10 tips for writers using Twitter

10 March 2015 / Leave a Comment

  • Have followers. If you're sending tweets out to twelve people, why bother? Your first step is to build an audience. Follow someone similar to yourself, follow their followers, hope that some of them follow you back. I've found that roughly one in three follow back on Twitter. You may find that Twitter will moderate how many people you follow and may stall you at around the following 2000 mark.
  • Use sites like https://unfollowers.com/ to monitor recent unfollowers and people who aren't following you back. Use sparingly though, because Twitter will suspend your account if they catch you overusing it.
  • Use hashtags, they're a great way to reach an extended audience. Some of my favourites are #amwriting #writetip #indiepub #askeditor #author #ebook #litfic #kidlit #getpub. Use hashtags to find a unique audience. My Aunty Arty children's books are about art and may be of interest to art teachers, so I was excited when I discovered a whole community of art teachers on Twitter using the hashtag #artsed.
  • Don't start a post with @someonesname as it only goes to that person. Put a full stop or a word in front of it, to make sure all your followers see the post 
  • If you're promoting something, provide a link. Make sure it's the correct link
  • Try Twitter's new analytic tools. Go to Twitter ads - Analytics - Tweet activity to see number of impressions and engagements for each of your tweets, you may find some surprising results.
  • Add your favourite Twitter users to lists. I've got one list going, obscurely named 'Alpha', but one day I'd love to get really organised and have a list each for publishers/editors, bloggers/reviewers and literary journalists. Twitter is a great way to build up a contacts list of people in the industry.
  • Hootsuite has been superseded by Buffer, in my humble opinion. It's easy to queue posts and set scheduling times for different days of the week. Use the 'Analytics' function to see most popular posts and 'Re-Buffer' them for another time. I'm on the $10 a month, Awesome plan. Along with Spotify, it's the only monthly online plan I'm happy to pay for .. http://www.bufferapp.com/
  • Schedule slight variations of the same tweet for different times of the day and week if your audience is global. If I have a new blog post I want to get out there, I'll schedule at least 10 posts for it in the first week. If I think it's a good post, I might keep on promoting it for a few weeks, but it's important to let it go eventually. If people keep seeing the same tweets over and over again, they might start unfollowing.
  • Post images, images, images. Yes, we're writers and we like text, but images will make your post stand out. I've recently started using http://piktochart.com/ to create text-based graphics to grab people's attention on Twitter.
Follow Rowena Wiseman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/outaprintwriter


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