So you’ve heard about Twitter, and every social media strategist worth her salt has told you to get on it! Unfortunately, you have no idea where to start, and you don’t want to make a fool of yourself by doing it wrong.
Well, follow these six Twitter Bootcamp for Writers rules, and you should be okay.
Rule no. 1: Join Twitter! It’s free and easy, and a great way to start building your author platform.
Rule no. 2: Don’t start your Twitter feed with your personal friends–pick up Twitter users who are similar to you in profession and/or interest:
- Fellow writers/authors, bloggers, and readers
- Don’t limit yourself to genre
- Twitter will make user recommendations to you once you fill out your Profile and start Tweeting, so make those first tweets relevant!
Rule no. 3: Less than 5% of your tweets should be self-promotion. What does self-promotion mean?
- Advertisements for purchases (e.g. any books you have published or anthologies in which your work has appeared)
- Advertisements for your general website (not specific blog posts or information pages), speaking gigs, or appearances
- As a general rule, don’t talk about yourself in third-person! It just makes you look like a jackass.
Rule no. 4: Make good use of that other 95%! Try the following tacks to build audience participation:
- Engage other writers on topics that interest you. Talk about your WIPs, where you’re struggling in the writing process, and try to use relevant hashtags like #amwriting.
- Don’t be afraid of replying to tweets that interest you! Engaging your audience starts with incorporating them into the conversation.
- Draw more readers into the fold by talking about books similar to yours. Use the Search functionality to find ongoing book chatter.
Rule no. 5: Take care with what you Tweet:
- It’s OK to have a personality, but avoid offensive, derogatory, or inflammatory comments (unless they serve some purpose for your brand–if you are a humor writer, for example)
- Be yourself. Your readers want to get to know the real you.
- Sometimes controversy can attract attention, but be sure to back up any outlandish claims with real, hard evidence.
- Don’t flood your followers’ feeds. Do more reading than talking.
And last but not least:
Rule no. 6: Make sure you get off Twitter from time to time and keep on writing!
Kiersi is a 23-year old writer living in Portland, Oregon. She writes everything from young adult and middle-grade novels to childrens’ picture books, women’s fiction to epic sci-fi, fantasy to genre-bending short stories, and everything in between. She writes every day, sometimes all day, much to her boyfriend’s disappointment. Her debut novel Fire and Brimstone is scheduled for release Spring of 2013.
In addition to authoring, Kiersi is an illustrator, a pet-holic, and an obsessive gardener. She also loves cute small things, pet rats, and video games.