“Experts” tell us to use Twitter as another selling tool for our books. Except, we aren’t supposed to just promote our books. What? Sounds a little backward, use it to sell, but don’t sell.
Twitter is like a party where we can network, but really, we are there to socialize. Some people are more social and have 1,000 or more followers, friends, social contacts. Others of us are less outgoing, and have far fewer. When this month started I had 325 after a month of ‘working’ Twitter I’m up to 445, the goal was 500 and, do the math, you’ll see, I’m still 55 people short. However, an increase of 110 people in less than 30 days sounds like success to me, plus I still have three days.
Why did I want more followers if I can’t ‘sell’ my book to them? Because, I can ‘sell’ myself to them, they’ll eventually buy the book because of my tweets, or they’ll tell someone else about my book. Also, more followers mean, more interesting people for me to meet.
I’ve met some quilters who are generous with their tips and talents, often sharing tutorials, many of which I’ve included on my blog. More followers, mean more information for me to use when blogging. The blog, of course, is another way of selling books. There are too many quilters to mention, but recently I learned about I Spy bags from Lorelei.
I’ve met writers who encourage, and entertain me. Writers I’d never meet except online. Writers like Mariam Kobras, German author of THE DISTANT SHORE. Mariam is author who wrote her first book while overseeing detention at the local school. Now, how could I NOT like her? I love sharing tweets with her, and she in turns introduces me to some of her friends.
Since my book, DEVOTED TO QUILTING, is essentially a devotional, following fellow christen writers seemed a no-brainer. I’ve met some great uplifting people that way. People like Lyn Smith, a minister, speaker, writer, and just plain fun person. Then there’s LisaJo at who combines family, ministry, and writing. LisaJo’s Five Minute Friday is not only a good way for me to have a Friday post, but introduces me to some fabulous people each week.
So, how do I find these people? How have I increased my friends at the twitter social? I adopted the following strategy:
1. Reply to other tweets-If someone tweets something you find amusing, helpful, or just fun, comment. When I don’t know something, I tweet a question. Twitters are friendly people, they will usually respond, either as a reply or as a direct message.
2. Retweet other tweets. When someone posts a tweet I agree with, or enjoy I retweet it. It only takes a second, and you never know where it will lead.
A few days ago I retweeted a tweet about the future of obtaining a college degree for Agriculture jobs. I live in a rural area, and all of my children have, college education that led to jobs in agriculture. My husband and his brother both taught agriculture. It was a subject dear to me, so I shared it.
A few days later, that retweet, with my twitter feed was mentioned in the Agriculture Blog Daily. http://paper.li/AR_ranchhand/1327775386 His tweet which mentioned me, went out to 2888 followers. Will all of those 2888 people check out my tweets? No. Will any? Maybe. And it’s likely I’ll get new followers, which will eventually translate into more sales.
I didn’t know my little tweet would be spread so far. I didn’t do it for the exposure; I did it because I believed in the original tweet and wanted to share.
The tweets I retweet don’t always result in such exposure, but that doesn’t matter, that’s not the reason I do it. Sometimes I retweet for friends to help get them more exposure; others do the same for me. We help each other.
4. Post links to other blogs or websites you find interesting. I often have trouble thinking of something to tweet, I don’t want to be advertising my book all the time, and I don’t want to be too personal. That’s when sharing links to other blogs or websites comes in handy. Some of my writer friends aren’t on Twitter, or if they are I haven’t found them. But I can tweet the link to their blog or website for them. This often gets them new readers and shows other twitter people some of my interests.
5. Answer if someone replies or retweets you. It’s just polite to thank someone for retweeting one of your tweets. If possible, respond to their replies. It gets the conversation going, which helps them to know you and hopefully will sell more books.
Twitter is just one little road that leads others to you, and your books. Enjoy your twittering.
These are some of my Twitter tips. I’m still learning, I’m sure there will be another Twitter post in the future. Do you have others; is there something you do on Twitter that has helped you?