Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How To Use Twitter

Previously on the blog:

The best way to market is ALWAYS to release a new book (building your backlist). While I don't think that will ever change, I do want to focus more on marketing this year, and just "putting myself out there." I feel like if I say this on the blog, I'll stick to it. (Consider it a form of positive peer pressure). The easiest way (for me) to connect with others is through Twitter. I've been doing some research, so my next post will cover what I've learned about Twitter. I figure if the information helps me, it might help you, too. 

As promised:

I don't have to tell you that technology is changing faster than we (read: I) can keep up. When I first started writing, Myspace was the way to connect with readers. Now, entire weeks will go by and I won't even think about Myspace. In fact, I deleted my account a few months ago. There was just no point in maintaining it. This was because Facebook came along, and it was a much better way to connect with friends, family, and readers. Now I'm hearing the adults are sticking to FB, but teens (i.e. my market) are moving on to bigger and better things. Methinks I will eventually have to look into Tumblr, but I digress.

I've always enjoyed Twitter, though. I like the brevity of it all. Face it: few of us have time to read long, cumbersome blog posts, and even fewer have time to write them. 

So, in my quest to use Twitter more efficiently in the coming year, I sat down and determined how, exactly, I wanted to use it. 

Here's what I came up with (in the order of importance).

How I Want To Use Twitter

Connect with readers and other writers
Promote other writers
Offer glimpses into my life/thought process. To "keep in touch."
To spread the news re: ebook deals
Promote myself/my books

Then, I had to decide what to tweet or what I felt followers expected from me.

What To Tweet

Information about new releases/deals
Information about writing/the indie world
Information about me (what I'm doing, what I'm liking, etc.)

While reading, I also learned a few things to avoid.

What to Avoid

Overexposure (I had to unfollow someone recently for this. I felt *so* bad, but at the same time, my feed was so clogged with posts that weren't relevant to me that I couldn't take it anymore. It wasn't any of you, so don't worry! I can look the other way to an extent, but this just got to be too much.)

Venting/Rants (I'm the first to admit that I enjoy putting a good sarcastic comment or two out in the world, and I don't mind venting as a whole. It's when it becomes an entire feed that it gets tiresome. No one should roll their eyes and mutter "here we go again" when I send a tweet out into the world.)

Gossiping (Information travels too quickly these days--usually before the facts are even straight. I love a good scandal as much as the next person, but it doesn't hurt to take a breath or two and hold off until facts are confirmed. Also, remember that the internet is forever. How awkward would it be to have to sit on a panel with someone you publicly bad-mouthed? Yeah.)

So once I figured out how to use (and not use) Twitter, I looked into . . .

Best Twitter Practices

(The information varies from site to site--data sometimes conflict--but from what I've gathered. . .)

Tweet between 4-7pm

Tweet often

Tweet at least 5 days a week

Twitter engagement is higher on weekends 
(but Thursdays and Fridays aren't bad, either).

It's okay to tweet the same post again a few hours later (not every five minutes!) for those who might've missed it the first time.

And finally, some . . .

Good Tips to Follow

Stay positive
Try to have conversations with people.
Include a link or a photo whenever you can
Retweet (RT) others 
Ask for a RT. 
(Truth? I'm not a fan of begging for people to RT my posts, but if there's something I want people to see, I definitely get more RTs when I ask for them as opposed to when I don't.) 
And there you have it! Pretty self-explanatory, I think. If you're trying to figure out how to use Twitter more effectively, take what you need from this and leave the rest. 

My Twitter feed is in the sidebar. ---> And I can be followed via @katiekleinbooks. I don't auto follow, but I do respond to @ replies. As a follower of mine, you can expect to see a good mix of RTs from other writers; links to information important to indies, writers, and readers; and varying personal nonsense. 

My goal is to stay more connected in 2014. We'll see how it goes!