Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Twitter for Writers: Keeping It Going


Maintaining the momentum to post day after day, month after month, year after year is daunting. Good intentions slide away. I have been tweeting, from my first account, since 2011. Yet, it wasn’t until 2014 that I was consistently tweeting (from three accounts at that point). Like all of us, I let pieces of my platform rise and fall depending upon what was happening in my life.

I realized that I had to be consistent if I were going to build my follower base, and I had to provide content they would want to read and retweet. So that’s when I got serious, and like the newly converted, I became an advocate for Twitter and blogging.

It paid off. While my numbers are not in the tens of thousands, across my three Twitter accounts, I connect with almost 10,000 followers. I have seen my page views for my three blogs rise to more than 3000 per month with me blogging just once a week. If I put up more content, I’ll bet I’d get even more page views.

Name recognition is what it’s about. Do I sell a bazillion books? Nope. Can I trace book sales to my tweets and blog posts? Nope. But I know me as a reader. If I know the name, have seen it a lot, I am more inclined to buy that book. Just ask Dan Brown and Stephen King if that name thing isn’t working for them.

So, how did I turn the corner on consistency? I came up with a system. I’ve already described parts of it:
1)   I create two or three tweets for each blog post (which I can use on Facebook, too).
2)   I collect content of interest to my followers by reading news items/articles and create tweets from them. One article easily equals five or more tweets.
3)   When making tweets about your book and how to buy, think of the tweet as a tiny book hook. Engage, intrigue, question, provoke so they click on the link.
4)   I retweet others, follow back those who fit my Twitter focus, and use hashtags to bring attention to my content.
5)   I arrange each day’s tweets in advance (I can do several days at once) and divide the list into two or three segments for tweeting at different times of the day.
6)   I attend Twitter parties like @StoryDam on Thursday evenings which allows me to share blog posts and interact with people who are also attending.
7)   Create your own Twitter party and invite people to attend. For example,  “You’re invited to a Twitter #mysterywritersparty Weds. 6-7pm MST. Bring questions/ideas/blog posts. Topic: Murder weapons you’ve used” That’s a commitment you are making, but ask some other mystery writers to co-sponsor it with you.
8)   I go back into my other two accounts and re-tweet my other accounts. My three alternate tweets about a blog post now I have been tweeted two more times. 3 tweets is multiplied as in the table below. G2T = @Good2Tweat; RR = @RomanceRighter; RG = @RiverGlynn

Tweet A version
Morning post
Tweet B version
Mid-Day post
Tweet C version
Evening post
G2T; RT by RR/RG
RR; RT by G2T/RG
RG; RT by G2T/RR
G2T; RT by RR/RG
RR; RT by G2T/RG
RG; RT by G2T/RR
G2T; RT by RR/RG
RR; RT by G2T/RG
RG; RT by G2T/RR

Not even close to all your followers are on at the time you’re posting, so when I post three times a day, one tweet gets 27 chances for viewing. It’s the multiplicative effect. But, if you only have one Twitter account, you are still posting the link to your blog three times. Three is good! And if you’re using hashtags, someone else is helping you by re-tweeting.

Some Tweeps use services like HootSuite to schedule and post their tweets. That doesn’t work for me. I want to interact with my followers when I see an interesting post or I find things I want to re-tweet. Since I’m at the site anyway doing those things, I can find the 8 seconds per tweet it takes me to put them up.

Well, I’m done talking about Twitter. I hope this series has helped you to navigate the system you may have been avoiding. Remember, you only have to spend as much time as you allocate. Set that timer and tweet away!

2 comments:

  1. This is actually a really helpful post - that I found via Twitter (through the @MyAuthorBiz account). I'm a new blogger & an aspiring author, but I want to connect to readers. I didn't think that posting about the same blog post multiple times a day was a good idea (I thought it would bore people & seem too repetitive). You make some really great points here. Thank you!

    Voule (@VWalkerViews)

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  2. Thank you, Voule, for stopping in. I hope you will explore my Twitter series from the first post last December. I tried to cover the basics for folks just starting the journey. I've learned a lot (and messed up a lot!) along the way. I don't know @MyAuthorBiz, but it sounds like I should check it out. Thanks for that, too. Please come by again. You never know what's going to pop up here.

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