Thursday, March 28, 2013

Quick, Dirty Twitter Tips for Writers



Tools and tricks for adding followers and spending more time on what really matters -- your writing. This article is for newbies and intermediate Twitter users who want to boost their platform.

One publishing expert claims that agents and publishers want to see authors with a total social media audience -- across Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, etc -- of at least 5,000. Used efficiently, Twitter is the easiest way to boost your numbers. (For fiction authors seeking an agent, having an impressive audience/platform is supposedly less important. Not sure I agree. Here's another article on author platform size.)

Tips for Adding Followers

- Make sure you're following good people -- people with lots of followers who are interested in your genre or book's topic. I'm building an audience of people interested in my topic "self-promotion for writers." (Confession: If I was smart, I'd clean out my Twitter account by dumping followers who are not writers. But I'm not that smart and I don't want to lose any followers at this point. To dump useless followers, use the free app, ManageFlitter, mentioned below.)

- Then, each day click on folks listed in the "Who to Follow" box on your Twitter page. You don't want to add too many people too quickly for two reasons: First, Twitter will slap your hand. If you ignore the slap, you may lose your Twitter account. Though Twitter won't divulge it's recommended ratio of following to followers, if you keep those numbers with in 10 to 20 percent of each other, you're probably fine. So, if you have 1,000 followers, you should be able follow up to 1,200 people without a problem. Also, if you follow a lot of people and have few people following you, you look like a loser and may have problems getting people to follow you back.

- Dump useless followers. Twice a month -- or whenever I get a nasty note from Twitter about following too many people -- I use ManageFlitter to dump people I'm following who are not following me back. The free version allows you to dump up to 100 people a day. Though there are other free apps, such as FriendorFollow, I found ManageFlitter to be the easiest to use.

Add too many followers too fast, and Twitter will slap your hand.

ManageFlitter offers a free, easy way to dump people who are not following you back.It also provides details on people, so you can think twice before giving them the heave ho.

Add Followers the Sleazy Way

There are numerous Web sites and schemes for adding lots of followers using follow back services. Google "twitter follow back" for a list. The problem with follow back schemes: you may end up with a lot of useless followers -- people who not interested in your writing, but only interested in boosting their numbers.

A search on Google for Follow Back services and sites. These sites also offer follow back for adding Facebook Fans and blog followers. Personally, I think these services are a waste of time.

My experience: I once used a follow back option on World Literary Cafe, a site for writers. It turned out to be too much work, so I abandoned it. (You're supposed to visit the site and follow a bunch of folks, who then follow you back. You're also supposed to mention World Literary Cafe when you follow folks.) The other problem with the site: if your audience is not writers, you'll be adding a lot of useless folks, which negates future use of strategy listed above in "Tips for Adding Followers."

World Literary Cafe offers follow back options Twitter, Facebook, and even blogs.

 More Twitter Posts from The Loneliest Planet


 Tips for Managing the Twitter Mess


 The Hater's Guide to Twitter


 Follow me on Twitter: @rsquaredd

 Image at top of article: "Emerging Media - Twitter Bird" by MKHMarketing


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