How to Use Your Twitter Time Effectively

In our last post, we introduced you to the basics of Twitter and how using it can be a powerful tool for authors sharing content online. Today, we’ll discuss how to use the limited time you have to work on this, and other social media tools, most effectively.

Following the steps below will help you get the most out of each minute you have to work on your various social media accounts.

  1. Perhaps the most important: use your tweets to give something to your readers. Your tweets should only rarely (maybe 1 out of 10) answer the question “what are you doing right now?” and the rest of the time, should be focused on providing information or inspiration to your readers. You might tweet a link to interesting blog content, offer an inspiring quote from your book, or invite them into conversation by asking a question. As an author, you should use your blog to give away books occasionally, and definitely advertise that via Twitter.
  2. Link your Twitter account to your Facebook account so that when you tweet, it automatically shows up on your Facebook page.
  3. Link your blog to Twitter so that when you post something on your blog, a notification and link are sent out via your Twitter account (and then, to your Facebook page—see above).
  4. Use hashtags. For example, a tweet about your book might include a hashtag with the category, such as #suspense or #romanticfiction. Hashtags make your tweets more searchable—and Twitter continues to evolve into a place where people search for information.
  5. Use hashtags to search for tweets about the topics you write about. Then join the conversation by posting tweets about your book’s content with the same hashtag.
  6. Craft tweets with provocative quotes from your book, followed by a link to a site that sells your book. It’s easiest to sit down and create perhaps 20 or so of these, linking to various sales sites (amazon, barnesandnoble.com, etc.), and post one per day. Or use a scheduling tool to set that up (see next point).
  7. Try out tweet scheduling sites such as sproutsocial.com, hootsuite.com, and socialoomph.com, which allow you to schedule a variety of posts across media. Hootsuite and SocialOomph both have free and paid programs; SproutSocial plans start at just $9 each month. Each has a variety of capabilities. Experiment to see what works for you.
  8. When someone else mentions you in a positive way, don’t just tweet back “thanks!” In addition, retweet! Especially if it’s a link to their review of your book, or some sort of praise for your work.

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