Why Not Promote Your Book with Twitter?

This is part three of a series of blog posts about promoting your own book. If you missed parts 1 and 2, here they are.

Stay tuned for another post about using Facebook to promote a book soon.

Be Generous on Twitter

Be Generous on Twitter

Twitter

23% of online adults currently use Twitter

According to the Pew Research Center, 23% of online adults currently use Twitter

According to a Pew Research Center article, “23% of online adults currently use Twitter, a statistically significant increase compared with the 18% who did so in August 2013. Twitter is particularly popular among those under 50 and the college-educated.” Does that sound like your audience?

Be Generous First

Use Twitter to tweet about yourself, your interests, and, of course, your book.  More importantly, engage with your friends and followers, as well as other authors on Twitter. You can ask for retweets occasionally by saying “please retweet” in your tweet. Share other authors’ and friends’ tweets. If you’re generous on Twitter, your generosity will be repaid.

Write Great Tweets

As with everything on twitter, your writing must shine so that people will want to read your books. Crisp, clear, fun writing will attract people. Tweets can include great quotes from book reviews (with links to where people can buy your book), and fabulous images.

Pin Important Tweets

Twitter now allows you to “pin” your tweet to the top of your account. Go to the tweet you want to pin, click on the three little dots under it, and choose “pin to your profile page.” Now your tweet will live at the top of your profile.

Use A Hashtag or Two

A hashtag such as #SciFi or #Fiction may be just the ticket for your book promotion so that people looking for something to read can find you. You could also add them to your profile, along with #author.

Consider Targeting

Who is your ideal audience? The narrower you can define your audience, the better. You can search within Twitter for your audience and follow those people.

Tweetchats

Tweet chats are an excellent way to get more high-quality followers as well as to become an authority on your topic. If you don’t know what a tweet chat is, here’s how to participate. I highly recommend that you begin your tweet chats long before your book is published.

If you have a book with 12 chapters, you probably have at least 12 topics for tweet chats. You could have one weekly for 12 weeks (or longer, to gain even more followers). To promote your chat, send reminders every week. Tweet them out a day or two before the chat. My chat, #DigiBlogChat, is on Tuesdays at 1 pm, so I schedule my reminder tweets for 5:00-7:00 am Monday mornings. That way, they’re not in the main “stream” and don’t cause a lot of clutter.

Here’s an example of a reminder tweet (note: send it to multiple people at a time):

Send reminders for your tweet chat the day before

Send reminders for your tweet chat the day before

Schedule your reminders every five minutes. I use HootSuite Pro, but you could also use any number of other schedulers.

Use Tools to Help During the Chat

For the chat itself, log into Twubs or TweetChat (log into your Twitter account first), then put in the hashtag of your chat. Twubs and Tweetchat help you by automatically adding the hashtag. Also, you can slow down the stream, since many chats go very quickly, with lots of people tweeting in.

Twubs can help with a Tweetchat

Twubs can help with a Tweetchat

The Twubs interface is quite simple. You can see who’s tweeting about the topic. You can also see the contributors, and you can also easily retweet.

Tweetreach

One way to see how much reach you got during your chat is by using Tweetreach. Simply log in (perhaps halfway through the chat), enter the hashtag, and Tweetreach calculates the reach. The below is a snapshot (50 tweets only).

Use Tweetreach to check your Tweet Chat's reach

Use Tweetreach to check your Tweet Chat’s reach

Prepare Questions Ahead of Time for a Tweet Chat

To run a tweet chat, prepare the questions ahead of time. I create 8. At first, people like to say hello and introduce themselves, so give people 3-4 minutes for that. Then you can tweet a question every few minutes during the hour. Some chats are more freeform, but I like the question and answer format.

Have Guest Hosts

You could also have guest hosts who can create topics and questions, and this can generate excitement. If you do a book giveaway, that will be even more exciting! I’ve given away books, e-books, tickets to social media events, and classes during chats. The more promotion you do, the more excitement will build. Use all your social media to promote, and you might even want to call people if there’s a big giveaway!

Are You An Author with a Book to Promote?

How has Twitter helped you? Or if you’rejust getting started, what did I leave out? Please leave me a comment, below!

Comments

  1. What a good idea to use a Tweetchat to promote a book. I never would have thought of that.

    • Hi Bridget,
      Well, why not promote a book during a tweetchat? Or use the chat to talk about writing, or things of interest to readers (or other authors)?
      Thank you for commenting!
      Carol

  2. Hi Carol,

    Thanks for recommending TweetReach as a tool to measure hashtag reach- particularly chats- on Twitter; we appreciate it!

    – Sarah A. Parker
    Social Media Manager | Union Metrics
    Fine Makers of TweetReach, The Union Metrics Social Suite, and more

  3. I wonder how many authors are aware of Twitter and use it. It’s a great idea! Is there a large author community on Twitter?

    • I’ve seen a lot of authors using Twitter to gain followers. I’ve even heard that some publishers expect their authors to have a certain number of followers before they’ll publish them (but don’t know how much truth there is in it). THanks for commenting, Adam!
      C arol

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