Wednesday, April 18, 2012

33 Twitter Tips For Authors & Book Marketers

There are many ways to establish your Twitter presence.  No one way works best for everyone, every time, but in experimenting with this most perplexingly simply tool I have discovered the following:

1.      If your goal is to build up your Twitter numbers (follower), then do so even if it means you end up following many more people than those following you.  In the end what is important is that you can send tweets to a ton of people with the hope they will re-tweet you or forward your links/messages to others.  It may look lopsided when someone sees you follow twice as many people than those who follow you but whether you follow 10 or 10,000 people the payoff is the same.  In fact, by following more people there’s a better chance of reciprocation.  Plus, if you take the time to read through the increased pool of tweets from those whom you follow, you may see more opportunities to connect with others.

2.      To get people to follow you requires work.  Post your Twitter handle everywhere—in your email signature, in you profiles on social media sites, in your Web site bio, and on your business card.  When you meet someone, encourage them to follow you on Twitter.  Don’t be passive or shy about this.  Push it.   

3.      If you want people to see a big number of followers when they check you out (image branding online) it doesn’t matter who follows you.  But if you want to build up followers who mean something to you—professionally, personally, or to build up potential consumers to buy your book, seek out the type of people you’d want following you.  For instance, if you tend to write in one genre, such as business books, seek to get those in the business community to follow you.  Search Twitter or sites like We Follow for those who are influential in the space you want to be in.  Start following them; some will follow you.

4.      Send out interesting, funny, resourceful and insightful tweets and this will earn you more followers.

5.      Tweet often and experiment with different times of day and night, weekday/weekend.  You never know who is ready to surf Twitter.

6.      Avoid tweeting about everything and anything.  If you want to be taken seriously as, say, a business author, don’t discuss religion, porn, politics, and things that could divide, offend, or segregate people.  You may have the right to post what you wish—but it comes with a price, so be selective and smart.

7.      Make tweeting a two-way dialogue.  Comment/respond to the tweets of others.  It’s OK to push out links to your latest blog entry but don’t overly sell anything in your tweet.

8.      Don’t give people too many things to follow.  Some e-mail signatures list multiple Web sites, LinkedIn and Facebook pages, accounts with tumblr, Google+, etc.  Get them to follow you on Twitter or to link to one social networking site. You don’t need the same person following you on eight different sites.  Besides, they will feel overwhelmed by all of the connection links and will likely ignore all of them, when confronted with an e-mail signature that is longer than the e-mail itself.

9.      Include your PR handle in each of your blog post.  So you must constantly invite and remind people to join you.

10.  Vary the hash tag (#) that you use—experiment with new terms or variations of those terms.  For instance, #authors and #author acknowledge the singular and the plural.  Try synonyms, such as #writer and #writers.  Or try other things, such as #fiction, #novelist, #indiepublisher, #diet and #fitness.

11.  Tweet about people with a lot of followers and mention their handle (@thePRexpert) in the tweet.  Tweet on trending topics or high-profile people, events, and places.

12.  Tweet a funny photo—it’s worth a thousand words.    

Allows you to schedule the release of your tweets.  This enables you to send tweets when you’re busy, on vacation, sleeping, or at a time when you don’t feel like being on Twitter.

You receive e-mail updates about tweets that contain any keywords you wish to follow; including the name of your book, brand, company, service, or self.

Tweetups are here—you can find out about physical gatherings of local twitterers.  You can create a tweetup or attend those of others. 

Allows you to see how you rank against other twitheads and gives you a means to rank others.

This directory-based resource allows you to register yourself in a directory of Twitter-as well as It also helps you find the twitterers.

Helps you measure one’s clout or influence on Twitter.

You can follow or unfollow people in bulk.  It also searches tweets and profile bios by specific words.

It’s essentially the Yellow Pages of Twitter.  You can search by industry, name, location, key words, etc.

This service is not free but allows you to do a search for specific keywords and to automatically follow people who use these keywords in their tweets.

This site lets you see what’s trending by day, week, or month and shows the frequency of tweets on a topic.  It’ll count how often a hashtag is used for a specific word/term.  You must follow @hashtags in order to have your hashtages tracked.

This site allows you to manage multiple Twitter accounts and updates your FB status.  It also lets you create groups of people you want to follow, to save searches for a certain keyword, and allows you to shorten URL’s when tweeting a link.

It searches for your use of hashtags and key words and displays the Tweets for you.

You can find the people who have been tweeting about a certain hashtag, which allows you to follow people who are discussing the things you care about.

26.  When you Tweet a question, you provoke a dialogue.

27.  Better to be friendly and positive than negative and critical in your Tweets

28.  See Twitter as a chance to build up connections, share ideas, brand yourself—but not to do a hard sell or your products, services, or company.

29.  Feel free to comment on current events, hot trends, news, cool individuals, relevant issues, unique ideas, and things you find of value.

30.  Never post anything on Twitter that could embarrass you.  Employers, clients, family, colleagues neighbors, priest, banks—everyone can search for you on Twitter and they may penalize you for what you posted.

31.  When you should Tweet. There are many strategies that can be employed.  If you do it during a quieter time, such as 11am on a Saturday, fewer people will see your Tweet but there’ll be less competition to get those who are online at the same time to read your Tweet. Some busier times are Sunday evenings, weekdays after dinner, morning weekdays, after lunchtime on weekdays and Wednesday—right smack in the middle of the week.  Cover your bases and Tweet often at all times of the day/week. 

32.  BONUS:  Follow me @theprexpert so you can see me Tweet on things that interest those who are authors, editors, publishers, marketers, publicists, book fans, and those who make up the book industry. 

33.  Last, don’t give up.  Experiment and keep trying new things.  You will break through if you are persistent. 

Good Luck. 

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s leading book publicity firm. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person


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