Introduction to Twitter

Twitter is a great way to meet fellow writers and potential readers, to develop relationships, and also to subtly raise your author profile.Twitter is a great way to meet fellow writers and potential readers, to develop relationships, and also to subtly raise your author profile (which may in turn help your blog stats, website hits and/or book sales).

However it’s vital to avoid being seen as someone who just shamelessly self-promotes. Most of your Twitter posts (called "tweets") should offer helpful information - about writing, reading, other authors, and the book or publishing industry in general.

Mingled in with these helpful posts can be references to your own blog, website, writing activities and a little bit of book promotion. Many writers follow the 80/20 rule - 80 per cent helpful tweets, 20 per cent self-promotion of one sort or another.

And don’t forget that social networking is "social", so inject some personality and help people get to know you ...

Get Started!
  • Read through Twitter Basics.
  • Choose a password that’s hard to hack.
  • Create your profile - you’re a writer, so craft something interesting that showcases your talent and intrigues potential followers.
  • Include your website or blog url so followers can find out more about you.
  • Include an image of yourself - the default "egghead" could put off followers.
  • Personalise your page background.
  • Broadcast and receive news (but don’t just self-promote).
  • Give useful information.
  • Start following other people (called "tweeps") - @SilverWoodBooks, SilverWood authors, your favourite authors, other writers, writing magazines, book festivals and fairs.
  • If someone follows you, follow them back and say hello.
  • Build relationships, don’t just self-promote (use the 80/20 rule).
  • You’ll probably find there’s a limit to how many people you can follow at first, but as your following grows, so will the number you can follow.
  • Monitor @Connect every day to see who’s followed you, or who’s talking about you.
  • Use Twitter "Lists" to organise the tweeps you follow.
  • Use #hashtags so people can find your conversation
  • Share websites, blogs, and cool or useful stuff related to writing and reading.
  • Re-tweet (RT) other people’s posts.

The 'Don'ts'
  • Don’t spoil your "thanks for following" message by adding a desperate and slightly spammy "please buy my book" / "check out my blog/website"
  • Don’t ask for more followers, or set a target and beg ie "I’m nearly at 100 followers please help me get more!"
  • Don’t re-tweet praise as it can seem a bit show-offy. Instead just reply to say thanks (everyone will see it then anyway, so job done!).
  • Use all caps sparingly because it’s the same as shouting.
  • Don’t link your Twitter account to Facebook or vice versa - the two are very different and should be used for their individual strengths. Besides, it looks lazy.

Want to Know More?
We love sharing what we've learned with our authors - sharing information and offering support are part of the range of benefits that make being a SilverWood author so good!

SilverWood authors qualify to receive our comprehensive and regularly updated Introduction to Twitter factsheet which offers all this information and much more - including How to Tweet, What to Tweet and Other Sites & Apps to Use with Your Twitter Account.

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