Tips for Author Twitter

Tweet only for your readers

If you must tweet, tweet only for your readers. Think about what entertains them, what inspires them, what titillates them—and restrict your dispatches to those topics. It took months to write the book that enchanted your readers. Don’t break the spell with outrage, pessimism, or nastiness.

Don’t promote yourself—provide value

Direct sales don’t work on twitter, so don’t bother. Yes, post about each new release and about the exciting career milestones your fans helped you to accomplish. But not often. Instead, find reasons for readers to engage with your tweets. Post cool links, offer book and movie recommendations, and ask questions to inspire discussion.

Write sharable threads instead of solo tweets

Tweet threads multiply the value of every tweet they contain by offering more chances to engage. So use a thread tool, pick a topic, and explore every angle. Include links, #hashtags, @mentions, and open questions to catch every kind of reader. For your first thread, recommend your favorite 11 books in your genre with short messages in between.

In addition to peers, follow fans and influencers

Immerse yourself in your genre and the topics your readers care about. By all means, follow authors in your niche, new and old, but let them be the minority. Instead, focus on the bloggers, youtubers, and podcasters that speak to your audience. And follow the fans they interact with. These are your chief allies, and it is their opinions that count.

Be generous with @mentions

Want to build followers and friendships? Give a little love by @mentioning authors and influencers in your niche with a link to their content. If it doesn’t work the first time, circle back to them and try again. It costs you nothing to be kind, and eventually, they’ll take notice.

Use the right #hashtags, but sparingly

Nothing screams desperation like a bad hash-tagger, and yet they can be very powerful. Pay attention to the hashtags people in your niche use, then borrow the structure of their tweet to write your own. Position the #hashtag similarly, but say something unique. Over time, you’ll find more and more people interacting with your tagged tweets.

Retweets and likes are for your fans too

Make no mistake, readers will associate any retweet or like as if it was coming directly out of your mouth. Never use these features unless you’re positive the message they convey fits perfectly with your brand. Otherwise, “quote tweet” so that you can prefix the retweet with a message of your own.

Automate as much as you can

Twitter’s primary function is brand awareness, and being visible doesn’t mean being on the platform 24/7. Instead, use a tweet scheduling service to batch tweets in advance, and let them fly on their own time. This way, you can cut your social media time down to no more an an hour per week. 30m for scheduling, 30m for interactions. That’s it!

Make Twitter a better place

Twitter makes news toxic, activism perverse, and politics impenetrable. Do not engage! Instead, go into settings and permanently mute any words that ruin your cool. When you return to the feed, post something your fans will absolutely adore and get back to writing. Don’t pick the scab, but do kiss the boo-boo.