Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Writing Tuesday - Marketing tips for Twitter

Social networking can be a challenge for many who are just starting out in the writing world. Social networking is a necessary tool that the author can use to promote their book. I thought I'd take a look at how you can maximize your time on Twitter.

The Pros of Twitter:
It's cheap (i.e. free)
It's fun (once you get the hang of it)

The Cons of Twitter:
It is intimidating
It is confusing

At some point, you have to get your feet wet and join. Whatever your role in the writing world – author, illustrator, marketing, etc., these tips can prove very helpful.

For me, the main goal of Twitter is to increase my followers. The more followers you have, the more people you reach out to.

Tip #1 – You don't want to spend more than 10-15 mins on Twitter at any given time. Trust me. You have other things to do and social networking should not consume your day. Make it a point to check your Tweets 10-15 mins a day. The "optimum" goal should be once in the morning, and once at night, but if you can't do twice a day, strive to be on Twitter at least once a day.

#2 – Friend 5 people a day
I use the recommendations on the side, but I also follow my favorites which include Anne Rice, The New England Patriots, other 911 dispatchers, and even Chum Lee from Pawn Stars.

#3 – Retweet 5 posts a day
(this shows others you are supportive by retweeting their posts. In turn, fellow tweeters are generally inclined to retweet your posts)

#4 – Tweet 5 posts a day
These can be anything. For examples
Quotes from your favorite writers or authors. I like to quote HG Wells, Emily Dickinson and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Share YouTube links – this can be your book trailers or some of your favorite videos on you tube.
Amazon links to your books. If your book is on sale, mention it.
Places were you want fans to follow you like Good Reads, LinkedIn, Writing.com, etc.
Links to reviews for your books.
Links to book reviews you've done.
Announcements for what's on your blog.
Announcement if you're visiting someone else's blog.
Announcements on any contests or giveaway you're doing.
Gush and give shout outs to your favorites: movies, authors, books, music, etc. I usually give a shout to coffee and chocolate during the week. It's okay to be a little cheeky and show off your personality. Readers like to see a little bit of your fun side.

You may not feel an immediate effect, but you'll see difference by the end of the week and even a bigger difference by the end of the month. Remember, it's all about growing your followers.

Tip #5 - #hashtags
These are "quick" tags that highlight popular posts. If you post "Check out my book on Kindle" (with the link) use #kindle at the end of the post. If other people are on twitter and check out the popular posts highlighted on the side, they should pull up a majority of post with the hashtags. If you have your post marked with a hashtag, it should, in theory, pull up.

Tip #6 - @ sign

If you talk about someone, let them know. They'll appreciate it and usually reciprocate. For example. Me: Just finished reading @StephBurkhart's book. Two thumbs up.

If anyone has any other tips, please feel free to share.
Go out there and tweet. And have fun with it.

PS: You can follow me on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/StephBurkhart
I'd like to encourage a twitter exchange. Leave your twitter addy and I'll go ahead and follow you. Go ahead and follow others and you'll increase your following. (ie Twitter Birds. hehe)


  1. Good tips! I've been remiss about using Tip #6. Thanks for reminding me!

  2. Dear Steph - I am so on the sidelines with this. Doing everything you've said really sounds like it would take more than 15 minutes a day.
    Great suggestions, but my chest gets tight just thinking about this.

  3. Thanks for posting your tips. I admit I'm intimidated by Twitter but want to get started. Right now I'm reading "Twitter for Dummies" so I have at least some idea of what to do once I set up an account.

  4. Nicely explained. Hmm have to work on five posts a day.

  5. Thanks, Steph. I've been waiting for twitter to suddenly become understandable, so the tips are appreciated. Now if I can figure out what my twitter addy is, I'll be in business. LOL Maybe I'll just follow you instead.

  6. Steph--I don't quite get the hashtag idea, but I'll work on it. Great tips here--I like that we help each other out so much! Thanks....

  7. Great post Stephanie. I'm finally getting the hang of Twitter, but I have to use a timer, otherwise I get sucked right in and find it's two hours later!

  8. Thanks, Steph. I am starting to wet my feet with twitter. These are great tips to help me get started.

  9. Hi all, thanks for popping and I hope I helped, if even a little bit.

    Lynne, ((hugs)) trust me, it took a bit to feel even a little bit comfortable about Twitter. Quite honestly, though, I don't stay on longer that 15 mins. I really do set a limit with it. If you need "5" is too long, I might start out with "3."

    Katherine, I always liked those "for dummies" books. They really ease you into the subject matter well. Feel free to share tips you might garner from it.

    Barbara is 5 is too daunting starting out try 3 just to get your feet wet. Surprisingly, I'm up over 600 followers since starting. There's more to go, though.

    MacKenize, hey, gimme a follow and I'll follow you back. I tried to make it so twitter was understandable. I hope I did, if even a little.

    Linda, yes, use a timer and don't be embarrassed, too. You have other things to do than get caught up with twitter.

    Celia, yeah, I'm not a fan of the hashtag, I forget it myself half the time.

    Susan, glad to know I helped. Again, if anyone has a tip to share, please feel free.


  10. I have a Twitter account. It mostly just lays there because I find the whole thing (as you mentioned) intimidating and confusing. Very informative blog, Steph.

  11. Steph,

    Great advice. It was intimidating for me at first. And when people talked about hashtags, I had no idea what they were referring to.

    I wish I had this information when I first started out. :)

  12. Thanks for the tips, Steph. I manage to get some tweets up, because my Twitter account is connected somehow with Facebook, but haven't been paying as much attention to retweeting lately. I should try it to show people I'm paying attention to them.

    Morgan Mandel

  13. Thanks for the tips, Steph. I like Twitter for promoting, but have to admit (because it fills so slow with my dial up) I don't go there but a few times per week. Even then I've noticed increased sales.

    What I found even better is Ping.fm. With it I can click once and send the same message to not only Twitter, but all my social networks at once. FaceBook, Blogger, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. You add the networks you are on.

    I like Twitter because it's condensed, a quick way to get the word out on everything.

    Believe me, I need "quick" or I'd never find time to write.

  14. Thanks, Steph, for posting an excellent "go to" list for Twitter! I just "followed" you and look forward to your tweets.

    I tweet newsstories about Titanic (100th anniversary coming up in 2012)--I find if you have a book about a subject, finding stories in the news is a great way to build interest (my Titanic romance comes out in 2012).
    Jina’s Titanic blog

  15. Steph, I appreciate the hints or clues to using Twitter. People retweet me and I don't know how to retween at all. Guess I need to learn. Most I do there is to share links to posts from other places. I'll go follow you now.

  16. Good tips. I'm still learning and every bit helps. Thanks