Twitter is one of the biggest social media of our time. Unlike Facebook, Twitter isn’t only about sharing. It’s about conversations, making connexions, networking. With Twitter, it’s possible to meet people who you would think are inaccessible, but also to get them engaged with you and your content. It’s a great tool to market your book, on one condition: be respectful.
I’m on Twitter since 2011 but really started to use it since 2015. I got to know a bunch of lovely book bloggers and authors, and found events to go to online and offline. And I think the best use I could have done of this social media is just this: meet and engage with people around the world, around the topics that I love. Of course, I am as shy as you are. It’s difficult to engage the conversation with someone you don’t know. What will you talk about? And if that person doesn’t answer?
And of course, I promoted my book on Twitter. Having access to my social media analytics, I was very aware of the retweets, likes and comments I was receiving on those tweets. I am also aware that Twitter isn’t enough to your book promotion, it’s part of a marketing strategy. Because like every social media, you’ll have to share content that is engaging and relevant to your audience.
Get started on Twitter
Before even start using Twitter to promote your book, make sure that your account is up to date. It means:
- Write a good Twitter bio: You have 160 characters to write a good bio, so use them well. Something I’ve seen over the years is the use of hashtags, which can bring your audience to you. But here is a practical example:
I’m not saying that I have the best Twitter bio ever conceived, I’m far from that. However, I am focusing on keywords such as ‘author’, ‘blogger’, ‘geek’ and I am using hashtags so people can find me whether they are looking for those terms. When someone is landing on my Twitter page, they can directly see who I am and what I will talk about.
Another tip is to add a second link to your Twitter bio. Twitter will accept that you have one main link but you can redirect your audience to another one in your bio, your book’s Amazon page for example.
And don’t forget that your bio can evolve as much as you want. It isn’t something fixed that you’ll have to keep forever. Experimenting your keywords and hashtags is more than recommended.
- Take care of your Twitter handle: If your goal is to create a brand to your name, why using @falcon567 as a Twitter handle? A handle is the name people will have to remember if they want to find and interact with you, so instead of this poor example, consider using your author name on every social media you’re using, including Twitter.
- Use hashtags: Just like in your bio, you might want to use hashtags in your tweets. Be careful not to use too many of them, as it can become quite difficult to read your tweet. Instead, choose 2-3 relevant hashtags maximum.
In writing, the most common hashtags are #amwriting and #amediting. Personnally, I rarely have a look at those hashtags and rarely have a like or retweet when I’m using them. As those are the biggest ones, it might be possible that they are overcrowded. I would suggest you to find less used and relevant hashtags to share your content.
- Create a Tweetdeck account: Tweetdeck is a really good tool for Twitter, especially if you’re participating in conversations or chat. You can then create columns to track the conversations as they happen. You can even schedule some tweets.
Promoting your book on Twitter
- Get involved in the community: I just mean participating in the conversation. Some bookish people organise a weekly meet up on Twitter in which they gather and talk about a specific topic. Just take part in the conversation, take the chance to engage with someone you don’t know. This is a great way to make connexions and to network right on the other side of a computer. Shyness isn’t an excuse here.
I’ve gathered a small list of chat that might be of interest to you. Don’t hesitate to complete this list by sharing the hashtags in the comments section below.
|#SundayYA||@_sectumsemprah||Sunday||6PM GMT||YA Books|
|#UKYAchat||@LucyTheReader||Friday||8PM GMT||YA Books|
If you’re confident enough, you can create and organise a Twitter chat yourself. If you do it right, it will bring people to you over time. Just choose a new hashtag and let’s start.
- Build momentum before the book release: One of the best author to follow for that is Jenna Moreci. She is about to release her second book, The Savior’s Champion, in a few months or weeks at the date of this post. She is building brilliantly the momentum for her book by organising weekly Q&A about it, showing illustrations of her characters, comments by her beta readers and so on.
And if she can do it, so do you. Why not sharing book quotes or preparing a cover reveal? Why not organise a book blog tour? There are so many tools to create that momentum that you will certainly find the right one for you.
- Make your tweets relevant: If you’re a writer, you might talk about writing, books and so on to keep your tweets relevant to the topic. But sometimes you will feel stuck: can you share other things than writing updates and advise? The answer is yes. As long as you’re not just tweeting about the apple you just had for lunch, you’ll be fine if you’re a little bit off topic.
Be your best self.
You are online, okay, but it’s not an excuse for being rude and spammy. Instead, stay true to yourself. I’m sure you have plenty to say about your writing process, how your editing is going, how difficult it is to query agents or to market your own book. I’m sure you are interesting and funny, that you are an amazing person and live an extraordinary life. You are a writer; you’re living your dream. So be yourself and the rest will follow.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and that you learned lots of things. It is dedicated to my friend and author John Pullen, who wished more insights on how to promote a book using Twitter and other social media.
Are you using Twitter to promote your book? How are you doing it?
Do not hesitate to tweet me @vdvestelle