Twitter Tips Authors Need to Know

Yesterday we looked at how author’s should approach social media. (If you need the cliff notes, you’re lazy, but also: ENGAGE.) Today we want to look at some resources for how to better engage.

There’s an old adage, “Work smarter, not harder.” While I prefer working smarter to working harder if it’s an either/or scenario, I prefer even more an adage of my own: “Work smarter and harder.” If you want to make it as an indie author, you need work smarter, you need to work harder, and of course you need a little luck.


[clickToTweet tweet=”Work smarter, not harder? I prefer Work smarter AND Harder. 6 TWITTER TIPS AUTHORS NEED TO KNOW” quote=”Work smarter, not harder? I prefer Work smarter AND Harder. ” theme=”style6″] Here are some resources for working smarter on Twitter.


1. Build Lists

Twitter lists can organize and simplify your twitter activity immensely. Organize your lists by your fans, blogs you follow, fellow writers, reviewers, or any number of other lists. In the world of fast moving tweets where, let’s face, only 5% are of interest to you, a list can help you stay up to date on the people you want to be tracking much easier. If you don’t believe me, here are 6 Ways Twitter Lists Can Help Build Your Author Platform.


2. Write Better Tweets

We just got finished saying 95% of tweets are boring, so stop writing boring tweets! Why are you adding to the never-ending list of boring tweets? Learn how to tweet more effectively. Mike McGrail has a great article on How To Write Effective Tweets from a few years ago that is still very relevant today. Always engage your audience. Ask them a question. Have a call to action or invite them to participate. Always think, “Why is this valuable to my followers?” If you can’t answer that, it’s probably not an effective tweet.


3. Have a Marketing Plan

This doesn’t have to be some 14-page outline for how you aim to most effectively utilize twitter. We all have very busy lives and it’s difficult to have a detailed social media marketing plan. Hell, corporations hire hoards of people to do that. My very close childhood friend is the head of social media at JC Penny. He’s terrific at it and has created a number of viral campaigns for them, but he works long days and has teams of people working for him. He has a huge marketing budget.

No one expects you to have that type of marketing plan, but you should at least have a vague idea of what you’re trying to accomplish on social media and how you plan to do that. Are you trying to meet friends? Are you trying to sell your book? Are you trying to participate in discussions with other writers? Figure out what your goal is. If you don’t even know where to begin, check out Jeff Bullas’ How to Create a Twitter Marketing Strategy That Rocks.


4. Put Thought Into Your Profile

This may be self-explanatory, but think about your profile. How are you presenting yourself to the twitter-verse? Have you even considered this? When’s the last time you looked at your profile? Have a look. Maybe it’s time to update it.


5. Consider When You’re Tweeting

There is purportedly gobs and gobs of data on the best times of day to tweet, the best days to tweet, the best weeks to tweet, the best centuries to tweet… I don’t have any of this data. In fact, I’ve rarely seen a single actual statistic here, so maybe the same twitter lies are being repeated over and over. It seems to happen a lot in the blogosphere, especially with celebrity gossip. If you’re looking for some of this data and quick tips, check out 7 Simple Tips to Help You Promote Your Book on Twitter. Regardless of whether these statistics are accurate, though, you should still be more thoughtful not just about what you’re tweeting, but about when you’re tweeting it.

(Confession: I’m terrible at this one. I tweet when I can, not when I should.)


6. Be Authentic

I love @JayBilas. It’s as if Jack Dorsey (twitter founder and current CEO) sat down and said, “Jay Bilas needs a platform where he can crush it. Let’s come up with that.” Bilas is an expert at twitter. I would love to be as snarky, smart, witty, and funny as him. But I’m not Jay Bilas. I could never pull that off. That’s not me. If I tried, people would just think I’m a dick. (You already do, Mark! Well I never…)

Be yourself on twitter. Be authentic. There’s haters and trolls everywhere. Don’t worry about them. Just this weekend I had two different haters hitting up my account telling me how wrong and boring I am. Ok. Thank you for sharing. I don’t claim to be right and I certainly don’t claim to be interesting. What I do claim to be is me.

As my longtime book-friend Dr. Seuss once wrote, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” I can only be me, twitter included. That goes for you too. Be authentic.

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.’ -Dr Seuss” quote=”‘Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.’ – Dr. Seuss” theme=”style6″]


Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.