An author recently reached out to me via email and said, "I've been tweeting for a couple of weeks and don't see a change in my Amazon ranking. What am I doing wrong?" I told him, "Nothing. Twitter is just not an instant fix. It takes a long time to build a community in social media." That's the honest truth, but there are still ways to make sure the time you spend on Twitter is as productive as possible.
You know the Twitter basics, right? You tweet. You retweet. You write Tweets in 140 characters or less. You keep your tweets short to encourage retweets and you aren't confused by the terms or symbols of #hashtags or @Mentions. So what else? What's next? Instead of giving you more of the basics, here are 12 ways to be more strategic about your time on Twitter.
- Help other people. This tip usually comes easily to authors and experts because they have been giving advice for years. Twitter just allows you to give it to a larger audience. Ever hear that if you help other people get what they want, you will get what you want? It's true. Whenever you have any interaction, start with the intention to give more value than you receive.
- Tweet quotes. Your nonfiction book is filled with little tips of value, and I bet your novel is full of perfect little sentences. Share them on Twitter daily. Remember to keep them short (120 characters) so people can add a comment and retweet!
- Be polite. It may sound time-consuming, but it's worth it. Every time someone retweets your tweets, thank them. You will create conversations and ultimately create relationships.
- Decide who you want to create relationships with and begin a conversation. Many of my clients find themselves talking to whomever reaches out to them. Instead you can be more proactive and make a list of the people you want to get to know. Whether it's other experts in your space or media professionals, twitter is a great way to learn from others. Initiate contact by retweeting the content of others to help support and promote them and foster a good relationship. Remember not to spam people on Twitter or ask them to follow you or to retweet you.
- Post links to helpful articles, resources, tips and other books you enjoy. One of the best ways to become known as an expert is to be on top of the trends in your industry. Share tips from others, as well as articles and resources that consistently brand you in your area of expertise. Remember to stay in your lane. Don't tweet things that are irrelevant to your brand.
- Host a book giveaway. There are so many ways to create contests on Facebook and Twitter. Free giveaways are often shared, so your followers will help promote your book for you.
- Study the competition. Twitter is an open forum for you to study other people who might be in your field of expertise. See what they are doing and what's working for them and modify those tips for yourself to help market your book.
- Maximize your Twitter bio. Your Twitter bio is only 160 characters. Use the space wisely and provide a link to your Website or book. Be straightforward yet descriptive about your expertise and include your book title if you have room.
- Use the 4:1 rule. While celebrities might tweet hints about their relationships on Twitter and others might tweet a photo of their dinner, you will be missing a big opportunity if you only use Twitter to share bits of personal info. Instead, make sure most of your tweets provide definite value. For every few tweets that are helpful or provide value, write only one tweet that's promotional about your book.
- Enlist raving fans (or family and friends) to help you promote your book. When people love your book, ask them to tweet about it using a hashtag of the title of your book so it trends in the Twitter world. Retweet those tweets from your fans on your Twitter feed.
- Do a YouTube video for your book. You know how you watch movie trailers before you head out to the movies? You want to know what you are going to watch before you head to the movies and buy that ticket. The same goes for your book. Create a promotional trailer of your book by reading some excerpts or discussing the main concept of your book. Once you finish, tweet it.
- Host a Twitter chat. Promote your expertise by hosting a Tweet chat. Come up with a short hashtag you can encourage your Twitter followers to use during the hour of your Tweet chat. Your Tweet chat can be a Q & A about your book, or you can take questions from followers for an hour at a designated time that you promote on Twitter.
As you work to market your book and become known as an expert in your niche, don't forget to use Twitter to build your personal brand. More importantly, don't expect instant success. Pace yourself and enjoy the journey. Let me know if you have any questions. Good luck.
© 2012 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. For digital publicity and social media news, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke.
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