Category Archives: Twitter Tips

Writers: How To Use Twitter Like A Best-Selling Author | Web Design Relief

With over 336 million monthly active users, Twitter is still one of the most popular social media platforms. For this reason, you’ll find many best-selling authors using Twitter to connect with their readers, including Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Jodi Picoult, Rick Riordan, Neil Gaiman, and many others. The social media experts at Web Design Relief have some tips to help you take full advantage of Twitter to build your own reader fan base:

Make Smart Use Of Hashtags

Many Twitter users assume that when it comes to hashtags, the more the better to reach the widest possible audience. However, this may not be as effective as once thought. New studies show that the optimum number of hashtags per tweet is one or two at most. Here are a few hashtags that are specific to the writing community that you can try next time you tweet:

#amwriting – This tag is most commonly used when writers discuss projects in progress.

#WriterWednesday – Twitter absolutely loves alliteration, and Wednesday is the day for writers. This hashtag can be used to update your current (and potential) readers and followers as to what’s new in your writing life.

#WritersLife – Keep in mind many of these can be used together. #WritersLife is similar in intention to the previous hashtags.

#WriteTip – Share your experience and knowledge with the Twitter writing community.

These are only a few examples of the many writing-related hashtags you can use on Twitter. And you don’t have to stick with preexisting hashtags—you can make up your own as well!

Update Your Profile From Time To Time

Do you still have the same old Twitter profile photo from when you first opened your account? The one from three hairstyles ago? Time for a change! Many authors use professional headshots on their various social media profiles, but you can use something casual as well.

In addition to updating your profile picture, be sure to update your profile’s cover photo as well. This could be anything you’d like it to be: the cover of your latest book, a photo you took that represents you and your genre, artwork or images that will appeal to your fans and readers, etc. Just be sure to keep your images and style consistent across all of your social media platforms to help reinforce your author brand and make it easier for your audience to recognize you.

Remember to update your bio with current projects you’re working on, any new publication credits, and details that show off your personality.

Tweet During Peak Hours And On High-Traffic Days

Twitter experiences high and low activity times just like every other social media platform. While your peak hours may be relative to your location and the location of your audience, there are days and hours that absolutely have the most traffic. For Twitter, the best time to tweet is 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. on weekdays. This would be the perfect time to announce a contest to win your latest book or a genre-themed gift basket!

Utilize More Multimedia

Photos and videos are the best way to stand out from the crowd on Twitter. Share some photos or videos you’ve taken during a recent book signing event or a writing conference you attended—just remember to keep safety in mind. Tweet a photo of your book or the literary journal you’ve been published in. And yes, it’s true—cute photos of pets are very popular on social media, so go ahead and post that adorable photo of Fido or Fluffy. Your followers will enjoy a glimpse into your daily life.

If you’re comfortable, consider making a video of yourself and talk to your audience directly. Most laptops and smartphones make it super easy to create short, simple videos. Vlogging (video blogging) is growing in popularity in the online writing community. You might find that you enjoy this new way to interact with your readers and fans.

 

Question: What have you found most effectively boosts your tweets on Twitter?

8 Twitter Mistakes Writers Must Avoid

8-twitter-mistakes

Twitter has quickly become one of the most effective social media networks for writers. Even literary giants such as Stephen King and Margaret Atwood use Twitter to interact with fellow writers, fans, and publishing industry insiders. But as easy as it is to positively connect with all your Twitter followers, it’s just as easy to send a major faux pas flying across thousands of Twitter feeds in an instant.

Here Are Eight Of The Biggest Mistakes Writers Commit On Twitter—And How To Avoid Them!

