If you’re an author, half your battle is writing the book. The other half is letting the world know about it! Social media can be a great way to get yourself out in public – and Twitter is a very welcoming place to do that. (If nothing else, you’ll get really good at writing succinctly in 140 characters or less.)
But it’s one thing to open a Twitter account … and quite another to grow your following there. How do you do it?
That’s it in a nutshell.
Imagine Twitter is the largest conference on earth – and it’s your job to meet as many people as you can. Go around and say hi! In Twitter etiquette, following another user is the equivalent of introducing yourself and exchanging business cards.
The lovely thing is … most of the people you follow will follow you back! I’d say at least half, and in the world of marketing … that’s phenomenal.
Make sure you don’t fill your news feed with junk tweets by following people with whom you have absolutely nothing in common. For an author, great people to follow include other writers, readers, and anyone who shares an interest in the topics you write about. (Do you write knit lit? Follow knitters! Do you write Medieval romance? Follow members of the SCA!)
But the question of the hour now is … where do you find people to follow in the first place?
1. Use Twitter Recommendations
Go to your profile. If you’re on your computer, look at the sidebar on the left. If you’re using the Twitter app on your phone, scroll down past your first few tweets. You’ll find a section called “Who to follow.”
These are suggestions Twitter pulls up for you. It’s a great place to start! I don’t know if this is true of a brand new account, but I can say that once you’re established, Twitter can pull up the profiles which are most relevant to you.
2. Use More Twitter Recommendations
Click through to the profile of someone you’d like to follow. Then click the “follow” button. Twitter will then pull up three more profiles similar to the person you just followed. You could literally waste your life away clicking through to new profiles and following similar accounts.
3. Use Other People’s “Followers” and “Following” Lists
Okay, get off that merry-go-round for a sec. (I know, you’re having fun.) Go to somebody’s profile (somebody with similar interests) and check out the two headers that say “Following” and “Followers.” This is that user’s “tribe,” if you will. You’ll stand pretty good odds of finding more people who share your interests. Read the bios and follow a bunch!
4. Use Lists
While you’re flying around all those profiles, keep your eyes peeled for a tab next to the “following” and “followers” buttons called “lists.” (If you’re browsing on your phone, you’ll have to click on the menu button once you’re on someone’s profile.)
Twitter allows you to make both private and public lists to organize the people you follow. Public lists are an awesome way to find a whole group of people that somebody already tailored to your interests! For instance, I’d be thrilled to run across a list called “Mystery Writers.”
Another way to find these lists, besides keeping your eyes peeled while on other people’s profiles, is to watch your notifications. Hang out on Twitter long enough, and sooner or later, you’ll get a notice saying that so-and-so added you to a list called such-and-such.
Click through! Follow! Rejoice!
5. Use the Twitter Search Engine
See the magnifying glass up top? Click it. Then type in a search term, such as “thriller.” If you want, you can use a hashtag (like this: #thriller), but that’ll limit your search instead of broadening it, so for now, you may not want to use it.
Twitter will pull up a list of Tweets from all across Twitterland using that search term. You know what to do: Click through to the profiles!
That’s all I’ve got, folks. What about you? Do you have some great strategies for growing your Twitter following? Let us know in the comments!
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