Friday Roundup: Twitter Tips for Indie Authors

12-12-14 Twitter Tips for Indie Authors

Welcome to the Friday Roundup where you’ll find practical tips for marketing your books on the social web. This week’s segment of the Friday Roundup focuses on Twitter Tips for Indie Authors.


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Let’s talk about hashtags. They can be confusing to users new to Twitter, but they’re actually quite simple.

A hashtag is a word preceded by what some of us still know as the pound sign, #. When the word and the pound sign join they form a hashtag, and that becomes hyperlinked and thus searchable on Twitter.

Hashtags can help you to expand your online readership by attracting users who are searching for the genre or topic you write about. Likewise, they can help you find people who love to read.

They are also useful for tracking mentions of your books when you create unique hashtags.

But hashtags can be tricky, too. You don’t want to overuse them, yet when used appropriately (two per tweet), they hold the potential to improve the chance of someone discovering your tweets—and your latest book—through Twitter’s search function.

For example, if you want to find a new thriller to read, you would type #thriller in Twitter’s search bar. If you were looking for a romance novel, you would type #romance in the search bar.

There are numerous hashtags that writers can use including #bestseller, #eBook, #Free, #Giveaway, #Kindle, #ShortStory, #amwriting, and #amediting.

To see a longer list of hashtags for authors, check out my post Grow Your Twitter Tribe – and Find New Readers – with Hashtags.

Now Here’s My Friday Roundup

I scoured the Internet and found three fab posts on using Twitter. I think you’ll like them too.

First up is 20 Fundamental Don’ts of Twitter For Business by YFS Magazine.

Don’t let the word business in the title dissuade you from considering these recommendations. You’re an author who wants to make money from your books and therefore – guess what? – you’re a business.

This post does what it says: It lists twenty fundamental Twitter tips. Here are my favorites:

  1. Don’t keep your tweets private or be hard to fine. If you’re using the TrueTwit validation tool, discontinue your account. You’ll never grow a tribe while using that tool.
  2. Don’t direct message everyone. Never direct message anyone unless you’re trying to send someone your phone number privately or email address.
  3. Don’t spam people relentlessly about your books.
  4. Never write your tweets in all caps. This is considered shouting.
  5. Try to keep your tweets to 110 characters. This will improve your chances of being retweeted.

Next up is The Great Twitter Debate: Should You Follow Back? by Writer Unboxed.

This is a huge topic among Twitter users. Should you follow people who don’t follow you back?

The answer, I think, is it depends. Are you interested in what this person tweets about? Do you enjoy her or his images, blog posts, and other tweets?

The author of this post suggests that you follow people who offer you value plus some of the people who follow you. The goal of this policy is to “be welcoming but not just another follower. Balance inclusiveness with a presence that signifies quality and importance.”

Check this post for other points the author made as well as the 42 comments left on this blog.

Next is a post by Cynthia Boris for the Marketing Pilgrim blog titled Call, Configure, Commerce: The Twitter cards of the Future.

As Cynthia explains, Twitter cards are ad units with some kind of media or functionality attached to the tweet. Images and video are the most popular options. But there’s a learning curve to using them because you need to add metatags to your website in order to be able to create the cards.

This might be a job for your webmaster to help you with the HTML coding. My opinion is that they are worth the trouble. For more information about the cards, read Social Media Examiner’s blog post 8 Types of Twitter Cards Businesses Are Using.

Twitter plans to roll out a feature called Quick Promote. This is being designed for smaller marketers, like authors, and will work similar to Facebook’s promoted posts. Twitter promises that Quick Promote will turn any tweet into a paid promotion.

Finally, here’s a post I wrote: My Fave New Twitter Apps. Actually, I have more than just two favorite Twitter apps but when I wrote this post I had just begun to use Swayy and ManageFlitter.

The founders of Swayy describe their product as “a personalized content discovery platform” that helps you to discover the perfect content to share on your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

I’ll admit that I was skeptical at first. I was Scoop.it at the time and Twylah’s BrandBuilder but after trying Swayy, I was a convert.

The morning after setting up my account, I received an email with links to killer content. By the second day, there were 25 pieces of content on my dashboard. I was stoked.

Even with the free account I’m able to access analytics. The three stories I shared in two days generated 32 links clicked. Oh, Swayy not only finds great content it will schedule the content for you too.

The other app that I still love is ManageFlitter. You can use the free version of this tool to unfollow Twitter users and to use some features to grow your account.

If you’re willing to pay $12/month, you have access to additional features. You can:

  1. Unfollow users who aren’t following you back.
  2. Unfollow people who don’t use an image for their avatar.
  3. Unfollow fake accounts you are following.
  4. Block accounts that are fake.
  5. Whitelist followers you never want to unfollow. (I love this feature.)

This app saves me a ton of time. Of course, other apps I like are SocialOomph and Hootsuite, which are scheduling applications that also provide great analytics, and TwitterCounter, which keeps track of my follower count and lets me know who my new followers are each day.

If you’d like to master Twitter, sign up to receive a free copy of my eBook Twitter Just for Writers.

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Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

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