Twitter can be used to connect to new as well as existing readers.
To reach new readers, you can:
- Follow followers of authors in your genre and see if they follow back.
- Retweet good posts from other authors and reviewers in your genre. If the author tweets back, their audience will see it.
- Ask your followers for retweets to enter contests.
- Reply meaningfully to good posts from other authors and reviewers in your genre. If the author or reviewer tweets back, their audience will see it.
- Have an auto-responder direct message that POLITELY OFFERS a free book.
- Use the #TGIFiBooks hashtag on Friday with a link to any book that’s free on iBooks.
- Arrange a Twitter party with other authors to draw in readers.
- Schedule a conversation with other authors. It can sometimes be hard to have spontaneous conversations, but if you schedule them ahead of time, it often works better.
Once people have started to follow you, you can keep your followers engaged by tweeting pictures and comments that they find interesting. Determine the things that your author-self talks about. I mostly write romance, so I tweet hot guys, books, and pets, as well as snippets of back story and research about my books. I do a lot of teaser photos, and I also occasionally do purely personal but on-brand stuff. That means no whining no matter how bad of a day I’ve had, absolutely no complaining about reviews, and no being unpleasant in general.
Tweet what works for you. If you write food-themed books, you’d want a lot of recipes. Or if you write historicals, then nostalgic-type posts would work well. Twitter is generally a less formal place than your Facebook page.
Pictures work much better if they show up already expanded in the newsfeed. You can do this by posting from your phone or by scheduling posts with the premium version of Hootsuite. The free version doesn’t have that feature.
I’ve found that my audience really likes things directly related to my books that aren’t just “BUYBUYBUY.” So I do announcements of new releases and sales, but the rest of the time, I post teaser pictures (people love those!) with a link to the book page on my website. This makes people look forward to my tweets instead of ignoring them.
I post at most two tweets in a day that are directly about my books (unless it’s a release day). And I aim for a minimum of four tweets a day. Six to eight tweets would be better. The rest of the time, I tweet things that my audience enjoys that aren’t necessarily about my books. Find a balance that works well for your audience. They want to feel like they’re having a conversation with you, not that they’re being blasted with ads! They’ve asked to hear from you, so don’t make them regret it.