Using Twitter to reach readers

Last week I wrote about setting up a Facebook page to connect with your readers. Twitter can also be a great way to reach readers.

Twitter is a social networking site where users can send short (280 character) messages called Tweets. You can include a hashtag (#) to allow people who are interested in a topic to find those who share that same interest. But be warned – using too many of these looks like your message is spam.

As with Facebook, you shouldn’t spend all your time posting about your book. I’m not saying you can’t post about it but it can’t be all you do. You can post announcements – a new review, a cover reveal, an author interview/guest post or a book giveaway, to name a few.

But be sure to intermix tweeting about your own content (your books or blogs) with sharing useful, interesting and amusing resources from other people (retweeting) as well as perhaps glimpses into your life or things you are interested in.

Now some people say you should work on connecting with people, making friends instead of selling. The theory is if people see you interacting and are interested, they will find out for themselves what you have written. But this can be time consuming – time you may want to spend writing.

The best way to build relationships is of course to engage the other users in conversation or at least commenting on their Tweets. Another way to build relationships is to retweet the content of others. The goal here is to hope that others will reciprocate.

And by connecting with others and helping share their tweets, hopefully people will take an interest in you. They may check out your Twitter profile so make it a good one. Consider something witty and of course list that you are an author. You also might upload a header about your upcoming or latest book. If you have a book promotion or announcement, pin a Tweet about it to the top of your profile.

There are a vast array of programs you can use with Twitter. From programs that allow you to schedule your tweets or find out who doesn’t follow you back to sites that shorten any URLs you want to include in your tweet, there is something to help you get the most out of Twitter.

You can read numerous blogs about the dos and don’ts of Twitter. But in the end, you really just have to do what you feel comfortable with and what works for you. But I will say that I know I have sold books off my tweets, and I have certainly increased my blog’s traffic with mentions on Twitter.

One thought on “Using Twitter to reach readers

  1. […] Twitter is a social networking site where users can send short (280 character) messages called Tweets. You can include a hashtag (#) to allow people who are interested in a topic to find those who share that same interest. But be warned – using too many of these looks like your message is spam. (To keep reading, click here.) […]

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