Since coming back to Twitter actively for the first time in a couple of years, I’ve discovered a few things that might help other writers. When I came back, it was with an entirely new purpose, and I feel like this was essentially a reboot. I had used Twitter in the past for my writing and social media businesses, but this time around, I am launching my fiction writing platform. The approach has been somewhat different, but many of the same rules will apply.
So, here’s five things I found out:
#1 Twitter is the most immediate of all social media platforms
This may just be my opinion and Facebook often has similar results, but on Twitter, if I post a link to something, it will immediately get hits, provided I am speaking to my audience. I can see an immediate bump in blog post traffic with nearly every quote and link I post. So, here are some things to keep in mind.
- · The traffic is coming, make sure your content is ready! Edit, add your links, polish your CTA, whatever you want to achieve with your post, get it up and tested before tweeting.
- · Watch what times of day are best for your audience. Twitter gives you that data, use it. Don’t shoot in the dark. Share at times your stuff gets shared to work with the trend.
- · Use mentions and RTs to get even more attention for an important post.
#2 Hashtags are your friends
I know, I’m late on this, but they still work, on Twitter, anyway. If you can join another active conversation and contribute value, it will for you. Do some research to find hashtags that make sense for you. I just googled, “hashtags for writers” and got several big list articles choked with hashtags for writers. Then, go check and see if they are still active. Look for volume and recent posts. Find out when and who is talking.
- · Hashtags are powerful. Chosen wisely, they can earn you new followers, retweets, likes and mentions all from the same post.
- · Use multiple hashtags for maximum impact. I often use two or three, sometimes reaching out to the same audience, sometimes mixing audience targets.
- · Make room for hashtags, even if you have to edit your message down. Include an image with more characters, or a link to a blog post, etc, if you have more to say, but add hashtags when you can.
#3 Use trending topics to your advantage
- Twitter tells you what people are talking about hour by hour! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or even a science fiction writer) to figure out what topics are hot! If you can, tap your own content into trending conversation, for instance, this will get a #twittersmarter hashtag because it’s trending as I’m finishing it!
- · Comment, RT or like yourself into any trending conversation you are interested in. It can lead to followers, which give RTs and mentions and likes.
- · Find trending topics that are recurring, like #wednesdaywisdom and plan to join the conversation. If you use scheduling, you can target your tweets to land right on schedule.
· Focus on trends that will appeal to your audience. As a writer, this is pretty easy. Anything science fiction or fantasy related is thick with potential fans for me.
#4 Twitter moves fast, don’t be afraid to repeat yourself!
If you repost a Tweet, a day or two later, it will not find the same audience, if you choose different times of day especially. Don’t be a one noter, that begins to feel like Spam. Write interesting Tweets, tie in current themes, ask questions, there are a lot of ways to say the same thing without saying ‘the same thing’.
- · I’m retweeting quotes from #21days21stories project. That’s a lot of places to take fun quotes from. Then, I use Mass Planner (at the end of this post) to automate the tweets on a timer every 3, 4, or 5 days.
- · It makes it seem like you’re talking more. Wait a few days, most people will have forgotten already.
- · If you have an event, like a book launch, alter your tweets slightly to provide a countdown! Anything you can do to get people to follow your tweets (not just be a follow-er)
#5 Story quotes are Twitter gold for writers
I discovered this from the very first one. Just pick out a weird, quirky or funny line, add a link to the book, or post on your blog and TWEET! These nearly always get me a RT or a few likes, or both. I also notice that people that find me RT worthy become followers.
- · If the line is quotable on its own, so much the better, but combine that with a hashtag for even more action.
- · If you have blog content that’s timely for trending hashtags, put it out there! No one cares it’s a year old, it’s news to them! (that’s what I’m doing with this) just pull a quote and link.
- · For science fiction, a weird quote, coupled with a #scifi hashtag is like catnip! (I’ll probably use this one as it is for a post link in a minute) so, find what resonates with your audience and do it.
It is all about attracting attention and getting people where you want them. Traffic is traffic. In most cases, this is fairly targeted, interest oriented traffic, even better. So, if your Twitter fans don’t buy, at least they can pave a path to your site for your others in SEO land.