Hey everyone! I was asked today about my Twitter success and how I gained so many peeps in such a short time, so I figured I’d write a post about it before bed. I started up Twitter a few years ago, gained a little under 100 followers, and then quit because I didn’t like it (big mistake; don’t do this at home). I came back to the Twitter world recently and I’m glad I did.
Over the past six weeks, I’ve gained more than 1000 followers on Twitter. I didn’t use the “follow as many accounts as I can” method, as I feel that doesn’t draw in quality content. At first I followed back all writers and artists, but over the past two weeks I’ve been choosing followers more carefully. Nowadays I only follow back people who interact with one another. Accounts that only shout “BUY MY PRODUCT” or spam the same slightly modified tweet over and over get no follow back from me.
By carefully selecting these peeps, my news feed isn’t clogged with spam. All I see are interesting tweets from interesting people. I can retweet, favourite, and comment on almost anything. This is the kind of homepage you want for your Twitter account, but in order to go down this route, you also have to bring interesting content to the table. That’s the first step in becoming a quality Tweeter.
What I recommend to all new writers (or anyone looking to grow a Twitter account) is to start a blog. WordPress is fantastic! Blogspot is another way to go. These websites generate traffic, and if your posts are fabulous you gain peeps who want to read what you write. Don’t just write any old post, though. Write what interests you; write what matters; write what your genre demands. Quality posts will be recognized.
Change your Twitter profile picture from the default. The suspicious egg photo is just… well, suspicious. Upload a photo of yourself or your brand to let people know who you are. Throw in a book or a cool T-shirt and you get personality points.
Define who you are with a great bio. I don’t like following people back when their bio is empty. I like knowing who I follow. I want to know what their interests, hobbies, and favourite things are. I like knowing which side of the planet they hail from, or if they’ve contributed to the world. Having a cool bio is an instant win. If you’re selling something, include the link in your bio. Or link to your blog or personal website.
Cover photos are awesome. For someone like me, who has several books out and more in the making, I can’t put every link in my bio. Instead, I have a picture of my books along the top of my profile page for everyone to see. Cover photos are a great way to show who you are and what you sell.
Once you have your profile set up, it’s time to begin tweeting. Introducing yourself is always a good start. Let people know who you are and what interests you. Look around Twitter for others like you and add them. Saying you’re new to the tweeting world and need some guidance–and people to follow who share your interests–is a great way to attract attention to your page. People love helping people, and you should take part in that!
Hashtags are the navigational controls of Twitterland. I commonly use #writerslife, #amwriting, and #writerproblems to draw views to my tweets. The #amwriting tag is popular for indie authors especially. It’s nice to see what others are up to in the writing world, and these are some helpful tags to find them. You’ll find using hashtags to be one of the best methods to bring people to your page.
Like I stated above, you should always help people. If you see a tweet you like, retweet it! If someone needs help promoting something, retweet it! Word of advice, though: Make sure what you retweet is something you approve of. Don’t retweet just anything. Read the blog post, story, or advice shown before you share it to your followers. If the retweet isn’t as great as you thought, people are going to lose trust in your content.
When you write a blog post, make sure you share it with your peeps on Twitter! I recommend the #Mondayblogs hashtag. They usually retweet blog posts, unless you’re self promoting. That’s against the rules.
Posting pictures along with your tweet is a good habit to get into. I love posting memes and quotes. A large portion of my tweets are pictures (I have over 300 posted since I began). I’ve also found research that states links are 70% more likely to get retweeted when they are included with your tweet. So: pictures and links=great tweet.
Most importantly, interact with your peeps. And I don’t mean fake-interaction. People can tell if you’re just trying to work an angle. Be sincere with people, talk to them–I promise they won’t bite! (Computer screens and distance and all that complicating the physics of such an act). #FollowFriday is a great time to lift up other followers. Choose some people you think post quality content and give them a shoutout. They’ll be happy you took the time to recognize their hard work.
Remember, your Twitter account should consist of about 90% content and 10% promotion. Blog posts don’t count as promotion (unless you’re linking to a post about selling something). People don’t want to read a tweet about your book’s Amazon page every hour. That’s borderline spamming, and as dull as rocks. If you have something to sell, post a link once–maybe twice–a day, just to remind new followers you have something of value out there they might want to check out.
Timing is also worth mentioning. Tweets that are sent early in the morning (6am-9am) or around suppertime (4pm-7pm) attract the most attention. People are either getting ready for work or getting off work, and apparently that’s when everyone is dying to update their Twitter status. 😉 Of course, those times vary depending on which region you live in. My tweets usually make progress around 5-7am, 12-1pm, and 1-3am.
Your Twitter page is not all about you. So help people out, share interests and hobbies, post quality content, funny tweets, and helpful advice, and have fun with it! I’m certainly having a blast over the past month and a half. I’ve met some great people and found many new blogs to read. It’s been eye-opening at times, and I think I’ve even gained more self-confidence through interacting on Twitter. With a book signing coming up in August, I think I’ll need more of that! 😉