27th February, 10:10
Happy Wednesday everyone! We’re halfway through the week, woohoo! And not only that, we’re also creeping closer and closer to the launch of Beyond which is on Friday. Yay!
However, today’s blog does not concern my novel; instead, I am giving you guys a few top tips for authors on Twitter.
I’m not claiming to be a pro at ALL at this, but I think that since I joined a few months back I’ve pretty much learnt the ropes and sussed out how to make the most of my writer account.
So, enjoy. And if you can think of any other tips for newbies, pop them in the comments below!
So, you’re a new/upcoming/aspiring writer and are thinking of making a Twitter account. Not sure where to start? What to do? Where to find followers? Look no further! I’m here to break it all down for you…
- Build your profile.
This may sound like a relatively easy one, but to seem like a real person and not a bot or slightly creepy faceless figure, you will definitely need a nice photo as your profile picture (either yourself or a cartoon/logo etc if you don’t want to post your face), short bio (describing a little about you or your work) and a header photo. This last one can be anything, really – mine is the title of my book – as long as it’s not offensive or something that may put others off.
- So, your profile is complete. The next thing you need to do is start Tweeting. If you’ve used Facebook before, Tweets are basically statuses just shorter. You can Tweet anything you like, really! I’ve found for a successful writer page your Tweets should be geared more towards your work, though don’t feel afraid to throw in some personal ones here and there – it helps people get to connect with you a little better.
- Use the hashtags
This one’s vital! To build followers, get involved and ensure your Tweets are seen by as many people as possible, use hashtags. Some general writing ones are:
You can bung the relevant hashtag(s) above after any writing-related Tweet and it’ll help boost exposure.
There are also daily/weekly hashtags that prompt short stories and sharing ideas. My favourite is #vss365 which means Very Short Story 365 days a year. A different prompt word is set out every day which you have to include in your very short story (which has to fit into the Tweet word count!). I have found a lot of writers engage with this activity and it’s a fun and challenging way to get your imagination flowing.
- Interact with others
Again, very important. You don’t want to be Tweeting out left right and centre without looking like you care about what anyone else is saying. You can like, retweet and reply to other people’s posts and get involved in debates, conversations and votes, as well as offer advice and encouragement to others. Pretty soon, people will start doing it back to you!
- Follow Back
This one can be altered to personal preference, but when starting your Twitter account I would make a conscious effort to follow back everyone who follows you (excluding bots or people that make you a lil uncomfortable). It is a friendly way to make sure your feed is filled with good content and, as people can see the number of people you follow (and number that follows you!) many will be more likely to follow you as they’ll see you’ll probably follow them back.
- Support other writers
This can be in varying forms – anything from liking/retweeting posts about their books, to giving them a shoutout on your page, to buying their work! Many new authors engage in exchanges for beta reads, reviews etc, so it’s pretty easy to find people willing to do that if that’s what you’re looking for. Just remember to be polite and, if you don’t want to promote someone, don’t – but think about how you would like others to treat you and your work.
- DMs: yay or nay?
Again, this one’s down to your own opinions. Some authors automatically send a message to all new followers thanking them and leaving links to their book. If this is something you’d like to do, go ahead – it is very common – though please try and be polite and as unpushy as possible as people may get a little annoyed. Likewise, some users are happy for people to DM (direct message) them for a chat and others aren’t. If you really wouldn’t like people messaging you, maybe state that in your bio so there are clear boundaries.
- Report people in the wrong
Don’t be afraid to report someone if they have posted, or sent you something offensive, rude or alarming. Go ahead and block them, too. This is your Twitter experience and you shouldn’t have to look at content that upsets you. Likewise, if someone isn’t being offensive but perhaps is posting things you don’t agree with, don’t hesitate to unfollow. There are a LOT of people on Twitter, some of them not with the nicest intentions or ideas.
- Get GIF crazy!
People on Twitter love a good GIF, especially the writing community! When interacting with others, if appropriate, pop a GIF in your reply and give people a giggle! You can use them in your own Tweets too as a reaction or addition to your thoughts/feelings.
- Have fun!
After all, that’s what we’re here for! Yes, Twitter is a great platform to connect with fellow writers and creatives, find some book gems and promote your own work, but ultimately it is NOT like LinkedIn; it’s primarily a platform for expressing your thoughts and opinions rather than the formal stuff. Don’t forget that!