Okay, I’m not a super Twitter expert or anything, but after a couple of years trying to figure out how to manage my writing time and social media, I am aware now that I need to have a social media presence if I’m going to be an author. It’s just the way it goes. I’d love to never be online, truthfully. I’d rather be writing, reading, spending time with the family, all that stuff. But I get it now. I have to do this.
And if you want to have what they call an “author platform,” you probably need to also.
In the last few months, though, I’ve finally figured out what to do with Twitter. Sheesh. It took me long enough. So I will share with you the little bits of what I’ve learned to “grow your presence” (i.e., gain followers.)
First, sign up for Twitter. If all those celebrities can do it, so can you.
Second, “tweet” (it’s like a text you send out to the world) a few times, like at least ten, so you don’t look like a robot. This can be personal musings, or links to interesting articles, or good quotes. Make your tweets “good content,” something someone wouldn’t mind reading. Use “hashtags,” which just means you add a # and a word behind it. You can see what hashtags are trending and add a tweet with that hashtag, or something common (like #amwriting, #amreading) or something made up (#amsosickofweeding). It doesn’t really matter. They just make Twitter searchable.
Third, follow as many people as you can. Twitter makes this easy. There’s a suggestion link in the left hand column “who to follow.” Click that. Follow as many people as you can. Then, the next day, follow as many more people as Twitter lets you follow. And so forth. The more you follow, the more people will follow back. It just works that way. It doesn’t really matter who you follow. But be sure to “follow back” anyone who follows you (unless you can’t stand to because they use foul language, or whatever). That makes Twitter “push” you onto someone else’s “who to follow” list.
Fourth, after about two weeks of following as many people as you can (I mean, the Twitter limit) sign up for “Just Unfollow.” It’s free. It links to your Twitter account. It’s pretty self explanatory. It lets you “unfollow” anyone who hasn’t followed you back. It also tells you who is following you that you haven’t followed yet. Follow them back.
Following back: There are “bots” that are just “Pay money and get 1000+ followers” accounts. I never follow those. Don’t pay for those. Seriously. I also don’t follow back languages I can’t read, or accounts that use foul language in their bios. (I also unfollow accounts that end up posting offensive tweets. No second chances. That’s just me.)
Another good way to get follows is to retweet (RT). Occasionally, go through your scroll of tweets of people you’re following and retweet anything interesting. It shows you’re engaged. It also bumps up your “tweet” count, and makes you more credible as a person to follow.
Twitter is like other things, the more you feed it, the more it grows. But it’s hard to feed Twitter from other sources. It’s like the cat won’t eat the dog food, you know? Don’t waste time going to Facebook and begging Facebook friends to follow you on Twitter. Twitter has a pretty easy way to farm followers as is. Just do the four steps listed above. In the past three months with not much time input (maybe 5-10 minutes 5x a week) I’ve gone from 2,000 followers to 5,000 plus.
There are times when I think, why am I doing this? Why is the world so weird these days that I have to do this? But then, there are times when really funny things happen on Twitter or I get a chance to connect with a reader or someone who has asked me questions about my church or I end up making a friend who I end up meeting in real life at a writers conference and we hit it off, and then I think, okay. That made it worth the time.
I hope this helps someone.