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I’m going to do a series of technical type posts for those just starting out or who want a bit more of an insight into the business side of being an author. My last post was on self publishing. This one is about building a twitter following for marketing. 

A lot of people have a twitter account. But unless you are JK Rowling you probably don’t have many followers or know how to get them. The idea behind twitter marketing is that the more followers you have the more people see your tweets and have the opportunity to do what you tell them to. When you are just starting out you will be following more people than follow you back. The idea is to get this number to swap so more people follow you than you follow yourself. Get it? 

How do you do that? There are several ways, some more ‘right’ than others. My brother has over 15,000 followers but he also follows about 45,000 number. Why? He uses something called Just Unfollow. This is a paid site that allows you to add people en mass. You enter in another twitter name, someone who is in the same industry as you is best, then you can follow all their followers. The idea is that it’s polite that if someone follows you you should follow them back. The site gets its name because it also lists the people you are following who don’t follow you back and gives you the option to just unfollow them. You do have the option to add 10 people a day without paying, or you can tweet about it to get your daily limit upped. Warning though, people don’t like that you mass followed them. Its like spamming. So be careful with this method and don’t go over board. Its best to start out with this then do the method below. 

The second method is the one i use. I follow popular authors/ publishers then follow the people they follow. Its slower but it builds a list of people who would actually possibly like to follow you back. It also keeps your twitter feed down to relevant tweets rather than a heap of random things. My policy is if you follow me, i will follow you back but if you post something that annoys me then i have no issues unfollowing you. 

Ok so that’s following. Next we come to tweeting itself. 

People wont follow you if you don’t # things. A lot of people don’t understand how #tags work. Basically its a search method. You can search for #tags and it will give you all the tweets that have used that tag. So yes, if you #jkrowling you will get a lot of people looking at your tweet. But tagging things that have nothing to do with your tweet is a good way to annoy people and loose followers. So try keep them relevant. A good method is to look at what tags are being used. Do a search for your tags before you tweet them and see how many people are using the same tag. Get creative. #larisaofficial will get a lot of posts about me for example but who is using it? Probably just me lol But tagging #romance will get a whole heap of results so you will get more people seeing your tweet and hopefully follow you because your tweets are so witty and clever 😛 

Another thing to remember is that the average tweet will only stay in a persons feed for a few minutes before other tweets bump it down the screen. Remember they are shown by most recent first. So post often but don’t spam people. There is nothing worse than a whole feed with one person saying ‘click this link!” they will unfollow you pritty quickly. Most people think that two to ten posts a day is best. Try do this during peak times. Lunch time, home time, after school. Times when the most people will see it. 

You can also tag other people. This is a good way for their followers to see you. @larisaofficial for example will tell me that someone has tagged me in their tweet. I might tweet them back @randomperson then my followers see them back. Manners.

A few examples are:

Hey check out my new site http://www.larisaanderson.com #romance #menage

A hot sexy night alone, Bound by the help $0.99! #smashwords #freebooks

Check out a hot new book by @daniellelisle only $1.99! #regencyromance


You notice that although my book is $0.99 i tagged it under freebooks. This is a really popular tag and i figure $0.99 is almost free so people might be interested in it. Again don’t do this too often. 

Most importantly, keep it short and to the point. Make it interesting. We don’t care what you had for lunch, we do care that you have just slammed out a new chapter in the second in a series we like.

Good luck!