How To Get More Twitter Followers: For Authors

More Twitter Followers now.

What the tweet are you doing with your twitter account? If you’re just retweeting what others say or hardly tweeting at all, you’re doing it wrong. After reading this short primer, hopefully you can take your twitter account from useless space on the internet, to something useful that will drive sales and help you make a name for yourself. A tall order? Maybe. But not as tall as you might think. By following the 8 steps listed below, you can get more Twitter Followers and see results fairly quickly.

Note: some people have asked how much time I spend on Twitter. The answer is less than an hour a day spread out as much as possible. Step 2 takes me about 10 minutes a day, and the rest is spent crafting tweets or goofing around looking for something cool to retweet. I could probably do it in less time if I was a little more foc–Squirrel!

If you’d like to follow me on Twitter, now’s your chance! I follow other authors, readers, and real people I find interesting!

1. Who are you following and what do they do? (Using Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Voice, of course)
Twitter is a funny thing. If you’re sitting around wondering why people aren’t following you and you think it has something to do with your tweets, you could be right, but there’s probably something bigger at play. Unless you’re a celebrity or well-known and already established as an author, you probably won’t get any meaningful number of followers at first. Not only that, but your ratio of followers to the number of people you are following will probably be about even, or even skewed more toward following. Is that a bad thing? No. I would contend that it just ‘is.’ If you’re just starting out and you want more followers, guess what you have to do? Follow other people! But how?

2. Crowdfire.
Crowdfire is a free (with premium options) website that allows you to unfollow those people who have not followed you back. If that sounds familiar, it could be because they changed their name from JustUnfollow recently. So, step 1, follow a bunch of people, step 2, unfollow those that don’t follow you back. That’s not so hard I guess. Hold on. Using the website, you can also do a search of twitter users using keywords that is a little more in depth than the search on twitter, and follow 50 people this way every day. There are a number of other options you can use that make the process more complicated, but also more effective. But who the heck do you follow?

3. Who the heck do I follow?
I would start with other authors for two reasons. Number 1, authors are generally readers themselves, and I’ve had a number of people tweet me and tell me that they’ve bought my books after following me (verified with KDP’s sales tracker). Number 2, authors tend to follow back, meaning if you follow them, then they follow you. If you use Crowdfire, these people will not show up in your list of people to unfollow, and if they use the same service, you will always follow one another. Beyond authors, who are plentiful on Twitter, I would search for readers or fans of genres similar to the one in which you write. But don’t stop there! Also add people and businesses around where you live. I have a number of followers in the Reno area who consistently retweet my tweets to support a local author. People dig this stuff and by becoming involved in your community, it can easily lead to more Twitter followers.

4. What do I tweet?
Here, I would say refrain from anything too political unless your writing concerns politics or political thrillers and it’s relevant. You can do a lot on twitter without offending or alienating your readers. Most of my posts are more personal, with the occasional retweet from a celebrity I like or a scientist who posts something interested related to my work. About 10-20% of my tweets are actually promotion for my novels with links to Amazon or this blog.

5. How do I know it’s working?
With recent updates to Twitter, there’s actually a number of ways to know if you’re having an impact. There’s a little symbol found near the star (favorite) icon at the bottom of each tweet. This will bring up the stats for that tweet, including how many people have seen it and how many have clicked the link, etc. Beyond that, I look at the Google analytics on my blog and can see when I get traffic from twitter or a boom in views right after a tweet. Finally, you can use your number of followers as a gauge of how effective your twitter campaign is. For instance, my number of followers has continued to grow consistently since I broke the 2,000 follower mark. Since then, I’ve gained about 1,000 a month and that number keeps going up. It turns out, the more followers you have the more attractive you become to other authors who are on the same path as you. They likely see that I have around 7,200 followers and am following 7,500 people (as of this writing) so it’s likely that I’ll follow another author back. (Which I always try to do).

6. Engagement.
Authors on twitter have a sort of unspoken community. When you can, reply to other authors’ tweets or retweet something they say if it’s interesting. What goes around comes around, and you’ll be building up a relationship with that other author. Twitter sort of revolves around this pay it forward system, where if you give out retweets and favorites you’ll likely get a return from them or someone else in spades.

7. Promocave.
This is a newer website and Twitter community that is anything but unspoken. If you’re an author, definitely look them up on Twitter, follow them, and then sign up on their website and promote your books. Promocave’s purpose is to help authors network with each other. When I post something and add #Promocave to the end of it, I’ll often get around 50 retweets, allowing my post to be seen by thousands of people. The more people that get involved with this, the more effective it will be for everyone!

8. And another thing: Hashtags ###
A post without a Hashtag will likely only be seen by a select few who stumble across it. I often use #Amwriting, #Amreading, #Promocave, or something more specific to my post. Try to leave room at the end for a Hashtag and you’ll end up seeing random people follow you. Going back to Crowdfire, you might want to be selective about the ‘fans’ section (which is people who follow you that you don’t follow). You’ll get some bots and some crazies that aren’t worth following. However, if you see another author or an actual person who seems like they might like your work, I would definitely follow them back, if only to prevent them from unfollowing you. Most readers would love it if an author they dig follows them on Twitter. They might even tell their friends.

Do you have any more suggestions for being successful on Twitter? Sound off in the comments below if you have something to add or have a question about Twitter or other social media sites.

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