In my time immersing myself into the twitterverse while my brain tricks me into thinking this world is a fiction, I have run into some common themes among writers. Writers, more often than not, do the following expecting them to be effective ways to market on Twitter.
Here are 3 mistakes I’ve seen authors make, and what you can do better.
Following and Unfollowing
Following an Twitter user and unfollowing them shortly after baffles me. If you don’t want to follow someone, don’t follow them. What I’ve seen in the writing community is this…
- Writer A follows writer B.
- B doesn’t follow back.
- A gets angry and unfollows writer B.
- Sometimes, not often, A posts about writer B not following back or directly messages B.
The goal of social media, no matter what industry you’re in, is to build relationships with your audience. Selling should be a side effect, not the goal.
On Twitter, following someone does not make them indebted to following you. Your audience might be to follow writers. That writer’s audience might be romance readers. If you’ve never engaged (commented) on that writer’s tweets, they have no reason to follow you.
Once you’ve engaged in a discussion with someone, they start to know who you are. As you engage more often, they begin to remember you and hopefully they like you. They may decide to follow back.
If you’re using Twitter to gain followers, and unfollowing when people don’t reciprocate, you won’t build friendly relationships that help sell books. Sit down and revise your goals and audience. Focus on engaging people who would read your book.
And keep in mind, there’s no rule that says someone must follow you back. Build a relationship and give them a reason to follow you back.
Tagging an author to buy your book
This recently happened to me. Someone I had never seen on Twitter tweeted something to the effect of:
@willoshire check out my urban fantasy book and buy a copy
Right after they followed me, I get an alert about that tweet. I’ll never buy that book. Well, never say never. I already forgot who this person was… why?
They never engaged me. Instead of talking with me or others, they assumed because they followed me I’ll buy their book. This is a pushy salesman tactic. Nobody wants to be told to do something, especially when they don’t know you.
Instead, if you think someone may like your book, start a discussion with them first. If it naturally leads to a book plug, then plug your book. If it doesn’t, don’t force it. As you build a relationship, people will become naturally curious about your book as you post about it in your regular tweets.
Never directly tag someone asking them to buy your book, unless they’ve asked you to. You’re almost guaranteed to irritate them and start the relationship off with a sour taste.
Like I said, whoever tagged me in that post, I don’t remember who they were, and I didn’t follow back. Writers need to be on Twitter to build relationships that fit their goals (usually audience).
I’m there to network with writers and urban fantasy readers, since I write both nonfiction and fiction.
Liking and not commenting
I often see, “Why is nobody talking to me on Twitter?”
One of the biggest mistakes writers make on Twitter is to use the “like” button. The like button is not a means of engagement. It shows you support a tweet, you like that tweet. The owner gets a notification, but that notification is buried with all the other likes they get.
If you want to build relationships with Twitter users, comment.
Comment and discuss the tweet. Have a natural conversation like you’re friends out for a coffee. Joke around and have fun. Let your personality shine.
People want to know who they support. They want to know you as a writer. As you comment, they’ll start remembering your profile picture. You’ll begin having conversations about old tweets in new tweets. A relationship will form.
Getting people to consistently talk to you is hard work. It’s like building a real life friendship. Friendships take a lot of work, not only to form, but to continue. With patience and persistence, your hard work will pay off.
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Allow me to burn this into your mind and mine. I talk a lot about building relationships. This post is no different. Anything you do on social media should focus on building relationships with your audience. Twitter provides several tools to help us build relationships. These tools are easy to
In my time immersing myself into the twitterverse while my brain tricks me into thinking this world is a fiction, I have run into some common themes among writers. Writers, more often than not, do the following expecting them to be effective ways to market on Twitter. Here are 3