  1. Submitting to agents and editors through tweets – Literary agencies and journals have submission guidelines and pages for a reason. Agents and editors are on Twitter to interact with fans, readers, and the writers they represent or publish, not to solicit queries and submissions. They consider it unprofessional for writers to pitch their works to them on social media networks, and it shows them that the writer has not done his or her research.
  1. Being inconsistent – Not using the same hashtag for a certain topic can cause confusion for your followers. We understand that in the flurry of tweets and trending topics, you might get caught up in the conversation; however, a little organization goes a long way. Keeping your hashtags and topics consistent ensures that people who follow you won’t miss anything important that you have to say.
  1. Neglecting @ mentions – Use the @ mention feature to direct your tweet at specific users so that they can spot your tweet and answer you right away. And don’t forget to reply to the tweets that mention you too!
  1. Tweeting infrequently – Maintaining an online presence reminds your followers that you’re there, you’re willing to engage, and you have interesting things to say. We don’t suggest that you glue yourself to your Twitter feed 24/7—but you should consider carving out some time in your weekly routine to check in online. You can even schedule your tweets for the entire week in advance using tools like Hootsuite to organize your Twitter feed. And if you don’t have the time or inclination to regularly tweet and engage with your audience, check out our Virtual Assistant program to see how we can do it for you!
  1. Cluttering up tweets with irrelevant hashtags – Using too many hashtags, especially hashtags that don’t have a solid connection to your tweet, can annoy followers. It takes up character spaces you could be using for your actual tweet, and spams the hashtag that doesn’t have anything to do with what you’re saying.
  1. Oversharing – Some writers air out their issues over social media, especially on Twitter, where they know they can get a reaction as soon as they publish their tweet. But oversharing is a turnoff for followers and potential readers! And flooding your followers’ Twitter feed with pushy sales pitches screaming Buy My Book! will cause them to quickly unfollow you.
  1. Networking, but not socializing – This goes back to what we just said about over-promoting: Twitter is for establishing connections and announcing exciting news, but don’t forget that you have to be social on social media! Strike up thoughtful conversations, jump into trending topics, and get to know people – don’t just cozy up to Twitter users you think can boost you and your writing.
  1. Treating Twitter like other social media networks – Twitter is not interchangeable with Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, LinkedIn, or other social media sites. Take the time to learn how best to utilize what makes Twitter unique from the other sites. Twitter is a great means to post a concise thought, a witty observation, or an engaging prompt. It’s good to remember that Twitter is for easy conversation, not lengthy anecdotes, works of fiction, or professional opportunities.

 

QUESTION: What other mistakes have you discovered that writers make on Twitter?

How Social Media Has Evolved—And Why It Matters To Writers

social-media

Unless you’ve been living in a rural cabin, pounding away on a manual typewriter, you know that technology and social media have been rapidly evolving over the past five years.  Facebook alone has changed dozens of times since it graduated from Harvard and launched itself into the greater public in 2006. In fact, all the major social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, and more—have regularly reinvented themselves.

Since social media is an essential part of any savvy writer’s author platform, it’s important to stay ahead of trends. If you’re still trying to “poke” friends on Facebook, or you don’t know what that weird ghost icon is all about, you might have a harder time keeping your audience engaged. But don’t worry! You can quickly get up to speed on the latest social media developments:

Social Media Trends That Writers Need To Know

There is a growing emphasis on imagery over text.

Even though it might rub writers the wrong way, when it comes to social media, that old adage is true: A picture IS worth a thousand words. With the advent of Snapchat (hello, ghost icon!) and Vine—and with other more established platforms like Tumblr and YouTube still steadily growing in popularity—images have become an important part of your status update.

The evidence is right there in your Facebook feed: Notice how many more images you see versus posts with only text.  A written post of “I just got engaged!” doesn’t have the same impact as a photo of your hand wearing a flashy new piece of jewelry. In the same way, a post featuring your book cover art will grab the attention of more of your followers than a simple sentence stating: “My book was just published.” And Tweets that feature images get 313% more engagement!

K.I.S.S.: Keep It Short and Simple.

The shorter your content, the more engagement your post will receive. A study by NPR found that the sweet spot is forty characters or less! News articles have now been replaced by the “listicle.” Snapchat is just a photo and a line of text, while Vine presents only a six-second video.

And of course, don’t forget the ever-present meme. Let’s face facts: A well-written long post about a political figure will get less interaction on social media than a meme that features a short sentence on a cropped photo of the person in mid-sneeze. The lesson for writers? Keep your posts short and simple. A brief, bulleted list of your upcoming events with a photo from your latest book signing will resonate better with your readers than paragraphs of detailed information.

Change is inevitable.

The never-ending evolution of social media may make your head spin—and wouldn’t you rather be writing than posting, tweeting, or pinning? But guess what: All of these up-to-the-minute changes offer innovative, exciting ways to interact with your existing fans and reach potential new readers. (Find out which social media platform is right for you.)

Before social media, the only way you would have any contact with your audience was through snail mail or when you met them in person at a book signing. Now, you can instantly get the word out when your latest piece is published, and even provide a handy link to the online journal. You can share information and get immediate reactions and feedback from your followers. Instead of spending money on expensive advertising, you can generate buzz for your latest writing project across multiple social media platforms without spending a penny.

Social media makes it easier than ever to take the pulse of your readers, get them interested in your work, and keep them coming back for more. And sure—you can post the occasional photo of a cat in a pizza box or celebrate National Coffee Day with a picture of your latest overpriced cappuccino (placed strategically next to your book or the journal featuring your writing, of course!).

If the idea of maintaining your social media seems like a lot of work, check out our Virtual Assistant packages. We’ll do all the posting so you can spend your time writing!

Question: How has social media changed the way you communicate with your readers?

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