitter handle (it can be a promotion, a hello, or whatever). These are very cool, but do realize that I may not have been the originator of whatever tweet you’re talking about. Check to see who made the original post – if I retweet something and then someone else retweets that tweet etc., and then you ask me a question about the original tweet, I probably don’t know what it’s about – go to the source :). I say this because I get this a lot (hey @reneepawlish, funny post or they’re making a comment, and I have no idea what that person is talking about).
Twitter For Authors – The Mentions Part Two
If you want to carry on a conversation with someone, DM (direct message) them – I’ve had people carry on a conversation with me where they ask for email or other private info and their using @reneepawlish on every message – hello! Everyone can read this! If it’s not for everyone, or everyone doesn’t care about our conversation, then don’t do this. DM me :). If, on the other hand, you want everyone to see the nice things you say about me or my books, then by all means, use a mention – I’m all over that!
Twitter For Authors – The Mentions Part Three
Okay, this one may sound snarky but I just saw a mention from an author who I followed (ala TweetAddr – see below). This person did not follow me back (a courtesy she should’ve done IMHO – see above), so I can’t DM her, but she has asked that I tweet the links to her books. Even though it goes against what I usually do, I said to send me a tweet and I’d retweet it. Her response was that I could just post the link to her stories, that she doesn’t need to send me a tweet. Seriously??? Where do I start? You don’t follow me back and you’re asking me to tweet you and you don’t even send me a tweet to make it easy for me to do??? Hmm, to follow or unfollow – c’mon, what would you do?
Twitter For Authors – Twitter Quirks
Twitter autofollows people without your consent – so if you don’t know me and we don’t have stuff in common (that would indicate I followed you for a reason), just unfollow me. It’s not necessary to tweet me and my following and ask why I followed you.
Twitter has trouble syncing things up and it screws up their system – you might follow someone and then suddenly you’ve unfollowed them. It happens. Most of the time I didn’t do it on purpose. I wasn’t trying to offend you. Just follow me back, send me a polite tweet if you’re wondering what happened, and I’ll follow you back. No big deal.
Twitter For Authors – A Twitter Marketing Tip
When people follow me, I send them a link with a cute message (well, I think it’s cute) that asks them to like my Facebook fan page (by the way, if you don’t have a fan page, you are seriously jeopardizing your marketing efforts). This is great cross-promotion – it gets them to another platform that has way more information on it than I can get from Twitter. You could just as easily send them to your website, a link to your books and so on. The point is to take advantage of this.
Twitter For Authors – About Those Links
And a note on this, don’t, don’t don’t expect people to look up those pages. I get so many people who say they liked my page (great, thank you :)) but then they say hey, like my page too, but they don’t include a link. This is so bad and it makes you look silly and amateurish (sorry but it’s true). It’s so easy for you to include your own link and we all know this. Do not expect people to take the time to look up your links – they won’t do it! They don’t have time. If you want someone to like your fan page (Facebook, Google+, whatever) give them the link! It’s easy to copy and paste a link and the person just has to click on it.
Also, as a marketer, you have to tell people to do what you want. You tell them to go to your fan page or book link or whatever. By just telling them what to do, versus asking, or hinting, you increase the chances that they will (it’s true, a subtle marketing trick but true).
This post ended up being longer than I meant, but I hope the tips are helpful. Also, check out Promoting Your Books for more Twitter tips and tricks, how to build your following, and other promoting information.
And if you want a tool for managing Twitter, consider TweetAddr (affiliate). It’s a great tool for the money (yes I make a little money if you buy through me, but even if I didn’t, I’d still recommend it :)).